Monday, December 17, 2012

Cup of Tea

For me, tea is more than a simple beverage. It's a state of mind. It's a place of being. It's comfort, calm and sometimes family.

Source: http://teaexperts.wordpress.com/category/darjeeling-tea-information/


Black tea. Green tea. White tea. Herbal tincture. Personal mix. Fancy tea from Teavana. Store brand organic tea. Loose tea from tins. Tea that unfurls into blossoms in a glass pot. I love the romance and potential of them all.

When I was little, my Russian grandmother made tea in the afternoons. We had a tea and a snack. Tea, rather than coffee, was also served after family meals with dessert well into my adulthood. (I still believe the change from tea to coffee as the offered family beverage marked a change in how we deal with each other as family.) Coffee, while smelling temptingly delicious, is somehow intrinsically less civilized than tea. It also lacks ritual.

Today, I like a toasted green tea that fills my mouth with notes of roasted rice and almost feels like a snack. I like a hearty lavender Earl Grey that braces the mind for a hard afternoon. I like a warm sweet cinnamon tea on a cold autumn night with pumpkin pie. I love the way that tea can be customized and brewed to your preferences - stronger or weaker, add sweetener, add spices, make it yours.  The only real requirements are fresh water, dried Camellia sinensis (or even herbs) and a little heat.

Take-away - I may not be everyone's cup of tea, but like the Nancy Reagan quote - I know how strong I am and what's been added.