The daily ritual of making Tea is a worldwide phenomenon. I’m sure that any tea drinker could share many beautiful stories of the unique ways they enjoy their Tea. How they serve, offer and have Tea prepared for them. My husband regularly makes me Tea when I’m out in the garden, making tea first thing every morning. Visitors to our home would always be offered a Tea, be they friends, newcomers, or strangers. These small rituals are among the most gratifying aspects of drinking Tea. Sharing a tea is the universal act of hospitality; comforting and appreciated when offered, and always an enjoyable part of life.
The daily ritual of sipping Tea brings us together in shared enjoyment that slows us down to be in the moment and take respite from the day. This universal custom is practised in every walk of life and enjoyed from the suburban or rural home to the shearing shed or campsite, the city workplace, boardroom, hospital, factory, and all the myriad cafes, tea shops, and restaurants around the world. Morning and Afternoon Tea is a welcome interlude in the day for all of us.
Tea’s Daily rituals are practised in many cultures, but when we think of Tea rituals, it is often the Japanese Tea ceremony that comes to mind first. There is much to be gained from the ancient Tea Ceremony and the merely taking time out to prepare carefully, sit down and enjoy the act of sipping tea. This simple ritual evokes a sense of respect that will nourish the body, invigorate the mind and nurture the soul. Tea can awaken gratitude for our good fortune, instil peace after troubles and inspire us to carry on.
We may not all have the time for an entire Tea Ceremony in our workday lives, but the power of ritual can be profound. It can focus the mind on honouring the one thing we are doing at that moment. We often multitask to the extreme and ritual may seem self-indulgent, but it creates a sense of reverence for a more subtle, patient, precise way of living.
A cup of freshly brewed Tea is a way to heal us in times of shock, exhilarate us when we celebrate, soothe us during long days of hard work or mental strain and is always a welcome pause from our routine. Whether it is a quick Tea break or an elaborate High Tea, I can’t think of a more wonderful beverage (apart from champagne) that is simultaneously soothing, and stimulating, relaxing yet invigorating as a cup of piping hot Tea.
Tea also encompasses an appreciation of fine china, and beautiful linens and presents a nostalgic look back to the gentler times of a less hurried age. Exquisite fine china Tea sets, eclectic collections of cups and saucers, antique silver Tea sets and teapots, ornate flatware and crisp white linens are synonymous with Morning and Afternoon Tea.
Tea rituals have evolved from the formality of the Japanese Tea ceremony or the elaborate drawing rooms of Edwardian and Victorian England to a more relaxed style today. If we take certain aspects of these traditions into our lives we can enjoy the best of both worlds. The ritual of a precise, mindful preparation of Tea or our own simple rituals of Tea in our daily lives to lavish Afternoon Teas and High Tea as celebratory events. Tea is a chance to connect to the present and appreciate the company of others or enjoy the solitude of being alone.
All content Di Baker 2019
Images Di Baker, Wiki Media and Unsplash