“But, indeed I would rather have nothing but tea”

“Some days ‘staying put’ might feel the same as Going Nowhere. Make a cup of tea, and wait for that feeling to pass.”

Vivian Swift

I love my cups of tea but recently I was forced to spend a week with no tea at all, locked inside a very small room due to the worldwide pandemic. Jane Austen’s quote above would often come to mind during the long days and nights of isolation. With not much edible sustenance and very little space, indeed, I would rather have had tea than anything else.

“When the going gets tough, the tough go to tea.”

J Devine The Tea Traveller’s Constant Companion

The ritual of tea is such an enjoyable experience that I missed tea. Tea is so soothing to the soul in times of stress and uncertainty. Often during the first days of lockdown, I felt that If I could just make myself a cup of tea I would be able to cope.

One day I decided to try to have a complete day without tea. I was quite shaken. I was quite disturbed.” Morrisey

As I write now, I do have access to a kettle and the humble teabag which is a welcome change. I am still in lockdown quarantined, but happily, I’m in my own country even if almost 4000 kilometres from home. I cherish the thought and long for a proper cup of tea from my own beautiful teapots and fine china cups. After more than a month of worry, disruption, uncertainty and at times fear, it will be a welcome relief and signify that we are home.

“The daintiness and yet elegance of a china teacup focuses one to be gentle, to think warmly, and to feel close.”

Carol and Malcolm Cohen

We are all living in unprecedented times that have brought major disruption to our lives and a degree of panic, and confusion across the world. Also, we may feel anxiety on many levels in regards to our health, our friends, family and our financial security.

It is the small daily rituals that can make a significant difference to our sense of well being and calm in troubled times. One of these is tea. The charms of making tea, either for yourself or tea for a loved one who perhaps shares isolation with you. Now is the opportunity to take a little longer to enjoy the charms of tea.

Bring out the china or silver teapot and enjoy a cup of morning or afternoon tea in a beautiful vintage cup and saucer. Now is the time we can indulge a little to make tea with more finesse. The slow more mindful pace of making tea in a teapot and setting it up on a tray is nurturing. The end result will be soothing and may even bring a sense of peace and tranquillity to the day. At times like this, our immune system will thank us for staying calm and relaxed.

Tea has many health benefits that include reducing the risk of a stroke and blood pressure. Improvements in digestion and the antioxidants in tea are said to help protect the heart and blood vessels.

Tea is wealth itself, because there is nothing that cannot be lost, no problem that will not disappear, no burden that will not float away, between the first sip and the last.”

The Minister of Leaves, The Republic of Tea  

How To Make Proper Tea at Home

To make perfect Tea attention to detail is the best way.

  • Use good filtered water and bring the water to a rolling boil for black tea ( see post on the different temperatures for Tisanes and Herbal infusions)
  • Warm the teapot with hot water and rinse out.
  • Use good quality fresh black tea leaves and place one teaspoon of leaves per person and one for the pot.
  • Pour in the water and allow tea leaves to move freely through the water.
  • Let the tea steep or draw for 3-5 minutes but no more, as it will become too tannin infused and be bitter if left too long. You could use the smartphone or egg timer for the best results after you experiment with your own desired strength. An infuser is good as it can be taken out after 4 minutes and will not continue to get too strong. Use an infuser that is large enough to allow the leaves to still move around.
  • Pour the tea into fine china cups using a tea strainer if you didn’t have an infuser.
  • Add either a sliver of finely sliced lemon or fresh milk.
  • Enjoy

Content Di Baker 2020

Images courtesy of Unsplash & Chic and Antique

Header Image Di Baker

Title Quote Jane Austen from Mansfield Park