From the beginning of Tea two thousand years ago to when Tea first arrived in England in 1657, Tea has become the second most popular drink after water around the world.The beverage has motivated writers and poets who, throughout the centuries, have expressed their adoration and passion for drinking Tea. In their writings, they talk about the revitalizing effects that Tea brings to a poet’s mind, as being like a muses friend. Edmund Waller quotes;
Tea Doth our fancy aid
Is something was missing in your life, it might be TEA? Is there any other distraction, ritual or custom we do so often in so many different scenarios than making a cup of Tea? When relaxing, curled up with a book, studying for exams, nervous, visiting a friend, or bored we can make Tea and at once feel a whole lot better. We watch a movie on Stan or Netflix; we make Tea first, sit down to call a friend for a chat, make Tea first, get set up for a zoom or facetime call, and make Tea first. Invite a friend over for a chat or welcome an unexpected visitor we make Tea.
“I am a hardened and shameless tea drinker, who has, for twenty years, diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant, whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea solaces the midnight, and, with tea, welcomes morning.”Samuel Johnson
It seems that tea drinkers are always either making or drinking Tea. I must admit that I make Tea in every lull in my day, and I’m sure I’m not alone. When in doubt about what to do, my tip is to put the kettle on because, Tea will clear the mind, reduce fatigue, refresh and invigorate. Like a drinkable companion Tea can see us through the day, enhance our well-being, bring comfort and calm us. And, as George Orwell once said, Tea will make you wiser, braver, and more optimistic.
A chance to sit with a friend in person over Tea is one of life’s great pleasures. Sharing Tea, offering Tea and enjoying a conversation over Tea brings a sense of harmony, closeness and affection amidst life’s hectic pace. In our digital world, true friendship is rare and important to nurture and protect. The convivial atmosphere of sharing a Tea is the perfect antidote to our new millennium context of friends on social media.
‘The best part about having true friends is that you can go months without seeing them and they’ll still be there for you and act as if you’d never left ‘Ariana Grande
It is also the ritual of making Tea that can makes us feel calm and relaxed in unsure situations. For a start, it gives you something to do when you feel uncertain of what to do next. When you make Tea offer it to everyone in your surroundings because Tea is far more than just a refreshment. Offering Tea is an act of kindness, a hand out in friendship, an opportunity to share a heart to heart. As described in one of my favourite quotes by Hector Munro.
“Find yourself a cup of tea, the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things.”Hector Hugh Munro
WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, MAKE TEA
University psychologists in research at Yale University in 2008 found real social benefits to offering one another hot beverages. The study revealed that people who had recently held a cup of hot coffee were more likely to think of others as generous and caring than participants who had held a cup of iced coffee. The study suggests an association between physical and emotional warmth that may go back to childhood. We may have found our caregivers’ comfort and safety and then grew up to associate warmth with warm feelings towards others.
Tea is far more than a drink to quench one’s thirst or keep us warm, although Tea certainly achieves these ideas. Unlike any other beverage, Tea has deep links to culture, history, symbolism, spirituality, ritual, and ceremony. Today we can tap into Tea’s history and culture to make our own rituals and customs of drinking Tea. Creating and refining a Tea ritual of your own is a way of practising a sense of mindfulness. And also a way to enjoy the niceties of using your favourite utensils, teapots, cup and saucers or that unique mug. All aspects will enhance the experience and bring a sense of satisfaction and contentment with the first sip.
“Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage.”Okakura Kakuzō,
All Content Di Baker 2021
Images Fine Art America and Di Baker 2021