Sunday, 21 July 2013

Why I love tea

Steeped in my history, pouring through the bloodlines of my family, caveat to my life, an entity so inextricably linked to the ups and downs of my existence that it has created an enduringly unfathomable love… tea. It scares me when people don’t like tea. I’m sorry, what? You don’t like tea? We could never be friends. Our family is practically founded on tea: its meaning in our house is what a steadfast currency is to a thriving economy. My mum requires two cups in the morning (which, FYI, has progressed to a whole pot now she has retired), my toddler nephew offers up tasty hot beverages to teddies at his tea parties but it was my Grandma who ultimately won tea top trumps, raising the stakes to a previously hitherto unknown level: steaming hot tea within which contained the forbidden fruit: one teaspoon of sugar. We weren’t allowed sugar in our tea at home. How’s that for a crafty game of one-upmanship with her daughter-in-law? And to put that into perspective in case you are thinking “but I have two teaspoons in my brew every time!” we were only allowed sweets on a Saturday and a Sunday. At a non-negotiable rate of 5 per day.

Then there’s the time my friend Joban and I spent £165 on tea whilst on a trip to San Francisco. Yes. You read that correctly. £165. We had fun getting that through customs – a large cake of Chinese Pu-erh tea which looked suspiciously like hash. When I was training for a half marathon and gave up drinking alcohol for a month I needed a drink replacement so, naturally, tea it was. The half marathon complete, I celebrated by giving up drinking entirely and my tea intake rocketed. The mark of my friendships is how well I know my way around their kitchens in order to get my brew fix.

Pumpkin Tea

Tea is routine, structure, order, mental balm, comforter and confidence all wrapped in one tasty package. And it’s not just me. That molten brown mass is a national sticking plaster:  where would we be without it? How would the plot lines of Corrie play out if they couldn’t put the kettle on in a time of crisis? And remember that iconic image of tea being served on a riot shield after the London riots in 2011? 

Tea makes everything better. Been dumped? Passed over for promotion? Putting the kettle on is a proven formula for guaranteed pain relief. There is something so wonderfully blissful in the routine of running the water, selecting your mug, retrieving the milk from the fridge all the while accompanied by the cacophony of steamy noise exiting the kettle. And you are rewarded with the ultimate pleasure of that rich dark liquid touching your lips and soothing your soul. So, what’ll it be? Mug not cup, soya milk if you have it, no sugar, and, do you know what? Leave the bag in a little while longer. I like mine strong.

1 comment:

  1. Aside from giving you a lot of health benefits, tea is also very relaxing. What's your favorite flavor of tea? Have you tried pu-erh tea? It's good and tasty! It's beneficial in lowering your cholesterol and useful in fighting hangovers. If you don't want to suffer from those unpleasant effects of alcohol, this is one thing that you need!

    Kevin Walls @ TeaLife


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