Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tea Traditions

Sometimes all you need is a cup of  tea. Tea brings comfort, that element of warmth. Tea slipping down my throat is like a blanket warming me up from inside. Add some candles, a fireplace, or better yet - a lit Christmas tree, and I am one happy girl.
Recently, I was feeling a lot of pressure at work and was feeling particularly drained and stressed. I know more than one of my friends is going to laugh at me when they read this, but instead of having a glass of wine, I had tea (thanks to Husband, who convinced me). And guess what? It totally worked! For the rest of the week, I was content to warm my hands around a hot mug, curled up on the couch, letting the steam of the tea wash over my face as I inhaled the scent of melted honey mixed with chamomile.
Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile is my go-to herbal tea in the evening. Don't worry, come Friday, though, guess what I was kicking back? ;)
Since I'm inspired to write about tea, I might as well tell you how I drink my tea. I am very particular about what mugs I drink my tea out of. It has to be the perfect size, and the perfect shape. I like to brew loose tea,  Earl Grey is my absolute favorite - and most of the time I brew in the mug I'm drinking from. Recently, a member of our community died, and her family had an estate sale. I bought one of her individual brewing nets, and I think of her every time I brew using it. I love having things that have history!
When I turned 16, my mother gave me my first bone china teacup. She had been collecting fine bone china teacups for years, and this was a rite of passage. I treasure my cups, and every year, my mother would give me another one. My sister also added to my collection when I got married.
 Each cup tells a story; it doesn't do to give just any fine bone china cup. It has to speak to you, or speak of the person you're buying for. It also has to come at the right price, I suppose, but if one speaks loudly enough, you buy it no matter what. A cup I gave to my sister comes to mind - she's an artist who specializes in watercolors, so when I saw a cup with a watercolor palette and brushes, how could I not snatch it up?

Since I love tea brewed from loose teas the most, my tea cup collection has expanded to tea pots for brewing tea.

The designs range from the classic floral to strawberries, butterflies, even a parrot shaped one (which I was given, and keep only as a conversation piece).

All of these are part of me; they tell part of my story, describe who I am, what I love. And the best part, most of the cups were gifts: it tells of those who love me, and know me well enough to know what I love. The cups spoke to them...and they heard.