The ceremony of tea

12 06 2010

Every once and awhile I get into this pattern of slurping cups and cups of coffee, ignoring the growing headache that starts in the back of my head and  creeps gradually forward, adding an ache in my gut, adding irritability as it creeps ever forwards to my frontal lobes. It starts small, and I don’t realize I am seeking coffee every moment of the day until it dawns on me all of a sudden that I really don’t LIKE coffee, that it’s smell bothers me, that the joy in drinking it is hardly enough to make the side effects worth it. Of course, two days before, I loved the smell, I desired its bold taste more than anything, and the side effects are what I craved. It’s very odd.

Then someone mentions tea to me, and a new vista opens.  The ceremony of tea – selecting the type, putting just the right amount of loose leaves into the tea ball, warming the tea pot, getting out the delicate cups. And then that first, slightly smoky sip, the aroma insinuating it into my sinuses, easing them, the warm liquid slipping down my throat to my tummy, still agitated by the coffee, soothing it. Is there anything better?

Today, an extravagance: Green Yerba Matte Citrus from Teopia. I bought it some weeks ago, but it retains its freshness, its complex taste  – bitter, sweet, smoky, a little lemony bite.  So much more for a tongue to do than with coffee.

And then I wonder, why did I ever stray?

Coffee is like a brash American cousin – bold, enchanting, a bit bossy, and sometimes just the sort of companion you want.  But tea – it’s like a whole roomful of relatives, each different type having its own personality, its own moodiness, humour and charm.

And as my too sweet teacup sits on my messy desk, full of things I must do and a parking ticket (argh!), it gentles me and helps me focus.

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2 responses

12 06 2010
Annie

I fully agree with you about the difference between tea and coffee.

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13 06 2010
Walter Busse

How amusing is it that Google ran an ad for coffee, after your comment that tea is superior?
Although the phrase “More fun than a barrel of monkeys” does stir memories from when I was young.
Imagine advertising various entertainment sources as to the relative amount of fun.

Monopoly is rated 85% monkey barrel fun.
Sex is 250% monkey barrel fun. Unless you are actually HAVING sex with a barrel of monkeys. Bonobos could do that.

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