I have rituals and I realize that in this regard I am like everyone else. I think it’s the actions performed in solitude that are closest to who we are.
Mine is tea.
I enjoy coffee as well, but for me coffee is physical and tea is spiritual. A friend who is deeply involved in astrology said this is because there is a lot of water and air energy in my chart. Whatever it is, I’m fine with it. Too much coffee makes me want to jump out a window. Even though I brew a coffee that my neighbor raves about.
Tea is different.
Tea is silent and uninterrupted. Tea represents, reflection, peace and prayer. I would be totally at home in one of those zen tea houses where silence, quiet shoes and slow movement are required. A cell-free zone with no wi-fi.
As much as the taste, it’s the process of making tea that centers me. I usually buy tea from a vendor at the Farmer’s Market. Smelling the aromas wafting from the many cannisters and combining them to make something that soothes my soul is part of my self care. There’s just nothing better than a nice pot of tea (and a biscuit).
Through my primary school years, I knew of only a handful of other kids with tea in their lunch box thermoses. Like myself, they were the children of British West Indian immigrants. Maybe that’s why I love my tea time as I do.
Memories of Mum.
No trip to Paris is complete without a stop or two at Mariages Frères. I could buy it online and I sometimes do but that robs me of the joy of sniffing…and that’s important. It’s pricier than Lipton’s and some of my friends don’t get my obsession, but they think the sweetened swill they buy at Starbucks (every single day) is coffee.
Today I’m going to The Farmer’s Market and my mind is already spinning with the prospect of a new tea experience and that makes me happy.
As I write this I realize my tea time is not quite as solitary as I thought.
Mum is with me.
2 Comments Add yours
I also find tea to be a lot more spiritual than coffee, and it is one reason why I prefer tea and am so into it.
I also find it interesting how you have your own ritual of visiting Mariage Frères when you visit Paris; I have some of my own traditions like that…I always visit the Ten Ren store if I’m in Manhattan, and used to visit the one in Chicago when I visited there, until it closed. Really good tea stores are hard to come by in the US, I find.
If you are interested in higher-quality teas that are still very reasonably priced, there are some really great options out there. If you want basic black teas, one of my favorites is Ahmad Tea, they’re a London-based company that sells mostly to a middle-eastern audience, and their teas are surprisingly good quality for their price (in the US, almost always under $10 for a pound of tea, I don’t know how much they’d sell for in Europe, or how widely available they are, but given that they’re headquartered in London I’d imagine they’d be cheaper and more widely available over there than here). I like their Ceylon tea best of all, but I think all their teas are good.
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Thanks for the info…I will definitely give Ahmad Tea a try.