The Joy Of A Lovely Cup Of Tea

It's Teatime!

Image by The Infatuated via Flickr

I’ve always been an avid coffee drinker, super Starbucks strength. I have a cup of strong coffee every morning, without fail, made the same exact way, with Fat Free Half and Half and one packet of Truvia. I’m hooked on coffee in the morning but only drink that one cup a day, which I am sure is equivalent to 3 cups of coffee if made by anyone else.

Why is that you can have a “good” cup of coffee but a “nice” cup of tea?  The only time I used to drink tea was when I had a stomach ache and then I would begrudgingly drag out the tea tin. Stomach ache = peppermint tea. A cold= Lipton tea with lemon juice and sugar or honey. That was it. I never enjoyed it, it was like a prescription for an illness or ache.

Just recently my son received a goody box from England filled with all types of delicious Cadbury chocolate and a small plastic bag with tea. He offered me the te so I decided to try it and made myself a cup. It was strong, earthy, bold. I didn’t use milk, or honey or sugar. I sipped it with delight. After that, I dove in the cupboard and reached all the way in to the back shelf to get the old container of tea which housed my own collection. I was pleased to find that I had an assortment of tea:  Lipton, Peppermint, Lemon, Orange Pekoe, Chai, Chamomile, Green and Black tea, Sleepytime tea and my new personal favorite, Jasmine tea. The scent alone of Jasmine tea is enough to ensure a great, big, smile of relaxation and a deep, soothing breath.

I find coffee drinking a sociable act but a cup of tea for me in the afternoon is quite solitary yet peaceful. It has become my new afternoon ritual. It gives me the opportunity to gather the day’s events together and gives me time to rethink and relax before  making dinner.

I still  use the one of the same mugs I use for coffee  but it doesn’t feel right. Tea requires a more dainty,  pretty cup. I need to buy one, a pristine, flowery tea-cup, perhaps one found in a thrift shop where I can imagine it was owned by a gracious older lady.  I drink tea differently too. While I happily slurp my morning cup of coffee, I sip tea, gently, lovingly and with more respect.

Now I have two things to look forward to each day, one in the morning when I am barely awake and one in the afternoon when I could use a break.  I sniff the scent of the tea container smelling rose, fruit,  nuttiness, a soothing peppermint. It can match my mood, it can comfort my soul.

In this world, that is scary and unpredictable, it’s comforting to have a new routine that gives me pleasure. We all need to make nice things happen for ourselves and appreciate them. I put my troubles aside, I sit down in a comfortable chair and I quietly sip my tea. It’s like sipping a little piece of meditation.

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Walnuts with the scent of jasmine

1/06/10

She took a sip of coffee from the Starbucks cup she was holding in her left hand. Her red, raw hands embraced the hot coffee cup tightly,  even with it’s spelled out admonition that the “beverage may be hot.”  In her right hand she held another cup of coffee for a  friend, a friend  and by mistake she took a sip out of that one too, leaving a dull lipstick stain which she hurriedly wiped away.  Girl crush energy.

The air was filled with the scent of walnuts and jasmine and the snow was fresh, virgin white; the sky overhead looked like a a mass of robin’s eggs stitched together, an intense baby blue. There was something about having a crush that just meant the difference between having a good day and having a boring day. There was no sex involved, no THINKING about sex involved. It’s just what girls/women do sometimes; they have girl crushes.

I have come to understand that boys/men do not really understand this concept at all because they hear crush and think sex. Girl  crushes are NOT like that at all.  Maybe your girl crush as an amazing new handbag, or a lipstick the color of plum and rose; or maybe it’s just a brand new friend!  Or the potential for another new friend! New friends are like Christmas presents in July. Rare and unexpected. Crushes in all forms happen all the time and it is NOT a dirty thing. Crushes are not dangerous and they don’t mean affairs or sex.  They are meant for fun or flirtation or both.

I wish men could understand that. Most women do. Of course, there are the uptight kind of women that when you say you have a girl crush they think you are a lesbian. You are not. Tell the uptight people who feel this way to just  grow up. Crushes are not dangerous and they don’t mean affairs.  importantly they do not involve sex. Of course there will be people arguing saying emotional affairs are worse than sexual affairs but that is not at all what we are talking about here.

It’s a fantasy of friendship just like anything else. So, have your girl crush or boy crush or any crush at all. Just have a new crush. Any type of new crush because anything that can get you to smile a little sweeter is a good thing and besides, the winter is really dreary and long, dreary and long…….