Imagine A World Without Tea

Imagine a world without tea. I can’t. What is more satisfying, more relaxing, more filled with wellbeing, than easing yourself in to a comfortable chair and lifting a cup of tea to your lips? I do it at least twice a day and I can’t imagine a day without it.

I wonder if Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese princess who married Charles the second, knew what she was really giving us when she inspired a nation with her love for the drink. If you lived in the days when radios were called wirelesses you’ll remember they even named a tea after her – Braganza tea, remember? I think it was packed in a red and yellow packet. Not sure when it disappeared from our shelves. But let me get on with what I want to say.

Yesterday I watched a program on the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Quite something, a bit long winded, but so civilized, so calming, so mindful and purposeful giving this marvellous beverage the recognition and worth it so richly deserves.

I must say that as I watched I felt quite the barbarian. I couldn’t help but compare it to my own tea-making. I just plunge my hand in to the cannister and unthinkingly whip out a tea bag, pop it in to my cup, pour water on it, squeeze the hell out of the bag with a teaspoon until it’s so strong it strips the paint off the wall, add some milk, and walla, tea!Β Then, and only then, does the pace change and the mind go in to a different gear; Β I slowly and purposefully relax in to that chair I spoke of, and bring the cup to my lips and mindfully savour and drink the contents. What a contrast! It’s as if there’s this enormous contradiction of attitude between my preparation of the tea and my drinking it. The one just doesn’t flow in to the other. The two don’t become one.

So, I’ve decided to become far more mindful, civilized and purposeful in my preparation of tea and to gently ease the ritual of preparation in to the ritual of drinking. Exactly how I’m going to do this, I don’t know, but I’m certainly going to try.

Isn’t it amazing what watching a Japanese Tea Ceremony can do to you.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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49 Responses to Imagine A World Without Tea

  1. darrelhoff says:

    Don, the Barbarian… (has quite a ring to it, don’t you think? πŸ˜‰

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  2. I couldn’t imagine a life without tea…I think I would cease to function!

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  3. Don Scrooby says:

    Well, Darrel. At least least it’s not Conan. Lol.

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  4. Len says:

    Don, why don’t you get your wife to make your tea, for a start it will taste much better.

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  5. Lyn says:

    Hi there Don. Hope you well. Must admit when I make the tea (my job) it’s just that, a job. Don’t give a thought to the flavour, aroma etc until that first sip.

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  6. Terry Ann says:

    I read your title and immediately my thought was NOOOOOOOOOOOO! I often debate this with my friends, at the end of a hard day – tea is what I long for, at the start of a beautiful day, tea is on my mind, in the middle of a stressful deadline – tea is always at hand, I just cannot imagine my day without it. They (my friends) long for a glass of wine and I even used to imagine that’s what I longed for, but I was just fooling myself, TEA is what does it for me. So no, I cannot imagine life without tea.

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    • Don Scrooby says:

      Terry, reading your comment I sensed in some of the lines the lyrics of a song – a song about tea. You should write a song in praise of tea. Lol. I agree with you – that’s exactly the way I feel. I just realized that I have more than two cups a day. In fact a lot more.

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  7. Neither can I, sipping one as I write. Making it in a pot instead of in the mug does slow the process down – and it’s not too hot to drink straightaway either – and it can be topped up for another! πŸ™‚

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    • Don Scrooby says:

      That’s how I feel – a lot quicker making it in a cup. But as I said not sure how “civilized” that is. Got those vegetable “jewels” this morning. Going to try it out tonight. Thanks for the tip. Will certainly let you know how it goes.

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  8. Katy says:

    I know English people are supposed to be “tea pots” but generally coffee is my “cup of tea”. However when I do have tea it has to be in a thin, preferably china cup, never in a thick mug. I have a friend who always makes tea in a pot and always uses a tea cosy, she waits 4 minutes for it to brew and only then pours. I find it very, well, cosy, I think she uses Earl Grey tea and it always tastes better than mine.

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    • Don Scrooby says:

      Katy, you’re a Geordie. Geordies love their tea, don’t they? You can’t let the side down like that.

      I agree with you – there’s nothing like tea in a thin china cup.

      My Gran had a tea cosy, bright red and green. She also insisted on at least a three minute brewing time. i remember once the cosy catching fire because she left the brewing for too long. It was on an old coal stove. She’d pushed the tea pot to one side but never realized how how it was there.

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  9. Who ever thought there was so much to say over a cup of tea? πŸ™‚ Wonderful – as long as it is Rooibos! What on earth am I going to do without it in Canada?

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  10. Don Scrooby says:

    You’re going to have to create a business and import it. You must be getting more excited by the day, Jenny.

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  11. ladyfi says:

    Oh, I nearly fainted at your title. But I do love coffee and that is my must-drink in the morning.

    Would love to see a Japanese tea ceremony.

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  12. Don Scrooby says:

    I agree with you. As much as I love tea, coffee is the drink I have in the morning too. i can’t imagine tea in the early morning. That’s the only cup of coffee I have – the rest is tea.

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  13. lyn says:

    I grew up in England where tea was (and stil is I think) the backbone of the nation. In my family whenever there was a crisis of any kind, (my cousin marrying a Catholic for instance) or a birth or even a death, the first thing we did was put the kettle on. We also used tea leaves imported from India in red and blue packets, which was infused and strained carefully in to a teapot (warmed first) and then covered with a cosy. Depending on the occasion or the visitors, the tea was drunk out of china cups, never mugs. This was all set on a tray covered in a hand made tea cloth, together with matching sugar basin and milk jug. And I have to say, by the time you had gone through the tea making ritual, yes life didn’t seem quite so bad.

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    • Don says:

      I just love your description of the ritual Lyn. I don’t think we’ll ever know or understand the impact on people of that ritual you’ve so vividly described. I think the whole concept of the English afternoon tea is such a wonderful thing and the way it’s set out in the way you’ve described makes it so worthwhile and meaningful. I think we’ve lost something, and yet it’s still very prominent in numerous areas in England and elsewhere, as I’ve seen it and in what I’ve read. Viva afternoon tea.

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  14. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    This would really resonate with my sister – she SO loves her cup of tea. But she has not just the normal, she has literally a dozen herbal teas, and REGULARLY punctuates her day with a cuppa. She might visit for a cuppa, we talk, it’s over, and she’ll say ‘I might just have another tea before I go’. I don’t get how se can drink so much!!! But I’ll have to show her this, she’ll appreciate it πŸ™‚
    Noeleen
    http://www.VodkaWasMyMuse.wordpress.com / http://www.WordsFallFromMyEyes.wordpress.com

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  15. warrenthecarrot says:

    Hehe Lens testing comment for the ladies is hilarious, nothing like a good debate on a blog spot πŸ™‚ Thanks Don, I am only a coffee man myself, but I can admit to the weakness I have every morning at work, from being a jumbled mass of thoughts until the first caffeine hit eases me smoothly into the day.

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    • Don says:

      Warren, let me tempt you in to becoming a tea man. You don’t know what you’re missing. My suggestion to you is this: coffee in the morning and tea for the rest of the day.

      Like

  16. Dianne says:

    Hi Don
    When I first saw the title it did not get my attention, but I decided to read it anyway. The comments raised an important issue for me. The following is not said to bring a negative into the conversation but to share the power of words. Although I have other good and encouraging memories of my Father, I have, since I had the choice, never been involved in tea making or pouring at ‘tea after the service” etc. My parents used to work in the garden on a Saturday afternoon and I often tried to surprise/please them with a cup of tea [tray/teapot/cosy, ‘the works’]; but my memories of that ‘ritual’ revolve around comments like [meant kindly I am sure] : Thank you, but, boil the water ‘all the way’, next time make it a little stronger/weaker, did you warm the pot first? … . The power of the spoken word …

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    • Don says:

      Dianne, I can understand why the the title never grabbed you. Thanks for sharing that. Those last words saddened me. I feel so sorry for that little girl (you) who tried so hard.

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  17. Malou says:

    When I was growing up in the Philippines, tea was something we drink when we are ill with flu. We drank it with lemon and sugar. Later, when I started working as a credit officer of a bank, it was something I encountered when visiting Chinese clients who would serve us jasmine tea.

    Now here in Holland, I drink tea all the time, a few times a day and my favorite one is green tea with lemon. πŸ˜‰

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  18. Don says:

    Isn’t it amazing, Malou, how our relationship to something goes through all sorts of changes. Thanks for sharing. Your diverse cultural experience must be such a gift to you and others.

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  19. Pingback: Sacred Spaces 360 – 12/12/12 (Life takes time) « Sacred Spaces

  20. Making the tea in a pot rather than a mug is part way to slowing down the process and savouring it more. I like my tea pots! All the best πŸ™‚

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  21. I had the same epiphany after visiting Asia and learning there is someone actually called a tea master. Of course, once you drink tea the “proper” way, there’s no going back to repeatedly reused tea bags or reheated cuppas …

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  22. Enjoyed reading this. I love drinking tea poured out of a teapot and serviced in fine bone china, but alas, very rarely go to that trouble. I am a bit like you, although my husband is the one that will squeeze the poor tea bag until there is no life left.

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    • Don says:

      Thank you. He obviously enjoys his tea strong. the only problem is when that tea bag breaks – one helluva mess and you’ve got to start all over again πŸ™‚

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  23. Now you must pity the poor Americans who have never mastered the habit of drinking tea except in the South where we prefer it be iced! Sweet tea. Unsweet tea. But always with ice. That’s about the most we know about it over here. We must be worse than barbarians! πŸ™‚
    Most enjoyable post, Don, as always.

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    • Don says:

      πŸ™‚ Thanks Sheila. Everyone to their own. Iced tea – not for me Sheila – but you’re not barbarians. πŸ™‚ I really hope everything turns out well for you both. Sad to hear about the Licence.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. piyush says:

    I am from India and there is a great value for tea . Here we put milk of cow and sugar in it . We usually like to drink tea while reading newspaper . This cop of tea is very usefull for us

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  25. OneDizzyBee says:

    Great post! Just wandered over from the Chicago Files Holiday Blog Party. I myself had always been something of a barbarian about tea. My husband (an ex-pat from London) is fond of telling anyone who will listen that he ‘civilized’ his Colonial wife by teaching her the art of tea-making. Who knew there was an order to things? What’s this ‘one for the pot’ malarkey, I wondered. Now, all these years later, my evening just isn’t complete without a well-made cup of tea.

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    • Don says:

      Thank you for wandering over. I agree, there is something very civilized about tea making and I celebrate your evenings just not being complete without a well-made cup of tea. I understand that fully. I feel the same way.

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  26. It should be more better……….yarr

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  27. It should be more better……….yarr
    Its some what hot and some what boring………………….

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I cannot even imagine that. I do not drink coffee, alcohol, and only soda/pop on occasion. What would I do?

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