Tuesday, October 28, 2008
You know, there's a lot that can be said about tea. The vast historical significance, the practice of "taking tea" as an artform ... Well, I'm just going to say that I like it. Very much. Only recently, however, have I become a true devotee, having preferred coffee for most of my adult beverage-drinking life instead. There's something a bit more refined about tea that appeals to me. Too, I firmly believe that it's a healthier choice than coffee (although I do hope that my java-imbibing pals won't be inclined to disown me).
Teabags. I once used them, but now prefer the much more robust, flavorful tea that only comes from steeping leaves. (My tea seller claims that teabags are merely filled with tea dust -- and I tend to believe her. Or maybe I just really dig the small jolt of snobbery that making tea the real way gives me.) I buy my tea online from www.iloveono.com and am extremely pleased with their products and service. (In my next life, I want to be as gorgeous as Phuong, one of the founders of Ono. As my 3-year old nephew would say, "Chick-a-WOW-wow!" I'm going to keep up the habit -- perhaps drinking tea makes you pretty!) Thus far, my favorite Ono teas are Mighty Athena, an organic green enhanced with notes of ripe strawberries and papaya, and Creme Earl Grey, a smooth combination of classic Earl Grey and cornflower petals with vanilla overtones and soft hints of cream. Delicious!
My Ono teapot -
I think I "need" a cozy for my teapot. Yesterday I discovered these gorgeous creations on Etsy.com. Aren't they sweet? I'd have a very difficult time choosing between them!
My mom is an expert in the art of taking tea, having earnestly studied the subject after her interest (or was it her taste buds?) became sparked on one of her first trips to England. And boy, those Brits - how they adore their tea! (I recently read that the average Englishman consumes 2,000 cups per year!) I've made a few journeys across the pond to visit our friends who live in a little thatched-roof cottage in Wiltshire, and each day always began with tea, with countless breaks during the day for a "cuppa." Even when we were out very late, returning to the cottage after midnight, completely spent from sightseeing activities, our hosts always insisted upon putting on the kettle for one last cup before shuffling off to bed. I don't think I've ever been so caffeinated in all my life.
Longacre Cottage in Wiltshire, where we've enjoyed many a piping hot cup!
Having tea with Rocky and Mom in London.
At one of Mom's lovely teas -
There are numerous health benefits associated with regular tea drinking, among them: Improved cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of cancer, and boosting immune functions. There is some evidence that drinking tea may also help control weight and prevent osteoporosis. At any rate, it's such a warm and comforting thing to do -- why not enjoy a few cups today!
A trio of vintage Clarice Cliff teapots. Colorful, funky, and fun!
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~C.S. Lewis~