There are many books, novels, and groups devoted to the discussions and drinking of tea. I am by no means an expert the way many people view experts. I do not know the exact temperature water should be to brew green tea, white tea, herbal teas, and black teas. I know that green, white, and herbal teas should probably not have boiling water poured over them because it has a tendency to become almost a burn taste. I do know that black tea should have water at its boiling point, and water probably should be the freshest one can get it. The varieties of the teas pretty much have me at a loss as well. I do know the difference between a black, green, white, and herbal tea. So this little writing is not a scientific or collegial representation of tea, but my own personal insight into its benefits and meaning in my own life.
I was introduced to tea at the early age when tea party guests were dolls and grandmothers. My grandmother gave me a tea set, which I was not allowed to play with until I was older, that had asian paintings on it. I think it was from my great grandmother too. All I remember about these tea parties (besides the tea set) was these cookies my other grandmother made that went straight to the freezer until it was time for our “tea”. They were frosted with pink icing, and I liked them. Later in life, I visited my great aunt, who toke me to a tea room in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The daintiness of the whole event, the hats, the gloves, the tea, and the china, all wrapped itself up into two hours of quiet time with my mother, great aunt, and sister. Yes, as women we like to talk. however, talking too much can lead to saying something awkward or unnecessary. This is when everyone takes their cups of tea, sip them quietly, eat a sandwich, or simply look around at all the pretty things surrounding them. After that event, my mother and I were hooked!
For my senior trip, my mother and I visited London, England. The heart of high tea practices and all things tea (besides China, Russia, and the South). We had afternoon tea twice (at the Orangery and Fortnum and Mason St. James Tea Room). I loved it, though I thought the St. James Restaurant was a bit snotty because we were Americans. After that trip I wanted to live in London and have tea everyday. I was able to go to school there for three months; and I was blessed with a roommate who enjoyed my tea having ways. For my twenty first birthday, friends and I went to the Savoy. I truly felt like a princess. It was a day to remember. Everything was pink and elegant. There were even gentlemen having a business tea. The dining room overlooked the river, and piano music difted over us all. There was even a bath attendent. So amazing. Since then I have had teas with almost every important event in my life. Lately I have begun to have tea and biscuits with friends at work. The tea is a nice break from the reality of work and everything going on.
Tea means to me a time to relax and reconnect. I love to plan for teas and cook for those who are joining me. I truly want them to feel as wonderful as I did at the Savoy. I even have helped with a few recipes in come cookbooks regarding teas. Now I have this blog to reach out to those who I cannot sit down and have a cup of tea. Since I usually end up talking about food at any given point and time, that would be the most likely conversation over a cup of tea.