I have to confess, I was an avid coffee drinker since my teens. Growing up in Sweden, in a family of coffee drinkers, I just went along without giving tea much thought. Tea in those days came from the "generic" grocery store brands that consisted of a handful of pre made tea bags. Back then, in my neck of the woods, loose leaf tea was non-existent, and tea was something we drank only when we were ill.
My Little Tea Story
In our hectic pace of daily life, It's necessary to take a moment and unwind. I have learned to be grateful for the small moments in my life, even as small as a cup of tea.
I staged numerous "high society" tea parties as a child for my family, stuffed teddy bears and my dolls
The last straw of hope. . . .
I reminisce a yellow paper box with teabags sitting all alone in our cupboard for years. (I guess we were a healthy family). The only time we thought of giving the yellow box a visit was with watery eyes and runny noses. With feverish hands we grabbed the last straw of hope to be well again, "a tea bag that is". We plopped the tea bag into a cup of tepid water and hoped for a speedy recovery. It did not taste good. My god, how could it! Back then, so little I know about tea.
Sipping imaginary tea
Even if I did not grow up in a tea drinking society, tea had always in some strange way allured me. Maybe that’s why? I staged numerous "high society" tea parties as a child for my family, stuffed teddy bears and my dolls. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed sipping imaginary tea from my miniature bone china set, all dressed up in one of my mom's fancy dresses and wearing lots of custom jewelry. Because to me, the meaning of tea was associated with beauty, elegance and romantic Victorian charm.
The beauty of a floral pattern tea cup with its wonderful colors, scalloped gold trimmings and curved handles have always mesmerized me. My grandma had a fine English bone china set standing on display in her living room. (Never used, I suppose). I recall wondering why the adults always drank their coffee from those ordinary dreary cups, when they could drink from these beautiful, cheerful cups. I got a feeling of something out of reach.
Later on when reading Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, I was amazed how fussy the elderly spinster was about her tea, and how important it was for the tea to be properly prepared. At home I don't remember we made such a fuss about the tea we drank when we were ill.
Dangling, dull teabag!
Years later, living in New York City with the high pace of life, always on the go. Rush hours and constantly a quick "coffee to go" in my hand, there was no time to even think about tea. Those were the days before tea rooms started to pop up like mushrooms, and if you wanted tea in a fancy restaurant, your one and only choice was a dangling, dull teabag.
One day during my last years in New York, my dear friends invited me to the St.Regis for an Afternoon Ladies Tea. My childhood imaginary tea party had finally come true. The beauty, elegance and exquisite in this lovely tea room exceeded all of my expectations. The guests all dressed up, nibbling on dainty finger sandwiches and savoring each mouthful of enticing, rich cakes, while drinking their loose leaf tea from beautiful tea cups. No dangling tea bag in sight!
I had never tasted tea so good. It was at that moment I understood, the essential feature to a "nice cup of tea" is the tea itself. The importance of the quality of the tea and how its prepared was certainly far more important, than the beautiful floral tea cup in it self. I was hooked.
Dignified jolt of energy
Almost two decades later, my love for tea has grown. I'm an avid tea drinker and a tea enthusiast. I have become just like Miss Marple, very fussy about my tea, and how my tea is prepared.
Today, there is no lonely, yellow tea box sitting in my cupboard. Instead there are now huge varieties of loose leaf tea and loose herbal teas. During the years I have learned a lot, and have been searching high and low for the absolute best quality and taste.
Now, spending much time in Greece, my herbal tea knowledge has also grown. This country is a hive where Mother Nature thrives. When you are walking through endless acres of breathtaking flora and fauna, you understand that Greek herbs are unique. Herbal teas are loved all over Greece, and have been part of the Greek culture since the time of Hippocrates, the "Greek father of medicine". Furthermore, it's a tradition that has been carried on from generation to generation up to this day.
Only with the knowledge that I do something good and healthy to my body by drinking loose leaf tea and herbal tisane, gives me a dignified jolt of energy.
Be grateful for the small moments in life!
Now a day, an extensive and wonderful variety of fine loose leaf teas can be had, far beyond the handful of grocery store brands of tea bags that I grew up with. This makes the tea drinking so much more fun and simple.
To me, tea is a pleasure, and adds elegance to my life. Yes, maybe I got older, but with age come also wisdom, inner peace, harmony and serenity. In our hectic pace of daily life, It is necessary to take a moment and unwind. I have learned to take time to enjoy and be grateful for the small moments in my life.
It's nice to create little rituals and routines around the things that bring you happiness. Today I prepare my tea with a magical touch, then lingering over the cup, and with each sip enjoy the aroma and flavor. It gives me a sense of serenity and a sense of relaxation to my body.
Sharing precious memories
Tea could be as fancy or simple as you like. Tea does not have to be expensive or frilly, served on fine English bone china, nibbling dainty finger sandwiches with the crust cut of.
Tea does not have to be served with scones warm from the oven with spoonful of clotted cream and jam, followed by mouth-watering brandy snaps and a divine pear-custard tart. (Although I admit, it's very nice).
Tea could be as simple and spontaneous, as drinking an impromptu "cuppa" from an old, chipped tea-cup under the big old apple tree. Sitting barefoot, wearing ripped jeans and sharing precious memories, and many laughs with unexpected dear friends.
Now an avid tea drinker, for me it has expanded the horizon, and I realize that those days of teabag dangling when ill, and “coffee to go” are long gone, and that I actually live the social activity I used to imagine as a child.
©Copyright 2012 By Sannel Larson.
I pulled this article from an another site I was writing for. However, a dear colleague and friend left a comment to this tea story, and his comment grow so long that he decided to write an article about it. I found his gesture to be so sweet and kind, and I did not want Tim's comment to be lost forever, so I I'm publishing it here as well. Anyway, here is a part of his comment and the rest can be read at his link.
Tim Mitchell's comment: http://tsmog.hubpages.com/hub/Morning-Tea
Hello Sannel. I read this delightful hub. I commented, yet this is not that. It grew becoming a hub, so I pulled it from here and now it is there. Knowing you are an understanding and forgiving soul, I felt you would not mind me sharing that comment here http://tsmog.hubpages.com/hub/Morning-Tea And, if I don't get a chance tell Tammy thank you for me. . . and the others too. And I ((thank you)) for writing this hub. The timing was wonderful at least for me . . .
Hello Tim! WOW! Just wow! I checked out your "Morning Tea" hub, and just read my longest ever comment that I have received on Hub Pages. LOL! How wonderful and so sweet!! I got such a kick out of this, knowing my hub inspired you to write such a long comment that you had to make it into a hub. I feel so honored. Thank you so much! Hugs, Sannel
Thank you for reading,
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