Most busy people throw a tea bag into a cup, add hot water, maybe some milk, stir and drink. Yes, it is very convenient, quick, and doesn’t require any brewing ceremonies, but; Life is precious, why rush it? So instead why don't you take a moment to reflect on the simple pleasures in life, while you brew yourself a cup of tea.
Take Some Time For Tea
Become a teaist and start dedicating the ritual of tea brewing as a brief period of time in harmony and serenity, because time is precious, waste it wisely!
In many parts of the world, tea is a time-honored tradition of refinement and elegance. But for many of us, living life in a hectic and harried pace, it leaves little room for leisurely afternoon teas, tea ceremonies, or even having the time to brew ourselves a decent nice cup of tea
Most busy people throw a tea bag into a cup, add hot water, maybe some milk, stir and drink. Yes, it is very convenient, quick, and doesn’t require any brewing ceremonies, but; Life is precious, why rush it?
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as an afternoon tea" wrote the American-born writer Henry James, and I couldn't agree more!
I believe we all should hit the brake pedal once in a while and set aside a little extra time for ourselves. We should take a moment to reflect on the simple pleasures in life and catch up with family and special company of dear friends, both old and new. Furthermore, we should pamper ourselves with beauty, elegance and quality. Isn't that what life is all about? In fact, all this is easy to do, simply with a cup of tea!
Take some time for tea
Feeling of relaxation
First of all, why not start off by buying quality loose leaf tea or loose herbal tea. The fact that leaf tea and herbal tea have so many positive health benefits, makes this a beverage that is actually good for you. Today there is a plethora of tastes, colors and aromas that could be found in loose leaf teas and loose herbal teas.
Set aside a little quiet time. The feeling of relaxation will start as soon as you begin preparing the tea.This little "ritual" gives you a sense of comfort. To be able to see the loose tea leaves in your strainer is in fact nice. Notice the color of the leaf, the shape, the lightness. Inhale the wonderful aroma from the tea leaves, it literally gives your mind and body an intensified jolt of energy.
Time is precious, waste it wisely
The tea-cup is very important. Yes indeed!
If it's from a delicate china cup, a dainty tea-cup trimmed in gold leaf paint, a beautiful floral pattern Victorian vintage cup, or from a sturdy ceramic mug it doesn’t matter. The thing that matters is that when you look at the cup, it should make you happy.
Sit back and relax. Your journey into a relaxing and peaceful moment begins. With each sip, simply enjoy the fragrance and taste of the tea. Take time to think and dream. Let go of all the stress and tension, and take time to savor this brief period of time in harmony and serenity, because time is precious, waste it wisely.
Some interesting facts and history about the tea ceremony
The custom of drinking tea first originated from China. From the beginning tea would be drunk only for its medicinal benefits, but later the concept changed , and the custom of drinking tea spread and enjoyed for its taste. It should take thousands of years before tea first got introduced to the outside world. In the 9th Century, there was a Chinese Buddhist monk who introduced the beverage to Japan, where it soon became immensely popular and the land started to develop for growing its own tea.
In the early 9th Century, the Chinese author, Lu Yu whose life had been heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism, wrote the Ch'a Ching, an exposition on tea. His belief would later have a powerful influence on the Japanese tea ceremony. Some of Lu Yu Quotes;
“Its liquor is like the sweetest dew from Heaven.”
“Its goodness is a decision for the mouth to make.”
Influenced by Zen Buddhism
The Japanese tea ceremony is a ritualized form of making tea, influenced by Zen Buddhism, where a skilled person, (tea practitioner) has been thoroughly trained in the art and science of preparing and serving the finest tea. He or she must not only have the knowledge about tea production and types of tea, but also be familiar with the kimono, flower arrangements, ceramics, calligraphy, incense and a broad range of other disciplines and traditional arts. The study of tea ceremony takes many years to polish.
The Japanese tea ceremony, served by a tea practitioner to a small group in a quiet and sober ambiance, with the philosophy that each meeting will be treasured as one time- one meeting, for it can never be reproduced. The meetings are a refinement of tranquility, respect, harmony and purity.
Even as a guest at these ceremonies it requires knowledge and certain behaviors are requested. The guests should be expected to take tea and sweets the proper way and know certain gestures and phrases.
When tea is served this way it is called Teaism. It's an art form, in where a sense of focus and concentration takes place under the influence of tea. The practice advocate harmony with nature, achieve the purity of enlightenment, reduce the heartbeat, train the mind. and nourish harmony in humanity.
Teaist is a person who performs or enjoys the art of tea and teaism. In Chinese chayi, Japanese chado, and Korean tarye cultures, they all have vigorous developed teaism.
Since the 18th century, the tea ceremony in England started during the Victorian era, with its high tea and low tea rituals. It was an upper-class beverage, associated with high society. It was very important that the tea ceremony had the right tea, equipment and manners and held in the “right” social circle.
In the course of the 18th century, tea drinking and its ceremonies spread in Great Britain, and it became a drink less associated with high society, as people of all classes started to drink tea and has remained so until today.
Since the 18th century, the British have been the greatest tea consumers per person in the world, with each person consuming an average of 2.5kg per year.
British Tea Ritual
Even very simple button-down events could be a cause for cups and saucers to be used instead of mugs. The British are quite passionate how their favorite drink is being brewed and the ceremony of brewing might run as follows:
Use freshly drawn water. When water is re-boiled, or stands for a while, it loses oxygen which prevents the full flavor of the tea being released. The kettle is brought to a rolling boil and water poured into a tea-pot. The water swirls around the pot to warm it and then poured out. This helps the brewing process by maintaining the brewing temperature, and extract more flavor from the tea.
Loose tea leaves are used, black tea usually, although tea bags are sometimes used. Put about 2 grams or 1 tsp. Of tea leaves per 6-8 Oz of water in a strainer, tea basket or tea ball into your pre-heated pot. ( Do not use tea strainers that are too small. It is important that the tea leaves have room to expand during the brewing process, to release their flavor).
Then add hot water. Be sure that the water comes to a full boil, otherwise it does not allow the tea to brew properly. ( Do not boil the water for a long period of time because this will deplete the water of oxygen).
It is very important to know how warm the water should be for each type of tea. For example, if you use boiling water for green or white teas, it will "cook" the leaves and destroy the tea and its flavor, creating a bitter tasting tea.
Stir the tea in the pot once or twice while it's brewing. Remove the tea leaves out of the infusion. The amount of time that the tea steeps will decide its strength.
The straight tea is then given to the guests and they may add fresh milk and white sugar to their taste.
The pot should hold enough tea, not to be empty after filling the cups of all the guests, and a tea cozy will cover the teapot to keep the tea hot after everyone will be served.
Lemons are sliced, no wedges, but usually without lemon.
There is a distinctive manner in which to drink tea when using a cup and saucer. If one is seated at a table, the correct way to drink tea is to discrete raise the tea-cup and placing it back into the saucer in between sips. When standing or sitting in a chair without a table, one grasp the tea- saucer with one hand and the tea-cup in the dominant hand. When finished taken a sip, the tea- cup is placed back on the tea saucer and held in one's lap or at waist height. In any circumstances, the tea-cup should never be held for a long time or swayed back and forth in the air.
Drinking tea from the saucer (poured from the cup to cool it) was not unusual at one time, but is now altogether considered a contravention of etiquette.
Become a teaist
So why don't you start to pamper yourself with your next cup of tea. Become a teaist and start dedicate the ritual of tea brewing as a brief period of time in harmony and serenity, because time is precious, waste it wisely!
©Copyright 2012 By Sannel Larson.
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