The pot of water is bubbling away. Not too hot; just right! I'm preparing an afternoon get together for some friends of mine who are enthusiastic tea drinkers. They enjoy not only the Canadian stables of Earl Grey and Orange Pekoe, but some of the more exotic varieties of Oolong and Black Teas, as well as the myriad of Blends that waft with an infusion of floral, fruity and sweet aromas.
I better be on my game this afternoon or the veggies and rice prepared and waiting to be cooked for dinner will be consumed by yours truly - alongside dim lighting and the CBC - and not my invited guests.
As my guests make their way up the steps to the front door I can't help myself in this pursuit to get the first pot of tea onto the table, into our thimble-sized cups and pressed upon our chilled palms. After all, it is mid-January and the temperature outdoors has pushed the thermometer below zero Celsius once again.
Knock - knock - knock goes the handle firmly attached to the door. They've arrived.
With a turn of the lock and a push of the door handle, the door lashes open with a booming chill.
"Hurry, hurry...it's freezing outside and I'm not much for catching a cold."
My friends shuffle in one by one tapping their boots, shaking their jackets and tugging at their toques. Everyone has arrived for an afternoon of tea, delicious snacks and a lot of time dedicated to catching up. After all, it has been almost 10 years since we were all in the same place - let alone on the phone or otherwise.
Boiling. Steeping. Serving. Friends.
The four pillars to the perfect cup (or cups) of tea.
What makes your tea-drinking experience perfect for you?
Within minutes my guests are sitting down at a beautifully crafted mahogany table warming their hands, shuffling their feet and wriggling into place. The next hour or so is going to be filled with a variety of conversation, laughter, catching up and a top-to-bottom menu of tantalizing tea from Taiwan.
Enjoying a cup of tea should be exactly that: A cup of tea! While I thoroughly enjoy a cup (or two, or three...) either reading the news, jumping into a mystery novel or biography, or while watching a documentary, I savour the moments that I have with friends (and family) and the myriad of conversations that I can engage in while sipping on a variety of teas.
How about yourself? What makes drinking tea with friends special for you and the people you choose to drink with? Perhaps you offer a delicious cup during important meetings, over Friday night dinner, just before the evening comes to a close. Reading stories about others and how they share "their cup of tea" provides wonderful thoughts for tea drinkers and readers alike.
Have a great day...and enjoy the special moments, one at a time!
While Toronto, Canada isn't home to any well-known mountains - in fact, no mountains at all - there are an endless number of places that I like to enjoy my very own special tea.
As I look back on some of the many places that I've had the opportunity to sample, steep and share many distinct flavours of tea, I'm always taken back to the very place that my love of tea began.
Looking across a beautiful sanctuary of rare wood and immaculate architecture, my breath is taken away from the presence of a humble Tea Master steeping and pouring with care many hot pots of Pu'erh tea. Climbing atop a mountain deep in the many crevices found throughout Taiwan's mountainscape, unfolding my tea towel and setting up the apparatus that collectively filled my backpack that lay across my shoulders. Rubbing my eyes as I wake up to a brand new day, unzipping my tent to find the deep blue ocean within inches of the door. Or while sitting in the park on a concrete slab talking about the day's and week's events.
These are the very special and memorable moments that only scratch the surface of what are my most cherished experiences with cup in hand and tea steeping away.
Canada will also bring with it's cold temperatures and new climate the sense of wonderment and enjoyment like those I felt on the Island that is Taiwan. The pleasure that is brought from that first sip in the morning can be enjoyed just about anywhere one chooses. At home, on the porch, in the park, even at the office. While the temperatures in Toronto hover somewhere between -15 and -20'c, soon enough the clouds will part and the spring temperatures will bring with them warmer days and plenty of opportunities to seek out local parks, the waterfront and Centre Island. What better way to complete an adventurous day then with a cup of warm tea overlooking Toronto's brightly lit panoramic view of the City.
It can be said with certainty that one's place (whether physically or spiritually) will not always be as he or she fully expects it to be. Nevertheless, we find happiness in the moments that we enjoy, appreciate and keep deep within our conscience. Whether enjoying your cup of tea on the highest peak or simply enjoying it in the park, the taste, aroma and uplift that a warm cup brings you will ultimately transcend the place in which you find yourself.
Two Thousand and Thirteen was a year filled with plenty of 'firsts' and many wonderful experiences at Innofarmer Tea. We enjoyed a handful of fun 'Tea Outings' and adventures that will remain in our collective memories for a long time to come. Setting aside the tastings, partnerships formed and the growing awareness of Innofarmer Tea, there remains one treasured moment that drives what we at Innofarmer Tea strive for in our small community and abroad.
Early in the Spring of 2013, Innofarmer teamed up with a couple living in Taiwan who were planning a 6-month hiking adventure along the Pacific Coast Trail in the United States. This adventure - unlike many others - would have taken this couple many hundreds of miles over undulating terrain, various weather patterns and many of the "unknowns" that come with the territory. We, at Innofarmer Tea, gladly offered to sponsor these go-getters with our tea that they would certainly appreciate throughout their 1/2 year adventure. From morning sips to end-of-the-day journal entries, we planned to be by their sides throughout.
So...here we are in 2014 and it's time to seek out and support someone or a group of adventurers who are willing to take on the most grueling of adventures in treacherous and unforgiving terrain. Perhaps your idea of adventure isn't treacherous or unforgiving. Please read on...
Are you an individual or a group of folks who are heading out into the wild? Perhaps you are merely a weekend warrior setting out on a mission to raise charitable funds and would like sponsorship in your endeavour. Whatever your cause may be, or the path you embark upon, we would like to assist you in your pursuits.
Send us an email with your name, your planned adventure or activity in mind and some ideas on how we can help you out in completing your goal. It would be our pleasure to offer an ample supply of healthy and delicious tea, and perhaps a few other goodies on the side.
Our contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to pass this Blog Entry to your friends, family and whomever you feel may be interested in seeking Sponsorship for their adventure.
Have yourself the very best year - Twenty Fourteen!
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”