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!
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”