Monday, August 23, 2021

Time For Tea

When you are raised in a culture of hot tea-drinkers, from the time you are old enough to enjoy a  milked-down version in your baby bottle, through infancy and youth and young adulthood, continuing throughout your life into senior days, you rarely pay any attention to your daily habits until someone points them out.

The first thing that most English people do when people stop by the house, is to put the kettle on. Tea mostly, or coffee if you prefer, it's embedded in our DNA.
We were watching re-runs of Downton Abbey today, I couldn't help but smile as I watched the offer of "tea ?" being suggested at every twist and turn. 
When a visitor drops by, when good news is received, after bad news is received, when a helping hand is needed, or a little encouragement is welcomed.
Tea drinking in many cultures is the centuries-old tradition and universal language of civility, and social nurturing, a little more partaking these days would be a good thing.


"Let others sing the praise of wine,
Let others deem its joys divine,
Its fleeting bliss shall ne'er be mine,
Give me a cup of tea!

The cup that soothes each aching pain,
Restores the sick to health again,
Steals not from heart, steals not from brain,
A friend when others flee.

"When sorrow frowns, what power can cheer,
Or chase away the falling tear
Without the vile effects of beer,
Like Pekoe or Bohea?

What makes the old man young and strong,
Like Hyson, Congou, or Souchong,
Which leave the burthen of his song
A welcome cup of tea.

"Then hail the grave Celestial band,
With planning mind, and planting hand,
And let us bless that golden land
So far across the sea;

Whose hills and vales give fertile birth
To that fair shrub of priceless worth,
Which yields each son of mother earth
A fragrant cup of tea."


Belinda said...

I love that about Downton Abby too. There used to be an English tea shop in Chattanooga called The English Rose. Bailey and I spent many fun filled afternoons there. Unfortunately she closed up shop a couple of years ago.

It' said...

I love the poem! I never drank coffee until my 50s, I was a staunch tea drinker until then...I still have a cup now and again (especially if the coffee is horrible), and have making an effort to drink more. Thanks for the lovely post.

Rian said...

Love this, Jo. Yes, tea is both comforting, relaxing, and restoring. And yes, growing up in New Orleans, we had coffee (with lots of milk and sugar) in our baby bottles, but tea was there too since my dad and his family came from London. Nowadays I'm not supposed to have either tea or coffee due to the caffeine and acid involved... and it is very difficult. I have taken to peppermint tea with both milk and sugar - but alas, it's not the same. BTW, love the poem!

L. D. said...

Blue willow just makes it so much better. It would be nice if we could have to good old days when the neighbor lady dropped by.

Anita said...

Beautiful English teapot!Ilove tea and must have my daily afternoon tea ,hot ,hot with alot of milk:))Here in Norway people look funny at me ,when I have milk in tea,they usually dont have milk in tea but I was raised with it and not so fond of that indian chai teas( or whatever),without milk as they drink it over here..I have to have old english Lipton tea nothing else..I think it is a must to offer a cup of tea or coffe when visits come knocking at my door.It is relaxing and all a matter of good will :))
thanx for sharing and have a lovely day!

Edna B said...

What a lovely poem! I have a cup of coffee in the morning, and sometimes later in the day I'll have a cup of tea. I used to drink a lot of more of these wonderful drinks, but in my later years, I'm down to one or two cups a day. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

Henny Penny said...

You make me want a cup of tea and I am not much of a tea drinker. Always wanted to be though, as you know. Always wanted to be from England too! Growing up, Mama would fix me a cup of milk with sugar and a little coffee added. Love the poem. Maybe I will go fix myself a cup of tea. Yours always looks so good. :)

Hilary said...

I love this post. My mother came to the USA in 1946.......and I grew up with tea being a big part of my life........and it still is. When we visited my family in England, my daughters were shocked, when someone asked them if they wanted a drink, they assumed they meant a cold drink, when in fact they meant hot tea. One of my three girls is a tea drinker, like me, and like her Nan. It's always a good idea to have tea, in my opinion. It just makes life better.

Janet @ My Miniature Donkeys said...


Klaudia Zuberska said...

Great post. I really like your blog, it's interesting and inspiring! I will be happy to come to read more entries :)
I wish you all the best!
Greetings from Poland!

Heritage Hall said...

Having to eschew caffeine, missing tea (the decafs proved unsatisfactory) and while visiting my daughter at school, the hostess at a local historical site introduced me to Harris decaf tea which proved to be full-bodied and delicious. I have since passed the word along and Harris tea as gifts to friends who shared my predicament.
I've never had to look back...

Lisa Loch said...

I never was a tea drinker, ice tea yes, hot tea no. Not until I had the most enjoyable job of working in a bookstore/tearoom, "Babbling Book Store and Tearoom" in NJ. The owner taught me how to correctly brew and serve tea. Educated me about the history and different types of teas. One thing she won't share was her recipe for scones. Tea is very comforting.

Lowcarb team member said...

Tea is my go to drink.
Lovely post.

All the best Jan

Kim said...

That poem certainly makes me want a cup of tea! Maybe I'll skip the coffee tomorrow.

Bernideen said...

I love your poetic words and enchanting photos!!!