Sunday, August 6, 2023

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."


Collie222 said...

I was never a fan of hot drinks, and I still don’t like coffee, but I have come to enjoy a cup of tea. I find it soothing when I’m having a stressful day at work.

Terra said...

I have become a big hot tea drinker, not since childhood like you, but it has occurred over the past 10 years. I prefer looseleaf tea which means I have unlimited choices of teas. One reason to avoid tea bags is that the glue they use for the bags contains plastic to stand up to the hot water and some plastic would migrate into the tea we drink. So I salute hot tea drinkers everywhere.

Winifred said...

Oh I do wish I liked tea. My Mam always had the kettle on the hob & my sister is a real tea lover. I just don't like the smell or the taste but I wish I did. A good coffee is OK but only a couple of cups a day, tea can be drunk lots of times.

Love your Willow pattern tea set! I have one & the miniature Ringtons teapots too but sadly they never get used.

Love the poem too & remember the nursery rhyme "Polly put the Kettle on"? Happy memories.

Rian said...

Dad being from London and us growing up in New Orleans, we drank a lot of both tea and coffee (milked down in our bottles too!)
I love them both, but find I want coffee in the morning (as a help in waking up) and tea (whenever I need comforting). I drink my coffee black (with a little butter to aid my gut) and my tea with milk (actually evaporated milk as that's what mom used after the war), no sugar.
Here's to both tea and coffee!!

Dorothy in PA said...

Taking Afternoon Tea is my favorite thing to do. I started a little tea club in my city. Every month we go to this wonderful tearoom and enjoy a wonderful repast and sparkling conversation. Total bliss!

Heritage Hall said...

Amen..We had a local tearoom (walls lined with shelved books atmosphere) but, alas, it closed ... another elegant refuge lost. But teatime continues at home and, thanks to that iconic TV series and your influence, Jo, it has become almost akin to the British afternoon ceremony of pause and refreshment.

Mrs. White said...

Hot tea has always been common in our New England home. My mother was always putting the kettle on for tea. We continue that tradition to this day.

L. D. said...

It definitely taste better in a blue willow cup and saucer. Cookies would be good too.