Anytime is Tea Time

By: Anne Corke

Aug 26 2011

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Category: Life stories

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I am a tea drinker. No coffee for me. Born in Tynemouth to a Welsh father and an English mother, I acquired a taste for tea at a very young age. Although we drank primarily Orange Pekoe when I was a youngster, I have long since branched out to more exotic teas. And with tea’s new found popularity, there are many more varieties available. David’s Teas is my new favourite shop! Some people spend money on wine and spirits, I spend mine on teas. Sweet fruit teas, soothing Earl Greys, energizing mates, full-bodied black teas, organic green teas, delicate white teas, rich red rooibos. So many new teas to try! And then there are the accessories! From flashy new kettles in neon hues, to stainless steel infusers, to tea thermometers for the really serious tea brewer, to pretty tea cozies to keep the pot warm, to fancy tea spoons, chunky mugs and elegant bone china tea cups, and tea travel mugs! Not to mention, exotic sugars and honeys to sweeten your cup! So many ways to part me from my spending money!

For those of us of British descent, tea is the universal panacea. Had a bad day at work? Have a cuppa. Had a fight with the wife? Have a cuppa. Bombs falling outside the door? Put on the kettle and have a cuppa! Whatever the problem, a nice warm cuppa will calm you down and put you in a better frame of mind to deal with your troubles. Guaranteed!

Last year my sister, my cousins and I visited Stratford and stayed at my sister’s cousin Karen’s B&B. Karen is a tea sommelier. Her main floor is wall to wall tea and tea accessories. She hosts tea tastings and Japanese tea ceremonies. She has travelled the world learning about tea and it’s traditions. I was in tea heaven. Tea pots, tea cups, tea accessories, so many different kinds of tea to choose from! Each morning, we selected another new tea to try with breakfast while Karen shared her extensive knowledge of tea culture. And we came home with cups, mugs and teapots, looking forward to our next visit with Karen. (A bit ot tea trivia for you… do you know why those lovely little Japanese tea cups have no handles? It’s so you can feel the warmth of the tea with your hands; it enhances the enjoyment of tea drinking. I had never thought about that before, but after Karen explained it to us, I realized that I often hold the body of my cup or mug with both hands, instinctively cradling the warmth.)

My son is a tea fancier, too. There’s nothing we like better than discovering new teas, except perhaps sharing high tea. All those lovely little sandwiches, wonderful scones with jam and clotted cream and dainty little cakes for dessert, all washed down with copious cups of tea! It’s a delightful tradition that we love to share! (Be advised though that our “high tea” is in fact “low tea” over ‘ome! High tea is actually a complete meal, more of a “meat and potatoes” type of offering. Low tea is served on a low table in the afternoon while high tea is served on a high table at the end of the work day. Another  bit of tea trivia for you!)

There is something so comforting about a steaming cup of tea. Sipping my morning cup of tea, I take time to savour the amber liquid while I contemplate the day’s plans. An afternoon cuppa perks me up when I’m feeling tired. And a cup of tea is the perfect way to finish off the evening meal. A pot of tea may be shared with family and friends or perhaps enjoyed in quiet solitude. There is a tea for every occasion, or non-occasion! Any time is tea time! If you are not already a tea fancier or if you are bored with plain old Pekoe, may I suggest that you try a new tea from your local tea shop or tea room and join us in a calming cuppa!

Copyright 2011 Anne Corke

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One comment on “Anytime is Tea Time”

  1. Beautiful! If you’re ever in NY, do stop by for a cuppa!


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