Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The pleasures of tea

It's snowing today. It started early this morning, with two interruptions for sleet. Now everything out is white or cocooned in ice. If I got mail today, I'll have to wait until it warms up to find out what it is. My mailbox is frozen shut.

This afternoon I filled my birdfeeders and then put the kettle on for a pot of tea. I had tea whilst watching my cats watching the birds. It is a good day for bird watching, cat watching and tea. But really, every day is good for tea.

Tea has become something of a ritualized addiction for me. If it were not for tea, I may not get out of my pajamas on some days. Over the years I've acquired beautiful tea sets. Some are very fine and very old. I feel it is wrong to take tea from a beautiful tea set while wearing something that doesn't at least honor the ritual. So I get dressed daily, for teatime.

Tea is relaxing. It's a good time to mull things over when you're alone, or a good time to socialize if you're lucky enough to have friends who appreciate taking tea.

"I'll put the kettle on," is my response to bad news, or good news, or when visitors stop by. I used to have a whistling teapot but I forsook it for an electric kettle that's faster and more efficient. What blend I use depends on my mood. My favorite specialty tea vendor is Teavana. They sell exotic blends. I also keep the old standards on hand - Lipton and PG Tips. The latter is favored by the British gentleman renovating my house. I sometimes think he'd work for tea; he says no one here makes it properly, so he was thrilled to find out that we take tea. It's nice to give him a little taste of home.

The Victorians were big on tea time, and tea is quite popular in Steampunk culture. There are Steampunk tea societies and Steampunk tea parties. It's hardly surprising. Tea, like Steampunk, allows us to combine the traditional with the exotic. It's another reason to love both.

I've been toying with the idea of having a virtual tea time with other Steampunk enthusiasts. I've not yet figured out how to go about it. It's something I shall have to ponder over - of course, - a cup of tea.

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