Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Any tea will do.

Despite having spent many fortunes on rare teas, some days a Twinings bag will do. In the beginning, I brewed several special teas everyday. Only now I learn there is merit in reserving special things for special occasions. But tea is a daily pleasure. Even if you take tea every hour, there are 3 times in the day to particularly pleasure. First cup of tea to tingle the brain cells- always a dark milky brew accompanied with toasts thickly buttered and honeyed . Last cup of tea before eyes close, green or herbal with a handful of almonds if strenous exertion is expected in dreams. And in the middle, the special 4 o'clock afternoon tea and requisite cookie with small piece of chocolate- no mere consolation for having to wait a few hours for dinner.

And in the week, there is the Sunday morning tea hopefully accompanied with porridge, roasted roots, eggs, a sausage or two, plate of berries in summer, sweet citrus in winter. And if it also rains on Sunday, then another pot of tea and baked sweet of non cookie variety is mandatory indeed.

When unexpected or expected guests come, it is no less a chance to share a pot of green tea with blocks of red bean jelly and candied chestnuts. And once a year, one can splurge with an ounce of the most special of teas- teas once reserved only for the emperor, or teas with a supply so limited, their rarity brings the pleasure.