Tea Ritual

There’s nothing quite like a cup of hot tea to warm you up when it’s very cold outside or, as more often happens, you’re just so cold you can hardly stand it. When I’m feeling very cold (which, unfortunately, is often) it’s the only thing that will warm me completely. It’s also nice to share with my co-workers.
 I’ve always enjoyed an afternoon beverage after lunch; it’s my dessert, my daily ritual and it calms and centers me. And, after all, what goes better with a good book than a cup of tea? In the summertime, I drink iced decaf espresso but, during the cold months of fall and winter, I switch to hot English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea.

When I drink tea in the evening, it’s usually herbal (I like fruity teas best) or decaffeinated as I’m superstitiously convinced any caffeine after 2pm will negatively affect my sleep; my husband says it’s psychosomatic but I don’t care.

There are several lovely little books that describe the ritual of tea:

 Tea Bliss : Infuse Your Life with Health, Wisdom, and Contentment 

by Theresa Francis-Cheung

Tea Gardens : Places to Make and Take Tea  by Ann Lovejoy

Tea Culture by Beverly Dubrin

The Art of Taking Tea by Kim Waller


~Maria, who has recently discovered the treasure trove of teas to try at Nicholas Tea & Coffee in downtown Pittsburgh.


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4 responses to “Tea Ritual

  1. This is a lovely post. Tea is indeed a wonderful beverage. ‘Tea Culture’ sounds interesting and slightly anthropological too.

    Many happy tea-drinking hours to you. :)

  2. lectorconstans

    Caffeine in the afternoon will indeed keep you awake. I think it’s a matter of age – in college and later, I could down a cup of espresso and sleep like a baby. Nowadays, a cup of coffee in the afternoon and I’m awake until the alarm goes off.

    But – you really can’t talk about Tea without talking about the culture that took it to a High Art: The Japanese. Here’s just one site of many:


    “The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado or simply Ocha in Japanese. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea,…”

    “Tea” is “cha”; “o-cha” is literally “honorable tea”; I think “chanoyu” is “ceremony [or ritual] of tea”.

    We’ve seen a few demonstrations – the term “ritual” is no exaggeration. Every now and again you’ll see one in a Japanese movie.

    PS: Green tea is good for you; I like Earl Grey also. Putting sugar in Japanese green tea is a sacrilege; I like most teas with honey. And there’s something about drinking it from a cup (preferably porcelain), rather than the old styrofoam standby.

  3. WONDERFUL subject to bring to light– Fruit Teas are my favorites and, I definitely choose decaffeinated because my system reacts negatively to it. I’ll buy these new and enlightening books as soon as cash starts flowing. Loved your post!

  4. Thanks for the lovely suggestions, everyone, and thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.


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