Everyone at some point in the day loves to sit down with a warm cup of liquid in their hands, set aside their worries and thoughts and experience the quietude and warmth. What is it about tea drinking that this ritual is ubiquitous to human civilizations? The following method outlines the ritual to find out why,
Step 1: Boil water
Take 2 cups of water in a sauce pan or electric kettle. A sauce pan may be a better simply because it is easy to watch. Watch the water boil. At first as tiny bubbles, as tiny as ball pins rising up and disappearing, soon turning into huge bubbles that cannot seem to contain their rage, bubbling and popping as soon as they reach the surface of the water.
Step 2: Add tea
Now is the time. Add loose tea leaves. It can be plain old black tea or one of those fancy ones, doesn’t matter. If you don’t have the loose tea leaves handy, rip open a tea bag. Drop the tea leaves in to the water and watch the tea leaves spring to action. The concept of a tea bag is useful when you are in a hurry, but for a ritual like this it is imperative that you let the tea out of the paper constraint. Now watch the passionate dance as the tea leaves unfold infusing their goodness all around them.
Step 3: Infuse
Let the infusion happen for about 30 sec to 60 sec. Then turn the heat off and wait till the tired and limp tea leaves settle at the bottom of the saucepan.
Step 4: Drink
Decant the tea into a cup. As you decant, let the aroma of the tea fill your senses. Set the tea on the counter near a bright window and watch the steam from the cup rise and disappear. As you watch, reflect on the issues rising in your mind, briefly contemplate on them and just as the steam melts away let them go as well. Now drink the tea, experience the essence and flavor, just as you experience the remainder of every problem…a life lesson learned.
There is an alternate to Step 4. Have a friend over. Decant the tea into two cups. As you pour the tea and enjoy the aroma, take a moment to watch your friend and contemplate his/her presence in your life. As you set the brimming hot cups of tea between the two of you, notice the aroma and anticipated flavor of the tea fill your senses and reflect on warmth of friendship between the two of you. Talk….as the steam from the tea simmers down. Now sip and enjoy the essence of friendship.
I guess after going through process it is not hard to see why the tea drinking ritual is so popular. A simple process that allows people to settle from the busyness of life and simply experience solitude or togetherness, calm or warmth, space or intimacy, whatever is the need of the moment…