Ha Jolly Ha

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Cup of the Steaming

As I tripped gaily out the door this week, a sudden chill came over me and I fell into a pensive state. As you have probably surmised, I felt the first whiffs of autumn and wondered whether my tea chest needed stocking. Then, with a great sigh of satisfaction and relief, I recalled the silk sachets of Mutan White, the loose Lemon Rooibos, the Nectarine Ginger Black and the White Tea with Cinnamon which have gradually taken over my cupboards not to mention put a comfortable sag in the old shelves. For nothing prods the eyes open on a frosty morning with more graciousness than a cup of the hot and leafy.

Now, one thing troubles, indeed, vexes me sorely. A despicable abuse has crept into the ancient ritual of tea drinking and wrested away something of, well, that whatsit and thingummy it ought to have. I mean to say, some folks actually sip their brew from ungainly and commercial mugs or - dare I even pen the words - styrofoam cups. If we wish to restore culture, it is imperative to begin from the bottom up, with the essentials if you know what I mean. Root of the problem and all that. So, if you enter into the great tradition of tea time, you must realize that a bit of china is of the essence. For those who enjoy a pot more casually, please, use stoneware at the very least. Be assured, you won't regret it.


Blogger Christine said...

Hear, hear. On our honeymoon in Camden, Maine, I began collecting teacups and saucers, and now have a variegated set of porcelain from Russia, Japan, and England. Nothing whatsoever compares to a steaming cup of black tea with a swirl of cream on a chilly afternoon--especially with galettes or petits beurres biscuits.

One of my old Oxford dons whom I'd visit in his flat always had a hot pot of tea waiting before each tutorial session. He, of course, used a most lovely set of china.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Raindear said...

I have a few unmatched teacups and sauces from antique stores. There is a peculiar charm in tea sipped from unique individual cups. However, I presently share a home with my sister and her husband, who possess a lovely set of blue and white china with pastoral English scenes. We use those cups most often.

Speaking of galette, I found a recipe last week which merits its own post...stay tuned.

How cheering that Oxford still observes some aspects of theNewmanian model of learning. Nothing encourages conversation more than a shared repast, and learning occurs most naturally through intelligent conversation with a congenial acquaintance.

10:22 AM  

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