Hot Tea

Thing’s I love cont’d…


‘Tis the season…and I came down with a cold. I’d been hanging out with some kids at a school where I volunteer and as most of you know, kids are germ factories and a warm, closed-up school is the petrie dish and distribution system for every virus ever created by a hostile world. So, like half the population who gets a cold, I have my own system for dealing with the pestilence.

First I complain, then I feel my own forehead (I know – you can’t feel your own temperature), then I stare glassy-eyed at my sad face, and finally, I get to the heart of the matter. I make myself a cup of lovely, hot tea. With lemon. The scent fills the air. I sniff it as much as my overworked nose can manage, then I sit in my favorite chair, chilled hands clasped prayer-like around the cup. And slowly I savor every taste.

Aaah!  Death may not be imminent after all. I consider another cup – honey and lemon are supposed to help a sore throat. But I don’t like honey that much, so I stick with the basics. Sipping away, an afghan over my legs, and a book in hand, I know that I am dealing with my illness with praiseworthy fortitude.

I come by my love of tea honestly. My mother and grandmother, and probably all my ancestors back to when tea was first introduced were all devoted to the rituals of tea. Aside from the indisputable elegance, they fully believed in tea’s medicinal qualities. Their British heritage dictated that regardless of life’s vagaries, nothing helped like a cup of hot tea. Illness, distress, even too much sun would be eased by a cup of perfectly brewed tea served in a porcelain cup.

It must be properly made of course. Water taken to the boil, and then at a fraction below boiling, poured over the tea leaves or bags. I confess, I am a slight heretic because when I am alone, I brew it in my cup instead of letting the infusion steep in the pot. A spoon for each, and one for the pot is the ritual I learned. From the time I was a little girl, I was taught how to make, pour and serve tea. I learned the proper way to add milk and sugar, and to carry a cup and saucer without rattling them. The scent of tea and the feel of good china take me irrevocably to the time when I learned how to take my place as a young woman among my mother’s friends.

One of my writer friends loves tea so much, she has two kinds – everyday tea, and a lovely afternoon tea. The “good” tea is her reward for a productive day on her books. If she hasn’t met her goals, she has to be content with the everyday tea. It is a powerful motivator!

I understand. My middle daughter lives in England and I have become addicted to the very best morning and afternoon teas (English Breakfast in the morning. Irish Breakfast in the afternoons. Occasional specialty varieties for decadence). I am spoiled. She brings me tea from Harrods whenever she comes. I even know where their airport shops are – forget the fashions. I adore the tea!

So should you need a little soothing, a little pick-me-up, or some special time for yourself, particularly in the rush or illnesses of the season, may I suggest savoring a cup of hot tea.



If you enjoyed this blog (perhaps with a cup of tea in hand), I have more!  All free and ready to be read at

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