There aren’t many things in life that I love more than good tea, except perhaps having good tea with good company.
There’s so much magic in a cup of tea. What tea is it, and where is it from? Isn’t it amazing that it’s from so far away? What kind of soil did it grow in, what air did it breathe? Does it taste like the misty, high mountain forest that surrounds the tea garden?
I wonder about the stories behind the tea, too. The hands of the teamaker, knowing exactly what to do with each little batch of tea. Or maybe not, because even teamasters still make mistakes. (Tea is always trying to teach us something.) Late nights, waiting for bitter leaves to transform into something sweet. While yesterday’s leaves are still finishing up, the tea pickers head out to pluck more tea.
Tea leaves don’t look like much, at first. How can these humble leaves end up tasting like honey, peaches, and jasmine? Or sweet and rich, it almost tastes like candy? Or like rocks, incense, or the smell of fresh rain?
It’s freaking awesome to find all that in a cup of tea.
It’s even more awesome when the person I’m having tea with says, “Is this really just tea? I can’t believe there’s no sugar in this!” That’s the sound of the start of a journey.
Can you remember the first time you had really, really good tea? What were you drinking, and where were you at the time? Who shared that cup of tea with you? Imagine if they never poured that tea for you, or never gave you that gift. Would you have fallen in love with tea any other way?
I think that’s why we love serving tea. We could just sit at our desks, never using up our precious leaves on someone who might not understand, but for the most part, we go out into the world, kettle in hand, and scream “You GOTTA try this!”. We drag our friends to the tea table and make them try things, we pour a cup of tea for whoever’s home, we can’t wait to meet up again with someone who loves tea, too.
That’s because tea is more than just flavors, textures, and water experiments – it’s about people sharing the things they love. Telling stories, making jokes, feeling right at home with each other. Learning and exploring, together.
Whenever we serve tea, we allow for that to happen. And it really does feel like doing magic, sometimes, doesn’t it? Hours pass, and you don’t even notice the time! This tea is so good, our friends are hilarious. It’s getting so late, but why don’t you stay a little longer? More leaves and hot water. More stories. Let’s do this again, next time. The joy of serving tea…