It seems the beverage you drink is one of those either/or things, just like all the big arguments. Melbourne v Sydney. Beer v wine. AFL v rugby. For me, tea is always the winner. I’ve never been a coffee fan, the few times I’ve inbibed it was used strictly as a hangover therapy, though always with lots of milk and a few sugars, coz it still doesn’t taste that crash hot to me. But tea? I’ve been drinking it since before I hit double digits. Its always been a warm, reassuring friend, accompanying me on outdoor adventures, and the misery in illness.
Particularly when I’m unwell, its a stable part of my life. I can (usually) still make a cuppa, complete with mugs, perfect brewing temperature and timing, and enjoy every last sip even if the rest of my life is a bit shambolic. Its one of my comfort ‘foods’ – warming, tasty, and instantly improves my mood. I love all of it – fun tisanes, impressively authentic single origin leaves, or a good old fashioned earl grey. Well, all of it except tea bags. Yep, I’m one of those!
My collection of teas is a bit out of control, to be honest. I spent most of last year buying and trying lots of new brands, flavours and blends, as well as doing 2 swaps with some tea loving friends from the States who were both crazily generous with their samples. I’ve spent the last 6 months trying to get the samples and boxes down in number to a workable level, but as you can see I’ve still got a way to go:
But of course what’s in the mug isn’t the whole story. Part of the ritual of making a good cuppa is the spoons, cups, saucers and pot you use. So of course I also have a collection of accessories and crockery to keep me well brewed, from my beautiful glass teapot, to my indespensible Timolino thermos, special teapsoons, carefully labelled tins and a thermometer for getting a perfect green brew. And my beautiful mugs. A glass one, of course, some patterned mugs with lids and infusers, as well as some gorgeous tall double walled tea glasses that look simply stunning with a brightly coloured beverage suspended in them. And, of course, no tea loving Whovian’s collection would be complete without one of these (thankyou to my lovely friend A who presented me with this late last year!). It goes well with Forever Nuts and ‘The Name of the Doctor’.
I think this is the dangerous part, the accessories. There are some beautiful pots and glasses around, my credit card weeps in my wallet eery time I pass a store filled with pretty things! Plus, they appease my practical side – the infusers in everything allow for removal of the leaves from the pot or cup ensuring no bitterness creeps in, my Steeper makes for mess free at home brews and perfectly easy and instant iced tea (which I needed in the jugload over summer, we had a warm one!), and I’m armed with my timolino and other bits and pieces (including piles of Advent Calendar tea tins) that are prefect for travelling and camping. And they’re so pretty! There’s not much more soothing and appealing that watching an oolong unfurl and colour the water in my 1L glass pot. Its pretty much on par with watching a fire.
So my obsession, therapy and love of tea and all tea related things will continue (I haven’t even gotten to my expanding tea book collection…) as it comforts, sooths, heals and makes my life enjoyable. (And gives me blogging topics!)