The history of tea is as rich as the cultures from which it springs. From mysterious, ancient roots in China and India, to the delightful afternoon tea party found in Western civilizations. Along with the rich and satisfying taste of tea come traditions that have evolved over time. Some traditions and rituals were developed quite on purpose, while others find themselves rooted in serendipity. Tea bag folding is one of those funny little traditions that just happened one stormy afternoon and seemed to take on a life of its own.
As the story goes, Ms. Tiny van der Plass was sitting at her kitchen table in her home in Holland enjoying a late afternoon cup of tea when she remembered that she had neglected to pick up a card for her sister’s upcoming birthday. Not wanting to brave the elements of the cold for such a simple oversight she sat sipping her tea and pondering the predicament while mindlessly fiddling with her tea wrapper. As she sipped her tea watching the gentle snowfall getting ever deeper, she was wrestling with the choice of braving the weather for a greeting card or just apologizing to her sister for her thoughtless oversight.
As she pondered, she watched herself absently fold and refold the wrapper from her teabag, and the light bulb went off. In her hands she held a beautiful shape and design that she had created from the teabag. By simply folding a few other teabags in a similar manner and attaching them together, she could create a beautiful and unique card at on her own. And so she did. Her sister was thrilled and honored to get this beautiful and unique hand crafted birthday card, and in that moment a new art form had been formed.
While tea is rich in taste, it is also rich in tradition, and the next time that you are looking for a clever spin on a greeting card, you too may want to take a look at your tea wrapper and see what you can create.
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