Among the many claims of tea having powers most healing, soothing lovelorn hearts is certainly the most mysterious and least understood. One of the greatest love poems written was about tea. Here’s how the first draft started out:
How do I love thee,
Let me count the teas.
Of course, the final draft came out a little differently. (I think Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a bit influenced by her editor.)
Consider the very names of teas. They speak of longing for that gentle touch, the word of love that’s whispered in a lover’s ear, a gaze from lover’s eye returned tenfold. For example:
“Oh, my Darjeeling, how Oolong for you,
When first I see your countenance
As rich Assam fine tea a-brew
While we in soft embrace do dance.”
See what I mean? Well, it’s not perfect, but at least I try.
Tea speaks, with its various aspects, the language of love. The aroma, both of the dry leaf and in the cup, tells of a future full of promise and fulfillment, as love speaks of happiness to come and that will fill one’s life. The color of the tea “liquor,” when steeped the proper time, in its jewel-like sparkle holds the secrets of the flavor of the tea, as love holds the secrets of a yearning heart. The taste when tea first caresses tongue and then excites the tastebuds into their dance of bitter-sweet-tangy-salty is like a first touch, fingers to fingers sliding together in a loving clasp of hands.
Tea encompasses all of the aspects of love. The first tentative sip of a new tea is like the first holding of your true love’s glance. The attentive nurturing of the tea plants is like the building up of that special emotion. A growing knowledge of all of tea’s qualities (the good and the bad) and thus a deeper appreciation is like getting to know your love’s likes and dislikes and share yours. Even the joy of helping others find this same thrill of discovery and enjoyment is like playing matchmaker for your friends.
When hubby and I first met, he drank mostly coffee or water during the day while I drank (I’m almost embarrassed to admit it) diet soda and tea made by dunking a teabag on a string into a cup of hot water (sort of the Meg Ryan approach in the scene where she has a cold and Tom Hanks shows up at her apartment with a bouquet of daisies in “You’ve Got Mail”). Over the years, we have both learned more about tea and grown in our appreciation of it, just as we have grown in our love for each other and appreciation for each other’s traits, quirks, peccadilloes, etc.
Since this is the “Month of Love,” you might want to treat that special someone to a nice tea time. You could both end up not only increasing your enjoyment of tea, but, well, you know… Enjoy!
Visit A.C.’s blog to learn more about the mysterious powers of tea!
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