A lot of our lifestyle in the U.S. is based on much of our workforce working at jobs during about 8 or 9 a.m. to around 5 p.m. and having some “me” time on the weekends, starting on Friday nights, quite often. Seems like a natural for holding a fabulous Friday teatime!
First of all, the goal here isn’t just to enjoy tea, but also to get you mentally ready for that transition between your working life and your “me” focused life (the one that includes family, home, and de-stressing activities). Step one, therefore, must be selecting the right setting, one that is sufficiently non-job-like and yet reflective of those “me” things you cherish. Comfortable seating that resembles nothing even remotely like one of those supposedly ergonomic office desk chairs is a true must. Soft lighting that is definitely not fluorescent can make a lot of difference. Candles are a good option. A low table like a coffee table or even a regular height table that looks nothing like those standard surfaces available in office cubicles these days will be the perfect setting for your teapot, cups, saucers, and plates full of goodies.
That brings up the second major step in creating your fabulous Friday teatime: food! If you’re like me, your workday lunch is something you can heat and eat from the microwave or a sandwich that you threw together in your morning rush to get out of the house and on the road to the office/store/warehouse, etc. Of course, if there are fast-food places nearby, you might be in the habit of going there for some “delightful” cuisine such as chicken-like substances pressed into nugget shapes, breaded and then deep-fried. Leave all of these behind for your fabulous Friday teatime. One option is to bake a pie, cake, cookies, or other tasty goody. If you’re not a big one for baking, stop by a bakery on your way home for that special something. I’m partial to fruit tarts but brownies are also so yummy! You could also go for a selection of cheeses and fruits. Anything that doesn’t scream “workday lunch.”
Last but certainly not least, select a tea worthy of the occasion and complementary to your menu. Many cheeses go well with green teas like Gunpowder and Dragonwell, oolongs like Pouchong, plus Darjeelings and Nilgiris. If you opted for something with chocolate in it, try Assams, Darjeelings, Earl Grey, Gyokuro, Oolongs, Pu-erhs, Dragonwell, Sencha, and Yunnan. Many of these teas also go with fruity desserts and rich things like cheesecake. A nice fresh, hot potful will wipe those lukewarm, over- or understeeped cups of tea out of your mind. Gone also will be the meetings that seem to go on forever and accomplish nothing, the paperwork you process that seems to be more, not less, since computers came into regular use in the workplace, and the annoying co-worker that likes to stop by your desk and chat endlessly.
After such a fabulous teatime, you will have successfully transitioned from that workday mindset to a weekend mindset. You will be ready to help your kids with their homework, get a bit of yardwork done, fix that broken something around the house, or just go out and have fun.