Tea Kettle Philosophy — “Shouldas”

I have a tea that needs to steep for seven minutes — yes, seven minutes! Do you know how much contemplation of the mysteries of the universe that can transpire amidst the synapses of your brain during that time? Neither do I, but I bet it’s a lot!

A tea that needs to steep for SEVEN minutes!?!
A tea that needs to steep for SEVEN minutes!?!

The good thing is that you needn’t confine yourself to anything deep here. No need to solve the riddle of the Sphinx, re-assess the possibility of time actually going backwards as you near a “black hole” in the cold, far reaches of space, or marvel at apples falling down, as Newton had observed, not up.

My musing started with a casual thought: “I should have bought some more milk at the store yesterday.” It grew into thinking things like, “I should have decided something different at this point or that point in my life.” Thoughts like that can snowball. I call them the “shoulda’s” as in “shoulda done this” or “shoulda done that.” Are they worth the mental energy? Or do they just keep you looking backward and second-guessing yourself instead of moving forward? Only you can answer these questions.

Some shoulda’s come from poor planning, like not noticing how low the milk was in the carton. Others come from having more information now than you had when you were making the decision that you now wish you shoulda made different. Like buying that pu-erh that turned out to be fake from some unknown dealer on your trip to Asia and wishing you had stuck to a vendor you knew.

It’s only natural to continue learning and acquiring knowledge over the years, some people doing so on a more active basis than others. When it comes to tea, many of us here in the U.S., where coffee is the dominant hot beverage, tend to start relatively late in life learning the details of tea when compared to those growing up in countries where tea is a more dominant beverage. I’ve been reading and studying as much as possible while still keeping the fun in tea. But I do find myself saying “I shoulda been nicer in that tea review” or “I shoulda looked up more information on that tea before trying it to enjoy it better.”

Sigh! No sense in crying over spilt tea, or whatever. It’s best to move forward and to keep reviewing teas and writing about teas as I learn new things. You, too, can keep trying new teas and learning how best to enjoy them with nary a “shoulda” to delay you on your journey by causing you to mentally “circle back” to previous experiences.

The bottom line: you can’t turn back time, this is where you are, so do your best from this point forward, whether it’s with tea or with life in general.

Oh, before I forget, that tea I needed to steep for seven minutes was a Kenilworth Ceylon. That long of a steep makes it dark enough and strong enough for a bit of milk and sweetener, just the way I like it.

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