Making tea seems like a never-ending task around here, with a fresh pot being steeped as we’re finishing off the last one — sort of like “chain tea drinking”! That, of course, means the kettle gets a regular workout, and that means lots of time to philosophize. The mind naturally wanders as those minutes go by while the water heats. The whole concept of things having a beginning and an ending came to mind, and it’s very apropos for tea time.
We humans like things to have a beginning and an end, a definitive starting point and a definitive ending point. Stuff like the universe, building a house, and taking a trip. Life is neater that way somehow. Maybe we get the idea from reading books where a story starts and ends, from a movie with its opening scene and closing scene, or from life itself where we all start and end our lives and see all the living, growing things around us do likewise.
Time to see how this relates to tea time!
There has to be a beginning. The project manager in me considers that to be when you officially start preparing the tea and treats. That’s not necessarily the moment when you start heating the water. In fact, it’s often the moment when you start getting things out to prepare some yummy treat to go with the tea — the scone mix or the pie dough, for example.
Sad as it may seem, there also has to be a tea time ending. Sometimes this is preemptory when the teapot has reached its last drop and the last scone or slice of pie or cake is but a wondrous lingering on the tastebuds. Sometimes it is planned, schedules being what they are — that is, full of all kinds of events and activities.
Speaking of schedules, setting a definite beginning and ending time for taking tea has advantages. Your tummy knows what to expect when. For some of us, tea time starts at 4:00 pm and ends at 4:30 pm. Such a short span between that beginning and ending, though, necessitates treats not requiring lengthy preparation time, unless you have a personal chef on hand to prepare them for you.
For the real tea dedicatees and those of us with a bit more room in their schedules tea time begins when we wake up and ends when we go to bed. Hubby and I certainly fall into that category. In fact, this whole beginning and ending stuff for tea time seems a bit silly. As I said at the start of this article (aha! another beginning and ending), our tea time goes on all during our waking hours, as it should for anyone for whom tea isn’t just a beverage but a way of life!
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