One of the great things about our world is all the time zones. That means it’s always tea time somewhere on the planet. In our house, though, we don’t need a variety of time zones, just the right attitude — one that says “It’s always tea time at our house.”
As I said in a previous article, tea time begins when we wake up and ends when we go to bed. I fill the teacup, drink the tea as I work, gasp in horror when the teacup is empty, get up to refill it, sit back down, drink the tea as I work, and so on. Hubby does the same. This is interspersed with tea tastings where the entire kitchen is cleared and a variety of teapots, cups, plates, and other paraphernalia are brought out, the camera is set up on its tripod, the bright lights are turned on and aimed at the “stage” (the kitchen counter), and the steeping begins.
There seem to be no activities that don’t go better with tea. From laundry to reading a book to updating the inventory numbers on that quarterly spreadsheet. Granted, some activities can be a tad tricky to engage in whilst holding a teacup. In knitting, for example, you could drop a stitch! When gluing together some model kit, you could end up gluing a wheel or a ship’s mast to your teacup. Wielding a hoe in the garden can be ungainly while sipping some tea. You can probably think of a few more examples. Still, I can’t imagine how hubby and I would get through the day without tea. And it certainly has kept us going through some big projects.
A good case in point was when we had first bought this house and were painting the rooms. Tea and little snack cakes gave us quick energy to keep going. Up the ladder. Down the ladder. Stir the paint and pour it into a pan. One of us did the brush work around the trim. The other wielded the roller. And each room got two coats of paint. Then we had the clean up of brushes, rollers, and pans, and storing the leftover paint, putting away the ladder, removing the painters tape when the paint had dried, and so on. Phew! How do you get through such tasks without tea?
But you don’t have to go room by room through your house, painting them, in order to enjoy tea every hour of every day. Just keep that teapot full and pour yourself a cuppa as needed. Of course, some teas don’t sit well in the pot, so you need to choose one that will not turn bitter or disgusting while it sits, or you can go with a tea that can be steeped multiple times and where the leaves can sit in-between each of those steepings.
A good tea to let sit:
Believe it or not, PG Tips is the absolute best tea to let sit in the teapot for an hour or two without the taste becoming bitter or weird tasting. We cover our teapot with a cozy, so it stays warm, but not hot.
A good tea for those short, quick steeps:
Ti Kuan Yin is a good choice for going the distance, giving you 7 or 8 infusions over a period of hours with each one still tasting great. The flavor will change from one to the next, but will not get unpleasant. Just keep the leaves slightly moist between steeps. There are also a host of pu-erhs that go even longer, one person getting as many as 30 steeps from his.
Tea Kettle Philosophy — Begin and End
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