Tea Change

Estate Tea Sampler - a great way to pick a direction for your tea change! (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
Estate Tea Sampler – a great way to pick a direction for your tea change! (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Ever heard of a sea change? How about a tea change? The days are growing longer, and with the beginning of Daylight Savings Time just around the corner (10th of March in the U.S. and Canada!), you might find that your tea habits are gradually shifting to reflect the change in the season.

The term “sea change” was coined by Shakespeare in his play The Tempest (1610) and refers to a gradual, but radical transformation, where the form remains the same but the substance is altered. In literal terms, think petrification, or fossilization. More commonly, the phrase is employed metaphorically to refer a change in a person’s character over time.

“Interesting,” you might think, “but how is this relevant to tea?” Directly, it isn’t. However, taking inspiration from this fascinating phrase, I hereby propose the coining of a new term: “tea change.” Like in a sea change, in a “tea change” the form stays the same (the way you drink your tea, the time you usually sit down for a cup, even maybe the type of tea) but the content (the specific tea) changes. You might find something of the sort happening to you as winter gradually recedes—at least in terms of daylight hours (as I write this there are snowflakes falling outside my window…but at least it now stays light until 5:30 PM!)

Some of my previous writings on this blog have contemplated the effect of weather and seasons on tea drinking, and daylight (or lack thereof) is just as important a factor as temperature and elements in this equation. Of course a lot of the time they are connected—dark and cold for winter, warm and light for summer. But although it doesn’t seem to be getting any warmer in my part of the world, the fact that it is getting lighter is changing the way I feel and, as I have begun to notice, changing the tea I drink.

Spring is coming. Slowly.

As it is such a gradual change, especially if the temperatures and amount of daylight are not in synch, you may not notice any effects of this change right away. But you may at some point realize that you haven’t been drinking as much of the same tea that you were for the last few months, or that you are going for another type of tea more often. Is it just a random preference change, or do you think it reflects a move from darker to lighter days, and eventually (hopefully!) colder to warmer months? If the latter, I would propose that you are experiencing your very own tea change.

Thanks, Shakespeare.

See more of Elise Nuding’s articles here.

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