Tea Time, a tea party catering company in Hong Kong (Screen capture from site)

Tea Time, a tea party catering company in Hong Kong (Screen capture from site)

Well, the first month of the New Year is over, and your list of resolutions is probably laying in a wastebasket, lining a birdcage, or got used to light a fire in the fireplace when your power went out during that “attack of the giant polar vortex.” Hopefully, you had a chance to implement some of my ideas in an article posted at the beginning of the month (How to Add That Spa Touch to Your Tea Time). This list is more along the lines of using tea as that special self-indulgence.

1 Get out some of that super special tea

Many of us have stashed away a super special tea that we save for those special occasions – a finer white tea, a rarer pu-erh, or even one of those first flush Darjeelings, for example. Go ahead and get some out and enjoy. You deserve it. And that’s what this is all about. Steep in that special teapot and serve in a special teacup (even if it’s one you use everyday).

2 Give Yourself a Tea facial

Green tea is usually the choice for a tea facial. [Health claims: Very high in anti-oxidants having anti-aging effects. When applied to the skin, green tea is said to repair scar tissue, prevent wrinkles and blemishes, and helps with warts, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea. As a sunblock, green tea is supposed to reduce or erase sun damage.]

You can make one at home following this simple recipe:

  • Heat 1/3 cup of water to 160°F.
  • Add in a teaspoon of loose green tea (using an infuser ball is a good idea here) or use one teabag.
  • Let steep until the water has cooled from steaming to lukewarm.
  • In a small bowl, put in one tablespoon of sugar.
  • Add in one tablespoon of tea liquid. (The green tea will not be hot enough to dissolve the sugar.)
  • Add a second tablespoon of sugar and mix again.
  • Add in a little more tea until you get a consistency like applesauce or a little thinner.
  • Apply to your face either with a cotton pad or with your fingertips, rubbing in circular motions and avoiding your eyes and nose.

3 Add Tea to a Favorite Recipe

There are bunches of recipes on this blog that you could start with. A few that look especially tempting to me:

4 Better yet, go out to a special tearoom

Just be sure the tearoom you go to is truly special. Too many or just fancy cafés where tea is almost an afterthought. Do a bit of research, looking online and asking friends and family, before taking that plunge. A bad experience is not in the least self-pampering. Been there, done that. (The last experience was so bad that I’ve sworn off of tearooms but you might fare better.)

5 Even better, have a catered tea time

Yes, there are places that specialize in catering tea parties – and weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Christenings, and other special events (retirements, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.). They will provide wonderful teas and treats in a very pampering manner. If you happen to live in Hong Kong, try Tea Time – they specialize in one of those fancy style “high tea” events (what is more properly called “afternoon tea”).

Whatever you do, I hope when it’s all over that you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world – or at least the normal tasks in your life!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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