A lot of us feel there is something special about tea. But to adequately describe what that is is best done by comparing tea to its main competitor for most-enjoyed beverage in the world besides water, namely coffee. I know many tea drinkers do not drink coffee, and many coffee drinkers view tea as a teabag that you throw in boiling water and forget about. Personally I enjoy both, but for different reasons.
Try as I might, I can only describe my coffee drinking as a habit, or something I do when I am half asleep shortly after waking. Unless it’s a particularly good morning for me, even my well-practiced tea-brewing skills are rendered nearly useless by my morning fatigue. While it is a habit I greatly appreciate, it is just that – a mindless habit designed to deliver caffeine. I can appreciate the flavors and tell a good coffee from a bad one, but it is just not the same as tea.
As enjoyable as coffee is, tea holds a special place in many people’s hearts and minds because of its rituals, its history, its role in art, literature, and religion, and the dedication so many people have for tea. All these things make tea incredibly special, not to mention how it calms, and relaxes, while it energizes and focuses the mind.
The ritual for me involves fitting tea into each day. In doing so, I try to promote businesses that I feel are doing good things for tea, especially those businesses operating locally. But the ritual even extends to teaware – looking over my pieces of teaware and holding them in my hand.
So while I merely drink coffee, I love tea, and honestly hope it finds its way into my life for many years to come. I only hope more people come to love tea the way I do.