In the early summer of 2013, I decided to make tea for an assembled group of my friends. We had just come together to celebrate the last day of school. I had tasked it upon myself to carry a full tray of tea upstairs, unassisted. On the tray were four cups of Earl Grey, and one large cup of Lapsang Suchong, for me. I tried to tiptoe upstairs with the brimming tray, but fate had other plans. I stubbed my toe on a chair right outside of the kitchen and ended up spilling tea all over my dang self. Immediate pain and a delicious smokey aftertaste told me that the Lapsang Souchong had burned my arm, somewhat severely. I was in pain, but I laughed it off, with some help from aloe vera. I still have a distinctive mark from that burn.
It reminds me of an excellent evening sharing some tea with company.
Making tea for your friends shows them that you care about them. Even if they’re not exactly tea-literate, they’ll appreciate the effort of pouring hot water on some leaves. Who knows, you might even get them interested in tea themselves? Thereby garnering another member for the cult of Camellia Sinensis. In any case, it’ll promote an atmosphere of generosity. You get as much as you give. And I wouldn’t mind getting that cup of Lapsang Souchong back, even if it’s on the arm.
You are so right Ben. When guests watch me prepare whole leaf tea for them, many have only used tea bags, so it’s quite a learning experience. If they love the prepared tea, they’re mine! More often than not, I send them home with some basic equipment and of course, some whole leaf tea. I love knowing that they’ll always remember that first experience and associate it with me.
You and tea have a hot relationship! You’re a tea ambassador, Ben! I see . . . TEA in your performing future.