Because it’s what I do for a living, very rarely do I make coffee at home.  I really hate making it when I don’t have to.  The other day, however, I was struck with the desire to make a small French press for myself.  After I set my water to boil and got my press ready, I began to measure the beans and was struck by how inefficient coffee is!  Scoop after scoop after scoop!  The standard recipe for coffee is two tablespoons of ground coffee per eight ounces of water.  Tablespoons.  That, my dear readers, is six times the amount of tea that one would normally use to make the same amount of delicious beverage.  This got me thinking about just how much simpler tea can be.

After making hundreds of cups of coffee every day – day in and day out – one really begins to appreciate the simplicity of tea.  Coffee shops are filled with the cacophony of coffee grinders, steam wands, and orders being shouted across the room, whereas tea really requires nothing more than hot water and a vessel.  Even with the modern convenience of a hot water kettle, it’s no small wonder that I enjoy the process of making tea at home.  It’s therapeutic.  It forces me to slow down and appreciate the process.  Carefully watching the water boil to just the right temperature, measuring the leaves into my pot, pouring the water over slowly, and waiting patiently for the tea to steep is a great way for me to unwind after a long day enveloped in coffee-making equipment and whipped cream.

At the end of the day, however, it’s not about what you spend your days up to your elbows in.  Tea can still provide an oasis of efficiency and peace after a day’s work.  Whether your days are filled with coffee, engine grease, paperwork, or administrative work, tea is a way to slow yourself down after a day’s work and focus on something simple in our typically chaotic world.

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This article was originally posted November 17th, 2010.