As I write this, confirmed cases of the virus increase daily. The return to normal we desire looks to be several weeks or months away.  The tea community has an opportunity to turn the unpleasantness of uncertainty into a practice that is reassuring and reaffirming. Let me suggest five ways tea can help you connect – and reflect  during this odd time.

Tea Letters! Grab paper, a pen, and a cup of your favorite brew.  Write a letter to a friend or family member. Share your insights and revelations as you sip.  Tell about projects you’re working on and relate your funny mask tales. Most everyone enjoys receiving a handwritten letter, so be sure to mail it.

Tea Skype: Put on your Zoom shirt, brew a cuppa in your favorite mug, and call your college roommate or your favorite niece.  I purchased mugs for friends and relatives over the years and when we Skype, we sip together.

Tea Ritual Zoom: The Japanese tea ritual is spiritual and beautiful and unforgettable.  Most of us westerners are content to make that level of ritual a one-time occurrence, to be perfectly honest.  The daily ritual of filtering and boiling water, preparing the pot and cups, measuring and brewing the tea, and serving it with gentleness and respect, however, is affirming and calming.  Gather a group of four or five people, set up a Zoom meeting ( Apple Store Zoom Cloud Meetings App ) once a week and take turns making and talking about the tea you’re drinking.

Tea Party! If you have children in the house, have a tea party! Get the kids to help with the timing of the steep, serving, and arranging the snacks. Although cookies and jam cakes are lovely, take advantage of the abundance of berries, cherries, and stone fruits. Make it a weekly no-electronics ritual.  Start the conversation with each person sharing a gratitude or paying a compliment.  

Tea Pays It Forward: if you employ a cleaning or landscape service that has been observing the shelter-in-place recommendation, make yourself a cup of tea and send a check for their services even though they have not been able to work out of respect for your and their own health. Same with the barber or hairdresser and any other service professionals. Pay them exactly what you would if they were working. We are all in this together.  And, if you have been receiving lots of packages because you’re shopping on line, please tip the UPS and USPS people generously. 

I am curious how tea is helping you get through.  Please share!

Image provided and copyright held by author