Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Time for Tea

By Jess Hodges

In a supermarket the other day I saw a product that struck fear into my heart. Instant tea granules. Not content with the insidious freeze dried blight on good coffee some unscrupulous individual has turned their attention to tea. Is this the next evolution of our favourite drink? As loose leaves gave way to tea bags are we now going to have to watch in horror as the age of granules begins?

I worried about it for a bit but concluded that we were safe, it will never catch on. It seems a strange thing to be confident about in this day and age where every second that can be saved is ruthlessly harvested from our lives by modernisation but the thing about tea is that it takes just the right sort of time.

On those days when you can't spare a tea break but none the less need a cup to sustain you at your desk the act of brewing it can be the perfect moment of respite. Just those three minutes while the tea is infusing can be all that is needed to take a deep breath and return to work with fresh determination and perspective. The classic English ritual of making a cup of tea in times of trouble isn't just about comforting the recipient, it also gives the maker a quiet moment to gather themselves before returning to whatever problems await. Carrying out a simple task that requires you to take your time is the perfect way to slow yourself down and think clearly, letting your stresses float away with the steam.

Instant coffee serves its purpose, making a lengthy and involved process short, simple and transportable but in the case of tea, which is all those things already, it only serves to relieve us of a burden than most of us enjoy. The leaves certainly have nothing to fear for the moment.