Friday, September 4

The Value of Afternoon Tea

We don't watch much tv, but we've long appreciated British television when we've had a chance to sit down and view something. We've particularly enjoyed Dr. Who (of course!), Are You Being Served, and Fawlty Towers.

You can't watch British television and fail to notice that they are as obsessed with tea as Americans are with coffee. But it's not an even trade-off: the behavior patterns, attitudes, and atmosphere surrounding tea are far different than those around coffee. Where coffee is a "go-go-go" and survival drink in many circles, tea suggests more refined pacing, calmness, and re-orientation. 

Is it any surprise, then, that there is a TED talk suggesting that Afternoon Tea Could Save the World

The video isn't very long, but absolutely worth watching. I, for one, was well persuaded that I just might need to start incorporating afternoon tea into my life this Fall/Winter!

If you find yourself thinking the same, here are my best tips on making great tea:

- Not all tea is created equal! Consider splurging just a tiny bit on good tea, and you'll notice a huge difference in the overall experience. 

- Loose leaf tea tends to be fresher than bagged, and gives you the opportunity to enjoy an awesome tea ball besides! (Seriously, you can get tea balls in every shape and size from a TARDIS to a rubber ducky and everything in between!) I love to order my tea from Whistling Kettle, but I've also heard great things about the selection at Mountain Rose Herbs. Of course, if you have a Wegmans, you're all set - check out their awesome gourmet loose leaf tea options in the organic section. 

- Brew time and temperature matter. Be sure to read the brewing instructions that come with your tea!

- Don't assume that you must have something sweet and highly caloric with your tea (despite the photos of beautiful cupcakes in the video). If you do decide to indulge, keep the portions small and try to reach for options that offer satisfaction rather than trigger cravings (think one or two butter-heavy shortbread, or even proper British "digestive biscuits".)

What do you think? Could tea have the power to change the world? Or at least change your world? 

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