On holiday by the sea a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a trend which had completely passed me by at home. Proper tea, loose leaf, in a proper teapot. But not the teapot I knew from my childhood. Some bright spark has invented a central filter or basket, so safeguarding frequent tea-drinkers like myself from having the enjoyment of a cup of char thoroughly ruined by a final swig of tealeaves. This morning I tracked down the ancient tea strainer we possess and indulged in the time honoured ritual of warming the teapot, and then waiting for the newly acquired loose leaf tea to infuse.
Alas. Impatient and suffering from hurry sickness, rather than languishing in holiday torpor, I couldn’t even wait for the prescribed 3-4 minutes’ brewing time to elapse. Too weak. Two sips and I topped up the cup with the stronger liquid. Forgetting to use the ancient tea strainer. It’s time to slow down and start again.
Fulfilling my kids’ prophesies of becoming an eccentric old woman (how could I let them down?), the proper tea ritual will now be perfected and incorporated into my daily life. With a enforced pause of just a few minutes morning and afternoon, the ceremonial drinking of the tea will refresh the brain and remind me to move from autopilot to conscious thinking, if only to avoid the rather unpleasant sensation of a mouthful of wet leaves.