I have a great time trying all kinds of different teas and blends from across the world, finding new varieties that are unlike anything I’ve tried before and sampling some creative combinations that someone has put a lot of time dreaming up. This edition of the tea blog will not be about a specific tea though, it’s more about tea in general and its role in everyday life.
It’s undeniable, tea is well and truly loved in Britain, as it is in many countries across the world. In Britain it is called upon to serve many purposes. Tea is used to console and comfort when times are bad, to bring people together for a catch up and a laugh, to get you five minutes away from your desk, to wake you up, to wind you down…the list goes on and on. Whatever the scenario, more often than not putting the kettle is going to make it a whole let better. This post is going to look at another scenario where tea excels though, but there’s a little story to tell first to set the scene.
Everyone loves a lie in on a Sunday morning, that’s what they’re for, right? Not this Sunday. This Sunday I was up far too early, rummaging around in the shed while the kettle boiled, and getting ready for the day ahead. This Sunday my friends and I were going surfing.
I live in North Wales, a place not really known for its surfable beaches, and the location of what we call our ‘local wave’ is a good two hours away. That, combined with tide times, meant an early start and a ruined Sunday snooze. It would be worth it though, we’d caught the ‘surfing bug’ years ago and no amount of early starts or dips in the freezing ocean (and believe me it was going to be freezing) can put you off going again, not for long anyway!
So as the Spring sun was trying it’s best to break through and warm up the land we packed up the car, got our surfboards on the roof and headed off to the Mid-Wales coast to get totally stoked and radical, or something like that.
When we arrived the waves were good and thankfully worth the drive. It’s always a bit of a gamble so it’s nice when it actually pays off! So without wasting any time we began the highly unglamorous task of getting changed in a car park (one of the less enjoyable aspects of surfing) into our wetsuits, which would hopefully keep us toasty in the icy waters.
We got in and boy was it cold! The sea definitely had not had chance to warm up from the Winter and that was readily apparent with every wave that somehow find a way to permeate our neoprene barriers and reach our unsuspecting skin. We still had a great time though but obviously the whole surfing experience would be a whole lot nicer in some warmer water. I often make deals with myself; do this and you can have this. Of course, the greatest reward for being out in the cold is obviously a cup of tea, so after about three hours out in the waves and the torrid ordeal that is removing a cold and wet wetsuit, that’s exactly what we got.
Now I’m finally getting round to the point of this article. I wanted to talk about that cup of tea that you thought about, worked towards and finally rewarded yourself with. That cup that works to counteract all the coldness that the outdoors throws at you, that cup which makes your fingers sting as you hold it, that cup that signifies the end of whatever task you were facing and the beginning of warmth and relaxation. It’s amazing that something so simple as a few leaves and some hot water can be powerful enough to be a reward that gets you through hours of coldness, or physical exertion, or monotonous work, but it totally is. In just one teapot lies warmth, home-comfort, respite, and so much more.
This is just one of the many things that tea is perfect for and now that Spring is upon I’m hoping that I won’t need it to fill this particular role for much longer. So here’s to tea as a warmth-giver and a reward in a less than perfect climate. From me, and thousands of others throughout Britain, thank you.
Do you ever use tea as a reward? Maybe it plays another important role in your daily routine? Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.