International Tea Day

Today is International Tea Day, if you know me you will know this is a topic close to my heart.

I love tea. Every day I drink a lot of it, but from a fairly limited range of flavours. Luckily, I have a wonderful friend who is also a tea merchant, so life on the hot beverage front is pretty perfect.

My favourites are Organic Rooibos, when I’m feeling like a goody two shoes. Irish Breakfast (we call it Mrs Doyle Tea) for when I need fortification. I use paper tea bags or strainers to be plastic free. The wonderful Vanessa puts it in paper bags for me, as it goes straight into my storage jars.

Tea and Temperatures

Tea is an interesting topic in terms of climate change. I find it a really easy way to discuss the changes to our planet. Especially with people who may not be in the eco echo chamber. They can relate to their daily cuppa and are generally horrified at the impact climate change will (already is) having.

This is a very informative article about the impact of climate change on growing and harvesting tea, the workers conditions and potential problems in the long term. Things we take for granted, like our morning brew, is a good starting point for pondering how our everyday lives will change. While keeping the increases in temperature as small as possible is a good thing, with the increases already happening, our lives are already changing.

So, today I will enjoy my lovely brew, Assam, and think about how to save the world.

Tea and Tears

I’ve written about this before, but tea is also a powerful way we show comfort in British culture. International Tea Day leads us to think that this is the same the world over, but my (very basic) research implies it’s not.

When we offer someone a cup of tea or something similar, we are really offering them our time and attention. Listening to their story is a great gift. With regards to grief, listening takes on a special meaning.

Loss is often made more accessible by the re-telling of the story. This is especially true as people begin to try and make their new reality feel ‘real’. After a shock or unexpected death this doubles again. Offering to listen, without judgement or solutions, but just to allow someone to feel heard is an absolute gift.

Tea isn’t the answer to everything, although I have several coasters that say it is… But it can be a bridge between people. It can offer space and warmth. It expresses care and even when we don’t have the right words, we might have the right mug.