Tea time! My most favorite time. I can make up the greatest reasons why it’s time for tea.
When I was little, my grandmother gave me a tea set and I learned all about serving tea. It was a moment we would spend together that was special because it only happened at her house. I love the ritual of tea. Pinching out the proper amount of tea for the amount of water…warming the tea pot while I heat the water on the stove…never letting the water boil…pouring the fresh, almost boiling water on the leaves and waiting for it to brew to a dark, flavor infused liquid under the kitchen towels I drop over the top to hold the heat in. I used to have a bowl of sugar cubes set to the side but now I use local honey. I really like stopping to buy locally from someone selling jars of the bee’s labor on the side of the road.
When my son was little, tea was time for us to sit and have a cookie. He still likes tea twenty years later. I hope to one day use the “froggy cup” to have tea with my grandchild one day. Well, I guess now is as good a time as any. I’m going to be a grandmother in August. That news could not make me any happier. But back to tea for now…
As I got older, tea took on a whole new meaning. It had a purpose, whether it was to wind me down or speed me up, I discovered a new world of tea and my mom started to share tea stories from her childhood. Black Currant tea with her grandmother in New Mexico in a cabin with the smell of Pinon and apples, is a favorite memory of hers.
Kenya has a tea time, England of course and many other countries. I bought tea while I was in China and Peru, but the one that I am learning the most about, recently…is Mate from Argentina. Mate is like medicine.
Yerba Mate as it is known, are the leaves of a rainforest mate tree naturally containing 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and abundant antioxidants. It is the national drink of Argentina and some other South American countries but one of the coolest things about mate in Argentina is the gourd and silver straw that it is traditionally drank out of.
Ahhhh, to sit with a gaucho after a long day in the saddle and to sip mate under a tree from a silver rimmed gourd and bombilla on the pampas. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? I make mine in a coffee press here in my kitchen and let it steep for almost ten minutes. When I drink it, it feels like I’m doing something nice for myself. One day, I’m going to Argentina…you just watch me.
For now, I will sip and watch the birdfeeder…