Posted by: Peaceful Social Worker | March 5, 2012

The Simple Pleasures of Tea

I just bought a new teapot. It looks like a traditional Brown Betty. you know, round and dark brown. My grandmother’s teacosy fits over it perfectly, ensuring a hot second, or third cup of tea. It comes with a strainer, so I can have loose leaf tea in it. I have a great black tea from called “Kenyan Tinderet”. The description of the tea is “African splendour – Most connoisseurs drink this as a little luxury after a good meal. With its strong, earthy flavour and light honey notes, we recommend trying it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner” I can assure you, the tea lives up to its description! When I made a pot of this black tea, I thought back to all the memories that drink stirred up.

Enjoying a cup of tea can be so satisfying. Remember those old TV commercials, where the tea cup is raising itself alone, and as the scene progresses, the person drinking it becomes visible? Tea does that! It is a magic elixer. It is an excellent stress reliever. Add friends or family for a chat, and it is near perfect!

I have many memories of sitting in my Aunt Olive’s kitchen drinking tea, enjoying butter tarts, Uncle Archie’s favourite, and talking about all manner of things. Oh, to be able to go back to those times. Of course, memories of grandparents’ houses and tables also come to mind. I come from a family with English/Irish roots, so there was only one way to make tea. Scald the pot, put the fresly boiled water in on top of the tea bag (or leaves) and let steep. Sometimes, the stronger the better. I have since learned that while that will make an exceptional cup of tea, there are also ways that are almost as good.

The perfect tea mug - china, from Grandma's collection

When I was in Newfoundland, I learned about the tradition in Cape Breton, and possibly Newfoundland as well. You put the tea bags in the pot, put cold water on top of them, set it on the stove and let it boil. I was HORRIFIED at the thought. Holy cow! How could anyone do that! Imagine my surprise, when I discovered that is how my Canadian grandfather made tea in the lumber camps of Ontario. I have learned that it is an exceptionally hospitable thing to do. You see, the pot comes to a boil, and then is left to simmer all day. Water or tea bags are added as necessary throughout the day. This ensured that there was always a cup of tea to offer a visitor. So very welcoming.

Sometimes our lives are too busy these days for a simple cup of tea. I know I can be found drinking and driving…….drinking a cup of tea or coffee while driving, that is, or drinking while doing some work at my desk. I don’t seem to sit down and just enjoy the cup of tea with a friend, or a book. Or a window. As a social worker, life can be busy. I try to teach my clients and students about self-care. Maybe I ought to practice a bit more of that myself.

This tea pot reminds me that self-care can be as simple as just enjoying a good cup of tea. It is the simple things in life some days…..or most days.

To honour my tea, I shut my wooden gate, Lest worldly people intrude, And donning my silken cap, I brew and taste my tea alone.

~Lu Tong

You can never get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough to suit me

~ C.S. Lewis

 (from Fisher, A “Tea Wisdom:Inspirational Quotes and Quips About the World’s Most Celebrated Beverage”  (2009) Tuttle Publishing


  1. There is nothing like making a good cup of tea and waiting for it to brew in a teapot. Many a conversation has surely been lost, as the tea bag is put straight into a mug, stirred twice and removed!

    Great pot

    • I agree. I do wonder how many conversations have been lost just making the tea in a cup.

      You read my post between when I accidentally posted it too soon, and when I edited it and posted the finished version. I hope you got to read the finished version too. 🙂

  2. LOVE that tea cozy! My Mom is a huge tea drinker and I’ve recently started giving her crocheted tea cozies as presents.

    • Thanks. That tea cozy has many memories attached to it! It is actually knitted. I have (had?) the pattern and started knitting one, but why mess with the best. 🙂 I think it is a standard, easy to find pattern.

  3. I couldn’t agree more, there’s nothing like a nice cup of tea and when you have a lovely teapot and tea cosy like yours, life is good. 🙂

  4. I had never learned that Maritime way of making’re right, it sounds horrifying, but really lovely, when you think of folks dropping in to a hot cup whatever the time of day…of course, with a wood stove, you could always have a place for that pot to sit, simmering…

    • I think that traditionally the pot would be on the wood stove. In my grandfather’s case, it would be on the fire.

  5. Last year I hosted a tea party at my place, I have been thinking about starting it back up again. I too just wrote about self-care. Your post has further inspired me to find the time again to host another tea gathering. 🙂

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