I began collecting tea cups before I fell in love with tea. Thrift stores and antique shops became some of my favorite places, as I rummaged for unique enchanting cups. Then the tea parties with my little girls began – Light luncheons with tea sandwiches and precious little tea cups of all sizes and colors, petite tarts, home baked cookies and dress-ups. But it was not until I began hosting foreign exchange students (ten students in all from all over the world, living with me in stints of 6 months to a year) that I discovered “Tea Time” and fell in love with a cuppa. Tea, hot chocolate, coffee, mate, masala chai or hot cider – each a cup of comfort, an opportunity to converse or ponder, and a reflection of the soul.
Hot and iced beverages have an elementary role in the traditions of every culture. In Hong Kong a unique taste of Hong Kong milk tea, a blend of strong Ceylon black tea with other teas mixed with milk, 一盅兩件 (translation One bowl with two pieces, meaning a cup of tea with two Dim sums) is ordered in Cantonese Restaurants where tea and newspapers are enjoyed before work in the morning. Nobody can imagine sitting on the porch in the South without an iced cold glass of sweet tea in hand. In all cultures, offering the beverage of choice is both an act of congeniality and respect, and in many places it would be down right rude to be excluded from such an invitation.
These drinks sit in cupped hands like a blessing from God, the warmth and cheer offering solace. Most of us start our day with a cuppa…and our beverage is so much a part of our daily routine, that to be without —well, we can’t! One of life’s sweetest pleasures, and definitely one of mine, the tea – coffee experience is a universal one and ties us to the rest of the world, reminding us that we are all one species.
Cuppa Love is a celebration of all things warm, soothing, caffeinated, and brewed that are found in our cuppa love. I hope to explore tea and coffee traditions everywhere, and promise to entice you to slow down, grab a cuppa and a book or newspaper, and enjoy this sweet bliss! From cup cozies to mug rugs, I will have projects and recipes that will enthuse the lover of hot brews and tempt your coffee dunking ways with sweets and ideas.
Please share with me, my journey in the exploration of liquid refreshment and enjoy sereni-tea (the absence of stress while drinking tea).