Thursday, August 12, 2010

Enchanted Tea and Tea Bowls

I've been a coffee drinker for many decades. ( I drink enough to qualify for a Folger's know the one..."The best part of waking up is Folger's in your cup!) However, recently, I have added drinking green tea to my daily routine! Tea time is something I think we all should do for ourselves, regardless if we like tea or coffee!

Green tea is an enchanting botanical with lots and lots of wonderful aspects. Recent medical reports have green tea drinkers of 2 cups..showing a 48% reduction in cancer. It helps fight heart disease, plays a role in lowering cholestrol, plus helps to prevent strokes and diabetes to name a few.

I first started drinking green tea after a trip to Scotland to visit my daughter. While in Glasgow I picked up a couple of packages of Whittard Green Tea. Now Whittard is one of the best loose leaf teas that I have ever tasted. If you are to really enjoy must drink a good quality loose leaf tea. (Some die hard tea drinkers say that what a tea company actually puts in the 'tea' the tea they sweep up off the floor after processing loose leaf tea.....yuck!) So you want to start with a good loose leaf tea. ( Check out Annie's Tea Time for Whittard Tea.)

But here's the thing...I don't care if you drink black, green or white is the ritual...that I feel is most important. I stop what I am doing (weeding, planting...mucking stalls!) around 10am or so and make time for a tea break. (I know, you are thinking...aaahh tea time is suppose to be at 3-4pm. Yes, true...but that's when my husband likes to have I had to come up with my own tea time!)
This involves brewing the water to the correct temperature, warming up a tea pot...and chosing a bone china cup or tea bowl for your sipping pleasure. I think it is the ritual of creating your tea and the time spent sipping... that plays an equal part with the tea in creating good health!

My cup of actually a tea bowl. I have collected soft paste pink lustre china for several years now. My favorite pieces to collect are the handleless cups and sipping saucers. Long ago, in the 19th century tea was served in a tea bowl..and then poured into the sipping saucer. This rather deep saucer allowed the tea to cool rapidly for quicker enjoyment. I prefer to enjoy my tea in a handleless cup or tea bowl. I have several that I use from my collection. I use my 19th century china, because while it is very pretty to admire, it is by far a greater pleasure to wrap my fingers around a beautiful steaming cup of tea.

My first tea bowl was given to me by my mother. It has been in the Scott family since the early 1800s. I love it and it holds a special place in my heart. I have failed to find any of the same pattern. Currently I am very fond of the Dahlia pattern which was very popular in the mid 1800s and still can be found frequently in antique stores.

Slowing down the hectic pace of your life, to brew a correct pot of good loose leaf tea, steeped in a china tea pot, sipped from a beautiful tea bowl while sitting on your porch or deck or in the garden; that my friends is an enchanting country pleasure.

ps Another great thing about handleless tea bowls? They are easy to stack and do not take up as much room as a tea cup with a handle!

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