It’s time for a tea break
Everyone has their little routines for arranging and breaking up their days.
The most interesting ones are those that give you a break from fixating on imminent deadlines, when problems are coming at you ten times every hour and you need to recalibrate a little just to breathe. There must be a moment to reorganize and process information. Counter–intuitively, “taking breaks” has been scientifically proven to actually increase job productivity.
For some, there’s the “Tea Time” point of recalibration in every workday. Once considered a British eccentricity, this mid–afternoon break has been adopted in many countries around the world as the replenishing “half–time” that better ensures a higher scoring “second half” of the workday.
In many parts of the world, “Tea Time” becomes a part of the future worker’s daily routine as a child. Coming home from school to be greeted by a mother who has stopped what she’s doing to make a cup of tea to accompany the child’s recitation of the school–day’s highlights becomes a routine set in stone.
Routines serve an important purpose and the wondrously rejuvenating powers of the tea leaf have come to symbolize the power of honoring routines as daily rituals. However, some countries have come late to tea and failed to understand the intricacies and science of this meditation. This is why it is a near impossible task to get a decent cup of tea from a diner in America.
For those seeking the restorative powers of the daily “tea time” ritual, the following primer in “tea basics” is offered as a beginning point.
The water must be boiling. Maybe ‘hot water’ is good enough for coffee but for tea to brew correctly, the water must be boiling. The water bubbles when you drop a tea bag in it. Yes, use tea bags. Some do prefer to use a teapot but rarely does the second cup taste as good as the first so unless you have company why waste water or tea.
The cup must be preheated before adding the tea and water. Use a cup full of boiling water out of the kettle and leave the heat on underneath the kettle while the cup gets good and hot.
Pour the boiling water directly over the teabag and let steep for at least two full minutes. This part will require some experimentation until you find the strength that is right for you. Any more than five minutes and the tea starts to stew and becomes bitter.
Add milk and/or sugar as desired. Many black, herbal and leaf teas are refreshing without adding either. It is also important to not add milk until the tea is at your desired strength. The milk will immediately lower the temperature of the water and prevent the tea from brewing efficiently.
Wash your cup or mug out as soon as possible after drinking to prevent the tannin in the tea from staining your cups.
Hopefully by this time you can go back to what you were doing refreshed and reinvigorated with all your worldly problems solved or at least now manageable.
- What personal routines or rituals do you have during the day that help you stay organized and sane?
- Do the processes and routines you employ to produce your art transfer over in any practical way to other parts of your life?