A lovely cup of hot tea and a good book: Perfection, especially on a cold day as winter moves through our area!
I don’t recommend eating peanut butter and jelly toast while reading. Certainly, don’t try Cheetos and a library book. Please, never eat mashed potatoes and gravy while enjoying your favorite story. But a cup of tea can be managed nicely.
There are so many kinds of teas and ways to enjoy them. I have a cupboard full and I’m always ready to try a flavor that is unfamiliar. If I’m reading something that requires some concentration, I’ll go with either a nettle tea (yes, stinging nettle) or Turkey Tail Astragalus made with the Turkey Tail mushroom and the root of astragalus. It’s thick enough to be a robust coffee but without the caffeine. Just right, for focusing in the evening.
If the day is stressful, chamomile cannot be beaten. It is a weaker tea, but with a longer steep time it is delicious. A lovely cup of green tea after lunch hits the spot to continue a work day.
The library has a few titles with some nummy tea recipes: The Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman, The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing and our newest, Vibrant by Dr. Stacie Stephenson.
The history of tea includes like Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet. One of my favorite stories. I read it many times. It tells of a little girl who tries to harvest tea leaves in her mother’s place when she became sick. She was too tiny to do it, but the monkeys helped. Oops, already told you too much but the story gets even better from there.
Teas are intertwined with communities in many parts of the world. Sharing a cup with family or in a special ceremony is part of tradition and a memory-making event. Tea has had great value throughout history in the social aspect and the economic world. Remember the Boston Tea Party? It was an initial act of defiance by American colonists.
Traditionally, oolong is drunk with someone who you want to share an extended period of time. You steep it for only a minute and then enjoy. Steep the same leaves for a minute and a half, pour the second cup and visit a little more. Again the same leaves are steeped for 2 minutes while visiting with your dear friend.
Kids enjoy tea, too or at least the tea party. There are many children’s books where tea is central to the story. Even a song, remember I’m a Little Teapot? We have a book with that same name by Iza Trapani. While you’re looking for good tea books in the Easy Section, be sure to check out Tea with Grandpa by Barney Saltzberg.
I do believe it’s time for me to fill my cup again.