Sunday, February 28, 2016

An Ode to Tea

"No coffee, thank you, for me -- never take coffee.  A little tea, if you please."
-Miss Bates, Emma

Okay, I kind of lied. This post is not going to be an Ode.  In order for an Ode to be happening, there has to be some sort of poetry going on, and poetry and I Do Not Mix.  So this is a Prose to Tea, except that that sounds really weird in a post title, and I like to display some semblance of sanity for the rare occasions when my mother reads my blog.  (Recent quote from her: "You still write a blog?!?!" Okay, so make that "nonexistent occasions.")

But I digress before I even begin.

O Tea, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways, in a rambling and out-of-order form numbered only because I just used the phrase "count the ways" and not because I am actually ranking The Ways in any hierarchy of importance.

1.  Thou art warm and comforting for any foul mood or stormy weather. Or when one is under the weather. That too.

2. Thou art beautiful to behold and come in a great variety of pretty colors, unlike thy ugly brother Coffee, who is one color without cream and one color with, and, by extension, incredibly boring.

3.  Thou hast been proven over centuries to be the fuel of creativity, and thy praises sung by many great people, including Jane Austen, so there.  (Tea is apparently drunk at least 58 times by various characters throughout her novels.)

4. Thou art generally affordable and though some of thy varieties may be in a pricey range, for the most part one can get a good bang for one's buck (i.e. 20 cups of tea can be made from the standard box of teabags, which is generally available for under $5 in the U.S., even if you're buying something of good quality like Twinings, and since that's the average price of a kiddie cup at Starbucks... it's a pretty good deal).

5. Thou canst be served in lovely and delicate teacups, which are pleasing to the sight and beautiful in the eye of the beholder, and also collectible.  (I currently have 17 in my bedroom alone, plus two mugs, one of which is decorative and one of which perpetually sits on my bedside table because I always forget to take it back down to the kitchen when it is empty.)

6.  Thou art naturally free of calories, and that is a beautiful thing.  Doctoring thee up with sugar and cream is the business of those who drink thee, and on their own heads be it if they decide to add to thee-- but on thine own thou art not a Guilty Pleasure and for that we salute thee.

7.  Thou smellest SO GOOD.  (And smellest is... not a word?) And thy fragrances are many and varied, and linger pleasingly in a manner much unlike old coffee, whose aroma becomes unwelcome with great haste after it has been consumed. (No, this post is not solely for the purpose of dissing coffee. :P)

8.  Thou art such a companionable sort of treat to Share with a Friend.

9.  Thou art easy to make-- seriously, all one needs is a stove, a kettle, water, and a teabag.  Thou shalt not be sullied with water that has been microwaved, but everyone knows THAT. ;)

10.  When thou art paired with a good book, truer happiness cannot be found, unless of course there is chocolate too.


Meredith said...

Awww, I like this! Unfortunately tea flavors can be kind of hit and miss for me, but the ones I like I *really* like. :)

Tea just has such a cosy, bookish, nerdy feel. I love it. :D

Oh,and what's your favorite kind?

Lois Johnson said...

Amen! ;)

Naomi Bennet said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this!!! :-) You are excellent, and SO IS TEA - I AGREE. (Okay, I don't think I love it QUIIITE as much as you do (or should I say 'thou doest'?) but Tea is amazing. :-D) (Specially mint tea.)

Great post. Your wit = one of my favourite things.

~ Naomi

Anonymous said...

Haha, brilliant post! I lov(est?) tea too. Number ten is the best, I think. Books and tea are a magical combination. :D

Abby P said...

How utterly delightful! I heartily agree with you! Thank goodness that tea has no calories! Heh, I usually microwave my water. :+P Lazy American, I am! And ah, yes, tea (and chocolate) and tea: a purely lovely experience!

jessica prescott said...

This is fun :-) That Winnie-the-Pooh quote is the best.

I don't really like the way tea tastes, but I LOVE the way it smells. (Much better than coffee--I agree with you.)

Rosie McCann said...

Sweet! :)

Natalie Monk said...

What a smashingly delicious post! Thank you so much for posting(and for including Mr. Hiddleston)!

Elsabet said...

Ah yes. Well, I do like tea (if the word is loosely applied, meaning a tisane made from home-gown herbs and flowers with a good shot of lemon, rather than the Chinese herb commonly known as "tea").

But honestly, coffee is my one true love. Who says it is blah, and boring and has no flavor? Allow me to say that you have not had my homemade coffee-cocoa. It is flavored with pure vanilla extract, and dark cocoa, with a hint of sugar, lots of cream, cinnamon and coffee. Let me tell you, it is heaven itself.

Also, my sister makes coffee/molasses cookies that are to die for.

But I do agree that tea-time sounds more romantic than coffee-time, and I observe tea-time religiously(ish).

And while I agree that tea cups are definitely adorable, my grandma has the prettiest coffee mugs ever, an I usually get a mug for my birthday every year, because my mum insists we have pretty things to eat and drink out of.

All defensiveness aside though, I really, really liked this post. (We got two in one month! 😁 Yay!)

The Author said...

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."
~CS Lewis

Dominique said...

Oh yes, I approve! Tea is the loveliest, most comforting thing. I wholeheartedly agree with your celebration of its variety...I mean, what's more fun than trying a new kind of tea? This is certainly an ode well spent. :)

Natalie said...

THIS POST. Hahaha, this is perfect. I love it. I love your "thee's" and "thou's" and "thy ugly brother Coffee"....I smiled while reading all of this.
There truly is nothing like a cup of tea with a good book. :)

Anonymous said...

I smiled to myself and giggled when I read this.
And I don't even like tea. ;)
~Miss Meg

Birdie said...

What a lovely post! Makes me want to put the kettle on, hehe!

Jessica said...

I, too, love tea cups! They are simply divine. And tea pots, for that matter...
I do add milk and sweetener. That is my husband's fault. He taught me his way of drinking tea when we first met and I've never looked back. ;-)
Oh, and if you have an electric kettle, you don't even need the stove. hehe

Abby P said...

Hello Miss Dashwood! I've tagged you on my blog:
I hope you don't mind! You don't have to answer if you don't want to, of course.
Have a lovely day!

Jessica Cangiano said...

Splendidly lovely post. The beautiful illustration at the top that launched this post was so pretty, I had to pin it instantly. Thank you for sharing this charming ode to the pleasures and subsistence of tea with us, dear gal.

♥ Jessica

Laurabeth Landis said...

Have you considered making an ode to hot chocolate?