Tea is finally getting the respect it deserves. Essentially it’s now being served in a proper teapot of ample space for seeping and resting – this is even true in France and America, who are not known as tea loving countries. Perhaps this is due, in part, to designer, snazzy painted teapots, rivalling collectors tea sets and the many competitive tea -serving cafes on the streets.
Originally tea was shipped over in ‘clippers’ travelling the perilous seas from far Asia; the delicate leaves were stored in clay pots, to keep them dry, for their western journey. On arrival in cold, damp, chilly England, the pots were brought ashore with great fascination, hot water added and a joyous, soothing drink was born, reformed, improved and blended to perfection over time. My point is this, the Chinese never meant for the pots to become a tool for tea, they were simply its container; they would have taken the leaves out and added them straight to a small cup. But cultural self expression and personal adaptation is a wonderful part of social evolution.
Thankfully the delightful, bulging, friendly teapot is a traditional, worthy favourite at the table.
350 years on, the British have turned to a dried out leaf, grown high on The Eastern plains, added to it some hot water & splash of milk and in the process, after a few sips, put life to rights again. It’s seen them through everything on every scale (even the invasion of the coffee bean & it’s fancy, fashionable Italian variations).
Time for tea and inspiration…!