Tea making can be an art as in the lovely tradition of a Japanese tea ceremony, where the process of making the tea is important. We have all seemed images of the immaculate and elegant geisha’s preparing the tea in beautiful Japanese Tea gardens and I for one have often imagined what it would be like to attend one. Now I do not think I will be visiting japan anytime soon but I could be in London and attend an event at Urasenke. The UK London branch of this non profit Foundation have as their goal, to introduce and spread knowledge of Chado, The Way of Tea, a Japanese tradition with more than 400 hundred years history. As we have seen other cultures have their own versions of drinking tea and for the English it has been teapots and tea cosies and afternoon tea. In some ways I am sad that this does not continue in most homes, although we do not seem to have the time to do this anymore – maybe we should, maybe slowing down and drinking out well made tea is what is important.
Today you get a tea bag in a mug with water from the tap and lots of sugar!! I went to visit a friend the other day and she makes her own fruit teas, using the peel and core from fruit, especially apple, quince and pear. The peel she often freezes when there is an abundance but prefers to use straight away. The rest of the fruit go into the tastiest cakes and pies. Back to tea -she boils the peel with cinnamon and allspice and some dried green tea leaves ( from the bush). For this she likes to use spring water. Boiling for about 15 mins. This is then strained and poured into a warmed teapot when being served to guests – otherwise she places into a flask to keep with her throughout her day. The rule with this is, if you want a drink of her tea you sit and chat while you do, having her cakes to hand also help with this. In todays world she says you have to stop for something, why not tea?? Why not indeed.