My favorite comedian, Louis CK, has this bit about the little vacations parents take. An example he points out is the time between strapping the kids into their car seats and walking around the car to get into the driver’s seat. I know about this vacation because I take it everyday, sometimes several times a day. It’s roughly 3-4 seconds – I can stretch it out to 5 or 6 seconds if I look at the sky as if just noticing it. Whatever it is, I make the most of it. I take a breath and pretend I’m meditating on a beach and only moments away from a cocktail. I then get in the driver’s seat and the vacation is over.
And these vacations are priceless, aren’t they? My favorite daily vacation though, is a cup of tea. You know I love tea. I was born in India; tea is part of my genetic makeup.
I’ve been drinking tea since I was 10 years old and didn’t view it as a vacation until a few years ago. I was quickly reading a series of books by Alexander McCall Smith about a woman who starts a detective agency in Botswana called The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which is also the title of the first book. All of the books have a comforting quality as lead detective and business owner Precious Ramotswe winds her way through each mystery, using her top-notch instincts and common sense. It’s no “Law & Order” or “CSI” but each case weighs heavily on her. And when the day becomes too much or she just needs to sit down and take a break, what does she do? She has a cup of red bush tea.
And she doesn’t just go to the coffee/tea machine in her office and press a button. No. Her able secretary Grace Makutsi with great ritual brews the tea, which the two women sit and drink in peace. And this is what I get from my cup of tea. There’s the taste, of course, but there also is peacefulness that only tea provides.
|The set-up: Tea, small blue tea pot, tea cup, and (of course) linen napkin and |
a small vase of flowers.
Two years ago, I invested in a small brew pot from Capital Teas (although you can get it anywhere, including Amazon) and have started venturing outside strong black teas to more aromatic and some therapeutic teas. Although, some tea fanatics may argue that all teas are therapeutic.
My friend Lucy gave me a bag of jasmine flower tea and a red and gold Japanese tea tin. It’s one of those things that is too beautiful to touch or use. The jasmine flowering tea is so enjoyable and calm-inducing that it may become a staple in my tea cabinet.
If you’re not familiar with flowering teas, they are gorgeous. And talk about a vacation: you must wait for the tea to flower before drinking, and even then a few minutes to brew. And while you wait, the scent of jasmine makes its way to your brain and it’s just lovely.
I use 10 – 12 jasmine flowers for a small pot (makes about two cups). Then, I fill the pot with hot water (175 degrees for green teas) and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. And then, vacation. I sip, savor. It’s a perfect vacation in the middle of the day, especially a busy one.
|Don't forget the flowers. It adds that extra touch of, "I'm on vacation."|