Four Phases of Total Tea Relief
I’m picking up golf again, and it’s a painful uphill battle. Aside from the mental strife I endure having lost my skills, my hands are blistered and my bones feel sore. With three balls left on the mat at the driving range today, all I could think about what getting home to some iced tea. There’s nothing like escaping the midday heat to a cool, refreshing beverage, and there’s nothing that goes together quite like golf and iced tea. Add lemonade to the mix and even Arnold Palmer would agree with you. Add vodka and John Daly would too (but seriously, props on his weight loss and recent sobriety). Through the course of driving home and fantasizing about a large cup of iced Blue Mountain Nilgiri, I began to putt around with wonder about just why I craved it so badly. I began to chip away at the multitude of reasons:
1. THE RITUAL
This is one of the things I’ve always loved about loose leaf tea. Brewing is a ritual. Whether or not you go the full nine yards (warming the appropriate pot, setting a timer, etc.) there is a wonderful calm that comes over me in the process of brewing. Selecting the tea from my cabinet, I enjoy a slight satisfaction at my little collection of teas, pots and infusers. Finding the tea I require, I open it and enjoy it’s fragrance. Ah, Nilgiri. I wonder what it’s like there, if the field smells this way. I feel the rough handle of my little wooden teaspoon, I scoop the tea into my favorite pot and hear the leaves hitting the basket. I hush them with boiling water, hear the clink of the ceramic lid as I place it over the aromatic elixir. With all senses satisfied, the ritual has wiped away the frustration of so many mis-swung irons, and I enter phase 2:
2. THE ANTICIPATION
Like a child wondering how bread becomes toast, I sometimes wonder what’s going on in that basket on the counter. Of course, I know what’s going on–the leaves are unfurling, hydrating, saturating the water with sweetness. Maybe it’s just that I want to be in there with those leaves, soaking the soreness out. Mmmm, tea hot tub. Or hot tea tub. As the second hands click down right to where I want them, I return to the pot to remove the leaves.
3. PRELIMINARY SATISFACTION PHASE
Smell that? That’s the aroma of peacefulness about 30 seconds away from you. It’s coming soon. But first, I must also enjoy the color of the tea–tilt the pot into the light and enjoy how dark the liquid is. It has the saturated appearance of so many good things–maple syrup, mexican glass, amber, the creek at sundown. Ok, I have to have it. Now it’s as simple as pouring this thick tea over a tall glass of ice.
4. TOTAL SATISFACTION PERIOD
Oh, mama. I’m a fairway away right now.
(and sorry about the golf puns)