Friday, October 23, 2009

Tea - Part 1

How much do I love tea? Let me count the varieties I have in my pantry... At any given time, I think 10 would not be an exaggeration. I compile a mental check list: 5 different types of Chinese tea including the marvellously, light and fragrant treasure my ex-colleague, Johnny carried over from Taipei when he last came for a work trip, my morning wake-me-upper, Earl Grey, Lady Grey with its citrussy twist, a Japanese genmaicha from our favourite Surry Hills Japanese restaurant, the strong Ceylon tea (good with milk) which a lovely fellow tea-lover bestowed on me, the Jasmine-green tea which is the only thing G would drink and a few of those lovely tea balls which bloom into a lovely floral bouquet, as much a treat for the eyes as for the palate - a lovely birthday present which came with its own glass teapot for the visual enjoyment of this spectacular tea. And finally a masala tea which yet another ex-colleague brought home from a work trip to India. I think that makes a dozen.

As I review my mental check list, I realise how tightly friendship is tied in with the tea. Many of these teas have been gifts from friends and colleagues, people who know my love for tea and who have made the effort to remember and carry a little box of tea leaves back for me from their various trips. And with every cup I drink, I drink in more than the warming liquid, I drink in the friendship and affection that come with it.

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