Tea was always my thing. In the hedonistic tea days of my youth I may well get through ten or more cups a day, fuelled by life perched behind an desk and a team that enjoyed it just as much as I did. But even before that it played a part in my life. I would take excessively milky tea in my Beatrix Potter mug, sitting beside the fire with a colouring in book.
There are many ancient customs and rituals around the world that involve tea; but for me the English ritual is all about the simple act of comfort? We drink tea to make things better, to soothe or to calm us, we look for solutions in the bottom of a mug. We also drink as a social past time and as a bonding activity. We walk into our office kitchens in small packs at preordained times to all stand around a kettle as it boils, discussing the most pressing gossip of the day. We may not have invented, discovered it or even perfected it, but tea will always be a very British past time.
For me the ritual has changed now. I removed diary from my diet a few years back to help with my highly sensitive skin, successfully I might add. There are milk alternatives out there that would certainly mean I could go back to the tea as we all know it but if truth be told, I’ve moved on. Peppermint, hibiscus, green. The options are far and wide. It is most definitely still a ritual however, demanding time and care. Patience and peace.
About a year or so ago I stumbled across JING Tea whilst on a mission for a peppermint tea that wasn’t the expected supermarket issue. To say tea is an art form in the world of JING is quite the understatement. They believe your brew requires care and attention, directions are provided on the best temperature at which to infuse the leaves and precise timings are assisted by the most beautiful little sand timers. It’s the modern day issue of the ancient ritual.
This weekend’s discovery is Silver Needle. A white tea, delicate and fresh in its flavour, it quietly infuses for three minutes. That’s precisely the amount of time required to thumb through to where I last slotted the slightly odd brandy label bookmark I use in my well-worn copy of The Shipping News, tuck my feet under the blanket and prepare for a perfectly quite afternoon.
If you find yourself a believer in the art of tea then I feel it’s only necessary you indulge yourself in the world of JING Tea. I highly recommend the Lemon Verbena for a balmy summer’s evening in the garden, soaking up the final rays of the day. I don’t have that garden as you may have already read, so I pull a chair to a window and play a game of make believe. Because sometimes, life is just like that.