After my Jack Russell alarm clock wakes me for my early morning walk, I begin my morning with a simple ritual. A ritual done the world over by millions of people.
The women of my family have been performing this sacred ritual for multiple generations. I dare say at the very least five generations, but I suspect more.
The ritual is centered around an elixir capable of sustaining the women of my family through an entire day, if need be, and made more powerful if accompanied by buttered carbs of some sort. Most often in the form of toast. Not just any toast, but I will return to the vehicle for butter and preserves later.
The elixir, my morning fixer, is of course Tea. For me, it is the most perfect drink. Hot or cold. However, I prefer hot.
I once had to go a month without a drop. Know that I do not exaggerate when I say if the dogs did not require my assistance in the morning I would have wished to stay in bed. Without the ritual I had performed since childhood I did not feel my day was set.
To make a perfect cup of tea one must first be present. Not just physically, mentally. Each step is just as important as the final sip. In brief for me it is as follows, fill your loved kettle with cold fresh water. This is more important then many would know. Then of course heat to a boil.
In my family, we have always used many different cups and mugs. It really depends on mood and occasion. All with their own personality and memories attached. But even on the most simple morning, tea for one is set for the eyes as pleasingly as it is for two.
I like to use one of my antique platers, nothing too special but pleasing to me, they are the perfect size. Other tea drinkers will agree with me when I tell you different mugs or cups brew a better tea. The same goes for pots. Some swear by Brown Betty others sterling silver.
If you love tea daily, and, in copious amounts, I recommend a Brown Betty. By the way, I have found a wonderful place to purchase Brown Betty tea pots, among other wonderful delights.www.brownbettyteapot.com
Most mornings I go the simple rout. I try to fool myself into thinking I will have one cup. A buxom cup is placed on the plater along with a little bowl with sugar and a wee pitcher for milk. I must insist on milk. Never cream and you may as well go to coffee if you are going to use some sort of fake creamer.
After the boiled water has wrested for at least three minutes pour into cup to steep for at least another three minutes. If you are like me, and you like it strong then it can steep a bit longer. Now I know other drinkers call this builders tea; and I suppose that is correct but strong women need strong tea to build their day.
All this is easily transported to my desk or kitchen table. Once brewed I savor the first sip take a deep breath and ready my mind for the beautiful and full day ahead.
Oh, the toast! Well to be perfect it must be toasted golden brown and buttered as soon as it is out of the toaster. Timing is everything.
I wonder how many others in North America come from long lines of tea drinkers?