Tea is such a mysteriously amazing thing. I’m not quite sure what life would be like without it. There’s never a time when a hot cup of tea can’t make life that little bit better. On days when everything seems to overwhelm, when the air outside is cool and chilly, or when your brain is full of questions and heavy with worries, tea is comforting solace from the mess outside and inside.

Tea calms the nerves. I think an important part of drinking tea is the way in which you drink it. Here, in a culture where people are always busy, with no time for anything or anyone, tea can be that break. You stop and boil water. You watch the dark plumes stain the clear water of the cup in a slow and swirling dance. You sip, cautiously at first, letting the vapours reach your nose.

Tea is a chance to sit, to stop and to gaze outside the window at the much anticipated sunshine pouring onto the cold ground. It’s that break, to catch your breath and smell the roses. Forced to slow down, relax and think about things, the mind has a chance to settle. Sometimes people simply go to fast. They don’t take time to think. There is a girl who has come to the coffee shop downtown a couple times while I have been there. She asks for two tea bags and for the hot water to be mixed with cold. “Perfect guzzling temperature,” she says. This way she can drain the cup quickly without having to wait for the water to cool or the leaves to take their time and seep. To me, that’s a waste – a waste of a good tea and a good time.

Tea is a great facilitator. Often the best conversations are held over a couple cups of tea. If you want to have a good talk with someone, have it over a cup of tea. I wonder if there have been wars that could have been avoided with tea ? decisions made by grumpy politicians who would have thought more clearly with a tea cup in hand. We’ll never know. Tea makes people happy, and happy people are friendly people. Have a cup of tea.