"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
Taking time to 'take tea' with a dear friend recently was a real treat...
I drink very little caffeine, but there is nothing like a decent cuppa, particularly when enjoyed from a beautiful cup (with matching saucer).
We took our time to savour the sandwiches and, by so doing, had a far richer experience: The smell was more inviting. The taste, I would suggest, was more intense, as flavours and textures were given fuller awareness. Delicate sandwiches (without crusts) proved delicious. Bite sized was just-right sized. The scones melted in our mouths, because we let them.
"If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you."
Watching movies with the same friend from across the pond, my attention was drawn to the magic powers attributed to tea in English films. Tea is a source of comfort, and of calm. Tea is used remedially to cure all ills - at times of shock, loss, and heartache.
Perhaps Bernard-Paul Heroux spoke sense when he said:
"There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea."
Afternoon tea is a ritual for which the British are reknown. Our tea was magical.
"Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future."
Thich Nat Hahn