It is really no secret to anybody who knows me that I love tea. I like a bog standard “builder’s brew” to wake me up in the morning (I prefer Yorkshire, but Tetley will do in a pinch) but there are different teas, and different ways of taking it.
Such as drinking gong fu style. This is how I drink Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese teas.
Bhuddist monks use gong fu cha in their meditations, and I can’t say as I blame them. This way of taking tea – and performing the ceremony itself – instils calmness where there was chaos, and peace when the mind is troubled. A gong fu guru even taught me how to get “tea tipsy” (which, believe me, is far more fun than being drunk on booze. Unless you happen to be my husband and have to put up with me giggling uncontrollably at nothing in particular).
Since breaking my hip, gong fu has been on the back burner because I was in no fit state to prepare the tea. If I wanted even a typical builder’s brew (yes, I like my tea as strong as you can make it) I would have to sit on my perching stool to drink it, as I was unable to risk carrying hot drinks into the living room or upstairs while I still had very little balance and needed a grab rail. I still need the grab rail, and I still can’t get in and out of the bath on my own, but as the pain reduces my balance improves. My husband is going to need to bring the tea table, cups, a tea pot and the tea pets up here for me.
Oh yes, tea pets. They are definitely a thing. Mostly used if drinking solo, but I think the majority of people who host tea parties for friends tend to have a cute little pet on the tea board. Their function is to mainly look adorable, but rough clay smoothes out over time as the tea rinse is poured over it; tea pets with a craquelure surface become beautifully marbled. There are even heat reactive pets who momentarily glow gold when tea is poured over them.
Here are my craquelure fish and craquelure deer. The tea is a silver needle variety which I’ve already buried my nose in. It smells amazing! But I have to wait until Sunday before I taste it, as I promised Alex that I would teach her all about the entire gong fu practice.
In case nobody has guessed, I’m trying to get back off the booze now that the pain in my hip is more manageble. My liver will thank me – as will my taste buds!