Let’s Talk Over Tea
When I was a senior in high school, most nights my mother and I would drink Celestial Seasonings tea and eat a warmed bran muffin with unsalted raw butter. And we’d talk. Sometimes for 15 minutes. Sometimes an hour.
When I lived in Morocco as a newlywed, newly pregnant, my midwife would check my baby bump and then offer me British tea with biscuits (cookies). The first time, I was alarmed: “Ann, I can’t have tea! The caffeine. I’m pregnant!” She replied: “Julie, do you really think English women give up tea just because they’re pregnant?” And so we sat in her sunny kitchen chatting and sipping, extending the prenatal visit each month by an hour.
My Moroccan neighbors rotated through our subdivision each afternoon at 4:00 pm taking turns pouring mint tea sky high out of silver teapots so we could visit with each other—babies in tow, toddlers and cats underfoot. We sank into plush cushions and visited while drinking yellow sweet mint tea from a glass.
When we moved to a new city and apartment, my British friend Stella hooked up the butane gas bottle to the stove, still displaced in the front hall, and put the kettle on. 9:00 pm. She said, “And now it’s time for tea.” So it was. We paused, feeling accomplished, resting and sipping.
The world over, tea and coffee signal a break and conversation. They create instant intimacy or easy companionship. Tea, for me, is a rite—it let’s me reset the stress dial. Others achieve this result with coffee (or some other beverage of choice).
Consider what might happen if you:
- added tea to the math lesson,
- poured a cup of tea and brought it to a disheartened teen,
- or set up a tea service for two little friends on your back deck.
What about addressing the difficult topic over tea and biscuits? If tea’s not your drink, do a little online search for alternatives. Lots of cultures have versions of hot beverages to try. Try them! Go on a tea/coffee break adventure and create space for sharing.
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!