Sometimes I think I’d like to stop drinking coffee. I picture a different, more serene me calmly reflecting on the day over a light brew of tea, very zen in the simplest understanding of that state.
I equate coffee with work and getting things done now, while tea is about reflection before work or relaxing after. I’d probably be a better lover if I drank more tea.
If I, the boiling water,
And you, the tea;
Then your fragrance
Has to depend solely upon my plainness.
In our garden, we’ve planted a tea bush from Sochi, Russia. In only its third year, we’ve yet to harvest. If we pick in the Chinese fashion, we’ll likely be able to brew three or four pots of thé de maison and that leaves a lot of cold winter without tea. I’ve planted lots of herbs in the garden, but truth is most of them do what they do without us actually using them. I’ve dried a bit of oregono, frozen some basil in pesto, made a simple syrup of rosemary or rose geranium for cocktails. Last year, we grew some chamomile, this year I actually got around to harvesting it.
Tisane is the fancy word for herb tea… or any drink we’d call tea that doesn’t actually contain leaves from the Camelia sinensis. At its simplest, all it entails is steeping a handful of herbs found in the garden in hot water, but the industrious gardener, in even a small plot, can stay busy harvesting herbs and drying them for tea through the winter. This is something I aspire to, not that I’ve actually done.
I enjoy reading about tea at Gongfu Girl and have become enough of a snob about it to feel that sending my husband to the Imperial Tea Court to get white or yellow tea while he’s in the Bay Area is appropriate.