April 21st: National Tea Day

“Would you like an adventure now or shall we have tea first?” – Lewis Carroll

Although this is a day originating in the UK and is mostly celebrated by the British, I think Tea Day is worth being implemented in every tea lover’s calendar. Especially in the current situation of social distancing and isolation, it is important to take the one or the other hour and make it special. Having a spectacular tea time might just be the thing to do! Of course, a cosy fifteen minutes tea break could also do the trick, in the end, it’s all especially about the joy of the moment.

The British also developed many different kinds of “tea times” and celebrations. There is, for example, high tea which is set at a dinner table between 5 and 6 pm. Also, there is low tea which takes place a little earlier in the afternoon and instead of sitting around a dinner table, comfy armchairs and low coffee tables are used, hence the name. Moreover, there seem to be endless options of food to serve with your tea: from tiny cucumber sandwiches and scones to actual meals, there is an inexhaustible number of suggestions and recipes. So, it’s definitely fun to browse through the internet reading about the different etiquettes and customs.

In Germany, we do have similar rituals; they are, however, mostly located in the north. I, myself, love a long afternoon tea and use my very own fancy tea set consisting of little cups, saucers, a sugar and a cream pot, and the teapot. While in the UK, black tea is mostly drunk with milk, in the north of Germany, cream is used. And it’s tradition to pour it in, preferably with a special cream spoon, counterclockwise – to slow down time, which I find incredibly cute! Of course, tea is also an often-used prop in literature and other media. Apart from the mad hatters in Wonderland, which probably first come to mind, the hobbits also love their tea. In the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher Robin and his friends have a fabulous time at their tea parties. Since the beloved beverage experienced a great boom in the Romantic and Victorian era, it is only natural that the Bennet sisters have the one or the other cup, and in The Importance of Being Earnest, they have long conversations about tea and cake and even about cucumber sandwiches. In A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent needs his tea even when exploring space, just like the beloved Enterprise captain Jean-Luke Picard, and even if the answer to everything is 42, tea might sometimes be an even better one.

“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, tea will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.” – William Ewart Gladstone

So, whatever tea you fancy the most and however you like to drink it, take a cup and some time to do nothing but enjoy! And then have some more.