Alice ushered Shelley into her kitchen.
“If you’d like to make some tea while you’re visiting, the tea leaves are here,” she said, opening a cupboard door.
“Tea leaves?” Shelley quipped.
“They’re in the canisters. The teapot and kettle are over there.” Alice pointed to them and continued, “I prefer one scoop per cup and one for the pot. Don’t you? And here, use this silver tea strainer.”
“You’re joshing me. All this fuss for one cup?
“Back home, I just throw a bag in a mug, add water and microwave until it’s hot.
Alice was speechless.
I wrote this as a fun piece in response to Charli Mills’ October 3, 2022 Flash Fiction Challenge to write a story (99 words, no more, no less) about a ritual involving tea.
Tea is personal. The type of tea we like and how we prepare it is a personal. Tea Sommeliers, for example, prefer brewing whole leaves in a tea pot. For them, this process results in teas with the fullest depth of flavour. And until the early 20th century, that is how tea was prepared. The arrival of tea bags provided the consumers a popular alternative. Use of bags prevented any tea leaves from escaping the pot and floating in the cup; clean up was simpler. Added to bags, we now have sachets, filters, and infusers, each with their own merits and resultant taste experience.
Hubby and I have prepared teas various ways and we’re currently settled on the use of good quality tea bags and sachets for their convenience. 3pm is Afternoon Tea time in our house, plus or minus half an hour either way. Hubby goes into the kitchen and calls out, “Want some tea?” Of course, I do. He puts the kettle on and so begins a wonderful hour, made special in that we spend it together, sipping tea.