I am taking quite a bit of time off this week looking after our grandson. He is quite amiable and happy, and it has been quite fun. He is quite good at entertaining himself, so I have had some time to sit and rest. Yesterday I decided to have Ostfriesentee in the afternoon.

I started drinking tea when I lived in Canada. My mother’s family didn’t drink much tea, but my dad’s parents did. I wasn’t surprised when I ran across an article about the importance of tea in Ostfriesland, as that is where my father’s family came from. Ostfriesland is in northwest Germany right across the Ems River from the Netherlands. People there drink 300 liters of tea per person each year.

The favorite tea in Ostfriesland is Assam tea, strong and malty. There is a very precise way to drink it. First, you put sugar lumps called kluntjes in the cup, then pour in the hot tea and try to hear the sugar make a cracking noise. Next, you pour a teaspoon of heavy cream against the inside rim of the cup so the cream makes neat designs in the tea. You don’t stir the tea, but drink it in layers, so that the last drops are sweetened by the rock sugar. I typically don’t have time in the week for such ceremony, and this was fun.

What are some ceremonies you like? How do you take your tea?

31 thoughts on “Tea”

  1. I would love to try that, Renee – did it live up to your expectations?

    I have finally gotten hold of my favorite PG Tips again – it’s from England, and hard to find here, Target used to carry it, but no more… finally found it at the LaCrosse food co-op. I have a cup with me right now, drink it black, or occas. with a little cream. I also like Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast…

    I do enjoy some “ceremonies” – loosely organized things like coffee hour after our UU service, Thinking…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We love PG Tips and they carry it here in our grocery stores. The Ostfriesestee was wonderful. I usually just put lemon in my tea. I can’t stand ice tea, though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a lovely quote by the founder of OBOD, Ross Nichols: “Ritual is poetry in the world of acts.” From my perspective as a contemporary Neopagan, ritual and ceremony are imbued with meaning, intention, and purpose; they are (or should be) crafted to change the participants’ state of consciousness. Sadly, most ritual/ceremony has been stripped out of our culture, and what is left is usually badly executed by people who have no concept of ritual energetics.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. I am not 100% clear on the difference between a ritual and a ceremony–a nearly identical event will be called a ritual among Wiccans and a ceremony among Druids, so the lines are much blurred. However, I personally would call that a ritual. The formal actions concentrate the attention upon the tea and the experience of drinking it, distinct from the everyday act of dropping a teabag into a mug. However, it also seems distinct from the Japanese tea ceremony, in that the Japanese tradition is a full experience–the setting, the handling of the tools, the formal phrases, the seasonal focus–which elevates the drinking of tea to an aesthetic if not a spiritual experience. But as with anything philosophical, YMMV.

          Liked by 3 people

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    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m still thinking about ceremonies…

    I drink Yogi Teas Detox tea with a heaping teaspoon of local raw honey and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I can still just barely taste the tea after the vinegar is added. I had increased it to 1/4 cup of ACV but noticed that I was dreading drinking it, so I went back to two tablespoons. I’m used to it now and I hope it’s doing all the good things for me that it’s supposed to!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Ceremonies: I like those that proceed flawlessly. That’s kind of like why I enjoy stuff done in church, when it’s done well, and feel like walking out when those in charge seem to be making it up as they go along or attempting to be clumsily folksy.

    Tea: The last 15 of my 39 years in Taiwan were spent in proximity to a hot water machine. I could brew tea just for the trouble of walking over to it and pulling on the handle. At one time, I noticed a large amount of tea in the house which was going unconsumed. I moved all that stuff to the office (clearing out space at home) and didn’t allow myself to buy anything new until it was all gone. I admit that I drank some pretty wretched stuff. When that was gone, I bought tea at the grocery store, but being a cheapskate at heart, tended to get the most teabags for the least price. Wretchedness continued. Of late, even without a hot water machine (these are rare in the USA), I drink getter stuff.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have had a hot spot (boiling water out of a tap) for about 25 years and I don’t think I could do without it! Coffee, tea, hot cereal, hot cocoa, noodles…. perfect for just about everything!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I like several black teas, a few green teas, and some herbal ones. I usually don’t use sugar or other sweetener in my tea, but occasionally I’ll use a little honey, depending on the tea. Same goes for milk. Teas that are a stable part of my tea stock include Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and either English or Irish breakfast tea. I like Camomile tea in the evening.

    I also like several tea blends and some flavored teas as well. My English friend, Pete Morton, calls those an abomination. When he’s in town, I buy PG Tips, his go-to tea, for him.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Husband is making a cup of PG Tips as I type. We are at home, and the snow storm has just hit. We.have been to the grocery store for supplies. Grandson has convinced me that banana bread and blueberry muffins should be baked in the next couple of days. Those go pretty well with tea.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Every once in a while a group of people will organize a vigil to honor some event – the latest was this past Sunday at a park in center of town, to commemorate the one year in Ukraine. I think there should at least be some singing at something like this, perhaps Dona Nobis Pacem a round that many people know, at least the main tune. It makes it into a small ceremony, and singing together is one way people can then feel connected.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I was hoping Bill would get a good answer to his question — why I waited this long to weigh in. Ritual vs ceremony… I’m not sure either. For example, I change my sheets every Saturday. Is this a ritual. Doesn’t feel like a ceremony.

    YA and I have a lot of things that we do on a regular basis but again, are they ceremonies?

    Guess I’m stuck on this one so I’ll answer the other. My favorite tea WAS Celestial Seasonings White Pear. They discontinued it years ago. Trader Joe’s does a Pear Ginger that is OK – I should probably check online and see what else is out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Both ceremony and ritual etymologically refer to religious practice. That meaning has expanded to include non-religious events but ones, I think, that take on a quasi-religious tone. In other words they are performed with the sense that they embody a meaning or significance beyond the action itself.

      Changing your bed linens once a week would be a routine. I guess you would have to decide whether that action has any larger spiritual meaning.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. I tease Kelly that she is a tea snob. Filters, thermometers, spoons, timers. I put a bag in hot water and finish my morning routines. At some point I come Back and take the bag out. then add cold water until I can drink it. It’s in a travel Mug so it stays hot for a few hours.

    I like rituals and routines as long as they make sense. There routines that are just for the sake of making busy work and those annoy me.
    But there’s something comforting about a dedicated useful routine.

    Liked by 1 person

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