Hello everyone, I AM BACK!!!!!
I greatly apologize for all the hustle and bustle that is going on in my life! October is the month where my friends and I run around like crazy for Halloween, then November was just insane, then December was Christmas (which we hold at my house), then things busy at work, and ACK! But no more fear! I am back 🙂
First and foremost, guess what! We have another Tea Love talk coming up! This one is on Sunday, January 19th, 1:30 PM at the West Milford Township Library, 1490 Union Valley Road, West Milford, New Jersey 07480. As always, we will have a sampling of teas after the talk, so make sure you bring your favorite mug! Registration is required. To register, make sure you email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 973-728-2822, or visit the Adult/Teen Services desk of the library. Hope to see you there!
Second, 2014 is on the road and is coming up fast (ACK! Everything seems to be coming up fast lately!). So, people are breaking out the party poppers, champagne, and noise makers as they anxiously await 2013’s exit and 2014 grand entrance.
But, where can tea play a part in all of this?
Well, why not borrow from the Chinese New Year for ours?
An image of a 10th century tea offering, found in a tomb in Hebei, China. Image from TeaGuardian.com
According to the Tea Guardian, a website whose mission is to promote fine tea as a gourmet habit, an offering of tea is a gesture of respect and gratitude. Therefore, on New Years in China, children would offer to the elders of the family a cup of sweetened tea, made sweeter by candied fruits and vegetables placed at the bottom of the cup (keep in mind, different fruits and vegetables symbolize different things!). This was done with great care, with the handle facing the right of the person receiving the offering and the left of the person offering. The child holds the saucer with both hands as the elder takes the cup by the handle with one hand and the saucer with the other, and sips the tea while listening to child offer well wishes for the upcoming year.
The person offering does not leave empty-handed, though. The elder, after hearing the well wishes, gives the child a red packet and offers wishes in return. At one point, the red packets use to hold the wishes, but now they tend to hold trinkets and monetary gifts.
So, this New Years, after making all the noise, the chatter, the clinks, and the mess, offer your elder a cup of sweetened tea and wish them the best for this sure-to-be-wonderful new year. Start a new tradition that not only celebrates tea, but also celebrates gratitude and the wisdom of years.