Tea Time

I woke Wednesday morning to a winter wonderland. Trees that laid bare the night before were frosted with clumps of snow that were wafting to the Earth in the breeze. It was beautiful. And cold. Mornings like that leave me slowly moving into the day's routine and, after lunch, the desire to just curl up with a blanket and nap becomes strong. I usually fight off this urge with a cup of coffee or tea and a little snack.

This time around, I chose a nice black tea I'd picked up from Trader Joe's. It was a simple tea that was infused with cinnamon and vanilla. It smelled like a bakery and the steam from the cup helped break the chill that kept coming back every time I looked out the window. I like fixing teas with such a sweetness to them with a little honey -- maybe less than a half teaspoon -- and a splash of cream. It's almost a dessert drink for me by the time I'm done.

I started drinking tea when I was young, although most of it was herbal tea and, therefore, not really tea at all. But it wasn't until I went to college that I really began exploring tea in earnest. I got all the basics down: black, green, white and even red (again, not really tea, but oh-so-delicious). I started drinking it with more than just honey or sugar in it. I learned how certain teas really benefited from a splash of cream. I began pairing a cup of tea with a couple small cookies, a handful of spiced nuts, a bit of fruit, a small sandwich or any number of snackable things. I guess I learned to appreciate the art of tea time.

I don't partake of tea time every day. There are even weeks in which I don't have tea at all. However, more often than not, I usually opt for a little time for tea two or three times a week. I take a break from my day and just spend a little time with myself. I think about what might be nice with tea another day, what needs to be done before the week is up, or which book I've been reading of late. Then, when my cup is empty, I take care of my dishes and continue on with my day. My little slice of tea time is done and it's time to get back to the work routine. But I think I'm a bit better for having taken the break.

How about you? Do you have any rituals of this sort? How do you claim a little slice of time for yourself?

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