Home is Where the Tea Is!

By Lori Bricker, MS, RD

Recent events have reminded me how important tea is to my daily routine and overall well-being.  My brother just moved in with me temporarily while he's in a transitional period.  Having someone new around is not something I get to experience very often.  It's interesting to see what other people must have to get by.  He has a whole collection of things that are completely foreign to me that he needs every day.

I couldn't help but think what I would bring with me if the situation were reversed and I was moving in with my brother.  At the top of the list would be tea, a favorite teapot, a kettle, a tea cozy, and my gram scale.  I really need those things.  They are such a part of my daily routine that I would be quite lost without them.  My brother doesn't drink tea or coffee.  Apart from waking up, his morning routine does not resemble my own in any way, shape, or form.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  It obviously works fine for him.  But if I had to skip my tea in the morning, every morning, it would be dreadful for everyone concerned!  Even when I used to work as a dietitian at a hospital and had to be at work by 7:30 AM after a commute of 50 minutes, I still made tea in the morning and took it with me.  Then I had more at work.  It just had to happen.

Tea has been a very good habit for me to get into.  Apart from the health benefits I'm always on about, simply that routine — boiling water, measuring the tea, preparing the pot, waiting for it to brew — is somehow very comforting.  It makes me feel at home no matter where I am. 

I noticed this a couple of times over the past few years because I have moved a lot.  The last thing I pack and the first thing I unpack are my tea things.  I get that set up first in my new home.  Where will the kettle go?  Where can I keep the teacups and tea, etc.?  I feel right once I get that little part of my life organized.  The first morning in a new home is a bit disorienting, but if I can sit down with my favorite tea and have a properly brewed pot, then I'm good to go.

All this must be why the British immediately put the kettle on when there's a crisis.  It works.  You feel better.  For me, it's my favorite way to start the day.

I'm sure many of you have experienced the same thing.  Care to share your tea routines?