January Is Hot Tea Month

The month of January in the United States and Canada is Hot Tea Month. Often the weather in January can be frigidly cold, numbingly damp, and just plain miserable. The terrible weather outside can be the catalyst for steeping a hot cup of tea. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, behind water. It is a beverage that has been around for approximately five thousand years. Time honored legends and myths credit Chinese Emperor Shen Nung for discovering tea in 2737 BC. Numerous writings have existed regarding tea from that day forward. This blog is dedicated to hot tea with a collection of thoughts regarding hot tea.


Famous Quotes

China’s “Father of Tea”, Lu Yu, a scholar during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) established rituals for steeping tea. He claimed tea’s “liquor is like the sweetest dew of Heaven.” (1)


Sen no Rikyu (1521-1591) was a Japanese monk who codified the elaborate tea ceremony called Chanoyu. One of his maxim’s for Chanoyu was “in winter, evoke warmth.” (2)


“If asked the nature of Chanoyu,
Say it’s the sound
Of windblown pines in a painting.”
-Sen no Sotan, Sen no Rikyu’s grandson (1578 - 1658), (3)


“Sitting at night in a mountain pavilion, drawing spring water to boil tea
As the water and fire battle it out, the scent of the pine billows through the trees as I pour a cup, bathed in light from the clouds. The profound pleasure of this moment is hard to convey in words to those of common tastes.”
-Ming Dynasty Literati (4)


“Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round;
And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.”
-William Cowper (1731-1800)


“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
-William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898)


“The spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort,
and refinement.”
-Arthur Gray, The Little Tea Book, 1903


Modern Musings on Hot Tea - 2021

"Hot tea reminds me of bedtime and falling asleep.” - Joe, retired sales.


“Hot tea reminds me of relaxation.” - Paddy, artist.


“I think of Earl Grey tea, and a warm, cozy feeling when I think of hot tea. Having a cup of hot tea is always very nice.” - Elizabeth, assistant wedding planner.


“Hot water combined with any kind of tea leaf makes a cup of hot tea.” - Connor, chemist.


“When I feel weary and especially tired physically or mentally, I prepare a cup of hot tea. For me it is rejuvenation with some honey and thin crackers. My numerous English ancestors were always ready for a cup of tea; green or black tea.” - Donna, pianist.


“Hot tea is synonymous with wintertime.” - Julia, caregiver.


“Hot tea for me is comfort, solace, and fellowship.” - Kay, office manager.


“Hot tea helps me fall asleep.” - Patrick, chef.


“Warmth, comfort, and relaxation are all in a cup of hot tea.” - Lynn, accountant.


“Hot tea soothes my throat, and warms my hands. It reminds me of the smell of lemons, and cinnamon.“ - Steve, engineer.


“A hot cup of tea makes me feel cozy on a cold day.” - Suzie, legal assistant.


“I remember growing up having a cup of Earl Grey tea with my mother and talking about the birds and squirrels that visited the feeders hanging outside the window. A comforting blend, out of a china cup, for comforting conversation. Earl Grey tea and conversations with my mom are some of my favorite tea time memories. I also remember drinking hot tea during my teenage years, out of a styrofoam cup at church. I added cream and sugar and lost the essence of the tea flavor, but retained the emotional impact tea gave me as I tried to be older than I was.” - Mark, technical writer.


“I drink hot tea everyday. I love the taste, the smell, and the warmth of hot tea. For me, hot tea equals relaxation, and feeling content.” - Melody, PhD candidate.


“Most of the time I think of hot tea as more of a comfort drink. It is my go to drink if I am not feeling well. I think of hot tea as a way to relax and de-stress. It also reminds me of friendship.” - Amy, teacher.


“I think of fancy dinners, china cups, and teapots when I think of hot tea.” - Alexander, finance.


“To start my day off right, I drink tea. I drink black or decaffeinated tea anytime. I also think of warmth and comfort straight from the tea kettle when I think of hot tea.” - Zanne, RN.


“Hot tea means sitting down with a friend having tea and biscuits.”  Shelly, quilter.


“Hot tea is comfort, centering, peaceful, and serene.” - Leslie, tea blog writer.

 

Happy Hot Tea Month,
Leslie


References

  1. Heiss, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss. The Story Of Tea: A Cultural History And Drinking Guide . Ten Speed Press, 2007.
  2. Americi, Hugo and Desharnais, Jasmin and Gascoyne, Kevin and Marchand, Francois and The Camellia Sinensis Tea House. Tea History Terroirs Varieties . Firefly Books, 2011.
  3. Heiss, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss. The Story Of Tea: A Cultural History And Drinking Guide . Ten Speed Press, 2007.
  4. Heiss, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss. The Story Of Tea: A Cultural History And Drinking Guide . Ten Speed Press, 2007.

About the Author

Leslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Level IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea.  No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!

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