By Becky T. Lane
When my son was very young, he tried to tell us that it was “a tad nippy”, but came out with those words above instead, causing my husband and I to convulse with laughter. Of course, we’ve been using his special phrase ever since. Considering how it felt when I wandered out just now, to snap a picture of my frosty little truck, I’d say it’s most appropriate.
I strayed into Soda Land this summer, when it was so very hot and I had so much of the stuff left over from a family reunion, but now that the weather has turned “nipply”, I have fallen back in love with the perfect cup of tea. Even more so since being reminded recently, of how much difference time and intention can make.
My two favorite teas are Republic of Tea’s cranberry blood orange and apricot decaf. Only problem is, they’re dang expensive! Around $13 for a can of 50 teabags. Needless to say, I don’t buy them often, and I spend a lot of time trying to convince myself that the grocery store varieties are perfectly fine.
A couple of weeks ago I got a call from my daughter. “Mom, you’re not gonna believe this! Guess what I just found?” From the tremor in her voice, I was guessing a bag full of cash? The man of your dreams? But no, it was something even better. Turns out, Central Market sells our favorite R.o.T. flavors, in bulk, for half of what I pay for those cans! When she delivered my booty the other day, I put the kettle on to boil, which I haven’t done in a while. Ever since hubby came home wagging one of those Keurig coffee makers (though neither of us even drinks coffee) I’ve just been using it to heat my water. Then I added a teaspoon of the loose tea leaves to my little ingenuiTEA brewer, poured the boiling water over them, and let them steep for two or three minutes. The most amazing fragrance began wafting its way through our kitchen.
When we carried our cups into the living room, I noticed that we both just sat there for a moment, eyes closed, cups held close to our faces, taking slow, deep breaths. When we finally got around to taking our first sip, our eyes popped wide open, and almost in unison we cried “Oh. My. Word! This is the best cup of tea I’ve ever tasted!” How can using loose tea instead of bags make this much difference? Well, I have no idea. All I can tell you is, it does. I guess this is what Slow Food is all about, huh?
Becky Lane has spent most of her life figuring out what it means to be “living the good life.” She and her husband now live on four acres in the Texas Hill Country, in a house called “Seasonality.” She chronicles their transition from big-city-suburbanites to slow-life-practitioners on her blog of the same name.