Drinking tea helps keep the creative juices flowing.
Many things have changed in our world in 2020. One of them is the ability to work remotely at cafes, coffee shops, and tea shops. Sitting for hours with my laptop, writing and creating digital art with endless cups of tea has only been a reality at my home, since March. I miss escaping to different locations to work, eliminating the distractions at home.
Since tea helps to fuel my creative juices and having someone else do the brewing and steeping allows me more time to write, I’ve missed this pleasure. As time goes on, restaurants and coffee/tea shops have been expanding their businesses out into the streets. They are setting up serene places on concrete patios and parking lots with outdoor rugs, planters, and umbrellas, providing shade.
Creating more outdoor spaces to sit in nature with food and beverages is a dream come true for me. I wouldn’t wish for a pandemic to bring on this delightful change, however. I’m fairly content to sit out in the elements no matter the weather, as long as my Macbook doesn’t get wet. So, bring on the patio dining and let us get back out into the world, safely, breathing in fresh air!
Finding these new outdoor spaces can be challenging. Not all companies have been keeping their websites current and up to date with pandemic safety measures and changes in seating arrangements. If the website discusses post-COVID changes, you can likely count on the information being current and up-to-date. It’s always a good idea to call, just to be on the safe side. Sadly, many shops have gone out of business in the last six months, while some remain temporarily closed.
Frequenting venues that serve tea helps to keep them in business. When I travel, I always seek out places for tea. I don’t want to have only a couple of choices of a teabags floating in hot water in a styrofoam cup. I will walk away, every time. Places serving loose-leaf tea, custom blends, steaming milk, and offering honey are among my requirements for an enjoyable place to sit with tea. If your local coffee shop doesn’t serve the tea varieties that you want, talk to them about it. Don’t be a Karen, asking to speak to the manager with a complaint! Instead, casually mention what you have discovered on your travels and what you would love to see in your community.
If you are unable to find places to go in your hometown to work while drinking a delicious cup of tea, create your own tea haven.
If you haven’t noticed yet, people are remodeling and creating more beautiful and relaxing spaces in their homes and gardens since the pandemic. It makes sense to put more effort into your home when you spend the majority of your time there. Step into any hardware store or Target and you’ll quickly discover a shortage of home décor and supplies. Join the world in adding more beauty to your home, inside and out, this fall.
Start with one room.
Where do you virtually work, read, relax, or create in your home? Start there. Take a section of a room and create a cozy nook for yourself or your family members. Adding a new rug and a throw pillow may be all you need to freshen up your space, making it more inviting for you to sit.
Add a small table or a tray next to that inviting chair to hold your tea.
While you may not have anyone to brew, steep, and serve you tea, you likely have a kitchen nearby to do it yourself. Plan ahead and put the kettle on before sitting down. Browse through your selection of teas to pick the one that speaks to you that day. Work with what you have and build up your collection of fine teas to treat yourself anytime you desire.
I never want to stop at one cup of tea. If you are like me, think ahead and prepare enough tea for a few hours. Whether you are steaming milk, adding syrups, or drinking plain tea, pour your prepared tea to a china teapot or a stainless-steel mug. I travel everywhere with my Klean Kanteen, as it keeps my tea hot for hours. I use two of these at home. I use one for steeping for the allotted 2-5 minutes (for green and black teas) and 10-30 minutes (for herbal teas and Yerba Mate blends). When the tea has steeped for a magical number of minutes, guaranteeing a non-bitter brew, I strain into the other mug to hold my tea tight.
I have a collection of beautiful teacups and ceramic mugs to hold my tea. I choose one for the day, or it chooses me, and we walk over to my chair or the porch to begin my next creative endeavor. Keeping the tall, sealed mug of tea next to me, gives me the sensation of being out. I am my barista.
Collect fine teas.
As you develop your tea rituals at home, you may find your stash lacking the variety of teas that you crave. I like to support local tea shops and often bring tea home from my travels. Sometimes I forget and find myself daydreaming of the tea I had in Santa Cruz or Boston. That’s when I contact the company and have them shipped to me.
Carry enough selections of tea in your home sanctuary to offer your guests and family members. Herbal teas without caffeine will satisfy most people who visit you. Decaf tea can help with your health goals too. Green tea has a light and refreshing flavor with a smaller amount of caffeine. While black tea blends deliver the most amount of caffeine of all teas. We have discussed creating your tea blends in past articles. Stocking up on plain tea and tea blends will allow you more room to experiment as you discover your favorites. Custom tea blends make excellent gifts, also!
Try two delicious herbal tea blends from You, Me, and Uni, hand-crafted by master herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht. Both of these teas can be steeped for over thirty minutes to add more flavor and medicinal benefits. They are delicious hot or cold, with honey, sugar in the raw, flavored syrups, or plain. Purchase Meditative State of Mind or Know Your Gut, Trust Your Gut for two amazing tea blends already prepared for your benefit!
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor, and the owner of Walden Writes For Women.