"Cup of tea?", my dear friend asks. "I'd love one!", I respond.
A twinge of embarrassment sweeps gently over her face. She reaches to her top cupboard above the kettle and touches a flimsy yellow cardboard box filled with tea bags.
A quick glance towards me is followed by a sweet smile and an apology. "I'm sorry, I only have regular tea bags".
I am both touched and filled with compassion by her words.
Touched there is awareness of a different, beautiful tea I nurture and sell every day. Compassion for a friend that wants to show kindness but feels she may not be measuring up.
I lavish a heartfelt assurance that the mere act of brewing me a cup of tea is sending delight to the innermost parts of my tea touched soul.
Right now, my dear friend is making me a nice cup of tea.
I treasure these moments she is sharing with me.
This is what is important.
GOOD ETIQUETTE AND A NICE CUP OF TEA
Like good etiquette, making a nice cup of tea goes so much deeper than the superficiality of merely taking the "correct" steps and actions or choosing a good leaf.
You can hold your fork in the correct hand, or use the right temperature to brew tea. However, if there is no kindness, warmth, and generosity communicated in your actions, even the best of tea will leave a bitter aftertaste.
And just like good etiquette, making a nice cup of tea reaches its highest elevation when your desire to show kindness, warmth, and generosity is expressed through some thoughtful steps and actions you take.
This is why I am delighted to share three of my favourite pointers for making a nice cup of tea for a friend. Your heartfelt gesture will surely bring a ray of sunshine into their day.
Three Ways to Make a Cup of Tea Nice for a Friend
1. Use Your Best Teaware
Is your best teaware is hidden at the back of a locked cabinet? Do you often neglect to unlock and enjoy the delights that surround you?
Life is short. Move your best teaware to front row position. Then the most natural thing in the world will be to take a beautiful thing for you and a friend to share.
Your friend will be delighted and your tea will taste better for it.
2. A WARM CUP HAS A WARM HEART
Have you noticed the smallest of gestures are often the most powerful?
A warm teacup not only ensures even brewing temperature, which will result in a better brew...
The act of pouring a small amount of boiling water into a cup and swishing it gently in a circular motion before serving tea expresses generosity. This step is so often missed and will surely be noticed when you take the time to do this for your friend.
Do you feel secure when surrounded by the familiar? Does change cause you discomfort?
When your friend is in your home, you can create a space of warmth by offering something familiar, while expressing care and generosity by elevating the familiar to exceptional.
That is why I recommend offering a beautiful, traditional black tea (my preference is Tielka Breakfast) and a divine herbal. Your friend may have a caffeine sensitivity and should not be relegated to a second class citizen by offering a cheap herbal tea you bought in 2005. My herbal of choice is Limonada Rosa.
HOW TO ACCEPT A (BADLY MADE) CUP OF TEA FROM A FRIEND
Contrary to the popular meme at the beginning of this post, your best response to a badly made cup of tea is one filled with grace and gratitude.
Each person expresses kindness in a different fashion and it would be most ungenerous to respond poorly to their gesture of making a cup of tea, even if it is badly made.
Consider the precious time you have together. Without a cup of tea in hand, however badly made, you may not have had this moment to treasure.