“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.”
Thank God for tea, that’s all I can say. Gladstone surely hits the nail upon the head when he lists its therapeutic credentials. A drink that refreshes, stimulates, calms, awakens, revitalises, intensifies, sharpens, assuages, encourages and inspires is surely one that should be commended. And how heartening to hear that tea should be cherished as an excellent means to spice up one’s sex life. Tea and sex are surely two of life’s more pleasurable pursuits. Therefore, it only feels right that they make pleasant bedfellows.
My own take on this exquisite beverage is that it is the perfect restorative. Whilst sipping, one can meditate upon what has happened, what is and what’s to be. In a nutshell, tea is very Zen. It doesn’t matter if the day be young or old, the weather shivering or sultry, the prospects dire or delightful, for the cup, once poured, exudes a glory that gladdens the heart, oils the mind and salves the soul. Ben Jonson, once wrote of Shakespeare, that he was ‘a man for all seasons’. I like to think that if he had written a panegyric to tea he would have extolled that it was ‘a drink for all seasons’.
It’s true, there’s nothing quite like it. I confess, I am a shameless tea-drinker, like countless others. A life without tea would be like a life without cheese, desperately sad. Perhaps the final word should go to one of tea’s most famous aficionados, utterly shameless in his appreciation, the inimitable Samuel Johnson:
“Tea’s proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence”