Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tea at Work

There is something infinitely civilized about having tea at work, especially if one carves out a special time for it each day. For me, it is at lunch when this happens. My repast is often unvaried in its contents; however, the tea selection changes from day to to day, and I never know until the last minute what I will choose to drink. The choice is determined partially by whimsy and largely by other practical matters.

I wind down my morning schedule of seeing patients , make various phone calls, and then settle down for an eagerly awaited small brown bag lunch. This is quickly consumed and then the business of tea selection begins. Will it be a brew with black currant flavored tea today as it will go exceedingly well with a piece of baklava from a nearby Greek diner? Or will I choose the Lung Ching Dragonwell to pair with a ginger cookie, always a dependable standby for my workday tea treat? Sometimes, I just crave the milder, elemental taste of a white tea regardless of the nature of my sugary pairing.

By necessity, the making of the tea is a more abbreviated version of the one at home. The water, poured into a porcelain teapot of burnished orange color, is placed in the microwave and heated for a little over 2 minutes . I then gingerly nestle the teapot in my hands and quickly walk back to my office, often with accompanied looks of amusement from coworkers.

I deposited the tea leaves in a metal infuser which is placed in the pot and pull out the pastry of the day. My tea companion comes when the tea is brewed and I pour the tea into each of our cups. We sip the tea and nibble the sweet with contentment, chatting a bit, savoring a few minutes of calm before the afternoon begins.

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