Thursday, January 8, 2015

National Hot Tea Month

Y'all know I love to celebrate every occasion and since January is National Hot Tea Month, I'll be sippin' hot tea every chance I get.  After the rush of the holidays, I'm ready to relax, organize my stuff, and plan for the new year.

To sit and have a cup of tea is one of the most relaxing things that you can do.  It's not the actual drinking of the tea, but the ritual of boiling the water, preparing the tea, and patiently waiting and anticipating quiet time.  It slows you down from your hectic pace and gives you a chance to take a deep breath and relax.

I do love to visit tearooms when I travel or when I'm at home.  In the past I've been able to locate lots of tearooms on Tea Map and The Tea House Times.  Unfortunately, it seems as though proper tearooms are becoming a thing of the past and that's a shame.  Taking tea in a tearoom is so relaxing and gives us a chance to practice proper etiquette.

If you are taking tea at home, you may serve at the dining table.  This is the correct place setting...The hostess pours the tea for each guest and serves them individually from the right-hand side.  Teacups and saucers are never passed around the table.  After all the guests have been served tea, the hostess serves herself and the tea begins.

If you choose to take your tea at the coffee table, it is called a "Low Tea" and this is the proper setting.  Remember when taking tea at a coffee table, pick up the teacup and saucer together.  The teacup should never be more than 12" away from the saucer.

Yes, there is tea etiquette to be followed.  My favorite books are by one of my favorite etiquette teachers, Ms. Dorothea Johnson.  These books are must-reads for those who take tea for business or pleasure and to teach children about the etiquette rules observed at afternoon tea...from the invitations to the thank-you notes.  You can order these books at my "Miss Janice Recommends" page.

"At tea, as in any other interaction, we are not free to act merely as we please, but we must act with mutual consideration, as befits our independence."  ~Dorothy Johnson

Today it is so cold here in Georgia and I'm only going to leave the house to go to the gym.  Right now I'm enjoying an "Elevenses Tea"...tea with a little treat.  Harney Tea is my absolute favorite and I steeped their "Florence" tea and am nibbling on shortbread while I'm piddling around the house.


Ali said...

Every month is Hot Tea month for me, especially here in England. Earl Grey is my favourite "posh" tea, Twinnings Everyday and Yorkshire for day to day sipping. All I need now is some pretty china and a tea tray rather than the big ol' "builder's mug" I use.

Ali x

Miss Janice said...

Change that builder's mug for a sweet teacup! :)