5. There's always time for tea
There’s no denying that the teabag is convenient, and if you’re in a hurry, it’s the perfect way to still enjoy Fortnum’s tea – however there is something truly special in taking time for tea, as the English well know. We are famous for it, after all.
That’s because tea isn’t just a drink. For some it’s a gentle start to the morning or an afternoon pick-me-up, for others, tea is part of their culture, with ceremonies steeped in history. In China, the tea ceremony is a time to relax, encouraging tranquillity, many taking place outside in serene gardens – a vast contrast to the pace of city life. The aim is to savour every moment, however small.In Japan, every aspect of the ceremony is carefully curated. From the selection of ceramics for each guest, to the layout of the space and utensils used. Many ceremonies can last hours, becoming a spiritual process, promoting mindfulness and focus. In India, taking time for tea is equally important. The national drink of India, chai, is sold on almost every street corner, down the narrowest of alleys to the busiest markets and train stations. Served by Chai Wallahs, it is a social drink, where friends gather to catch up over a cup of the good stuff.The next time you pop the kettle on, think about the joy to be found in watching the leaves dance. As your tea leaves unfurl to release its dramatic flavours, take a moment to relax and think of nothing else. There can be great pleasure found in handling your loose tea too, from smelling it before and after brewing to touching the leaves in dry and wet forms. The ritual of taking time for tea can be as elaborate or as simple as you like, whether enjoyed with friends or alone. Step back, switch off and steep.