Had a few appointments today and the wearther turned out much better than forecasted, so I packed a few thermoses of tea and invited my clients to sit in the park while we talked. The more I've been reading about tea ceremony, the more I consider the daily motions I go through.
Just to be clear, I know there's a religious/spiritual element to the traditional tea ceremony and I'm not comparing what I do to that. I'm not even going to attempt to decipher that part of the tea ceremony. But I have read about the great care that goes into choosing not just the tea but the right utensils and so forth.
So my question is: What's my tea ceremony? When I pack my tea for a day's journey, what exactly is involved?
Certainly I think about who I'm meeting. If I know they don't like black teas, then I'll make one thermos of Oolong and another of green. Some people only drink black with a bit of milk. If I don't know the person I'm meeting well, I prepare one thermos with milk and one without. Carrying a few packets of sugar seems to be the easiest solution to that quandary. An additional pair of thermoses with and without sugar seems a bit much, eh?
Many times I make tea in the early morning before I'm fully conscious. Because the process is repeated so many times in a normal day, I find myself coming in and out of a sort of trance state while preheating the pot. I pour that hot water into the thermoses and gather everything else (cups and assorted cookies/biscuits if I have any), while the tea steeps.
It's really a pleasure when we're finally sitting there in the park with fresh tea. Not quite the same as home, but nearly.