Every relationship begins and ends with a conversation. From a baby’s first words, to a person’s deathbed confession, and including all the exchanges in between the two, we navigate our various relationships based upon the quantity and quality of our conversations. What does all this have to do with tea? Tea creates an atmosphere conducive for having conversations.
Consider the Time
One of the greatest compliments we pay each other is when we decide to spend time together. Time is our most precious commodity; the one that is irreplacable. Like most riches, we tend not to notice how much time we’ve wasted until it’s gone. Then the time remaining takes on an added significance. We determine what and who really matters by the time we allocate. For this reason, it is inconsiderate to waste someone else’s time. It is tragic to spend time on things that really don’t matter and no time with the people who do.
Extend an Invitation
Recently one of my relatives approached me about our carving out a monthly tea appointment. It isn’t that she is a tea connoisseur yet, but this gives us at least 120 minutes every month to check in, to catch up, and to relax over tea. My cousin knows that our having tea together means that she has my undivided attention for at least two hours and that her tea knowledge will increase. How could I refuse an invitation from such a willing pupil? I must say publicly that I am honored and very proud to be her personal tea ambassador. Our tea encounters are seldom dull, sometimes shocking, and always enjoyed. The fact that she took the initiative makes them even more special.
Orchids and Atmosphere – The Pembroke Room at The Lowell
Emerging from the elevator on the second floor, we followed the narrow corridor leading to The Pembroke Room (pictured above). First impressions count: I first saw the profusion of exquisite white orchids welcoming us into the room. As orchids are my favorite, I felt officially welcomed before our host Vernon ushered us to our table. The Lowell Hotel black tea, Ceylon and Darjeeling loose teas blended with jasmine, so pleased my cousin that she both tried and enjoyed it without sugar. When she view the dainty savories, she initially thought that we would leave hungry and prepared to order another plate of tea sandwiches. However, after the full three-course classic tea of sandwiches, scones and sweets, we took a lengthy stroll along Madison Avenue to counterbalance our earlier scone, Devonshire cream and lemon curd intake. That is tea: we savor life one cup at a time. Then we walk — together.