I don’t remember when or how did my first cup of tea happen. I suppose that it was black, heavily sweetened for a child to enjoy, poured from one cup to another to lose the heat. That was a beginning of a lifelong friendship.
But what I do remember from childhood is that teatime was always fun. Teatime meant gathering together. It was a moment for the family to sit down on the couch or in the kitchen, to take slow sips and talk.
My grandfather was the one with the biggest cup and strongest tea. While his cup normally contained near-black liquid, easily mistaken for coffee, then me and grandma prefered our tea of golden brown tone. And although grandpa liked his tea black as tar, he also didn’t miss a chance to dunk at least four spoonfuls of sugar in it. Never less. Grandmother was more cautious on sugar intake, yet she enjoyed a candy or five with her cup o’ tea. And what did I do? Besides risking getting diabetis at early age by pouring tons of sugar in my cup (still less than grandpa), I LOVED to dip white bread in it. I still wonder why I wasn’t a 100-kilogrammish kiddo with such a healthy habit.
When it was time to say goodbye to grandparents and run over the street to get back home, the same thing was repeated with minor changes of surroundings.
The ritual hasn’t changed much over the years. Teatime is still that part of the day when we gather together to chit-chat. Topics vary as much as teaflavours of the world – anything from politics to current everyday life things, from tips on how to polish wood to reminiscing about good old times.
Teatime is the glue sticking our family together. And although I betrayed tea by becoming a coffee-junkie, I am always ready for a homey gathering with tea, biscuits and topics to discuss.