I love drinking tea (I know, not breaking news). But if there’s one thing better than drinking tea, it’s sharing the experience with family, friends, and fellow tea lovers.
One thing I always urge new tea drinkers to do is find a tea “happy place.” By that, I mean a community where you can enjoy tea with other people. That happy place can be almost anything—a tea shop, tea room, restaurant, online chatroom, or a group of friends. What matters is that you’re enjoying and exploring tea with others.
For me, my tea happy place is a tea room and shoppe in Jacksonville called Cozy Tea. I went there last weekend with my parents and, like always, it was a great experience.
One reason the Cozy Tea is my happy place is because the tea is so good. The shoppe, which is family-owned, has a wide variety of loose-leaf and serves the tea in individual teapots. It also has a great lunch menu and the best scones this side of England.
The other reason is that I associate Cozy Tea with my grandma, who first took me to the shoppe. When we went together that first time, I ordered a cranberry-orange scone. My grandma saw the warm scone, with jam and fresh cream on the side, and immediately had to get one herself. After that, we went to the Cozy Tea almost every time I visited.
My grandma passed away last year, but my family and I still go to Cozy Tea. And I always think of her when I visit. At the time I hadn’t realized it, but our ritual of drinking tea together was our way of bonding.
I talked two weeks ago about how tea, along with being a beverage, is a lifestyle, and my point is similar here. One of the great things about tea is that it is a communal drink. Throughout history, tea has been a source of connection for people. For example, China continues to have a very strong tea culture, where drinking tea with others is a fundamental and respected aspect of society.
You can find that same community in America; you just have to dig a little deeper. And, don’t worry, we’ll keep the kettle on the stove until you find us.