Simple Pleasures

16 Mar

I like to think that there are few simple pleasures in life like enjoying a cup of tea. That and cuddling a cat. Lucky for me, I have these very two things close at hand to me right now.

I’m sitting by the glow of one lamp in my lounge room tonight waiting for my load of washing to finish, and I’ve finally made myself the cup of tea that I think I’ve been craving for all evening. As I’m sitting here, I’m thinking about the difference between each member of my family and how they take their tea. It feels ritualistic to me when I think about how there is hardly ever a family gathering that goes by that we don’t partake in a cup of tea. It’s ingrained in us.

Now, my dad is an avid tea drinker but he has this weird obsession with powdered milk and I have no idea why. I know that he’ll have his cup of tea fairly strong, with a teaspoon of sugar and a heaped teaspoon of powdered milk briskly stirred in. It’s a very distinctive clanging noise that my father makes as the spoon tings on the side of his mug. I’ve never been able to recreate it whenever I’ve tried.

My brother has an extensive tea collection, which is often a delight to me when I occasionally house and cat-sit for him and his lovely wife. He likes his tea in a massive white mug with milk and no sugar.

My mother likes tea if someone makes it for her. No, I lie. She likes tea, she just prefers when someone makes it for her. Often when I go home and head towards the kettle, she’ll call out, “ta love!”, which means that I have to make her one as well as me. My sister will concur.

Then there’s my sister. Amber seems to prefer her tea to be anaemic. It has to be weak, with a scant amount of sugar and a lot of milk. She can never finish the whole drink though, no matter what’s been in it. There’s always about half a centimetre of liquid sitting in the cup long after she’s left it and forgotten all about it.

And me? I like mine strong, with a bit of milk and just one sugar. It’s probably very commonplace, but it’s the way I like it. I remember when I was a lot younger and only just started drinking tea, I could only palate it if it had the addition of about three teaspoons of sugar. Funny to think of it now.

There are staunch tea-drinkers that say you should never contaminate tea with milk, but I say each to their own. And I think that the simple pleasure we find in a cup of tea may not just be about the flavour. There is a lot to be said for the ritual; taking the time out to be quiet and enjoy something slowly, which is something that we often forget to do.

My cup is almost finished now so I figure I should go. But I want to know, what do you consider to be a simple pleasure? Do you make sure you find the time to enjoy it?


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