Posts Tagged ‘tea’
We recently received a bit of a divine nudge on the subject of community and the pace-of-our-lives. The last twenty years have been good for the kind of spaces where you can sit with a hot drink. But there is a tension in every cafe I’ve ever been in. Coffee places like Starbucks set out to bring back the third place, but spoiled it with paper cups (= don’t make yourself at home) and wifi (= your social network is only accessible via the web–don’t bother the person sitting next to you). The word that came to us was that something of the patient, communal, sacred-wasteful needs to be restored.
The samovar is the center of a kind of tea ceremony that is focused primarily on the people you’ve gathered with. It is a tea service that invites us to sit awhile, if only because the device itself is made to be beautiful, like art, and not sit behind a counter. Small cups, refreshed from the strong tea and hot water, mean that you’ll stay nearby if you are thirsty (no venti cups here, please!) One author describes the zen of listening to the water heat up in the samovar (and says it is as important as listening to a lecture by a master). This one was a gift that sat gathering dust in a friend’s cubicle, unused. Now it is being drafted into service as a centerpiece of community life.