Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In the Beginning

For any endeavor, the start is usually the hardest part. What does this have to do with tea? There are individuals who admit to knowing absolutely nothing about tea. There are others who actually believe that a tea bag placed in a styrofoam cup of microwaved water is tea. (Excuse me: I must pause until the involuntary shudders that resulted from that painful statement subside.) Then there are still others who delight in discussing all things tea. All groups share this common denominator: everyone has to start somewhere.

Uncommon Courtesy
Where did this Straight From the Leaf blog start? My favorite childhood memories include watching adults receive guests and offer them refreshment, usually a warm beverage accompanied by a light snack. This, I learned, was a simple, courteous act of hospitality extended to every visitor -- regardless of status, background or circumstances. I also observed the guests evidently leaving far better than their arrival, their lively conversation and laughter now filling the air. The conclusion: sharing tea is a very good thing. Although I did not realize this 'simple' courtesy was uncommon, the lessons made their mark.

Unapologetic Tea Aficionado
For those who haven't guessed, I enjoy tea. No, that is an understatement. I adore tea. Tea is multifaceted, universal, and civilized. People from various backgrounds can find common ground in this beverage and, behind only water, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. By design, our world is a big place. Tea helps me enjoy my space within it.

Being the unapologetic tea aficionado that I am, I am constantly shocked at the multitudes who have never in all their lives enjoyed a proper cup of tea. By proper, I mean actual tea leaves rather than dust. Leaves or dust? that is the question. Straight From the Leaf's aim is to:
  • Inspire others to enjoy tea and its preparation
  • Appreciate all the elements adding to the overall experience
  • Create an atmosphere for purposeful conversation

In other words, we'll talk about ways to savor life one cup at a time. This is the start.