Class In A Cup

Class in a cup

Nothing embodies refinement better than a good cup of tea.

The drinking process itself calls for much discipline; delicate hands are required in the handling of China, patience is called for in achieving the right blend, and courtesy, above all else, is the center piece of every table enclosed in the wafting steam of the sophistication—from that of the royals to that of the bourgeois.

More than just a beverage, tea has become a social art form. And like every art form, it has led to a change in perspective. As the years have shown, the steeping of the cup is pivotal to the steeping of society.

In Europe, the brewing of tea was responsible for the creation of tea time—an additional meal in the day often placed around noon. Involving the drink as well as delicate pastries, it also brewed social norms, unspoken rules then streamlined to be known as tea etiquette.

In Asia, tea took on a more spiritual role. Buddhism has used the drink to commune with one’s self. And the discoveries of soul searching add yet another component to the social sharing that tea itself facilitates. Meanwhile, Japan, a country known for showing respect through intricate gestures, has also turned to tea in honoring their guests.

In the Arab community, tea is served to visitors as a symbol of hospitality. A man’s affair, it is often prepared by the head of the household.

Known for being a symbol of refinement, modern society has shown that tea is neither the center, nor the surplus of social endeavors. A quiet affair, it streams with relevance beyond fads and fly-by-night whims pouring from one cup to the next. Meanwhile, the norms of serious tea drinking have trickled down to its other counterparts—from coffee to beer, from the mug to the bottle, from the elitist to the populist.

For adding flavor to society and changing perspective, tea, like refinement and class, remains in style.

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