The power of a warm drink: What tea taught me by Jun Soong
Okay, hold on. Go on and get up and put the kettle on right now. Pour yourself a cup of tea or a hot chocolate if you prefer. Mix in some honey or pop in a marshmallow, make it however you like. Make yourself a warm drink, maybe something cold if that's what you want. Okay, continue.
Growing up, I didn’t drink a lot of tea. We didn’t own a kettle, we had one of those automatic boilers but often forgot to turn it on which meant most days, we didn’t have hot water ready. If I wanted a cup of tea, I would have to put a pot on the stove or microwave a mug of water, which usually doesn’t lead to excellent tea results.
Recently, I’ve moved into my own rental home and there’s a kettle here, its a cheap plastic one from Kmart but it works well. So now I have hot water and lots of tea. Its become routine for me to make a cup of tea, usually once in the morning and once in the afternoon but frequently many more scattered throughout the day. I’ll fill the kettle (life hack I learnt from my roommate: you don’t have to open the lid, just fill it up through the spout!) and put it on the stand, press the lever down and watch as it lights up and boils and then clicks off. I love to catch the click of the kettle but I often miss it as I’m easily distracted.
Nevertheless, I fill up my mug with hot water (or reclick the lever to reboil the water if I’ve gone off and forgotten about tea), add a tea bag and a spoonful of honey and some cold milk, the way I like my tea. We have a teachart near our kettle filled up with the way our friends like their tea and it’s endearing to see everyone fill it in their own way.
I don’t underestimate the power of a warm drink and the time you set aside for it. I think there’s comfort about the way you can hold warmth in your hands, nursing your drink trepidly as it cools. I sometimes like to sit with just the tea, watching the world go by, but it’s unimportant if I can’t drop everything for it. Alongside my assignments and netflix shows, a warm drink keeps me company.
So I’m glad that my new house has a kettle and the next time I move, I’ll make sure the kettle is a priority. I value the ritual of a tea and I appreciate that it slows me down, setting aside a small pocket of my day to just exist. I hope you enjoyed your drink. Oh, and get yourself a cookie too, you deserve it.
Jun is your 2020 MONSU Peninsula Volunteer Officer & is studying Paramedicine.