We are an entire family of tea-drinkers but it was Fiona’s idea to make an advent tea tree. We actually ended up stretching it from December 1st to New Year’s Day in order to allow Erin to be included a bit more, as she won’t make it home until the 20th at best. We included many of our David’s Tea favourites, some home-made knockoffs, and some of our other home-made or commercially purchased favourites.
Our tea list: Chocolate Chili Chai, White Tiger, Belgian Chocolate Rooibos, Emerald cloud, Jasmine, Earl Grey, Nettle-hibiscus & rosehip, Mint, Chamomile, Coffee chai, Forever nuts, Citron oolong, Saigon chai, genmaicha, rooibos lavender, orange pekoe, bengal spice, Love tea #7, Spiced fig, Blueberry jam, Rose petals with orange peel & white tea, Countess of Seville, Cinnamon heart, Buttered rum, Two hills chai, Teddy bear dreams, Roo danvilla, Alpine punch (apple cranberry mulling spice), Blooming tea, citrus chamomile, Chocolate spice.
We bought a bulk pack of 4 1/2″ Christmas-themed quilting squares. Into the centre of each square we tucked a couple of tablespoons of loose tea wrapped in cling-wrap. With embroidery floss and a needle we sewed a quick circular drawstring at the top of the square and tied off the floss with a loop to hang the sachet from the tree. The tree is a little fir we harvested nearby. We have a larger tree in the living room; the tea tree is about a metre high and is just large enough for 32 sachets. No lights, nothing fancy: just the tea, ma’am.
Every evening we choose a sachet at random and make a pot of tea. We get out the antique teacups and saucers. We had five cups that we got from my mom and have added a sixth for Erin. We share out the pot and sit down and enjoy our tea for a few quiet minutes sometime in the evening. With some of us doing overnights in Nelson and late evenings by some of us here and there it hasn’t been possible to honour the ritual every night, but I think we’ve only completely missed one.
The only difficult part of the ritual is that when we all come to the dining table mid-evening the dog believes it’s supper time all over again and can’t figure out why she’s not getting her two scoops of kibble. Again.