Just as I suppose there’s no such thing as home without piping hot food, there’s no such thing as civilization without hot tea.
Hot tea requires taking your time. The caffeine is stimulating but not overwhelmingly so. The very act of sipping requires patience. Every little sip is a ritual of taking delight in the smaller things. You have to be able to hold back and enjoy sips before a large bite can taste its best.
This goes not just for food, but all life’s pleasures.
Without enjoying the sips, hedonistic overload devolves into the ashen discontent of jaded excess.
Being able to sit down and sip slowly is the mature sensibility of an adult rather than the capricious, excessive desire of a child. It’s the ability to wait for good things to grow rather than plundering a lesser reward right now.
Taking tea with others is a ritual of humanity. You pour from same pot as equals, you sit near, humbly, looking one another honestly in the eye. Taken together, it’s about acknowledging another’s humanity even should they be your mortal enemy outside of that moment.
A person who can’t take tea with you is not a real person, never to be let into one’s trust.
If they can’t share tea with you from the same pot and look you in the eye, how can they be relied on to back you up when it counts? When survival is at stake? How can they be taken seriously as an ally in this perilous wilderness if they won’t even acknowledge shared humanity on the most basic level?