Simplicity -- A Lost Art?
Every new technology represents a trade-off: something is gained, but something is also lost. -- "Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat" by Bee Wilson (www.ConsidertheFork.com)
While researching tea, foodie trends, and lifestyles for my blog, I came across this quote regarding the basic wooden spoon. ("Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat" by Bee Wilson).
"The wooden spoon does not look particularly sophisticated—traditionally, it was given as a booby prize to the loser of a competition—but it has science on its side. Wood is nonabrasive and therefore gentle on pans—you can scrape away without fear of scarring the metal surface. It is nonreactive: you need not worry that it will leave a metallic taste or that its surface will degrade on contact with acidic citrus or tomatoes. It is also a poor conductor of heat, which is why you can stir hot soup with a wooden spoon without burning your hand. Above and beyond its functionality, however, we cook with wooden spoons because we always have."
After reading the above quote I began to think about how the enjoyment and preparation of tea has changed over the years. Interestingly, we return to three basic ingredients for our tea preparation and enjoyment -- water, tea leaves, and a cup.
Oh, how we have progressed from the simplicity of a leaf falling from a tree into a pot of boiling water to the high-tech water-heating devices available in today's tea markets. Tea has certainly moved into the world of technology. Take the BREVILLE® ONE-TOUCH TEA MAKER, it heats water to the correct temperature for your tea, lowers the tea basket automatically into the water, and, at the correct time, auto-lifts the basket to prevent over steeping. It will keep your tea warm for up to 60 minutes. Tea made simply. (http://www.teavana.com/us/en/teaware/tea-makers/breville-one-touch-tea-maker) I don't know about you but that certainly does not sound like "Tea made simply" to me. I have also found, through my own experiences, that the more technology involved the more likely it is that something will go wrong. . . Just saying.
Somewhere in between the simplest form of tea preparation to the most high-tech tea preparation devices , we have the beautiful Japanese Tea Ceremony. This tea preparation ceremony joins the peacefulness of spirituality with the palatability of Japanese green tea in the surroundings of a setting arranged to enhance the experience. The History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage, p. 136, offers a splendid description of this particular form of tea preparation.
Just as the wooden spoon continues to be the most frequently used kitchen utensil let us continue to keep our tea time simple while concentrating on using the best water at the correct temperature, quality loose-leaf tea, and a peaceful, fun setting. The simplicity of a cup of tea shared with friends and family can certainly add joy and peace to one's existence in today's stressfull environment.
Remember, keep it simple.
The Tea And Hat Lady