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There are two philosophies for the enjoyment of tea. One is the Way of Simplicity, in which tea is prized as a sustaining hot beverage. For this, you need nothing more than a way to brew the tea, and a vessel to drink from (preferably a mug to keep it hot). For tea as a meal, the Way of Simplicity (as inherited from the Atlantic Isles) traditionally called for bread (preferably toasted) and butter. Personally, I like fruit and cheese.


Barry’s Tea is strong, rich, and not too acidic. This is the “Gold Blend” though it looks as dark as coffee in my green cup. With cheese crackers, blackberries and brie.


I can’t resist the occasional Stroopwaffel, having learned about this delightful treat from a friend in the Netherlands. With Darjeeling.

Often, the consumption of tea is more elaborate. The Way of Celebration prizes tea as an exquisite beverage worthy of its own utensils and vessels, its cups and pots, caddies and tongs. There are special foods, too: finger sandwiches with the crusts removed, or scones with thick cream and jam.

Bosie Tea Parlor

Tea service with traditional foods at Bosie’s Tea Parlor in Greenwich Village. This is Irish Breakfast Blend with sandwiches (cheddar and pickle, cucumber, dill and cream cheese, and egg salad), scones with cream, tea cakes and macarons. More than enough for one person!

Both Ways of Tea bring all the pleasure and comfort to be found in ritual. They mark the passage of time, whether it is hours in the day, or day to be remembered. Where would we be without them?