Tea – Canadian style!

Across Canada, women join together in many ways and many places to have tea.

Would you prefer your tea on china, with cucumber sandwiches, in a Victorian hotel setting? Or in a mug on a kitchen table with some biscuits? By a lake high in the Rockies? Or reclining in a chair at a spa in the Laurentians?

There are so many ways women enjoy tea across Canada. The Americans may have launched their nation by tossing tea in a harbour, but we’ve always been perfectly content to drink ours. We drink it in so many ways in so many places – and usually with friends.

We drink it in cafés, watching the world go by on Yonge or Robson or Portage, dipping our tea bags and talking about our plans. We drink it in the lunchroom at work as we get the real goods on what’s going on from our colleagues.

We buy it for each other in tea shops, where drawers of exotic blends with handwritten numbers wait to give forth their black and green treasures – what will we try this time? We take our friends to tea with finger sandwiches and fine pastries in Victorian rooms in expensive hotels, from the Empress in Victoria to the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec: afternoon tea, a tradition started by ladies in the court of Queen Victoria and kept up by ladies across Canada.

We drink it at the Lake Agnes Tea House, overlooking a mountain tarn and a waterfall high above Lake Louise – the strawberry leaves in the tea as local as local gets – and we ooh and ahh about the view as we rest from the hike up and compare photos of the chipmunks by the door. And we drink it resting with a magazine in a chair by a spa pool at Mont Tremblant after we’ve had a hot sauna and a cold plunge.

In a kitchen party in the Atlantic Provinces, we drink it straightforward, in a mug. But we’re not there just to sip tea – the fiddles and accordion come out, and we sing a song, dance, and tell stories. And in kitchens across Canada, we sit down with friends and with our family and we pour our cups and strengthen the ties that bind.

We drink it hot after sledding with the kids in January. We drink it cold after sunning or running in July. We drink it with milk and sugar or neither, black, green, white, or any of a wide variety of herbal teas. And, very often, we don’t drink it alone. We drink it to pause and refresh and to reconnect with our friends – and ourselves. Across Canada, tea helps us come together. So much better in a cup than in a harbour!

Source(s): © McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc. 2009

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