“Water for Tea” by Karen D. Caldwell
Take Ten for Tea
A Free Monthly EZine Publication
One of the first lessons they teach in Tea Making 101, is the importance of quality ingredients to creating an excellent tea experience, every time. Whether you are serving a hundred guests for a fundraiser, preparing twelve cups for your Sister Friends or making a single cup for yourself, starting with the BEST can elevate your tea time 200%. But before you start counting your pennies and seeking out the most expensive tea leaves in town, let’s start with a basic, but perhaps the most important element – WATER.
Yes, that’s right water-which is why tea sommeliers recommend tea brewers not use tap water for even your everyday pot of tea. The chemicals and additives in a region’s normal water supply can and will interact with your tea leaves, changing the natural taste of your tea and taking you immediately from superlative to humdrum. Luckily for most of us this is an easy fix. We can install a filter on our faucets or water pitchers or purchase bottled spring water. But for millions more in under-developed, poverty-ridden areas of the world, finding the right water for tea isn’t the issue. Simply finding enough water to sustain life is a constant struggle and finding clean, pure, drinkable water a luxury that most do without.
August 18th’s tea was no exception. Hosted by Lilia Sedano Dardon, of Ivan and Ivon Charities, this fun, elegant, intimate and informative tea took its cue from some of the best elements of Downton Abbey – fabulous attire and atmosphere; delicious food; fascinating storylines; lots of humor and more than a few surprises. Interweaving the serious fundraising subject of the crucial need for wells in Ghana, with the elegant, hospitality of times long past, guests were transported to the elegance of Downton Abbey. Resulting in a fundraiser less like a “brow-beating or begging” for help and more like what one might encounter in an elegant salon in the early 1900’s, where the discussion of important and emerging topics was the “done thing.”
Besides a brief discussion on the organization’s history and proposed projects, the rest of the tea was all Downton Abbey – A live auction, conducted by Steven Arciaga, the treasurer of I&I included jewelry, personal/pampering care items and original signed paintings and serigraphs donated by a well-known local pastor and artist.
Tea was accompanied by strawberry and lemon scones; petite chicken, egg and cucumber sandwiches; and miniature desserts while several of the guests shared their roles and experiences working/volunteering with Ivan and Ivon Charities and the Ghana Well Water Project. The enthusiasm for the project resulted in 100% of the proceeds from the tea, raffle and auction being donated towards the completion of the selected village’s bore well.