Winter and Tea | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

As the cold weather approaches my relaxation drinks change from very chilled white wines to warm teas in the afternoon and red wines at night with dinners. Prosecco remains my most favorite bubbles throughout the year. Although tea is my winter drink, tea is the most popular drink in the world and every country has its own way to prepare it.

tea time treats
Tea room at Teatime, Palo Alto, CA

In England, King Charles II popularized tea in the 17th century. It was in England where I learned about “the agony of the tea leaves”. I didn’t know much about making tea, I didn’t know tasty, natural tea doesn’t come into those little bags sold by the box in the supermarket. I had never been to a high tea accompanied with a display of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, There is a certain quality in loose tea leaves, they are agonized (the proper words) with care or steeped, if you will, at 100º for 3 minutes, then poured in individual cups. The aroma of tea leaves swirling in hot water is inebriating, all the flavors of tea leaves are released for pure enjoyment. Most British drink tea with a small shot of milk or sugar, rarely they take it with a lemon slice. Milk goes in the cup before tea only when the vessel is a cheaply made brand, otherwise, with expensive teacups, the milk goes after the tea. Teatime is always an occasion in England, all the bite-size morsels sure make a pleasant moment of the day. Once I tried loose tea leaves, I didn’t go back to tea bags and the bite size treats are always there.

Teatime, Palo Alto, CA


In the souks of Tunisia and Morocco, I learned that tea is a traditional drink handed down from generations of men from grandfathers to sons and their sons. The male of the house prepares tea and serves it. I was there in the Summer, their delicious tea was made of mint and loose black tea leaves served with sugar and always warm, no matter what the temperature was outside. There is nothing more refreshing than a warm drink in warm weather! The water and the tea leaves boiled together in a vessel over the charcoals, then the golden color drink was served in glasses decorated with golden designs.

Souk in Hammamet, Tunisia

In Japan, my experience with tea was totally different. I was fortunate one of my friends took me to a tea ceremony and experienced something I had heard about it for so long. The tea room is considered a sacred place. To enter the area for the tea ceremony, I had to bend down and pass through a small door opening.
I was told the opening is made so low to make the guests feel humble and respectful towards the master. Sitting on my knees as the local Japanese do was impossible, westerners’ legs don’t bend backward. The tea ceremony happens in silence, it is a moment of body/mind relaxation and concentration on enjoying tea only. The tea master is always a graceful woman dressed in a kimono, who, with slow movements of the hands, prepares matcha tea for her clients in silence, other than saying the very few courtesy words, she speaks nothing else. Matcha tea is definitely an acquired taste. It’s very earthy, salty, and foamy on top. Many people rever this tea, I must be sincere, didn’t have enough time to appreciate it. The tea ceremony was exceptional, the master made me feel very special.

Arima, Japan – Tea ceremony room
Arima, Japan – Tea ceremony Zen garden

The tea ceremony room in Arima, Japan, was surrounded by a calming Zen garden, well maintained and very beautiful. My long time friend Chieko was so happy I wanted to experience her culture, I did the same when she went Italy to visit the country.

My friend Chieko and I after the tea ceremony

Tea is a social drink, it brings hearts and people together, everyone feels freer to talk about even intimate businesses when in front of a cup of tea, but that’s true about food in general. People become convivial and loosen up around food. It’s easy to forget hard moments in front of a carefully made cup of tea. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking, and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. Some years ago, Valentina became a TV producer/host producing shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire, and inform, while she is living her passion.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble


Tackling Life At Tea Time | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

“This year has started so fast and so busy and nothing is coming through” ~ she told me in front of a cup of tea and morsels at Tea Time. I know my friend very well, she skips and jumps from one activity to another, one life mess to another, from one toxic situation to another. She is not happy about some of her friends, her work, some of the things her grown-up kids do and who knows what else. She doesn’t keep her promises, makes appointments, then cancels them, often a few hours before when the other person can’t do anything about it and the worst thing…she doesn’t learn from her mistakes. They say that true friends never hold back when helping one another trying to resolve personal issues. Well, when I have done that, my friends have taken it the wrong way, got offended and even stopped seeing me. This time, at Tea Time, I wanted to lay it out as I felt it.  After all, outside was grey and rainy, inside the tea atmosphere was cozy and conducive to confessions.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Tea Time

Tea Time

I can’t help referring to my interior design profession when I give tips on life management. Life to me is exactly like decorating a house, it’s all about rearranging, organizing, editing, refurbishing, prioritizing and spice it up. Giving my friend examples of how to beautify a house, didn’t feel I was preaching to her. I don’t have a perfect life, nobody does, but to get my life to the point it feels comfortable to me, took many years of studying people, eliminating toxic situations and old beliefs, reaching goals and driving my thinking toward positivity.

My suggestion was to view her life as a home decorating. If we don’t clean the house, things keep accumulating, the clutter grows, the mirrors don’t shine, the cabinets are sticky, the bed is not made, the dishes are dirty in the sink, we allow the house to take over our life, we allow the house to confuse us, and at that point we might even feel not to return home anymore. Unfortunately, some people life is just like this description, they don’t even want to be in it. The only thing to do to save a disorderly life is to tackle one problem at a time, just as a decorator would tackle one room at the time.

First, we focus on eliminating all the useless items, then clean the space to make it livable and finally organize it. Once we see a place that breathes again, we feel encouraged to go to the next room and repeat the process. Little by little, the house returns to shine releasing that pleasure of claiming each room as our space that was long denied.
Do you see the analogy of a life that is not satisfying with a disorderly house?

Inspiration by Valentina

Inspiration by Valentina

My friend needs exactly this. She needs to rearrange her thoughts, clean up her beliefs, make plans with a calendar in her hands, eliminate all the people and situations that are longer serving a purpose and pursue whatever strikes her fancy. Those who will want to be in her life will follow, the rest will get lost in the editing process.
At one point during our conversation, I had the feeling she got offended. Next day, she sent me a message saying I am a Goddess. Yeah, right!

Living a satisfying life takes a lot of commitment, structure, and diligence. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com 

In my 29th years of design business, I am having more fun than ever, experience eliminates stress and dictates the pace of work. I am evolving in different directions while still helping people realizing their dream spaces in homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. Colors are the main focus of my business today, changing people’s energy and life force just by introducing them to colors they would have never imagined. I am on TV once a month, that is my own TV show produced under my label Valentina Design Universe, bringing fun topics to my audience. https://valentinadesignuniverse.com
Check out my books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

My latest book is ©The Road To Top Of The World

 

 

 

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