Delicate enjoyment

A balcony with an inviting tea table overlooks Disneyland, July 2004

A balcony with an inviting tea table overlooks Disneyland, July 2004

“Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment.” Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Whatever else can be said of contemporary culture, it seldom suggests “delicate enjoyment” or for that matter, delicate anything.  We live in an age where “extreme” has somehow become a favorable concept, over-used by advertisers and enthusiasts.

Tea is a delightful exception.  It comes in a wide array of flavors, but none of them are strong compared to most beverages.  Its benefits, like its flavor, are subtle: calming, relaxing, mildly stimulating.

Sometimes I think that much of my enjoyment of tea comes from the simple but methodical preparation, which harmonizes perfectly with the leisurely sips taken during agreeable activities such as conversing, reading or merely gazing outside at a pretty landscape.

Today, I hope you will prioritize a few minutes of delicate enjoyment.  If a cup of tea is “not your cup of tea” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) perhaps you can enjoy some soothing music or a few minutes of restful meditation.  I think our lives could use a little more delicacy, don’t you?


  1. singleseatfighterpilot

    Well, you did it again – the juxtaposition of the adjectives, delicate and extreme is brilliant. Urban Dictionary notwithstanding, I hate the current use of “extreme”. if it is not an extreme sport, we hear someone say something like, “she was extremely calm.” To these expressions, this old codger wants to employ a one-word sentence made popular two or three decades ago: Whatever!

    • I find that comment extremely interesting. 🙂 BTW, as I write this, you are sitting across from me at the OR waiting room in DC, waiting for Matt to come out of surgery!

  2. merry

    Good morning, Julia. I enjoy tea. Lets take time for a cup. :}
    Blessings and peace.

    • Thanks Merry, I am sipping a cup of tea here in the OR waiting room and thinking of you! I appreciate your visits here and your kind words.

  3. Thanks, Julia, for the reminder of those simple things in life that add so much enjoyment. My grandfather always said my grandmother could find any excuse for having tea…”Oh, I heard a hen cackle. Let’s have tea.”

    • Sounds like a woman after my own heart. I think I just heard someone’s cell phone ring…I guess it must be time for another cuppa!

  4. Sherry Hedden

    I agree with every word! I suppose it is a product of age, to think back to “the good old days”. But I do think of the fifties, the time I grew up in, as a “kinder, gentler time”. A time of “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver”. It had it’s downside, but the television and movies and internet of today have robbed our children of their childhood! I applaud the parents who are filtering their children’s media to provide a kinder, gentler childhood. Several, I know of, don’t have cable or television to bombard their families with others ideas or products we can’t live without. Instead, they read books! To turn off the electronics is to invite the exchange of ideas in conversation, an art form that is fast becoming extinct.

    • Xchange ideas? R U serious? LOL!

      • No, seriously, I think unplugging the TV is one of the best things we can do for our own mental health. I have been TV-free for over 20 years and have never missed it.

  5. That looks like it’d be a pretty place to share a cup of tea and enjoy the view too. As you know, I’ve just enjoyed tea with the girls in San Jose and I must say I felt so pampered. I would probably choose coffee over tea at home but it’s more of an ‘event’ when you go out. I wish I had bought some at Harrod’s when we were in London, the packaging was so awesome.

    • Yes, there is almost an entire culture around tea, although it varies somewhat in different places. One thing I have never done, but hope to do someday, is attend an authentic Japanese tea ceremony. They have them in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, but I was never there at the right time to catch one.

  6. Sheila

    Julia, I hope Matt’s surgery went well and pray for a restful night for all. We had a travel day and are now in Bristol, Tn. for Father’s Day with Bill’s dad. I thought of you today as we passed by Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston Salem. I so hope Jeff had a better day. Prayers and love cross the miles, Sheila

    • Hi Sheila, the days just seem to get tougher every day, but we are holding on, and sometimes that’s the best we can hope for. I’m so glad you got to visit Bill’s dad. I just love Bristol. I got a kick out of walking down a street with one state on my left and another on my right! East Tennessee is gorgeous. Hope you have a wonderful stay there. Jeff is from middle Tennessee (Centerville) so I’ve spent a lot of time there.

  7. The beauty of such moments is enhanced by their simplicity. I enjoy every second of the Thursday morning (weekend here) we spend together with our tea and newspaper. Kids would still be in bed and it would be so quiet, peaceful and bright.

    • That sounds wonderful. I love those slow-paced mornings where we don’t have to go anyplace early. I hope I’ll have one tomorrow – I’ll think of you as I sip my tea!


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