Tea is happiness in a cup. There aren’t many things in life that can’t be fixed (or at least momentarily improved) by a nice hot cup of tea. Brewed in a pot, a splash on milk, stirred counter-clockwise three times to perfection. There are so many things I could say about tea. How I’ve drunk at least three cups a day since I was 16 (more like 5 on your average day), or the joy of a cup of tea and a good book. Today I want to talk about why I consider tea to be the drink of friendships.

The importance of wine in the friendship of Liv, Addison and I has already come up on this blog , multiple times. However, the even greater importance of tea is oddly missing. If it hadn’t been for a teapot, I would never of become friends with Liv, and thus never of even met Addison.

I met Liv my very first day at university. We were living in the same residential college; there was a group of us doing the rounds, looking at each other’s dorm rooms. I wouldn’t say Liv and I have similar taste in interior decoration, but there was one massive detail that each of our rooms had in common; we had both placed a teapot pride of place on the bookshelf above our desk. Liv’s teapot was baby pink with white polka dots; mine was canary yellow.

During orientation week, at our university, it’s tradition for the first year students (freashers) to get dressed up in Togas and march through the center of town. This is a pretty daunting experience because all the older students line the streets to throw eggs, water, and flour at the passing freashers. After the Toga parade a party is put on for all the students. Unfortunately for whatever reason Liv and I had tailed near the end of the parade and by the time we arrived at the party the line to get in stretched across the main part of campus. I was tired and had bits of egg dried to my arm, I looked at the line in dismay and sighed, “I just need a cup of tea”. At the same moment Liv had proclaimed the exact same thing. We both checked and double checked that we hadn’t misunderstood each other, then returned to our dorm kitchen, fetched our teapots, and sat down to a nice hot cup of tea. Milk no sugar. We had intended to return to the toga party after finishing our own private tea party. It never happened. We sat and talked about life for the rest of the evening instead. We missed the biggest party of our freasher year (one that practically everyone I would go on to befriended at university had been at). However I gained something better, one hell of an amazing friend.

I can see my friendship with Liv as a long line of cups of tea. Tea sitting in a puddle of sunshine on the kitchen floor, tea on cold winter days after playing in the snow, tea in a thermos flask on a pleasant autumn afternoon in the town belt; Tea with catch-up and gossip; Tea with movies or as we obsessively follow the latest season of Doctor Who; Tea between piles of study notes in one of our joint study sessions; Tea when hungover; Tea with cupcakes, biscuits, or crackers; Tea with smiles, and tea with tears. The cups of tea left cold, that Liv had placed beside my bed when I refusing to get up and eat after breaking up with the ex. We have the sort of friendship where I know rain or shine Liv will be there with a hot cup of tea.

I’ve known Liv for 5 tea-filled years, but I only really became close to Addison over the last year. But I’d bet a lot of money that tea also played an important role in Liv and Addison’s friendship, and thus in Addison’s and mine.

A cup of tea is the welcoming to start to each day, and the comforting end. To me, tea is also the drink of strong friendships. That is why tea is happiness in a cup.

– Lillian