I was walking my dog along Issaquah’s Community Center trail this morning—a typical route I take several times a week to Confluence Park. On this day I met a fellow walker on the route and within a brief few minutes learned that he and his wife were visiting from Ethiopia—staying with close relatives here in Issaquah.
My acquaintance told me that he and his wife are pastors in Ethiopia and work with a lot of different people from many countries. I learned that Ethiopia is one of the most international countries in the world with many diverse cultures calling it home. Of course my mind is thinking tea and I was so curious about the tea customs there given all the diversity, but of course, then thought “coffee” because it must be a major export for them. I learned that both drinks are a way of life there–that the coffee to tea consumption is roughly 60/40 and the two beverages are often mixed. Yes, coffee is important and, according to my acquaintance, very good, but tea is highly appreciated and enjoyed.
Then our conversation turned to families and he offered that tea and tea-time has been sacred in his family—stemming back to Scottish origins. It always thrills me when I hear people talk about how important tea time is for their family. We both agreed that a family spending time together over a tea pot is a wonderful way to show love, care and attention.
A quick good-bye and wishes for a nice day ended our talk. We were just two kindred spirits in the appreciation of tea.