For the last week, the greater Seattle area has shut down due to record setting snow fall.  Although I have been trapped in my home for the last 60 hours, I always find solace in drinking tea.  For moments of time, while sitting in my tiny studio apartment, I felt confined by the four walls surrounding me.  After a circuit rotation of activities including playing guitar, reading, watching TV, and an occasional nap, tea has been the only thing I consistently enjoy.

The time alone has given me an excellent opportunity to relax and connect with my introverted side.  When the snow finally stopped falling, I ventured outside to enjoy the peace of my snow covered surroundings.  As I sipped on some Phoenix Don Cong, I felt the hot liquid mellow my demeanor and bring a sense of comfort to my now warm body.  The “calm alertness” that I felt made me think about the question I am always asked by new tea drinkers…

“How much caffeine is in this tea?”

Rather than caffeine, I like to mention the effects of L-Theanine, an amino acid found almost exclusively in tea. Caffeine is known to give a jolt of energy, but proceeds with a “crash.”  However, L-Theanine in tea tends to give a more relaxed and focused feeling.  This was exactly what I needed after being stuck inside for 2 straight days. Pouring tea gave me a chance to focus myself and calm my anxious nerves.  For a better understanding of L-Theanine, check out this website

I continued to sit in the snow and pour cup after cup of tea from my gaiwan.  The cold air froze the moment as I looked down to my stone cup to see the last specs of tea at the bottom.  Sometimes, even in the presence of nothing but yourself, you have to appreciate these brief moments of perfection.