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Coffee and tea – time to rush or reflect

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A generalization is categorizing anything but realizing that it is not an example that is always true…just reflective of our own perceptions. For example, think of tea and coffee and how we might associate time and interactions with each of them. Close your eyes for a moment and think of the word coffee, and what comes to mind? What words do you associate with coffee? Now, think of the word tea, and what words comes to mind? Are they similar or different? How do you associate time to either of those words?

Have you ever noticed at a ‘coffee shop’ line up, how the line keeps moving as people stand around waiting for their drink? People will look at their phones and watches as their anticipation builds to get their cup of java. The interactions can be quite transactional at times if the staff don’t see you regularly. Even the term ‘coffee shop’ is interesting because we say it and call it a coffee shop and many times it is to go in and get your drink to leave. Sure there are coffee drinkers who sit and savour their cup or have it with their conversations, but we associate coffee with speed and enjoyment…a quick delight. This is, of course, a generalization.

Tea drinkers on the other hand are generally a different group. Tea drinking is an art or something to be appreciated. It is difficult to line up for a good cup of tea because it takes time. If you consider anywhere in the world, tea is either an art form, takes great care to make or is a social aspect that we do. You can not rush a good cup of tea! For example, in Asia, there are tea ceremonies; in India, it takes great time to make and share a proper cup of tea; in the Middle East, it is associated to friendship and family; and in England, high tea is a social act. These are only some situations but the key is it all takes time and is associated with sitting and conversation. There is no rushing a good conversation, making a good cup of tea or the consumption of tea. You must slow down to appreciate it. Tea is also just the centre point of everything else that surrounds it.

Another generalization about coffee and tea time is a metaphor where you can compare coffee and relationships. Coffee might be associated with solitude and tea as a gathering. Again, this is just the term coffee and tea from the eyes of a tea drinker and there are coffee drinkers who appreciate having their coffee with others and tea drinkers who enjoy sitting in silence to appreciate their cup. It is more the generalization and association. Tea drinkers will arrange people around tea while coffee drinkers are happy to have their coffee

Perhaps tea and coffee can be reflective of life. There are ‘coffee times’ where we rush about and move from place to place and situations to situations and we savour the moment but then we move on quickly to what is next. We might not take the time that we should to appreciate where we are. Then there are ‘tea moments’ where we sit, take time and reflect on life and the things we need to do. ‘Coffee time’ can be seen more as doing while ‘tea time’ can be considered an experience. How much of our life are we doing ‘coffee or tea time’? If you are doing more coffee time, should we be trying to do more tea time?


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