The Beehive café will be open next Wednesday! I am so unbelievably excited! Looking forward to seeing you all soon. Normally, I spend so much of my free time going to different coffee shops. There is something so relaxing about the environment that a café creates. However, during lockdown, has anyone else realised how satisfying and comforting taking a break to make a cup of tea or coffee can be? Hearing the sound of the kettle boil and seeing the steam rise. Smelling the aroma of coffee as the beans get ground. Or letting tea rest a while so the flavour develops. Closing your eyes and pausing before you drink. In short, I love the ritual of making and drinking both coffee and tea.
In the light of this, our read this week is ‘The Book of Tea’ by Kakuzo Okakura. Written in 1906, it is written to educate a western audience about the Japanese tea ceremony and the “teaist” movement. Here are the opening lines, “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. In China, in the eighth century, it entered the realm of poetry as one of the polite amusements. The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a religion of aestheticism—Teaism. Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.”
‘The Book of Tea’ explains the different ways that tea can be used to signify something far more than the drink. I believe that tea is not the only drink that can be used to do this, however. At the Beehive, we do not want just to make an average cup of coffee or tea. We want the experience of buying a beverage to be so much more than what you are just going to end up drinking. Through the atmosphere created by the layout of the café, the banter that Rich, to name just one of the team, will provide and then the effort and skill that goes in to making an excellent cup, we aim to make coming to the Beehive a relaxing and enjoyable experience.