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The Colours of Tea

 By Katherine Burnett

Most of my blog readers know that I am consumed by tea and all the sentiments it conjures up in my life.

brewed tea, including the blue Butterfly pea flower tea

brewed tea, including blue Butterfly pea flower tea

I love the colours of the tea liquid in the cup. From deep burgundy to golden, red and orange hues, blacks, earthy browns, grassy greens and honey whites. The colour gives character to each cup. I love the diversity and the variations of the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis; one plant, yet many varieties of colour and taste.

Each annual tea conference jointly sponsored by the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada and Tea USA brings tea enthusiasts from tea producing countries from around the world. It is a congregation of colours!

We’ve all been hearing a lot about colour these days. The Black Lives Matter movement is actively and rightly seeking recognition of equality. It may be a silly comparison, but what if the tea plant produced only one colour, one flavour, and had absolutely no diversity? That would be a sad state. My life would indeed be lacking.

Of a few meanings of the word colour/color this one is pertinent right now:

Color/colour - Noun: pigmentation of the skin, especially as an indication of someone's race.

What an awesome world to live in where we have so many representations of creation!

What an amazing gift of versatility is offered us! The pigmentation of our skin makes a grand spectrum of colour and vitality and perspective; one human race, yet many varieties.

Systemic racism exists for all kinds of reasons. Generations have been vocal to reduce and eliminate this unfairness. History repeats itself, and tragedy after tragedy impresses upon us our need to be open and to love.

My tea team is a talkative bunch, and with the current news we choose to be present, open and active in the cause. The history of Charlottetown is fascinating with the records of The Bog, a neighbourhood vibrant with black lives before my time. Our Black Lives Matter March saw thousands of concerned citizens wanting change. Our Indigenous families are truly longing for recognition and respect which they so aptly deserve. Our little Island was named Abegweit, in Mi’kmaq language meaning Cradle in the Waves. What a heart-felt description of this fair isle.

As tragedies persist, we cry for change of heart and attitude that will make inequality old news.  

Prince Edward Island is more multicultural than ever. We have immigrants from Iran, Turkey, China, Korea, Vietnam to name a few. UPEI and Holland College welcome international students. Many customs are being taught through the DiverseCity efforts of PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada. I am grateful to learn from others who grew up very differently from me.

The Golden Rule can be found in some form in almost every ethical tradition.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The Lady Baker’s Tea Team thinks this is a pretty solid teaching that is well worth the effort to practice!

Whatever your traditions and ancestry, I hope we can work together in kindness and understanding to overcome the challenges that confront us concerning racism. 





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