Tea is not something that really solves any problems in life, but it gives us the opportunity to share something beautiful with people we love, and by painstaking care in hospitality (all that trouble taken in brewing as perfect a cup of tea as I am able), I can in some measure to show someone how important she is to my wife and me, and how deeply we care about the well-being of her and her family.
My letter to my contact at Aura Teas follows here.
Hi, and thank you so much for your gift of the lovely teas.
[Redacted] was visiting during a quite horrible family crisis, and we fed her and afterward served her your Li Shan oolong (about a half-dozen steeps, gongfu style, until she couldn't take more), which was a great comfort.
It's amazing, how a gift of tea from you to me became a gift of tea (and love) from us to her, a way of saying, "We love you. We are looking out for you. We are taking time to listen to you. We are pulling out the good stuff to show you that you are important to us."
Obviously, tea didn't solve any problems, but it did help us express our love and concern for a family member in need, and for this I thank you.
The 39 Steeps