Short And Stout, Handle And Spout

The makings of a Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Pssst. Hey you there, come here. Closer. Closer still. I have a secret to tell you. Shhhh – It’s just between you and me. Are you ready for it? Okay, here goes:

I love Guelph.

True story – I really do. And if you are fortunate enough to live here, you likely get it. Guelph is amazing for so many reasons, and the longer I live here the more reasons I discover to love it.

One of the reasons I love Guelph is its reliability. By that I mean that there are certain things about Guelph on which I rely that I generally take for granted. For example, I know that every Saturday I could make my way downtown to get a coffee from Planet Bean before heading to the farmers’ market to pick up donuts1, honey2, and many other delectable treats3. I forget how lucky I am that this Saturday morning routine even exists. But it does, and for that I and my belly are thankful.

I also love Guelph because it is dynamic. It changes day-to-day, month to month, and year to year, while holding on to the core values of community and volunteerism that I love, and maintaining its vibrancy, character and spirit. I’m not sure how that happens, but I’m pretty sure it’s a function of the amazing people who live here. While I’ve seen a lot of changes to the city in the almost 18 years that I’ve called it home, I still feel that Guelph is as inviting and amazing as it was the first time I moved into Mills Hall as an undergraduate student. That unchanging sense of community wouldn’t be possible without an incredible group of individuals who care as much about this city as they do.

Our little teapot, short and stout. There is its handle, there is its spout. Etc., etc.

Beyond this, I also find that I’m constantly learning new things about Guelph. Today was no exception. Today I learned that I could take part in an authentic Japanese Tea Ceremony right here in Guelph4. Having never been part of a tea ceremony, I jumped at the chance when my friend Dom asked me if I’d want to try it out. I’ve taken part in an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony (which was awesome), but this would be my first foray into any sort of tea service.

I was not disappointed by the adventure. It was beautiful and delicate, steeped in history and tradition. It was amazing to learn that it was originally a Chinese custom that was brought to Japan by some monks. The ceremony was used to center those that took part in it – to bring a sense of calm and focus to their otherwise busy lives. It was also used to bring a sense of community and togetherness. Today it is used to bring families together, but the tradition of calming and focus remains.

It was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t taken part in this to try it out. Furthermore, if you don’t already do this – get out there and explore Guelph. There are so many amazing people to meet, and experiences to enjoy. You won’t be disappointed.

Yup. I really do love this city I call home.

P.S. Thanks again Dom – it was an awesome way to start the day.


1 Mmmmm, donuts.

2 Mmmmm, honey.

3 Mmmmm, other delectable treats.

4 The ceremony is $15 per person, and is offered by Madeline Chang at the bon thé place on Wyndham.



8 thoughts on “Short And Stout, Handle And Spout

  1. This looks like it would have been a wonderful experience! I love Guelph too. I’m glad I’ll get to be in the area for a few days during the SSC :)

  2. I really love Bon The and tell everyone to go. I haven’t taken part in their tea ceremony yet. However, I’m going to make myself a cup of Bon The loose leaf tea right now. Of course, do I choose the Rooibos Love or the Caramel Mate?

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