I love it best this way. Still too hot to drink and yet I drink it anyway -- just miss scalding my tongue and throat. It must be an illusion, the rush of energy that lifts me up in that moment. It's impossible for the tea itself to have a biological effect that quickly. But that doesn't matter. Tea strengthens me when I am exhausted.
It also comforts me when I am troubled. When that first sip is past, the thrill is gone, but the comfort remains. My mug sits beside me, as I read a book or write a message or try to figure recalcitrant sums. Periodically, I sip, and the tea carries me through the day. Typically, I will have four or five cups by lunchtime.
When the tea has gotten too cool, I get up and heat it again -- I hesitate to even write the word 'microwave' here, as it seems somehow contrary to the spirit of tea. But it's true -- sometimes I microwave my tea over and over again. I try to bring it back to that point of too-hot, of just-right. It never quite works. A reheated mug of tea is never quite as splendid as a fresh one. But it gets me through my days.
Please excuse me -- I have to go reheat my tea.