Tea time

Jameel Lalani with the Nakai family looking at shade-grown Gyokuro green tea in Japan

You may know wine, but there is clearly just as much to learn about the cup that cheers.

In her gently biting novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery follows the thoughts of narrator and concierge Renée, as she sits down with her friend, the cleaner Manuela, for a cup of tea.

‘Like Okakura’, she writes, ‘I know that tea is no minor beverage. When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else...