I’m British so I can’t see the word ‘brew’ without thinking of tea.
We have very specific taste in tea in our family: I prefer Rooibos, husband and younger son like Earl Grey, and older son only drinks ‘normal’, usually Yorkshire, tea. Three caddies sit on my kitchen work surface, each dedicated to one type, with a fourth carrying a ‘guest’ flavour (recently green tea, currently a Rooibos and Earl Grey blend).
I remember an Indian colleague, missing the flavours and company of home I think, who invited me round after work one day to show me how ‘real tea’ or chai was made. On a primus stove on the floor, he boiled milk, sugar, tea and spices, the scent of cardamom predominating. It was unfamiliarly sweet but amazing taste – like drinking liquid rice pudding.
But that word ‘brew’ is an interesting one. It’s not just tea that brews but beer, storms, and ideas too. I suppose the common theme is the need for time for these to develop fully. I think my writing also brews. These thoughts and memories about tea have been brewing in my mind all day while I’ve been at work.
But, like tea, stirring helps. I notice that poetry flows more easily for me with the agitation of pain or grief. Out of squeezing and pressure, like a teabag, my heart and mind respond with stronger words and phrases than if left undisturbed.
Or to rephrase Romans 8.28: ‘God stirs all things together for good for those that love Him.’