Our 'tea – tactic' / ritual? Has been in use for all sorts of situations. Many times the drinks have remained untouched as the talk became excited, profound or intense. In our household, it has progressed as an introductory way to say 'I'm sorry' or 'Im sad/elated/unsure and want to talk' or 'I'm really excited/happy'.
The 'I'm sorry' cup of teas are the most poignant. Had a ding dong row which ended up with a family member storming out of the house and staying away for a couple of days. When she came back I rushed for the jug and she rushed for the cups. No words. A couple of tears, a couple of hugs, drink in silence. Crisis over.
When my children, friends and extended family and I visit each other - the words are not said. The 'click of the jug' is an automatic (and expected) sound.
I didn't realise how integrated this 'tea thing' had become until one of the grandkids (five years old at the time) saw I wasn't very pleased, disappeared for a minute and came back to tell me he'd put the jug on (clicked the switch).
My Dad said "You can fix everything with a cup of tea". I think he was right. Makes a good start.
Many families have different ways of taking moments and resolving issues. Their own 'rituals' that have evolved over time. Would love to hear yours.