My father drank coffee, my mother always, always drank tea. Back then, coffee was a drink for (ahem) adults—Starbucks was just a gleam in its founders’ eyes; you just didn’t see teenagers carrying around cups of coffee. So when I was in my early twenties, I took it up. Coffee.
Some years ago, though, I was advised to give up coffee for health reasons. (I still have coffee every once in a great while, for a treat.) Tea was OK, though. And by then I was seeing the Irishman, so I made the switch and never looked back.
Since then there’s been quite a renaissance in tea consumption in the United States. So it’s astonishing to me when I sit down in a restaurant, order tea, and am brought a huge box of … herbal teas. There might be some Earl Grey. But Earl Grey is a very distinctive flavor; it’s OK, but I have to be in the mood. For me, Early Grey ≠ tea. And herbal tea … well, that’s just flavored hot water.
How do you take your tea? I like mine black. When I’m working I’ll make a whole pot, slip a cozy over it, and have several nice, hot cuppas.
“So when times are hard and life is rough
You can stick the kettle on and find me a cup”