When I worked near a Starbucks, I had this routine that I’d order a Venti China Green Tips one tea bag. It was a great deal as you only pay for one tea bag for about two to three regular cups of tea. I recently found, when stopping by a Starbucks that they no longer carry that tea bag. It was one of my favorite teas. Saying those words was almost a ritual, why would I get a tall or a grande when of course for the same price I could get a venti cup of tea? I loved that. I’m not sure I can order tea at Starbucks now without first thinking of that string of words.
I guess I’ve had many tea rituals over the years. When I lived in England, we’d go to a little French cafe to do homework. We learned that if you bought a pot of tea, they’d serve you baguettes, olives, and cornichon pickles for free. That was the perfect afternoon snack. All winter long myself and a few friends would take over a table sipping eat and indulgently eating pickles, olives, and bread. In England I also learned that muscovado sugar is never used for tea. I was scoffed at by the building’s handyman when offering him a cuppa because I didn’t have regular white sugar. Muscovado was a bit more exotic to me so that’s why I had it-obviously the ritual of tea should have used white sugar for those indulging with me.
Meyer had a little iron tea pot that he enjoys drinking pots of herbal tea from during the winter. The cast iron keeps the tea toasty for over an hour. I’m a bit more lazy enjoying the instant hot water spigot for a new cup of tea. But I’m also one to use a tea bag for a few too many cups of tea. The tea gets weaker as the afternoon goes on but if I used a new one each time then I’d probably be wired by dinner. I’m not one to often choose herbal teas. I do enjoy spicy chai and roobis. A friend adores a specific berry tea from England. Each time I find it, I enjoy a cup and think of her. But more often than not I’ll choose a plain simple black tea for my cuppa. It’s a nice pick me up in the afternoon (but not as sharp as an espresso). In the evenings sometimes I’ll sip a cup of mint tea. It’s great for the digestion. It’s also a nice way to prolong the night at the bar of our favorite wine haunt. After a glass or two we turn to tea. The company and conversation goes on into the night but I’m not left regretting too many sips in the morning.
I’ve been amazed to learn that I need to be careful with what kind of tea I’m drinking. Some teas can actually have gluten added to them with their flavorings. What!? Yes, it’s just like any other food out there-I must be mindful of what I’m eating or drinking. But still I enjoy my cuppa now with just a bit more knowledge of where I choose to sip.