Thursday, October 23, 2008

There's no time like tea time...

... and at my house, tea time lasts all day long. Yes, it's true. My name is Diane, and I have a drinking problem.

It's not really my fault, you see. First of all, I'm not a coffee drinker. I wasn't raised in a coffee-drinking household, so I never found the smell of coffee that appealing. When I finally tried it, I thought it was bitter and nasty; I couldn't add enough sugar and milk to make it palatable. Strangely enough, although there was plenty of iced tea in the house when I was growing up, I wasn't a big fan of that, either.

But then, when I was young and impressionable, I started dating my husband. Because both his mother and his stepmother were born in Britain, any time we visited them I was offered a cup of tea. Now, when you're 20 years old and meeting your boyfriend's family, you smile and say yes a lot and try to appear normal. And guess what? I discovered that with a little milk and sugar (okay, a lot of sugar), hot tea could be warm and soothing and tasty.

It was just plain old PG Tips or Tetley tea (only proper British brands for my lovely lady in-laws), but that was like a gateway drug. Soon I was trying other types. Earl Grey. Orange Pekoe. English Breakfast. Irish Breakfast. Jasmine. China Oolong and Lapsang Souchong. At college, a classmate turned me on to Twinings Blackcurrant. At a local sandwich shop in Ann Arbor (the late, lamented Drake's), I experimented with maté, a Brazilian breakfast beverage.

Soon I was trying anything. Green teas. White teas. Strange herbal fruity infusions. This weird rooibos stuff from South Africa. Chai tea. (Glorious, glorious chai!) I even learned to like plain old iced tea, even without sugar.

So my fondness for tea might have escalated a little out of control. As evidence, check out my tea shelf:

Sad to say, that's not all my tea; if it comes in a little envelope, I combine a variety into a single box for the main tea cabinet; overflow sachets are in a separate cabinet, along with all the instant cocoa and cider mixes.

Ask me, and I'll always claim that my drinking problem is under control. Just don't ask before I've had my morning cuppa.


  1. Mm...A cup of tea sounds lovely this morning! (Plus the procedure of making tea will mean I can procrastinate working on my paper for *that* much longer...:-)

    Lovely piece of writing, too!

  2. Life is so much simpler when all you drink is Lipton tea made for icing. Which doesn't explain why I have half a cupboard with all sorts of other kinds. Oh, wait, that's for when you come over...:-)

  3. Since one of my many mottos is "There's no such thing as too much coffee," it's difficult to understand the tea thing. I have multiple containers of teas that I tried, but could never get myself to like. If you start a tea-sharers group, I could ship all of them to a central location where someone might actually enjoy them.