Wednesday, January 26, 2022

let's get this tea party on the road

This is going to shock some of you: I have never been a coffee person.

Sure, I will have the odd cup every year or so with a well-made dessert, but I am certainly not one of those if-I-don't-have-my-morning-cup-of-coffee-I-am-useless people. Thinking about it right now, I cannot remember the last cup of coffee I drank. I think it may have been when I was in Colombia with my Colombian cousin in 2017 (sipping my coffee).

I was about to write that I am a tea person. But that would not be correct, either. At least, not in the same sense that coffee people are coffee people.

When I started intermittent fasting in 2018, I knew that I would need something other than water to tide me over with enough liquid to fight the inevitable hunger pangs. It turns out that the transition was very easy. That is, once I discovered the palliative benefits of tea.

When I lived in England in the mid-1970s, I never picked up the tea habit. I was not particularly fond of the bitterness inherent in English black teas. But I did like an occasional cup of Constant Comment -- the orange-flavored training wheel version of black tea. I even mistook it for an English tea. My English girlfriend delivered that news to me with the same disdainful tone an American would use if someone put stone-ground mustard on a hot dog.

Because I am easily bored consuming the same flavors on a regular schedule, I am constantly looking for new teas.

When Nancy, Roy, Sophie, and I visited Australia in the spring of 2019, I purchased a tea pot at Victoria's Basement. That is it in the middle of the pot lineup. Nothing fancy. A shiny stainless steel pot you might find in any mid-priced hotel. I wanted something in which to brew a pot of tea on our Australia to Singapore cruise to avoid the need to fill up cup after cup at the beverage station. 

While in the Queen Victoria Building, I stopped by the only tea vendor I could find -- the cleverly-named T2. I picked up a starter kit that had blends I had never tasted. Gorgeous Geisha. Melbourne Breakfast. China Jasmine. Buddhas Tears. Blue Sage Shoes.

Some were great. Others good. A few were downright disgusting. But they were new.

Since then, on each trip I have made to other countries (and on my frequent trips to exotic Oregon), I have purchased boxes of teas to bring home to Mexico to keep me full during my fasting periods. The greatest temptation (even when I am in my eating window) is to couple the tea with something sweet. I don't give into the temptation because that would defeat the whole purpose of my new eating regime.

After less than three years of service, my Australia-purchased teapot lost its head. Literally.

The finial simply fell off about a week ago. Even though it was spot welded to the lid in three places, the same forces that ravage plastic lids (warm-hearted; cold-blooded) decapitated the finial. Just a different type of corrosion.

But that is why God created Amazon. I saw something similar, ordered it, and a mere eight days, it is now sitting in my pantry (after a short sun-bath by the pool).

It is quite a big larger than my old one, but it will still fit in my luggage for trips. Like its predecessor, it was made in fascist China. Probably by some Muslim political prisoner.

If all goes well, I can use it on the five trips I just discovered I have already booked for myself in the coming months.

But I will save those destinations for another essay. By then, I may even add some stops in Mexico. Or, at least, I hope I will.

For now, I will initiate the new teapot into the ceremonial rites of the house with no name. The trips can wait. 

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