A few weeks ago I was the victim of a nasty stomach virus and for a couple of days afterward I had little appetite for anything except Gatorade. Slowly I got back to my regular diet, but one thing has changed — possibly for good. I started drinking tea in the morning instead of coffee. At first it was because my stomach could not tolerate it, but later I realized I don’t like the buzz I get from it anymore. And I don’t like the way it often makes my stomach hurt.
The other day Clare and I were in a tea shop and she said she thought she would stop drinking coffee in the morning. I thought that was a good idea and decided to join her. She also knew the quote at the end of this post by heart.
I still like coffee — the smell, the taste, the ritual; I also like tea — the smell, the taste, the extended ritual: boiling the water, warming the pot, measuring the tea, timing the brew, adding the [whole] milk before pouring the tea in the [China] cup. Where coffee gives me a jolt, tea teases me awake.
I don’t know how long this will last — but I plan on enjoying it while it does. And I’ve not given up coffee — I’ll still drink it occasionally — but not every morning. It is hard to get a good cup of tea at a restaurant — this morning I asked the waiter to boil the water in the microwave if necessary, but it had to be hot. She did it right — and my tea was delicious.
“There is a subtle charm in the taste of tea which makes it irresistible and capable of idealism… it has not the arrogance of wine, the self-consciousness of coffee, nor the simpering innocence of cocoa.”
– Okakura Kakuzō, 1862-1913.