A New Leaf

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.

tea for two

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.

10 thoughts on “A New Leaf

  1. I started drinking tea several years ago when coffee upset my stomach from too much acid. Love the taste of many, many good teas. And you are right it is hard to find a restaurant that serves good tea. One of my biggest disappointments when I went to Asia several years ago and asked for tea on Japan Airlines and in some of the Thai restaurants in Bangkok and Laos, all I got was Lipton’s!! I really don’t mind Lipton’s but just expected something different/better?! LOL!! (In Laos they served it with limes instead of lemons,)

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Judy. That’s funny about Japan airlines and some restaurants serving Lipton! I guess they thought you’d appreciate it?

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  2. I love that quote! I drink tea at home (though rarely), coffee when a good barista has made it. I’ll drink tea with milk in the morning, green tea at lunch-time, and chamomile in the evening.

    A couple of years ago I went to Claridge’s in London for their Afternoon Tea. They had a tea menu with almost 40 different teas to choose from. You should do that some day!

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    1. That sounds like a good plan for tea drinking. I do love chamomile.

      I know, let’s plan on meeting at Claridge’s in London for Afternoon tea someday.

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  3. I really like tea. That said, I rarely finish a cup I start, and I have no idea what that’s about. I buy yummy, good teas, and they last in my house for years.

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    1. Yeah, IB, that happens here too. I usually finish my cups but end up having really nice teas going stale from years of sitting around. Hopefully that will change now that I am a morning tea drinker.

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