Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tea is Cool

I typically drink hot tea instead of coffee. Some of my reasons for this are negative: I don't like the way that coffee makes me feel, I don't know how to make a decent cup, dealing with a grinder seems like too much mess and trouble, etc. Most of them, however, are positive.
  • Great accouterments. Sure, you could drink coffee from that Tiffany Federal teacup shown above, but to do so would be abusive. It's a teacup, not a coffee cup, after all. And the fancy dishes aren't all. You also can get an electric kettle (the better to heat your water with, of course), any of a variety of fancy scoops (horn, bone, sterling, whatever you want -- and yes, a common teaspoon would work as well, but it wouldn't have nearly as much style), and teapots galore.
  • The ritual. I like putting the electric kettle on in the morning and making myself a pot of tea. I like websurfing while I drink the tea that I've made for myself. It's a comforting routine. Sure, I could do that with coffee, but I don't really like coffee. Which brings me to:
  • The tea. There is an almost infinite variety of good tea available, either at bricks-and-mortar stores like Central Market or over the internet (I like Harney & Sons and Adagio, myself, but there seem to be lots of other options, too). Like green tea? It's easy enough to find dozens of different kinds from several regions of China and Japan. Black tea? Probably even more options. It appeals to my collector's mentality.
  • The cost. This might sound funny after posting pictures of $90 teacups, but tea really is an affordable luxury. A standard 4 oz. tin of tea makes around 50 cups, and most 4 oz. tins of really good tea can be had for less than $15. Heck, less than $10. Even when I'm drinking something very expensive like Keemun Hao Ya A, my morning's tea still costs less than a soda.
And if anyone out there really wants to give me Tiffany Federal teacups (or Assam or Keemun tea for you cheapskates), I would be more than happy to accept your offerings.

1 comment:

Ben W. Brumfield said...

You might enjoy George Orwell's essay on tea. Like "Politics and the English Language", it's attracted lots of attention among my fellow Orwell fans, which leaves me mystified.