Friday, November 9, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

This isn't really a tipple, of course, and I didn't have any last night. But I've taken a hiatus from whiskey on account of a cold that I've been fighting, and I need material to put on the blog. So let's talk about tea.

Recently, I have had a hankering for warm beverages during the day at work. I rarely drink coffee because I don't like the feeling of being wired, and I have been reluctant to bring the full loose-leaf tea-making rig to work because of the mess and hassle inherent with it when done in an environment that's not really set up for it. So I was left with tea bags. The company that I work for provides free Lipton tea bags in the break room, but they make vile tea. I suppose that I have become a tea snob, but I tried them once and could not take more than a couple of sips from the resulting tea. It tasted like cardboard. And so I was left with having to buy my own.

What I was really after was something that was actual tea and that was fruity and gave the impression of sweetness without any actual sugar in it. In other words, a flavored or infused tea. I also wanted something that would not really suffer from being brewed with water slightly off the boil (the only kind available at work) or from being brewed a bit too long. The not-quite-boiling-water part of the equation suggested green tea. The actual tea and fruity parts suggested The Republic of Tea, which puts out a ton of fruit-flavored teas that aren't just nasty finings. What I ended up with was Açaí Green Tea from The Republic of Tea. Açaí is the fruit of the Açaí palm tree, native to Central and South America, and it has gotten a lot of attention recently because it supposedly is extremely high in antioxidants. I don't really know what antioxidants are, and I'm too lazy and too indifferent to look it up. I can honestly say that the fact that The Republic of Tea labeled this as "Superfruit Tea" because of açaí antioxidant properties played no part in my decision to purchase it. What did play a part was the description of what açaí tasted like: "This deep purple fruit has the rich flavors of concord grape and ripe blueberries." I'm all in favor of concord grapes and blueberries.

The tea brews up deep purple in color, and, sure enough, it tastes like concord grapes and blueberries. In fact, the açaí successfully masks the grassy flavor of green tea that I don't like. I don't think that I can claim that this is great tea, but I enjoy it; and it gives me exactly what I'm after during the day at the office.

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