Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Green" Tea

Back in the day when I drank coffee (two weeks ago), every time I'd buy a cup, I'd think to myself, "I really should bring one of those travel mugs from home." I'd think it before I left the house, and I'd think it standing in line at the coffee counter, but I never once brought one. The truth of the matter was, no matter how green it would be to drink coffee from a travel mug, the thought made my heart sink. I couldn't bear it. For some reason, coffee in a travel mug tasted different. I wanted either the thick edge of a mug or the curled corner of a paper cup. Without either, the coffee went all watery.

But now that I'm drinking tea, I not only bring my own bag, I bring the travel mug, happily. Maybe it's because I've never fetishized tea in the way I did coffee. I've never yearned for that very first sip off a steaming mug of tea. But coffee, is there anything so rich in the mouth, so full of flavor, so completely satisfying as that first taste of coffee? In a way, I'm glad to be done with it. All that anticipation, all that need loaded into one slurping mouthful. And now, I'm so green and thrifty what with my travel mug and take along tea! (Will anyone ever be able to say teabag again with a straight face?) And if I don't compare the two sets of benefits, I'm AOK.


Sue Dickman said...

If you're really going to be tea-only for awhile, I'd recommend going for the good stuff and getting loose tea, at least for when you're drinking it at home. It's infinitely tastier and more satisfying. (What goes into tea bags is usually the remains of the tea leaves after all the good stuff has been stripped away.) I usually order mine from Upton Tea Company, but there are other places, both online and in NYC. (Of course, I also schlep home from India as much export-quality Assam tea as I can reasonably carry.) A few years ago, my tea-drinking boyfriend said, "Hey, let's just try the good stuff and see how it is." I can't say it was a mistake, but I can say that my tea habit has become more expensive since then. But good Assam tea has so much more depth to it than the cheap stuff. And while I do use my travel mug sometimes, I usually don't put my best tea in it b/c it's not the same as a real mug.

Okay, end of tea evangelism. Hope it's warmed up down there. It's starting to here, finally.

Robin Aronson said...

For a long time I was a great devotee of loose tea. The last time I gave up coffee, I started buying wildly pricey green tea that was so so that I can almost never get to the Fairway, which is kind of loose tea bargain heaven, I haven't gotten much but I'll definitely check out Upton. Thanks for the tip! And I'll keep it out of my travel mug.....

And, yes, it finally warmed up today--tomorrow should be beautiful. I hope you enjoy it!

roni said...

Have to agree with Sue that your favorite loose leaf tea should go into a 'proper' mug.

On a completely unrelated topic, I have to express my thanks for the the super delicious Moroccan Carrot Salad in The Skinny. It is the only dish with cilantro my husband would even taste, and now he said he would like to have the salad at least once a week. He went 45 years refusing to eat cilantro!

Robin Aronson said...

Brilliant! You know I've never even made the carrot salad, and now I must. i'm a HUGE fan of the roast chicken breasts with rosemary apple sauce -- a recipe I tried to talk Melissa out of before I saw it. It's simple and delicious and foolproof (esp if you use thighs).

On the subject of tea, I ordered some last night and will now have that for my first cup -- I mean, once the assam arrives. Thanks for the tip(s)! (i think i just cracked a tea joke).