It’s time to comment on my choice of beverage mascot for this exercise. I chose tea not because it’s the only beverage I drink, nor even the only one I love. I chose it because it comes with a built in timing system, and unlike coffee, I drink it regularly.
I enjoy a good cup of coffee after a big meal, but I love tea any time. All the time.
Now, when I say tea I do include herbal, fruit and floral blends along with varieties derived from ti plant leaves which have been harvested, dried and treated in various ways. All teas are infusions, even if not all infusions are made with ti leaves. I’m not going to fight the inexorable creep of language. It’s all tea-ish.
I am not a tea snob. When away from my tea-making toys, I gladly accept and greedily drink a tea-like beverage constructed in a mug using a paper tea bag and some hot water. I don’t expect every home or restaurant to have a loose-leaf tea smorgasbord, strainers, and thermometers on hand any more than I expect them to have decent espresso machines.
On the other hand, I do expect the water provided me be hot enough to steep tea, but it’s shocking how often people think hot tap water would do. (Imagine the travesty of hot-tap brewed coffee. *shudder*) It would do the job in time, but when dining out, I don’t have the two hours to spend on a cold steep.
Also, if I request tea in a restaurant or cafe, I expect at least one of the varieties on offer to contain leaves of the ti plant without other additives. (Yes, Earl Grey, I’m looking at you with vast hatred right now.) A box full of herbs and flowers does not a proper tea selection make.
If those simple expectations mean others consider me a tea snob, that’s their problem, not mine.
Tea: Ginger’s Oolong
Steep: 7 min (should’ve been 5, but oh, well.)