One of my favorite daily pleasures is indulging in really good tea. I have a cup when I first arrive at the office. I enjoy a mid-afternoon tea break. And I typically sip a bedtime cup. Sometimes I make a proper pot and use one of the many lovely teacups I own, but mostly I drink from a giant blue mug I stole from my husband.
Now, oftentimes when people hear someone really enjoys tea, they start buying it for them. Which is very nice. Except that there are too many people who don’t understand what I mean by TEA. What I’m talking about is Camellia Sinensis–a shrub native to Asia that’s kin to the lovely flowering Camellias we had in the yard in SC. When you dry the leaves of this shrub–preferrably the two leaves on the tip of the branch, you get that fragrant amber liquid I enjoy so much.
There are tasty drinks out there billed as tea, but they’re actually tisanes or herbal infusions. They’re made from flowers, herbs, and roots NOT Camellia Sinensis. I do keep peppermint on hand because it’s nice for an upset tummy or after a rich meal, but it’s not tea.
And while flavored teas can be tasty once in a while, I really prefer the plain, black stuff. Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon. I get mine from Harney & Sons–an Irish family in New York that really gets all the nuances of tea. And, fortunately, carries really good tea in a decaffeinated version. I gave up caffeine about ten years ago and am grateful to Mr. Harney for accomodating me.
Writer’s have a reputation for consuming beverages while working. Pumpkin spice coffee, pots of Earl Grey, diet sodas galore. My writing fuel is decaf black tea. Just in case you were thinking about sending me some. ; )