Life

Five Stages Of Tea Addiction.

I’m not an espresso wench, or a latte wench, but a coffee wench. There are few things better than waking up in the morning, lurching half-awake into my kitchen, grinding up some beans and making myself a pot of coffee. My morning lifting-of-the-sleep-fog routine is largely based around sitting at my computer slurping coffee until I regain the ability to actually read the words I’m staring at as I check my email and social media stuff.

So where does tea factor into that?

My friend Eliot is quite passionate about tea. In fact, he has an entire blog devoted to it. I’ve perused the blog quite a few times, partly because he’s my friend and I like to support my friends in their various endeavors and partly because I have a genuine curiosity regarding tea.

It’s common practice in Newfoundland to drink tea with everything. Throughout much of my childhood, it was normal to sit down at night, just before bed, with what my mother called a “bed-lunch”: toast with some butter or margarine and a cup of Tetley orange pekoe tea. With pre-slumber hunger eradicated, I’d go off to bed and typically end up needing to get up to pee halfway through the night.

When company came to visit, it was common practice to offer them a cup of tea. Coffee wasn’t usually offered, and when it was, you would be served a cup of steaming hot instant lighter fluid. Maybe it’s because of Newfoundland’s slower pace of life that tea was the preferred beverage of, well, everyone. So it’s a little strange that when I moved to Ontario in 2000, I pretty much stopped drinking tea completely. As a teenager, my drink of choice was obviously Coca-Cola, and for a short period of time in 2011 I consumed nothing but Rockstar energy drinks.

A couple years ago, I finally embraced coffee and I haven’t looked back. Then I got sick.

My throat raw and aching, my chest congested and my lungs useless hunks of meat underneath my skin, I was in search of the perfect drink to combat my feelings of death. (Yes, I AM being dramatic.) I went for a chamomile, since it’s supposed to soothe your throat, and my coworker told me I should be drinking mint tea because it would help clear some of the crap out of my sinuses. Since I had already put the chamomile tea bag into my cup, I added the mint and poured water over both.

It. Was. Love.

The chamomile did exactly as it was supposed to and made my throat feel less like it had been sandpapered by an aggressive lumberjack. The mint helped me breathe from my nose again, which is a gift from the gods for someone battling a monstrous cold. And it tasted wonderful

It was at that moment I rediscovered my deep love of tea. It’s like a happy childhood in a cup. In fact, since that moment, I’ve discovered I am not only in love with tea, I am cripplingly addicted.

STAGE ONE: HM, THIS AIN’T HALF BAD.

tea1

You have just discovered that although it may not be jam-packed with caffeine, tea packs its own punch. You’re at that experimental stage where you’re like, “I wonder if I’ll like this tea,” and then you try it, and you love it, so you move on to trying another kind of tea. You maybe add some milk and sugar because it’s what you’ve always done and you’re also still gravitating to black teas because they’re familiar, but you’re beginning to feel the pull of magical other teas, too.
CONSUMPTION RATE: 1 cup per day.

STAGE TWO: ON THE GREEN.

tea3

Everyone knows green tea kicks ass and you can find all kinds of information on the internet about how it’s good for you and might help you lose weight and all that. You feel pretty bad ass because green teas are typically taken with no milk and sugar, just green green goodness. Once you’ve tried your basic green tea, you start going crazy with it, treating yourself to tea with lemongrass, or mint, or both, and before you know it, you’re downing at least a cup a day.
CONSUMPTION RATE: 1-2 cups per day.

STAGE THREE: HERB ME, BABY.

tea2

The wonderful world of herbal teas calls to you and you answer that call because tea fucking rocks. You feel giddy because for the first time, you’re skipping milk entirely and just adding a tiny dash of sweetness to that bad boy. Maybe you’ve even switched to honey instead of sugar just to be that much closer to nature. There’s an entire world of fruity teas and minty teas and all kinds of crazy rooibos teas and you’re keen to give them all a go.
CONSUMPTION RATE: 2-3 cups per day.

STAGE FOUR: THIS IS MY TEA COLLECTION.

tea4

You are giving in to the goddess of tea. You don’t just reach for any old orange pekoe box on the grocery store shelf, you take time to read the boxes and consider what particular flavor and caffeine level you’re going for. Your apartment is slowly being taken over by different boxes of tea and you’ve invested in a tea pot so you can maximize your consumption. The tea siren has called to you and you are drifting toward the rocks.  CONSUMPTION RATE: 4+ cups per day.

STAGE FIVE: I AM TEA. WE ARE ALL TEA.

tea5

You know you’ve reached peak level of your tea addiction when you are helping create your own tea. You’re not just interested in pouring hot water over a bag of leaves, you want to help choose which leaves are in that bag. You’re not quite a sommelier yet, but you are drifting towards that type of education. And now that you’ve attained true tea addict status, you want to share your love of tea with the world! Tea is wonderful, tea is love inside a warm cup and it’s better than anything. CONSUMPTION RATE: Immeasurable, for you are one with tea.

8 thoughts on “Five Stages Of Tea Addiction.”

  1. hahahaaa, this is SO funny. I had to quit coffee because of my illness and I’m a BARISTA! At first it was agony but then, tea. Tea tea tea…I love tea. I drink Red Rose, just a cup a day because of the caffeine [I’m not allowed,] but boy oh boy do I look forward to it. Then there’s the Tazo Passion tea and green tea mixed that I drink all day every day. Or Stash Meyer Lemon Tea with a slice of fresh ginger in it…oooh. I’m going to make tea right now. It’s been over an hour since I’ve had a cuppa.

    1. Baristas are notorious caffeine addicts — I used to drink anywhere between 6 – 10 cups per day. Then it really started messing with my sleeping pattern so now I only have 2 cups in the morning and then decaf or tea for the rest of the day. This fall I’ve really been getting into teas, and the Tazo Passion is one of my all time favorites. I am definitely going to try the Stash Meyer Lemon Tea, because I really love lemon and it sounds delicious.

      I was just about to make myself a nice cup of Passion before I head to bed. 🙂

  2. So very true, especially stage four. My wife and I have at least a kitchen cabinet for tea tools (Pots: Japanese, Chinese, Yi Xing and so on, Kettles: Turkish, Cast Iron, electric variable temperature, etc) and another for the tea itself. The Chinese have a phrase that translates roughly as “tea drunk” and any tea drinker that has downed a whole pot of green tea in an hour knows what that is about–as if caffeine met up with wine and created a “mellow buzz.” Great post!

    1. Ah, yes, the delightful tea-drunk. Green tea is one of my favorites! I admit I’m just getting into tea and have much to learn about steeping and special pots and all of that, but several of my friends are VERY into tea and their knowledge is slowly beginning to steep into my brain. There’s no such thing as too much tea! I love having so many options and brewing methods to choose from, and being able to drink herbal tea (which doesn’t upset my delicately balanced sleeping pattern) is an amazing alternative to decaf coffee.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I’m glad you liked my post. Someday we’ll have to have a giant tea convention and invite everyone from WordPress. 🙂

  3. You speak to me!!! I, too, am a coffee addict …… However, during my last cold…. I had my husband pick me up some Celestial Seasonings lemon zinger. Not as good as my Tazo Passion tea, but it fit the bill. As addicted I am to Starbucks coffee, I am finding myself equally addicted to their Tazo line of teas. In this order, I’m hooked: Calm (chamomile), Zen (green tea blend), Passion (fruity, floral, great cold), and my newest obsession, Chai!!!! Chai, where have you been all my life???? The Chai Latte served up at the Siren Trademarked coffee house is a delight to the senses. It’s a vacation to your mouth!! I also enjoy a good cup of Bigelow Earl Grey. It’s my fav of the Earl Greys.

    Am I cheating on my first love? Coffee? Oh Coffee gods, please don’t banish me to the pits of weak, cheap coffee.

    By the way, I love your TARDIS coffee/tea mug!!! It speaks to my heart on many levels.

    I recently purchased my first tea pot as well…. A little Two Cup Bodum Assam. Very cute, petite, and perfect for me!! It’s just a little temperamental with the pour. But I’ve got it beat now.

    I’m up to 3 cups of tea a day. After coffee, mid afternoon, I have 1-2 cups of green, and at night, a cup of chamomile. And I throw a chai latte in there somewhere along the way.

    I even purchased a Bodum Schiuma battery operated frother. Perfect for ANY lattes, hot chocolate, or beating an egg!! Much less expensive than purchasing a pitcher style frother. Found mine BNIB for $20 on eBay!!

    So, are we the new hybrid of drinkers in the world? Do we have a classification of species? I feel like a traitor….. But my love of tea grows greater!!

    What are your favs? Do tell!!

  4. I enjoy Ceylons, Earl Grey (also Lady Grey), Assams ect., I’m not too much a fan of green and white tea, too delicate for me, maybe i haven’t found the right one.
    If I’m honest, a plain English breakfast tea with a bit of milk and two sugars is my favorite. Although I enjoy Chai Lattes too (starbucks annoys me with its chai tea lattes, chai means tea…a-holes)

    1. I love a nice black tea with a bit of milk and sugar too. 🙂 Yeah, I’ve always been annoyed with saying “chai tea” because you’re just saying “tea tea”. I like green tea, but I let it steep for a LONG time because I like the stronger taste. I don’t usually drink Earl Grey, although every now and then I’ll get a craving for it.

      Tea is so versatile!

  5. Green Tea has been a part of my life for years. Getting loose-leaf tea in bulk from whole foods or any other trustworthy tea joint has become a essential part of my daily routine. I still get that lingering burst of excitement when choosing from all the different varieties on display. According to this “Tea Drunk” phrase, then I’m “Tea-Wasted” every day.

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