My name is Jimi and I’m a tea-aholic! Granted, this is hardly a grand revelation for my nearest and dearest, whose knowledge of my liquid predilections sees me gratefully receiving many tea-related offerings when it comes to gift-giving occasions – Toby the tea-straining robot being the latest fabulous addition to my collection. That being said, it’s hardly a closely guarded secret from the world at large either, as anyone entering my kitchen would soon see for themselves the true level of my addiction. Honestly, I could comfortably host a tea party for a hundred and barely put a dent in my supplies.
My grand love for tea may be due, in part, to a small spot of English heritage asserting itself over my Australian and Polish genetics. Fortunately, I’ve found a happy compromise with a tasty Long Island Ice Tea easily combining my refined and drunken natures all in one happy concoction. But I digress.
My dalliances with this delicious, leafy brew began many a year ago when my grandmother introduced me to the pleasures of sipping on a sweet milky tea. Indeed, I’ve since become a firm believer in the almost magical restorative properties of a good cup of tea. There is something so civilised about sitting down with a friend or two, to enjoy a freshly brewed pot. It’s perfect at any time of day and for all manner of conversations – from sympathy to scandal and everything in between.
Of course, this subject is not without its controversy, as there are many hotly debated questions facing those who imbibe this bolstering beverage. Does one dare use bags in lieu of loose leaves? Should it be taken with milk or lemon? Is the use of a sweetener sacrilege? This is made even more complicated by the dizzying variety of blends readily available in today’s wonderfully convenient world.
Personally, I’m always open to trying new teas and have enjoyed discovering the rainbow of colours – black, red, blue, green, and white – as well as the many distinct flavours. To this end, I can often be found perusing the shelves of Mariage Frères in the Marais, rummaging amongst the tins and inhaling all the different aromas. They are, without doubt, my brand of choice, with my particular favourites of late being Nil Noir, Milky Blue and Pleine Lune. Not to say that I’m a snob by any means, as I still quite enjoy drinking teas from other brands, when offered in cafés and by friends, without being all precious about it…well, not overly so at any rate.
There is, however, a slight downside to my tea-drinking ways. The level of my daily consumption means that I will usually start to get a headache if I haven’t gotten my fix of a refreshing cuppa by mid-afternoon. That aside, it is by far the tamest of my many addictions, so I’m not particularly worried about my body’s apparent tea dependence.
Well, my cup is empty, best I go brew another pot. But which blend do I pick? Decisions, decisions! Frankly, it’s a wonder I get any work done at all. And so, Gentle Readers, what’s your preferred refreshing beverage that helps you get through the day?