About two years ago, I "quit" coffee. To get me through all-nighter term papers, I would drink cup after cup of the drip stuff. For no particular reason, I switched to tea. I became a girl obsessed, a tea aficionada. What kind of leaves, where they're grown, what wonderful flowers blend with which teas, what time of day, when to add milk, honey, or lemon. I noticed that the switch made me feel better. I couldn't have explained it at the time, but coffee had a dull and dirty affect on my body. Not really, but the tea--especially the loose leaf, high quality teas steeped properly--made my veins, arteries, and nerve endings feel fresh. It was as if all that coffee was Friday night's make up that I hadn't washed off before bed and tea was the apricot exfoliation by noon on Saturday. Also, at my local coffee shop/home-away-from-home office (http://www.1369coffeehouse.com/
), a single cup of exquisite coffee costs $1.40, white a pot of tea (which you can squeeze four cups out of) was only $2.00.
Green tea, though, never quite made the cut (or cup). I couldn't get past the medicinal bite. Then, a few months ago, I had an epiphany at the Porto Rico Importing Co., The Finest Coffee & Tea on Bleaker Street. Canister upon canister of the most amazing green and white teas (I found the black tea section a bit lackluster, only because I've had each they carried--which speaks more to my tea obsession than their merchandise). I walked out with Magnolia Oolong, Summer Rose, Butterfly Sencha, and...India Monsoon Malabar coffee.
These teas are super smooth, in no way bitter, light but flavorful, and incredibly beautiful. All are infused with a variety of flowers that bring color and loveliness. The biggest green tea crimes are over-steeping, scorching (using too-hot water), and cheap leaves. Whole leaf green tea is a revelation compared to its bagged brother. The butterfly sencha is so fragrant with citrus, I'm sure it'll make the most refreshing summer iced tea.
But, like I said, I couldn't resist the Monsoon Malabar. (I'm finding that I have a weakness for Indian beans.) A few weeks later, after drinking a cup (or two...or three) every morning, I'm feeling that sluggish, yesterday's makeup grime again. Waking up is more difficult, and I sleep like a pile of grumbling rocks. I need coffee to even make the coffee.
But enough! Today, I made a pot of magnolia oolong and I'm going to get back on the wagon.