I’m not yet prepared to accept that I am addicted to tea, but I will admit to being extremely tea-dependent.
It is, of course, partly genetic. In the “old country,” everything centered on this magical elixir. Too cold? A nice cup of tea will warm you up. Too hot? Sit down and have a nice cup of tea and you’ll cool off. Fell off your bicycle and skinned your knee? Here, have a nice cup of tea while I see if I can find a Band Aid.
As I’ve moved from place to place, my tea habit has changed. I no longer expect freshly boiled water over loose tea in a pre-heated pot: Irish Breakfast first thing with Pekoe later in the morning, Earl Grey for the afternoon, Lapsang Souchong in the early evening and Darjeeling before bed.
These days I am perfectly content with a Lipton’s tea bag in a mug of vaguely hot water. My mother, of course, was horrified. She would witness me pouring a mere splash of her supercharged tea into a cup before filling it up with hot water and would sadly announce, “That’s water begrudged and tea bewitched.”
But here I sit in Chicago with my “tea-baggy” tea right next to the keyboard. It is that first, sublime cup of the day… Praise God for the gift of tea.