So, life list #65 is: try 200 blends of tea (make a top 50 list) and I’ve been putting off figuring how to be organized about these lists within the list. Of course, I’ve already had many kinds of tea in my lifetime, but for the purpose of this list and just for fun I’m going to start tracking my tea adventures and making notes and photos along the way to help me with my eventual Personal Top 50 Teas list.
As I write this I’m wondering a little… why did I put this on my list, anyway? I wouldn’t describe myself as tea freak. I will drink coffee. I actually enjoy coffee. I can and do function many days without even thinking about a cup of tea.
So, why tea? Maybe it’s all the iced tea a southern girl like me drinks in her lifetime. I remember the shock of the first time I ordered “tea” during a summer trip up north expecting the standard refreshing ice-cold sweet tea to appear. When the waiter showed up carrying a steaming cup of hot water with a wedge of lemon and a Lipton tea bag perched on the saucer, I was all astonishment. It was a bit of a shock to learn “tea” didn’t mean the same thing up there (even in the middle of a heat wave). I learned shortly thereafter that “iced tea”, when you managed to order it, didn’t even come sweetened in New York. I gave up and drank water.
These days, I enjoy tea both warm and cold. The ritual of cuddling with an oversized cup on winter mornings is one of my favorites. I married into a family of tea drinkers. Our tea cupboard is a towering hard-hat-zone of boxes and tins. Even so, I find myself drawn to tea aisles and the tea cupboards of friends. This tea taste test adventure gives me an excuse to try new, different teas and it’s also a goal that can happen slowly and be incorporated into my daily life. I need some of those little goals that bring me back to the present and remind me to enjoy the little things.
Along the way, I’ll try to learn some more about tea. Like for example, on the quick google search I did before writing this post I learned there are six larger categories of tea (Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, White Tea, Pu-erh Tea and Herbal Tea) and herbal tea (funnily enough the one I started my tea diary with) is not “true” tea (because it doesn’t come from the the Camellia sinensis plant). Who knew? I’m learning already.
I’m going to post pix and notes to my tea Diary flickr set and will share my tea tasting adventures here on the blog as well. For today, here’s a nice kicky glass of iced Acai Mango Zinger Tea. Cheers!