So here lies a debate that you could spend all day trying to one-up the other with no real sight of an ending. Coffee, tea, Coffee AND Tea “Yuanyang” (It exists! Yuanyang is a Hong Kong style milk tea and coffee hybrid). Again it is all preference, it is all about flavours, health benefits, aromatherapy and let us not forget the caffeine content.
I could say I am a heavy coffee drinker, however, I could say the same about my teas. I have a whole cupboard dedicated to a variety of dried leaves that I could steep and last me though the next nuclear apocalypse. I am THAT obsessed with it. Everything from Lapsang Souchong to Pu Erh, Orange Pekoe to Matcha Green. If you need some Chamomile or Jasmine, it is in there. Stop on by, we will have a cuppa.
But coffee, that’s my morning jam. I have written a lot about rituals since starting this blog, but food and drink ARE rituals. Everyone has their own way, shape and form of it and when you find people who share those common norms, it is a magical experience. But I digress…
As soon as I get myself downtown and out of the
sardine can subway, I hop over to my Starbucks and order my tall blonde (coffee, of course). This is my time, I relax as I typically get to work early for commuting reasons. I hold a lot of sentiment to the location I go to. It was the first Starbucks location I walked into just landing in Chicago many years ago. Once I started working downtown, I began making a habit of including this place in my mornings, they know me by name, they know my order et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…
Somehow, morning tea is not as fulfilling. For no real reasons other than it does not feel right to me, coffee is what completes the morning ritual. (See my post on what breakfast means to me). However, I feel Afternoon Tea or even later on as High Tea…, is where tea belongs in my day as coffee that late in the day (though I have done it) is not so much a ritual as it is just for impromptu social gatherings. I could definitely stop by an Argo Tea in the mid-afternoon for some iced-steeped-whatever-the-cup and really enjoy myself.
Why is there such a back-and-forth on this matter? Why can I not have a firm grip on this or that like most caffeine-addicts around the world?
I spend a lot of my year split between two countries. One foot in Chicago, the other in Toronto… US/Canada… roadtripping galore.
Why is that important?
My time in Canada over the years reintroduced me to tea. The varieties of ordinary Orange Pekoe tea are just mind-blowning up North… or East to me. I will admit, I look like a freak on some trips taking half a suitcase full of Tetley’s Orange Pekoe and a couple trips ago… oh boy… I found the motherlode.
Tetley in general is my go-to generic tea. I would have to say Ahmad Tea wins my all around favourite, but I always have Tetley in the cupboard ready to go.
My fiancé and his family are quite fond of High Tea and Evening Tea and that was how I began to fall in love with tea all over again. It is about the celebration. You have coffee for the buzz, a right kick in the arse out the door and into that high-rise to type away for hours on end. You have the tea to unwind and relax with the best company your heart connects with. Not those dried leaves silly foodies. I am talking about your friends, your family, your significant others. Tea is intimate, and delicate. Bleeding hearts and sleeve-wearers aside, tea is for the ones who love you, for the ones who love you for loving tea and for each sip of tea that knows how to love you back.
I’ll have mine with some 10% and sugar, please and thank you.