A box of tea

Do you drink coffee? I've tried, and I've come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in this world: coffee drinkers, and those who wish that coffee tasted even a little bit as good as the promise of its smell.

I fall squarely into the latter category.

It's a wonderful smell, coffee, rich and thick, smelling like an olfactory cross between velvet, chocolate, and good shoe leather. A mug of coffee is possibly the only single object in the world capable of warming a pair of cold hands faster than a snuggling, purring cat; there's something comforting about the warm haze of steam rising from the cup to your face as you prepare to drink.

Its aficionados tell me that the experience of drinking the coffee is just as good is the ritual of preparation that comes before it. I cannot vouch for that. My perfect cup of coffee sits in my hands, perpetually radiating warmth from mug to skin, sending trails of scent to my nose, and never once touches my lips.

In my family, coffee was a supremely male drink, not because of superiority or a particular suitedness to the male psyche, but simply because my mother and my grandmother didn't drink it. How odd, these memories, to capture that my grandfather drank his coffee from an old white cup (so vividly that even now, so many years after his death I can still picture him holding it), but not to capture what he put in his coffee.

If there is such a phenomenon as a "Southern drink," sweet tea is it; that particularly pungent beverage rendered cold and sticky-sweet by the addition of more sugar and ice than can possibly be good for any small planet. I sometimes think our predilection for that exaggeratedly sweet drink spoiled many of our palates to expect sweetness with all beverages.

Even now, in my mid-twenties, I am only just now beginning to teach myself to like 'grown-up' beverages. It has been about seven years since Sperry first handed me a cup of peppermint tea, sweetened with honey, to me to help ease a sore and scratchy throat. Gareth's accidental[?] leaving of a box of tea at the house this year certainly has not hurt, and Misty's none-too-secret stash of herbal teas finished the onslaught.

About two months ago I found myself staring at a tea aisle, marveling at the packs of boxes that had undoubtedly been there for years, waiting for me to discover them. I came home with a box of the Mandarin Orange Spice tea I had tasted at Misty's.

It was soon followed by another box or two of tea. Settling down in the evening with a pen, a notebook, and a cup of tea quickly became something of a ritual. As long as no one asks me how much sugar's in the tea, it's all good.

Maybe someday I'll work my way up to coffee.

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I love tea. I love the smell of coffee. But actually drinking it? Bleugh - what a let down. I drink it once overy couple of months when I can't stay awake at work and then I bounce off the walls for the next four hours. Pots of tea are my fave - but I had a peppermint tea yesterday where the tea was in foil stick that you swish around in your cup like a swizzle stick....fancy!

I drink both coffee and tea. I'm of the firm opinion that it's your situation that dictates which one you drink. When you're trying to wake up? Definitely coffee. When you're meeting friends for lunch, or after going shopping in the afternoon? Coffee (preferably Torrefaz, eh Will?). Relaxing after seeing a movie? Tea. Tea's for relaxing, coffee's for getting wound up. Will & Kepmen know all about the "getting wound up" bit -- one afternoon we met for coffee and I think I had three triple-mochas in the span of an hour. We were mainly going on about working at Success then. =) Nowadays things are more relaxed. I have three boxes of tea in my cupboard -- Earl Grey, green tea, and jasmine tea. I have a grinder and coffee pot that have gone untouched since I've been here. And yeah, part of tea drinking is the ritual, the ceremony. I don't have a teapot here so I miss out, but there's still a little bit of ritual when I have to take the teabag out after a couple of minutes. It's not fire-and-forget like coffee is. Coffee's like rock and roll. It's there, it's in your face. Tea is like jazz, it's a little more subtle but somehow can be more rewarding if you put the time into it. Now if you'll excuse me I've got a mug of Dave Brubeck that needs attending to.

Considering I'm about to talk to my doctor about a caffeine addiction, I fall into the former category. I love coffee. Of course, the majority of you who read Amy's site already have fantastic tales about my coffee consumption. As for tea, I highly recommend Harney & Sons. You can find it online at http://www.harney.com. These people are veritable crack dealers to my mother; she has shelves of it. I have a tea box full of Harney tea. It's all incredibly good.

I've never gotten into drinking tea. I only got into coffee due to the necessity of wakefulness at MSMS. I drink my coffee black, so it better be quality stuff when I do drink a cup. So I'm weird. This is not news.

I am a certified tea addict. I drink most of the Celestial Sasonings including Fast Lane. That rocks big time. I love the smell of coffee but I actually prefer the smell of jasmine tea. What can I say...i am a tea junkie.

Both coffee & tea are good things ... assuming it's good coffee and good tea. Chai ... great stuff, when done right. I will settle for te Chai Lattee dispensed by QuickTrip, but I really like the Oregon Spiced Chai they serve at Java House in Coyners (yes, Coyners has a great coffee shop). Green tea ... my pals in Taiwan have shown me the way of real Chinese tea. Remind me to bring the tiny teapot & good Chinese green tea buds to Huntsvegas over the holidays. Coffee ... I used to hate it, because of my dad's selection of pre-ground canned storebrand grounds. Grind it, brew it right, drink it hot or cold. Just stay away from that pre-ground crap.

For some reason, I've never been able to get the hang of either coffee *or* tea. (Though I did try this peach tea I once sorta liked, but haven't been able to find here in LA yet.) Coffee always seemed to me to be like cigarettes: something you have to "force" yourself to acquire the taste for, and all you get out of it is an unhealthy addiction... I never saw much point in it. Not that I can live without my caffeine in the morning, mind you (said while sipping on Dr Pepper, my daily coffee substitute and the closest I'll probably ever come to a drug-related vice). =)

I'm of the variety like Brad and SiliconChef, I like both coffee and tea. Depending on my mood dictates if I want coffee or if I want tea. Usually, though, in the mornings, I drink coffee and for the rest of the day, I drink tea, unless I'm trying to wake up to study or whatever. I had to grow used to coffee before I really liked it. I remember my junior year at ASMS, my roommate made me try a cup. Before then, the only stuff I'd really drunken was preground, gross stuff. The first cup was horrible, but after a while, I got used to it and now I love coffee. Tea, on the other hand, I've always enjoyed drinking. I used to like only black teas. Then, Amy came back from DC with a box of green tea and unpolished rice. I'm addicted to that stuff now. I dole it out when I'm at work and I can sit and enjoy the aroma and the taste of the tea. It's wonderful. I'm also particularly partial to herbal teas now, mainly because I can munch on the rehydrated fruit after steeping the tea. My particularly favorite place to order tea from is Teavana. You can also go to their stores in Atlanta and pick tea up that way. For now, though, I'm going to finish enjoying my coffee and look forward to when my boss finally brings in her espresso machine.

I also like both coffee and tea. And for me both are ritual drinks. I grab coffee in the morning on my way to work/class. I started drinking tea a few years ago, and I guess a couple of years ago on a regular basis. I like to get the Celestial Seasons Sleepytime tea or Chamomile (though now I'm drinking Lipton Chamomile) and make a cup right before bed. Then I crawl into bed with my tea and whatever book I'm reading and read until I get sleepy and go to sleep. I started this ritual about 2 years (maybe 2.5 do n't remember ;)) to sort of give myself some "me" time in the middle of all the stress school brings. I think it helps keep me grounded. I haven't tried any other types of teas, so if you have any non-caffeinated ones I can drink like that before bed let me know. I have also had green tea a time or two and liked it, but haven't actually ever bought any. I've considered buying some of that to bring to work to drink when I want a small pick me up instead of the nasty coffee they make at work (it's WAAAAAAY too strong), but I've yet to do that. I don't buy it on a regular basis since it usually does have caffeine (I know I could get decaf). I have an absoulte love for coffee. The Starbucks in the bookstore on campus could really break my budget if I let it! (I just avoid the union as much as possible)

Coffee - Decaf, flavored with lots of sugar & milk/cream/half&half Smells great & wonderful to warm me up (though the snuggling/purring cat on my lap helps too WHEN she feels like it). Tea - Earl Gray with lots of sugar & milk; Chamomile only when sick & losing my voice; Green tea (which I was introduced to in China on a visit way back when) only when necessary to be polite to a host The thing I like best about coffee is the coffee maker makes it - I don't have to wait for the water to boil or the microwave to beep THEN wait for the tea to steep out of the tea bag enough to drink. By the time the tea is ready I've moved on to other things or forgotten about it until it's ice cold. At work it's a different story - there's a boiling water tap on the coffee maker. I can wait for the tea to steep if I don't have to wait for the boiling water too. But what about hot chocolate? YUMMMMM!

tea is heaven, or, as brad put it, jazz. coffee is great too, but... caffeine _IS_ a drug. i cannot stress this more. it is addictive. it has detrimental side effects... man i love it so much. taking your tea extra sweet isnt so bad, im sure gareth will tel you that "english tea" is a sickly sweet, warmed watery milk concoction that has a few leaves swimming in it for colour. you dont need to feel ashamed about how you drink your tea, we are tea drinkers, and this is our manifesto... (an, i suddenly have a craving to watch Hackers again) Like Heather, I need to kick cafeine, I'm hoping to switch to mateine (verba Mate (sometimes spelled 'yerba mate',) tastes good, and is easy to deal with, one of those starbucks/bodum personal coffee press cups, dump the leaves in, toss some water on tom, add honey or milk if you like, refill with hot water when you need. good stuff. good site here: http://www.healthfree.com/herbgarden/yerbaxan.htm )

I only like my tea cold and sweet. As for coffee, I'll go on coffee binges. I'll go for a few months without having any, but then I get a craving and I'll drink one or two 'cups' of a morning. Caffeine is my friend!

I drink mostly oolong or Earl Grey of the cheepish variety. Usually by the time I'm awake enough to make a cup of tea I don't need it anymore, but I really like it so I go throgh pases. I concur with Amy's opinion of coffee. As long as I don't have to drink it. Dar Williams mentions "coffe that tastes like deseil fule" and thats the kind of thing that my mother likes and drings: black, think, strong so that's what avialibe, and while I've tried doctored kinds of coffe they don't do much for me either. But I haven't tried that hard mostly cause I have this oponion that only wimps doctor their coffee and that I wouldn't want to show weakness in that way. But I will put milk and sometimes a little sugar/honey in a really strong cup of black tea from time to time, and I'm one of the most anti-macho guys that I know so go figure. Also my mother is the coffee drinker of the household, my dad drinks green tea and I drink the aformentioned stuff.... Cheers, Oh and I have another complex that only wimps drink a