Obviously, tea is inspiring and exciting, stimulating (or calming), and very tasty. However, there are some situations in which a certain type of tea, or just tea in general, may not be the best thing to have.
It is 104 degrees as you and your companions trudge through Death Valley. The sun beats down on you mercilessly; your skin has turned as red as the tricycle that belongs to the three-year-old down the block. You wonder if you and your companions have accidently walked into a massive oven. Eventually, it is time to sit down and rest. Each of your cohorts pulls a bottle of water out of a miniature cooler that one of them was carrying. You, however, have other ideas. Reaching into your backpack, you pull out a well-insulated thermos of steaming hot tea.
No offense should be taken to anyone who enjoys drinking hot tea at the height of summer – some people do. However, drinking a hot beverage while on a hike in the desert is slightly questionable. On the other hand, tea would rehydrate you, regardless of the temperature.
You and some of your closest friends are sitting at a table at one of the most renowned (not to mention expensive) tea houses in England. This place, one of your buddies whispers, is well known for its well-brewed loose-leaf teas. Their philosophy – tea is better made the old-fashioned way. When someone comes to take your orders of tea, several of your friends have trouble deciding among the many varieties. You have plenty of time to choose, but you already know what you’re having. When all eyes turn toward you, you grin and say, “Oh, don’t worry about me, guys. I brought some of that instant stuff from home.”
“The instant stuff” is not totally lousy, and some would say that it is just as good as loose-leaf tea. I, personally, find brewing the tea part of the fun. But bringing instant tea to a tea house specializing in loose-leaf tea is rather rude.
You are sitting in a makeshift igloo in Antarctica (or is it Greenland?) You are wearing several pairs of pants, shirts, jackets, and four layers of socks beneath your multiple-inch-thick snow boots. You are, at least, not freezing to death, although your igloo roommate informs you that you look like a giant grape. A giant, multicolored grape. You can see your breath, and despite all the layers, are getting rather cold. You wish you had accepted a work position somewhere in Arabia. Wondering how long transfer requests take to go through, you reach into your freezer and pull out some iced tea, ignoring the fact you could heat it up over the fire.
Somewhere in Brazil, you visit a plantation where workers are picking coffee beans. Coffee, however, is farthest from your mind as you clutch a small, but extremely significant Camellia sinensis shrub from Asia. You choose a prominent place among the coffee plants and begin to pull a few out by the roots. Everyone is staring by the time you are done, but you ignore this, dig a small hole, place the tea plant in it, and begin to cultivate. You only have a few moments to secure the plant before you look up and see the supervisor coming at you with a rusty spade. Fleeing the area, you are left wondering if your precious shrub will survive.
Everything else aside, it is simply not advisable to try to grow a Camellia sinensis, or tea plant, in an area specifically designated for coffee.