I just returned from Japan with a new perspective. A couple of posts back, I called for all you tea lovers out there to make your voices heard when it comes to your desire for quality tea at quality establishments. Now I’m back to ask you for even more. When you go out to a nice place, even a semi-nice place, order the tea. Even if you think it’ll be bad. Even if they don’t have tea on their menu. Allow me to explain …

When I went to Japan, every establishment I went to – and I mean every hotel, café, and restaurant – had tea available. Again, it’s two sides of a coin. Everyone drinks tea; therefore, everyone serves tea. Let me make a confession here and now – I’m a tea snob. In the post in which I asked everyone to make comments to ask for better tea, I imagine that many of you noticed the stink of said snobbishness. My perspective has changed in that I believe not only better tea, but simply more tea will help in the grand design.

Here’s my thinking. As I’m writing this, I can’t help but think back to Jay Leno. As many of you know, Jay Leno is a huge gear head. He loves cars and his collection certainly shows it. Imagine my surprise when I once heard him applaud the car industry for producing hybrids. Hybrids? “Aren’t they just toasters on wheels?” I thought (my apologizes to hybrid owners). But then I listened further. He went on to explain that for most people, cars are just a convenience. Making cars that are better for the environment, use less gas, and get people from point A to point B just makes sense. These cars should be appliances, to be used and abused. The auto industry should crank out tons of these cars by Mr. Leno’s estimation. The big picture? This actually opens up the market to more specialized, higher-performance collector cars – just like the glut of cheap California wines heralded a class of ultra-high-end collector wines from the state. So here’s to more tea, and ultimately, better tea for everyone.