Recently, I’ve found myself in a tea rut. Every morning before work, I make myself a pot of the Georgian Village black tea I love from Tea Embassy, pour most of it into my travel mug, and drink the rest while I finish getting ready. At work, I drink various Harney & Sons tea sachets by the cup because I find making pots of loose tea challenging at work. And on weekends, I make a pot of some kind of flavored black tea and drink it through the morning, finishing it as iced tea if I don’t get through it all right away.
While this is not a bad routine, and I enjoy every cup of tea, I realized recently that I was completely stuck in a rut. I hadn’t touched any of my oolong or green teas in ages, and hadn’t even sampled some Darjeeling tea a friend brought me from a trip to India. I have a big cabinet full of teas, and yet I was reaching for the same ones over and over again. Tea is such a comforting beverage, I think sometimes I get stuck on the soothing qualities of one particular tea, and then I forget to switch gears every once in a while.
Maybe it happens when there is a lot going on in my life, and tea becomes a safe harbor – the one thing that doesn’t change. I think back to times of great upheaval in my life, and I know I’ve always had my tea to get me through. It’s interesting to me, though, that in those times, I tend to drink exactly the same types of teas every day. I know when I have a lot of change going on, I like to have at least one small thing that’s under my control, and I guess by keeping my tea routine “routine,” I can exert a modicum of control.
Having realized this, however, I’ve vowed to keep my tea routine more fluid, changing among my favorites more often. I made myself a pot of a wonderful charcoal-roasted Tung Ting oolong from Red Blossom Tea that felt an old friend. I missed the complex flavor and roasted notes of this gorgeous oolong. I even bought a lovely lemon-vanilla white tea from The Steeping Room the other day, and interrupted my weekend flavored black tea routine to fit it in. It was a fresh, clean taste to welcome the warmer weather.
I’m going to try the Darjeeling tea my friend brought me, and incorporate it into my roster of teas. And since it’s spring, I may even order some first flush Darjeelings for myself, because they are a treat I haven’t had in a long while. So it’s like the old song says: “Make new friends, but keep the old … one is silver, but the other’s gold.” I’ll make some new tea friends, but keep my old standbys on tap to keep myself grounded.