Holy Toledo! The New York Times has a whole page on tea: Everything from how to be a tea snob to the history of the world’s most consumed beverage to the health benefits of tea to the World Tea Expo. Tea Has Arrived! Move over triple latte, there’s good reason tea is the darling of Big Apple’s press!
The world-wide varieties of tea are so multitudinous that one could try a different tea every day of the year – and travel the world – one sip at a time. Growing on six of the seven continents (be sure to take a stash when you visit that other one) and admirably blended with scores of herbs, flowers, oils, and spices, tea offers something for every personality type. Three cups of stout English breakfast fueled Margaret Thatcher’s days. Liberace’s keyboard smile? That would be Berry Blend, no? Dr. Oz? White tea, definitely!
Although the western world associates tea with crustless little cucumber sandwiches and collectible cups and saucers made for urchins’ hands, tea is the drink of choice for the poorest people on the globe. Nomadic herders from the Himalayas to the Sahara drink more tea than water. Whatever the socioeconomic status of the drinker, tea tends to ritual and reflection. Pausing and thinking while making and drinking . . . imagine the UN security council opening each session with a pot of tea prepared by a different ambassador?
The worst blow to tea’s image has been its association with a political interest group. Tea and politics have long been bedfellows in this country. The difference is that the first tea party was a reaction to unfair taxation. I’ll leave it to the reader to wonder what the recent Tea Party has been drinking.
Our favorite beverage just got the New York boost!