As we become accustomed to higher-quality teas, we naturally tend to set the bar higher. The same can be said for coffee, wine, beer, and just about anything else. After having spent so much time trying things like Chemex-brewed coffee and smoked beers, I can’t go back to more mass-produced versions. If you’ve been drinking high-quality loose tea for a while now (and I assume you have), can you drink bagged tea anymore?

I find that bagged tea is one of the things I am still able to drink. It’s not exactly good, mind you, but whereas I can’t choke down “break room” coffee or most light beers, I can still drink (and sometimes enjoy) lower-quality teas. This is I think due to the fact that most conventionally-marketed tea in the West is very mild in flavor in comparison to things like coffee and beer, and in this case, it’s to its benefit.

If my previous ruminations on things like Dunkin’ Donuts’ experiment with loose tea are any indication, I don’t hold high opinions on a lot of teas sold in places like DD or McDonalds. But I can force myself to drink subpar tea because it is still preferable to a poorly-made cup of coffee.

Before I got into tea, I couldn’t bear to have to drink a cup of bagged Lipton. But now, and God knows why, I can drink it just fine.

But is this just me? Are you able to drink bad coffee just because you’re used to it? Is bad tea just “hot leaf juice” as my father likes to put it? I’m curious to see what everyone else thinks.