My happy place is synonymous with tea. Happy glorious, dark, warm and creamy tea.
There’s a line in Anne of Green Gables where Anne’s caretaker is described as one of those people who sees little in the world that cannot be solved with a good cup of tea. Personally, I don’t understand anyone aside from “these people”. If you’re going to face life, you might as well do it with a cup of tea in hand, it helps. If you’ve had a bad day, the first step in rectifying it is an extra strong cup of tea. Clearly.
More than one of my roommates (four of them, to be exact) stated that I drink more tea than anyone she’s ever met in her life. I have no qualms acknowledging my addiction to caffeine, and tea is so much kinder to the senses than coffee or soda.
Which leads me to last week, when my last bag of P.G. Tipps tea was used up, and I was out of time. This was the time to buy tea, bite the bullet and find some in this land of Nescafe and herbal infusions.
It started two weeks ago, when I was in two different Wal-Mart-sized grocery stores. They have tea (not as much as coffee, but they have tea). The Thai grocers even have black tea, good brands, too. However – ahem. Let’s be serious now. Twinings? Wonderful and good and all, but it’s kind of like Special Tea. I wouldn’t buy that to drink everyday. I needed some simple, solid black tea that’s strong enough to zap me awake. Is that so much to ask?
Turns out – yes. Yes it is. These two super-sized stores were not about to provide me with the tea I
craved needed. Nope. Nescafe? Green Tea? Herbal Tea? Milk tea, iced tea, juice, mocha, Ovaltine, soy milk? What else can you ask you for? Just black tea, already!
I wasn’t discouraged, though – Max Valu seemed to cater a bit more to the Western mindset, I’d just go there. Or not. I spent a full twenty minutes looking at these teas. I even pried open a few boxes and sniffed [STOP JUDGING! I stand out enough as it is, why not add to the insanity?]. Nope. All the unknowns were green.
Then I spied it! There it was – Black Tea Powder. It said, Black Tea. I came home, so happy. Thrilled, Elated, Floating, Successful.
Turns out. It wasn’t black tea. In fact, it was the tea leaves for Thai Orange Milk Tea. I think I cried. My tea was ORANGE!! Can you imagine? Really? I mean, pretty and strong. And orange. This is when I finally threw up my hands and whined my heart out to my very, very patient Thai sister.
Like so: Why can’t I find black tea here? Why on earth is it so hard to make myself a DECENT cup of tea in this country? It’s Asia, already!!!
My host family is very long-suffering with their poor, battered, gracious American. I’m glad I can repay their kindness in such rare form.
A few [whiny] moments later, I conceded that the [ORANGE] tea was not so bad. In fact, I’d be fine, this would do. I’d survive. Really, I’d been kidding earlier. Haha!
I said it was better, that I’d be fine. Then I went to my facebook and emailed a friend coming to Bangkok, asking for tea. Decent, British Black Tea already!
Unfortunately, that was not easily located in America, either. I said it was fine. I tried to believe it was fine. It was not fine.
Today, i went grocery shopping. Back to one of the original, super-sized stores. On a whim, I looked at the tea aisle again. Maybe? Maybe I’d just break down and buy over-priced, fancy (glorious, life-giving) Twinings. Eesh, is it overpriced.
Then, I saw it – 100 bags of Ceylon tea. Single Origin. I nearly squealed. I did skip, though. And laugh slightly. Possibly hopped to the cash register.
Turns out, I’ll be fine. I found my tea, and all is well with this caffeine-addicted soul. I found my happy tea.