One of my birthday gifts last month was this contraption:
I don't know what to call it exactly. I guess it's just a tea steeper. Or a tea infuser. Previous to this month, I've never bothered with loose leaf tea: Isn't that what Lipton is for?
I'm definitely a big tea drinker, but cultured tea drinker? Not really.
(Stop me if I get too snobby snotty. That's not what I'm going for here.)
The same day that I discovered the matcha chai latte at the farmer's market was the same day I discovered this infuser. (I need to give my mom credit for this because I technically didn't notice it--she did.) I ended up receiving one a few weeks later, and it works for hot or cold tea; however, I've been holding out for cooler weather to try it out with hot tea. I went back to the tea lady and bought an ounce or two of her exotic black tea and the mojito mint tea.
The good news is that infuser works perfectly AND the teas taste freakin amazing.
The bad news is: what am I going to do with that big box of Lipton in my pantry? And WHY--WHY GOD WHY??--am I constantly discovering new and wonderful things that cost "a little extra money?" It's like when you figure out the difference between acrylic and cashmere sweaters for the first time in your life. Or (God help me) the difference between coach and business class.
My point is: There is no going back. (That being said, I have flown coach plenty of times since the one random time I was bumped to business class. Please people: I'm an adjunct professor. I'm surprised they don't make me ride in cargo with the luggage.)
The sad truth is, tea reminds me of powering through homework. I lived at home when I went to college, and every night I would make tea for my sister, my mom, and me before sitting down to do my work. When I seriously reflect on those years, I believe more and more that the ONLY reason I got through any of my stat, calc, and astronomy (and one godawful English) classes was due to tea. It's a meditative process: Ok, I won't actually start to work until the water boils. What's the point of being interrupted by the kettle? Ok well, the tea has to steep now, so I won't actually start to work until it's finished. [90 minutes of homework later]: Oh geez, look at that: my tea's finished and I still have three calc problems left ... I know! I'll make more tea, watch 15 minutes of ER, by then the tea will be ready, and then surely I will be smart enough to integrate these goddamn equations. And tomorrow's Friday and I'm home free! ... once I get through my 3:30pm calc class.
It blows my mind that "reminiscing" of college homework initially strikes me as "relaxing and happy tea time." Because, let me tell you, I don't remember being that happy about doing homework at the time. Frankly, I remember being tired when I reflect on it. Really tired.
I think I drank 100 gallons of tea working on The Diss this same month last year. Oh, Lovely Tea Infuser: where were you a year ago when you really would've cheered me up? No matter--you're mine now. Even if you do end up bleeding my purse dry.