Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I blame RH. It all started innocuously enough (cue wavy video and harp to signify flashback). It was one of the first days after RH had moved in and he had just come back from a long day at Med School (he's a hard working boy). He settled down on our most uncomfortable chair, pulled up a stool as a table, and proceeded to read about tinnitus or cat-scratch fever or all those tiny bones in your foot. After a while he got up and I heard him rummaging in the kitchen, during which he asked me "Would you like some tea Michael?" Yes, he calls me Michael, my full name which is typically reserved for my mother, some interviewer meeting me for the first time, or my grade school gym teacher (Hi Ms. Condon!). This doesn't bother me, but is an interesting aside. It does make me feel a little sheepish (for no reason in particular), but I digress. Before mumbling my default "No Thanks" (a response I've evolved since my roommate LK started using recipes as guidelines), I stifled hilarious thoughts of RH and I having a tea party, and said "sure."
I didn't really like the tea too much, but I liked that I could make it quickly (2 minutes!), it tasted complex, and didn't need to add anything to it to make it palatable. After that less than awe-inspiring first impression, I quickly forgot about tea. That was until I encountered the overwhelming tea display at Trader Joes. Of course, not knowing exactly what kind of tea I was given by RH that evening, I leaned towards the accessible teas, i.e, the ones with fruits in their titles. I settled on Pomegranate White Tea, surely the Bud Light of teas. I brought it home, put it in my cupboard, and forgot about it (this is becoming a theme in my life) until I was blogging one day and wanted something to sip. It was 3pm so beer seemed a bit premature, and coffee would involve scooping and measuring and percolating, so that was out too. Sure enough, good old box o' tea was waiting patiently in my cupboard for this very moment.
As soon as I put the bag in my mug of hot water, a terrifying realization washed over me. HOW LONG DO I STEEP THIS? AND WHAT DOES STEEPING EVEN MEAN? I checked the box and it offered no help (3-5 minutes?!!? That's an eternity in Tea World!), tried to remember if I had ever seen RH 'steep' before only to remember he has some fancy tea death chamber contraption. Using the pigment of the water as a guide, I danced that little bag all around the mug, futilely trying to keep it submerged, convinced I was doing it wrong or had a faulty product. After these frantic few minutes, I sat down and took a sip, finding that it tasted pretty much like what the box said. Tart, sweet, boring tea. But I didn't hate it, and that's a start! Maybe that's how chewing tobacco enthusiasts get started, because lord knows their maiden experience with that stuff can't be rosy.
To make a long story short, I've since purchased 4 (FOUR!) types of tea from Trader Joe's, even going so far as to buy Earl Grey (this is serious tea) and something called 'Bed-Time' Tea (which I feel obligated to yawn while drinking). I've enjoyed them all and it has become my go-to blogging drink. So next time you read something funny here, I hope you hear this old Asian dude in your head like I do.