What Tea Do I Drink? It’s Complicated.
What seems like a simple question to ask a tea-drinking friend can lead to a lengthy discussion when it’s posed to me. I just hope people aren’t sorry once they’ve asked and I’ve launched into my answer! For me, it is a simple question, but the path to the answer is complex, with a large matrix to wind through. However, I think it’s a fun trip, and I enjoy taking others into the maze of my answer!
Most every morning, I think about tea when I wake up. Although rare, there are days when I skip tea and don’t go through this process. If I’m going to a place where tea will be served, I hold off until then to enjoy my tea with those gathered.
I think tea is most enjoyable when shared with others. However, the “yes” or “no” to tea is my first step in deciding to enter the maze. When the decision is made that it’s indeed an at-home tea day, the fun begins.
When starting the process, my first question is, “How am I feeling right now, and how do I need to feel today?” After a quick check-in on the first part of the question, I review my schedule for the day, plus additional conditions. Once I confirm what my schedule is going to look like, weather is a big element in my decision-making.
Different teas impact me in different ways. This is not a scientific analysis; this is just how teas make me feel. I have a three-dimensional decision matrix in my head that I quickly step through and sometimes override if a specific tea on my shelf appeals to me.
If I’ve overindulged my sweet tooth the night before and need to make amends, I brew green tea. The green tea will most likely be Japanese, and if I’m in need of an extra dose of redemption, the choice is matcha. I’ve made my own ceremony when making matcha, and the focus is on being thankful and appreciative.
I turn to white tea if I’m feeling light and happy and if my day isn’t loaded down with seriousness. White tea to me is joyful and uplifting. It’s also forgiving should I brew it a little too long while enjoying being unfocused.
Oolong is a favorite and to me is just an easygoing, easy-drinking tea. It’s my go-to when I’m going to be spending a day with a bit of focus on getting things done but will also be spending some leisurely time reading a book. I look forward to fall and early winter, when oolong is calling to me to come and enjoy a nice, warm cup of tea and appreciate the relief from moving from a hot Texas summer to a cooler autumn.
If I realize the day holds many activities and I need a level of focus in order to make today happen, I turn to black tea. Black tea makes me feel like I’m putting on the equivalent of a “power suit” back in the days when that was a statement in business and crucial when marching into the office. Anyone else remember those days?
If my decision is black tea, then I run through my selection, which is heavily weighted with flavored black tea. I try to make this a relatively quick decision as I spin through the turntable holding my teas. Some mornings, it’s a straightforward, unflavored breakfast tea. For a softer approach, I select a flavored French breakfast tea for a punch with light fruit flavor.
Once the selection is made, it’s time to brew and enjoy. I typically drink three cups of tea if it’s loose-leaf, experiencing the nuances each infusion brings. This process reminds me to slow down and appreciate things, even if I’m off and running to start my day.