Tea in a life of an enthusiast

I am a tea person. If you ask me why, I will not be able to come up with a single reason. However, a blend of the following characteristics of tea may offer you, dear reader, a glimpse of how tea has become integral to an enthusiast.

Firstly, tea produces a comfortable and satisfying mildly bitter after-taste. It makes me feel as though I have been drinking a beverage of a stronger character than water yet not too strong. I do not have any scientific proof to this but if I have to speak to someone real close after drinking a beverage, I will feel more confident having had a cup of tea rather than coffee. Coffee, even black coffee without sugar, does produce some after-taste and smell which can put off quite a few people.

Secondly, the smells of different kinds of tea give me pleasure and a sense of calm. Green tea in its purer form (i.e. not blended with any flowers or fruit) has the smell somewhat similar to dry grass. Drinking it gives me a meditating sense of calm. Black tea in certain blends especially citrus fruit and berries is refreshing and stimulating.

Thirdly, tea has a constant effect. To elaborate, whatever effects a cup of tea has on you, they come steadily and constantly. Take caffeine for example. A cup of some blends of black tea has the level of caffeine comparable if not equal to a cup of mild coffee. When drinking coffee, the effect, on me at least, is pretty sudden. After a sip, I am fully awake. But I find that it’s quite different with tea. The wakefulness gradually comes and gradually leaves my body. I will be in a state of moderately alert for longer time. That’s what I meant by tea having a constant effect on my body.

With the various kinds of tea, I have developed a certain tea routine, meaning I have my preferred options of tea depending on the time, the need and the mood.

Morning – on a normal day (i.e. with no meetings), I tend to give myself some caffeine intake through English Breakfast tea. As this is a type of black tea, it has a high enough caffeine content to wake me up. If I have milk nearby, I usually have it with milk. This is what I get from studying in Britain for some time. I have the habit of drinking a cup of black tea with milk. A good black tea for me basically does not produce a strong bitter taste however long that tea has been left in the water.

Afternoon – there is a condition – if I don’t have any coffee that day, then I tend to go for another cup of black tea, an arguably stronger one. At this time of the day, a refreshing smell does help. So I go for Earl Grey or black tea blended with fruit like peach black tea. Without milk please.

Again, a good black tea (for me) must not have strong bitter taste.

But if I have some coffee, then I try not to overload myself with caffeine. After coffee, I might brew some light jasmine green tea.

Evening / after dinner – preferably Oolong tea or strong pure green tea. Mainly because of its perceived benefit of reducing cholesterol. It washes down some of my guilt (devouring in fatty bits of meat) as well. It also keeps me awake when I read or write which I usually do after dinner. Evening tea is usually brewed in a big pot.

I sometimes drink herbal infusions when I just feel like having hot beverage but I have had enough caffeine on that day.

To finish off today’s post, here is my current collection of tea. Some of these are gifts and I am so grateful that you have chosen to give tea to me 😛

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