So, it is no surprise to those that know me to hear this admission: "I'm a tea nut." I mean, I sure drink a lot of tea, and I spend a lot of time thinking about tea consumption and the perfect cup of tea. I also think that by recognizing addictive tendencies in my personality and directing them toward productive things, I'm sort of preempting a lot of other problems down the road.
But I should point out that I'm not a very foo fooy kind of tea drinker. I don't like teas that have interesting flavors, or colors, I will never rinse tea leaves before I brew tea with them, I will never contemplate the peak number of brewings that for the best taste. I so don't fit in with the tea blogger crowd. Sigh.
On the other hand, I was so fixed on a particular brand of tea during college that I always bought a dozen boxes (of 20 tea bags) back and forth, because no stores in the part of wisconsin that I was in carried this particular brand.
People on campus--that I didn't know--could connect me and the labels on the tea bags if left one on a table or counter. I also had a huge 54 ounce "bubba keg" that I could make tea in, so that I could make it through 2 hour classes without running out, as I had gotten prone to doing with my two 16 ounce tea mugs.
Which brings me to the next part of this entry...
Like any addiction to tools and objects that I associate with tea drinking are things that I focus on getting just right. After all the ritual is important. A nice, sturdy teapot that I got at the rummage sale at a church where some high school friends' mother is the rector. A large 16+ounce handmade tea mug that a former student got my dad (sorry!). Teal Tumbler mugs for traveling that I've gotten at Barnes and Nobel, that are so associated with me that a professor once worked the color of my mug into a lecture.
As I've mentioned before, I'm in the process of trying to use more loose tea (economy, variety, quality, snobbery, environmental concerns) and fewer tea bags. So I got this Teavana tea brewer, which is a thing of pure genius. I also--and I think I mentioned this on the blog before, but I was a bit scattered at that point--a french press for a nalgene bottle.
My first attempt at the nalgene tea press thing, was an utter failure, but the second try yielded amazing results. It was easy to use, it cleaned up well. There was no grit, or escape leaves, it was perfect. I also can't drink it all before it goes cold, which is quite alright with me, on principal. I think my plan will be to make a pot of tea either with the Teavana contraption or with tea bags (depending on supply) and then fill the nalgene after I'm done with my morning cup. If I have the tea press thing in my book bag and a container of leaves, I can make a second bottle later in the day if I run out with the press, and then wash it out at home. I think washing it out on the road would be tough, but I think the chance that I'd be gone for that long is unlikely. It's brilliance.
My other tea-accessory feat of late, is from the container store: They sell these nifty air tight glass jars in small and medium sizes, which is great for storing tea in the house. they also have plastic ones which are great for on the go. I'm a fan. Also a lot of the imported tea bags that I've been drinking more recently, also aren't individually packed so once you open the box you need something like this anyway (which decreases the benefit of the tea bag in my view.) Anyway, that store is amazing. And I like being able to choose from a selection rather than feel pressured into drinking a particular kind because that's what's open.
Maybe I think about these things too much. In any case, I have a couple of varieties that I've tried but haven't had much of a chance to write about yet. That's coming soon, but I didn't want to let the knitting content consume the site whole. There'll be more of that as well. In the mean time...
Onward and Upward!
(ps. It's great to get all the comments and emails from you, and I'm sorry that I'm so bad about commenting on your blogs, I really do read them. Don't stop!)