Saturday, January 24, 2015


I keep asking people why they drink tea.
What is the purpose of tea?
Is it healthy? Does it settle your stomach? Does it taste good?

So far the answer to all of those is no, and the best reason anyone has given me with actual merit is:

"It is soothing"

Let's take a moment to define what "soothing" means.
To me, soothing is what you experience when you sink into a nice hot bubble bath on a Sunday afternoon listening to Joshua Radin.
Soothing is when your hair stylist gives you a ridiculously wonderful head massage as he/she washes out dye and shampoo.
Soothing is any flavor of dove chocolate.
Soothing is resting your face on a baby's soft head as you rock back and forth in a hammock.
Soothing is cats.

When I drink tea, my primary goal is soothing and my ineveitable reality is disappointment.

I boil some filtered water, steep my fancy schmancy Teavana white chocolate peppermint tea for 3 minutes and then prepare myself with a blanket and a book on the couch (like any dignified hipster!)
I clutch the hot cup and watch the steam swirl up and disappear. I scrutinize the tiny specks of tea that escaped my tea ball and wonder if I can take a sip without ingesting any.
I take a sip.
I burn myself.
I wait some more.
I take another sip and it tastes watery.
I add honey.
I add sugar.
I taste again and the flavor is OK but now it's not quite hot enough.

I take big sips and try to convince myself that it is getting better.
Each sip I push back the urge to curl my lips into a creepy frown and let the terrible potion dribble out.

Sometimes Taylor brews a cup of tea for soothment. He lets me have a sip. He tells me it is peach green tea. It tastes like bitter leaves and sadness. I gag and vow,

"Never again."

I love the idea of tea.