Friday, February 17, 2006

Evolution of a Tea Drinker

Growing up in a thoroughly middle-class, suburban white household in the heartland (Pennsylvania), I was subjected to cuisine that was pretty much thoroughly middle-class, suburban white bread, meat and potatoes and a squishy vegetable on the side because someone said it was supposed to be good for you. No big deal really. That's just the way it was and I'm pretty sure I didn't suffer any lasting trauma as a result.

As for beverages, let's just say that tea was an unimaginably exotic sort of thing, perhaps not so out there as mangosteens or monkey brains served fresh from the skull and still steaming, but pretty damned close.

We did actually have tea in the house at times, but it was iced tea from a powdered mix that came in a jar and I never developed a taste for it - imagine that.

What I did have a taste for in those tender years was milk. I drank the stuff in sufficient quantities to keep quite a few cows off the unemployment line. As for my preferences, it was mostly white milk at home and occasionally some chocolate on visits to my grandparents. I also liked soda, but that was strictly rationed and thus I never developed too much of a taste for it.

There wasn't much coffee around our house either, if you can imagine such a thing, though both my grandparents drank it regularly. At a rather tender age, I too became a coffee drinker, feeling rather grown up and proud of myself as a result. But this phase was brief since I ultimately realized that coffee was pretty nasty no matter how much you doctored it up.

As I grew up and the parental yoke loosened and finally fell away I made up for some lost soda drinking time, eventually switching over to diet when I was diagnosed with a blood sugar condition. By this time milk had fallen by the wayside. Then, at some point in my late twenties or early thirties, a new beverage appeared on the scene, at least for me - tea.

I don't recall how this came about, but for a decade or so I was only an occasional tea drinker and mostly consumed it during the winter months as a way to keep warm and only herbal teas.

Of course, somewhere along the line I discovered "real" tea, starting with Stash tea in bags, if memory serves correctly. Then, at some point quite a bit further down the road, and again thanks to Stash, I began to dabble with loose teas. And the rest is pretty much history, if only personal history and one still in the making.

2 comments:

Tim G said...

Hi Bill, Great story!!

I was a two pot a day coffee drinker as well, until my doctor suggested I STOP drinking coffee, and consider tea.... I thought tea... hmmm... then I met a tea broker in India who started sending me samples to try and I was HOOKED... at the time I owned an online grocery deilvery business... I got really interested in the business of tea... 4 stores, a wholesale business and a franchise later... I'm still loving it!!!!

Great Blog!!!

Tim

William I. Lengeman III said...

Thanks. I guess no one will ever accuse you of doing things halfway.