I have been a tea drinker of varying degrees of dedication since I was a twelve-year-old Anglophile. Yet I have stubbornly insisted upon being a self-proclamed “purist” and thus drink my tea straight (despite the fact that most good English people drink their tea with milk, so I have heard). No sugar, no milk, no thanks. They can give tea a weird, watered-down sweet flavor that I don’t like.
Then I went to the Dark Side in college, which is to say I discovered coffee and began drinking it religiously every morning. I suppose that’s religious in the same say Sith lords are religious? I like to brew it black as the devil’s heart and strong as sin. And then evangelize it with a bit of half-and-half. Anyhow, it has been lovely. Until recently, when my body has said “enough caffeine is enough” and left me to decide that unless I want to experience full-on Paul Atreides spice trances every time I drink coffee, I had better find some kind of alternative to my favorite morning beverage. I’ve been seeking a decaf that actually tastes like coffee, and not some sadistic coffee-hater’s revenge. I may have found one. But I’m still not sure my body and I have made our peace over the bean.
If it really comes down to a life without coffee, I may have no alternative than to throw myself off a cliff, somewhat like this, perhaps. But before I decide it’s really come to that, I thought, I still have tea. Yet one of the things I love about my morning coffee is the way the cream adds a delightful dairy richness to the bitter tang of dark roasted beans.
How about Earl Grey with cream in it?
O, sweet Valar, why have I never tried this before?
Also, if you’ve never seen this, now would be a good time: Victorian tea rap!