Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tea Pot Session

My conduct towards the rainy season (or shall I say Hagupit ng Habagat - sadly, I don't know how to properly translate this) has been rather absurd. Rather than crave for ramen and curry, I’ve been going through a period of vast starvation and moments of just staring at my leaky ceiling.

It's all this not-a-typhoon-but-still-horrible-enough-to-qualify-as-Ondoy's-mistress rain that has been pouring with a bladder with no end. Stranded at home with no intent of release, I shudder at the thought having nothing to write about except Skyflakes or Cookie Crisp.

I don’t suppose people would like to read about the magnificent water of Quezon City or how Timmy’s homemade boiled egg is just perfectly powdery either.

[caption id="attachment_2179" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Perfect for the weather that's seasoning us with floodwater, flu and damp walls.[/caption]

So it's best to stay within the monsoon theme and get warm, cozy and that liquid high. Sadly, I wish I were talking about the Hot and Sour Soup which has been discontinued by Knorr or Maggi (what a disappointment) but no, it's best to make do with the only thing dry at home.

And so I’ll let you in on what I’ve been hoarding recently—aside from water and boiled egg—Tea. Well that must sound like old news, I would admit, but since I’ve been dunking teabags here and there, throughout the day, I like to think that I have resuscitated the tea connoisseur that was once drowned milk tea.

And I haven’t been hoarding the cheap kind, like that Nature’s Pride that claims to be green tea but tastes more like oolong, which isn’t that bad, just confusing. We also have the generic Lipton (Clear and Green) which I once adored for its wake-me-up power potential, but lately, has been dwindling in the caffeine aspect for no reason but economy. I’ve never come to appreciate that “Hirameki” Yellow Label Tea because I find its teeth-staining abilities rather off-putting.  But enough with the bashing.

My stash has consisted of Celestial Seasonings variants (top photo from old post), partly because I find their packaging lovely and partly because they have Blueberry Breeze. Yes, if any, blame the blueberry on this one. Of course, there are other companions: White Tea, Detox A.M. and Sleepytime Herbal. You can say that I’ve got all time periods covered.

My motto: Tea, all-day, everyday.

However, rather than bring your to a complete bore with a review on tea, I’ve decided to just list down 10 amazing facts (okay, not that amazing, just good-to-know and nice-to-hear which you’ll probably forget once the sun starts to shine again) that I enjoyed with my stash.

  1. Combining green tea with a fairly faint yet distinct flavor of blueberry, Blueberry Breeze makes it to my favorite tea of all time. It surely beats Lipton’s Green Tea Acai which immediately fades after the first steep. Not a good value for a well drinker, despite packing in that Acai greatness.

    [caption id="attachment_2182" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Blueberry Breeze Nutrition Info[/caption]

  2. White tea is an essential tea variant for me, which is a component of many of Celestial Seasonings’ offerings. I have only seen Twining’s as another brand offering such, but the packaging makes me think of my grandma’s kitchen, so forget it. I do not have time to bring out a ceramic kettle with matching cups just to commemorate tea time. By the time I do, I’d be half asleep, my hair catching on fire.

  3. White tea is sometimes combined with green tea for that instant perk-me-up-because when meetings start to create a mental pillow in my head, either it’s that or I douse myself in ice cold water, which wouldn’t be too civilized in a corporate environment.

  4. The tea packs a bitter punch when steeped longer than usual, beating espresso and vodka, in the health department. Plus, no HR rules violated here and my palpitations will be kept within normal limits.

  5. Flavored tea helps on those days when the tolerance for bitter is just way down the scale (like when you’re about to get sick or are just feeling angsty about the traffic). Rather than reaching for juice or fruity teas, it’s best to dunk a teabag and drown it to your heart’s content. Beware the temperature though. I have been a victim far too many times from my enthusiasm and do not care if blowing furiously on my cup purports bad manners or blows germs in the air. Either way, it’s for my protection.

    [caption id="attachment_2183" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Ah yes, ingredients straight from Professor Snape's Potions class![/caption]

  6. The Detox A.M. helps with the morning rush, in case there’s isn’t any.

  7. Sleepytime is the best boost for sleep for those who’ve had too much fun, too much food or just too much to think about before sleeping. When the sheep can’t help, the try counting tea leaves instead. That should put you out in a jiffy.

  8. The tea sleep enhancer works better than melatonin, sleeping pills, and cough syrup because its sole component is tea. Herbal and organic, you’ll know that when you wake up, there won’t be a zombie facing you in the mirror.

    [caption id="attachment_2181" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Works better than a punch in the face. No black eye too![/caption]

  9. Another perk of the tea is that it gets you to sleep, helps with the digestion process and relieves/relaxes the stomach. That’s like the combination of 3 different pills and a glass of water. But with tea, you’re guaranteed not to pee at 3am, unless you don’t care because you’re over 70.

  10. Lastly, there are other variants for perk-me-up, dozing off, half-and-half chill and K.O. that it’s best that you be your own judge. Tea isn’t that bad—bitter for many, digestion-altering for some—but on the whole, is a grand experience for anyone who just loves to drink. Just like water, but with benefits.

Don’t get swept by bottles and sugary finds, plain teabags are still the way to go, and you can squeeze them until the very last miniscule leaf and that’s economy for the Third World. Some may taste funny or curiously like flora and fauna, but waive these strange flavors for the ultimate benefit of health and wellness.

And weird weather has been strangely bipolar, I don’t need to invest in ramen or force-palpitate myself with coffee, tea’s got that “warmth” covered.

And best of all, being the Lazy Black Cat that I am, a few steps to the water dispenser and everything’s in the bag.


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