Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tea Tangent

This post was originally posted on Blog Mamas on October 24th, 2006.

I need to rant about tea today. Tea doesn't have much to do with being a mama except that I am a mother and I really like tea. I'm having a hard time readily find good tea and I'm ticked.

Let me clarify a few details. First of all, I like iced tea best. Fresh, crisp, clear cold tea with lots of ice -- ALL YEAR ROUND. People drink cold water, iced sodas and frozen frapp-a-doodle drinks so I don't want sassy comments about my preference for cold tea. Secondly, I like my tea UNsweetened. I don't care if other people want to add aspartame or sugar, but I believe that tea should be available in it's pure plain brewed form and additions should be optional.

Seattle is a coffee town and tea lovers are treated like second-class citizens. I'm shocked by the poor quality tea I have been served; no coffee drinker would accept coffee that is 3 days old, bitter and murky so why do restraunteurs and baristas assume that treatment is okay for a tea customer?! And enough with "fountain tea." That stuff is NOT tea - it is nasty yuck and should be banned. Again, would you drink your coffee from a spout on the coke machine? Noooo, I didn't think so.

Good tea is pretty easy. Take some decent tea leaves and cover them with really hot water. Serve as is or cool slowly and add ice. The end. Not difficult. At work I often buy fountain cups filled with ice and pour my own brewed tea over the ice to make delicious, fresh iced tea. But I shouldn't have to carry my own tea bags as I go about town! Starbucks offers an iced black tea all year round, but when I order it, I have to specify no syrup (which of course I do) and more than once I've taken a big slurp a few miles from the drive-through only to taste the tell-tale slickery sweetness of sugary syrup. Ugh.

When in Chicago for work recently, I fell in love with ArgoTea, a local tea cafe that is hoping to become the "Starbucks of Tea". I'm thinking of writing them a letter about opening in Seattle - maybe I'll promise them I'll run their first store here. Until then, I'll keep scouting out places that offer a decent glass of iced tea. And I think I'll tuck some tea bags in my purse… just in case!

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