I remember when I was little there were things that were definite "food favorites". Everyone has them. I don't think that just because someone is of a limited number of years that has to mean they don't know what they like. My preferences became clear at a very young age. I liked veggies, and fish- which we caught ourselves- and chocolate sno-cones my Gramma made for me. And ketchup on my scrambled eggs (gross).
I liked coffee. I think I was completely hooked at, oh...well, probably 13. The funny thing is, I don't remember where or when I started drinking it. And drink it I did.
After more than 35 years of being a die-hard coffee-head, I have given it all up (for the most part) and I have Starbucks to thank. Yes, I am being sarcastic, but honest. One too many times lately I have walked into a Starbucks (kinda, because most of the ones I have time to visit on a regular basis are in the grocery store, but it still bears the Starbucks name and logo) I have encountered general coffee ignorance. Most of the employees cannot begin to tell me the ingredients in an item in the baked goods case, much less what kind of a "roast" a certain coffee is. I could go on at length about this, the employee disdain, their exorbitant prices, their commercialism, etc., but this is not a corporate bashing session. I am simply disgusted personally, but I guess they do fill a niche.
I want something better, and I am tired (still) of forking my money over to a company whose lattes have become the excellence standard of, quite frankly- the coffee equivalent of the Happy Meal.
So...coffee off the list. Check. And when I do drink it, I try to drink decaf. Cringe.
I am discovering the joys of loose teas. My current love affair is with Stash Premium Super Irish Breakfast Tea, Loose Leaf, 3.5-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 3) and I am totally enchanted with the whole process of tea making. My latest purchase, Yedi Houseware Classic Coffee and Tea Dancing Fairies Tea For One, hasn't arrived yet but I can't wait!
The terrific thing about loose teas is that there are SO many...each more beautiful than the last. I am going to add a display shelf to my kitchen this year. I can see it in my mind, filled with canisters of tea and spices, herbs drying on racks... we will probably build it rather than buy one already put together, unless I can find an antique one somewhere here in town.
I enjoy the ritual of tea making- it's more complex than starting a pot of coffee and to me, more satisfying. With tea I feel like I am really doing something. I remember when I was a small child that my Dad used to have tea every morning he was home (he was a Baltimore City Fireman, so he wasn't always there) and I always knew when he was awake because I could smell the tea. It's one of my favorite childhood memories. If I close my eyes I can smell it still, and hear the sounds of my Mother in our country kitchen.
Or perhaps it's just in my Irish/English/Scot/German/Lithuanian peasant DNA...come 'round for a cuppa and we'll talk about it...
Bain sult as! (Enjoy!)
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