Coffee–it’s just not my cup of tea.

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Three tiny letters, but thousands of years of warmth. Tea has slaked the thirst in throats that reside on all patches of livable dust and dirt across the earth. It is universal, it is unifying, it is uniformly taking over the entire pantry.

This happens every winter. And no one seems particularly fussed. Least of all me.

I find when I’ve come home from the grocery store and have another box or bag to add to the stash, I just give a good grunt of effort to sweep an arm across another shelf to make room for the new arrivals. This section was the ‘Medicine Cabinet.’ Chances are I will not have use for that large ledge full of pain relievers, fever reducers, nose uncloggers and chest dehackers.

I have tea.

And tea is all you need.

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I have herbal teas, and black teas, red teas and white, green teas and oolong and snoozy teas for night.

Whether loose or bagged, blended or bloomable,  I am fairly certain I have little bits of leaves that fall into every single category.

And I love them all.

Okay, that’s not exactly true.

There are a mass of containers all at the back of the pantry’s multi-leveled shelving where tea goes to die. And if you happened to have read about my penchant for hanging on to everything until it becomes either unrecognizable or toxic, you’ll understand why I cannot give up the foul tasting “Be Normal” tea (you’ll figure it out … and if you can’t, think ‘anti-blockage’) or the one that will give me a healthy prostate.

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Why? Because I figure there will come a time—probably during the apocalypse—where I am going to find myself desperate for anything to untwist the gut pretzel I carry around with me caused by eating nothing more than a repetitive diet of unripe bananas and large hunks of hard cheese. And because during that same apocalypse, I will come across a wandering elderly man whose only wish is to be able to pee for a full ten seconds.

I will grant him that ability.

With my tea.

(Okay, sometimes you just have to let me run with all that stuff. I’m a writer with an overactive imagination and no sense of realism. Which is why I specialize in fiction.)

But the fact is, if I have an ailment, or a mood swing, a hankering or a bout, there exists a plethora of answers awaiting their turn to play nursemaid to my needs.

There are teas to wake me up, and those to help me sleep. I have sachets full of leaves that will soothe sore muscles, calm convulsive coughs, alleviate my blues and brighten my brain.

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You’ll find blends in my stockpile that can abolish your appetite, quiet frayed nerves and generate glowing skin. Dig deeper and you’ll discover concoctions to jump-start your joints, some to detox your liver and one that will help tone your uterus. Because God knows, that is the number one exercise busy women admit to skipping most at the end of a long day, and thank goodness someone found a simple solution to put in place of that monotonous but monumentally important workout.

Apart from the digestive, purifying, and organ-based well-being brews, I have a multi-level area that houses my stockpile of seasonal teas: blossoms for spring, zingers for summer, and earthy, toasty, nutty infusions all meant to conjure up warmth, bolstering your spirits through the dark and broody days of winter.

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I cannot imagine a day when before I place fingers to keyboard or hand upon mouse, I have not found my favorite mug, picked out the lucky contender for my cup and placed it at my elbow. Once the slips of steam, escaping in tiny tendrils, have dissipated, it is time. The first sip begins the journey of a thousand cups – and the journey of a thousand trips to the loo.

If I could go back in time, nearly five thousand years ago, I’d hug the Emperor of China and say thank you for drinking that bowl of boiled water—you know the one where you found a few wind-blown leaves floating around inside? And you drank it anyway because you were one of those kinds of people who refused to waste the earth’s precious resources—or maybe it was because you’d had a long day of dispensing laws and punishing usurpers and couldn’t be bothered to get up and boil some fresh water.

It doesn’t matter.

You discovered paradise. And paradise tastes heavenly, so thank you.

And thank you for being part of the chain of discoveries that allowed some clever clod to create a tea that would exercise my uterus for me.

The world owes you a giant hug. And believe it or not, I’ve got a tea that can do that too.


Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.

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42 thoughts on “Coffee–it’s just not my cup of tea.

  1. Great post! I am a frustrated tea drinker because, although I prefer it to coffee, it’s hard on my stomach lining. But nothing beats the perfume of a perfect cup of Darjeeling, or a really choice green tea. Had to chuckle at your diet of unripe bananas and chunks of hard cheese. That actually sounds pretty good to me, since I like my bananas with a tiny tinge of green still on ’em. Another surefire way to tie my innards in knots!

  2. Sorry Shelley but I can’t give up my coffee. I’m hooked on it just as you’re hooked on the tea. I’ve tried to like tea. I have several different kinds in a cupboard. I keep them because when my stomach is upset, it’s better to avoid coffee, and tea does help the gremlins settle down.

    • It was a sad day when I realized I was an outcast of the coffee clutching world. I used to adore it. Every morning. One beautiful, savory, warming cup. And then I got pregnant and the smell became repugnant.
      I still drink it occasionally, but I lost the craving. And I feel I’m missing out just a little bit.
      I think my wallet has said thanks on more than one occasion.

  3. I have tried, goodness knows I have, to acquire a taste for hot tea or coffee. If I am sick with a sore throat, I might begrudgingly have a cup of hot tea, but I don’t like it. (Although I did not know that there’s a tea to tone the uterus. Maybe that’s the answer to all my problems!) Coffee is just downright foul. It has a skunk-spray smell and tastes burned. For hot beverages, I’ll take cocoa or apple cider.

    • Wow, Miranda. You have an incredibly sensitive nose! Next week, my blog is all about aroma sciences, and one of the things I cut out of my first draft was that I have a difficult time deciphering the difference between skunk and coffee. What you might find interesting is that the compounds skunk spray and coffee share are called mercaptans. The concentrations are super high in skunk spray but miniscule in coffee.

      Of course, that doesn’t alter the fact that you feel like you may be drinking skunk juice. And chances are, there are other beverages out there–known or unknown–capable of toning all our important bits and pieces.

      • Well, now I’m really looking forward to your post next week. And I’ve met some people who claim to love the skunk spray smell. They’ll hang their heads out the car window to get a nice whiff of it. I bet they’re coffee drinkers, every one of them.

  4. Gee, wish I’d known about the uterus toning one before all those surgeries I had in my early 50’s 😦 I like my first heart starter to be coffee, but after that it’s tea for me… just noticed they are taking over the coffee/tea pantry and need to sort through them… shall I send them your way???? Fun, as always, Shelley.

  5. When I become a millionnaire (sometime in the spring of 2391) I will spend the rest of my life going to supermarkets and buying their shelves of tea. Should I not live to see 2391, my biggest regret in life will be that I will not have tasted every possible tea flavor there is. Whenever I’m at a grocery store I just start drooling when I pass the tea section.
    God bless Chinese emperors!

    • So you say drooling is a problem, Lennard? I will look on my shelves, but I’m going to take a wild guess that I’ve got something in the category of traditional medicinals to cure that minor issue. It would make me feel better than offering you the uterine strengthening brew if you came for teatime. But what to serve the beaver and the other worldly squatter? Would they even drink tea? I’ve got one that tastes like toasted twigs, but I’m stumped for the alien. Advise me. 😉

  6. With so many varieties of teas available it is surely hard to try the taste of all of them. I have gathered quite a few types but they are waiting to be tried. I like the aromatic flavor of earl grey the best. I try drinking green tea but somehow have not been able to use it on a regular basis, guess not my kind of tea anyways. Enjoyed the post and can relate to most of the details. Great topic and the title. Thanks for sharing with us. Take care and God bless.

    • I am always in awe of folks who drink and enjoy earl grey, as I find it something akin to drinking perfume. I know it’s highly fragrant – and in my mind a very sophisticated tea leaf blend – I just can’t choke it down. I shall keep trying, although maybe only when I have a cold. 😉

      • I think you are right earl grey is very fragrant and no wonder after getting used to this tea, I cannot appreciate the less fragrant or natural teas. Ha! good food for thought. Thanks Shelley.

  7. Ahhh…tea. Ambrosia. (Although I do admit to one proper espresso style coffee a day.) I used to have a little poem cut from the paper, stuck to my fridge. It read. ‘I don’t think I’ll ever see, a poem as beautiful as a cup of tea’. Great post.

    • What a lovely quote. I’ll have to give tomorrow’s cup of tea an extra bit of attention and congratulate it for being the subject of somebody’s lovely prose.

      I raise my cup to you. Thanks for reading and especially for sharing. Cheers!

  8. Pingback: Lighthouse and Liebster | Winding Road

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