I was in Indiana this past weekend visiting some friends and I knew I wasn’t in DC anymore, Toto, when I walked into the supermarket and asked a clerk where the tea was.
He looked at me. “What kind of tea?”
I’m sure I gave him a “are you stupid or just sh*tting me” look in return.
“Do you mean the kind in bags that goes in hot water?” he clarified, complete with hand motions miming lifting a tea bag in and out of a mug of water.
After he directed me to the tea aisle, I realized he was differentiating between tea and iced tea – the kind you make with a powder and was nowhere to be found near the bagged teas.
My mind. It is boggled.
Anyway, among the boxes of bagged tea, there were a few lone tins of loose tea by Twinings. I was thrilled to find them, even though quality-wise, I knew they weren’t that great. I needed caffeine. So I snagged a tin of the Ceylon Orange Pekoe, which was what got me through several semesters of 8 AM classes in college, albeit in bagged form.
Ceylon Orange Pekoe is nothing special. It’s just a plain black tea. There is no subtlety to the flavor, and no fruit taste I can discern. But it was tea. And it was caffeinated. And it helped me get through the hours in Indiana with my friend’s crazy family until it was socially acceptable to move to alcohol.