Peggy, Week 5: How I Got Hooked On Tea

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Some people love the fizz of an icy glass of soda going down. Some people need the aroma of coffee waking them up in the morning and kick-starting their day. But my beverage of choice is tea. And I drink a lot of it. About 12 to 15 cups. I love hot tea – earl grey, with no milk or sugar. For some people, the caffeine in tea keeps them up all night. But for me, the hot tea has a calming effect.

My overindulgence of tea began in college. Bryn Mawr College is one of the “Seven Sisters” colleges, a designation given to the top all women’s colleges in the days when the Ivy League schools were open only to men. As such, it is a grind school, an intense learning environment in which everyone studies, the polar opposite of a party school. “Teas” are a big part of the Bryn Mawr College tradition. Accepted students are invited to a tea by alumni living in their area, every morning at 10 am we had tea and doughnuts in the Great Hall so professors and students could mingle, and there were tea invitations associated with Lantern Night.

Lantern Night is a night in mid-November when freshwomen gather in the cloisters, which look like an atrium at the center of the Hogwarts castle, and are presented with their class lanterns by their sophomore classmates. Passing the lantern from one class to the next, symbolizes the light of knowledge passing from one class to another. The colors of the lantern represent the four elements: water (dark blue), air (light blue), fire (red), and earth (green). My lantern is light blue. Attached to the lantern are invitations to teas – ranging from black and white Russian teas, to tea and crumpets at the dean’s house.

Although I love the smell of coffee, I do not enjoy the taste. As a medical intern, working 36-hour shifts, tea was always available on the floors (for free, the only price I could afford), and I could make it fresh at any time.

My emotional connection to tea aside, there may be no better time to try and decrease my tea intake, so I will try to drink more water and less tea over the next month. I am not giving up tea completely, because that could cause my staff to quit!

What beverage are you hooked on? Post a comment and tell me!