I am a sophomore at art school who has an undying, throbbing love of tea. But, as a sophomore Ive lost that d-baggy-I- know-more-about-tea-than-you ,lay person who doesn't drink tea, mentality and Im now completely aware of how much I dont know about tea the more I learn about it and the more I drink it. I am humble. I am obsessed. I want it all the time and I will talk to you about it in the common room until 4am.

 never used to like tea. I used to think it was bitter, pointless and only good for old women. Much like how many view me now. Or maybe how I view myself now. Both? Either way I was not a fan. Tea was just tea. I knew it came in different colors like green and black and sometimes it was english and it was good for sore throats. People put lemon or honey in it. It tasted like bland ass unless it was iced and sugared. Iced tea was a delight. I would drink pitchers upon pitchers of iced tea throughout every season. Hot tea though? No bueno.

I don't know exactly when my love affair with tea started. I think it was probably in college when I started experimenting with....life things. Chai was a gateway drug. It started with chai lattes. Then straight chai. Then from there I started looking into the other 80 million flavors and types of tea. My pallet was starting to get wise. I never drank coffee and I wouldn't drink anything other than water because I was insane and if it had more calories than water it was too much for me, so tea was perfect. From spiced teas I moved onto herbal teas. Green teas. In Argentina, tea became a huge part of my life. It was social. My landlord would have us over for tea. I would get tea in various cafes throughout the day both hot and cold. Passing around yerba matte a few times during the day is part of the culture there. I wasn't a huge matte person but I started widening my tea scope and taking time to enjoy it throughout the day. Also, working in a cement office with no heat in the dead of winter really made me appreciate tea while it was still hot. Constantly traveling toward the end, I started pouring hot water over cinnamon and making my own poor girl teas. Prior to that I was a tea at night or tea in the morning but not really throughout the day kind of person. I started taking my tea with a little milk, occasionally some sugar if I was feeling saucy. I started savoring my tea. I started getting into different teas for healing different ailments. Stress relievers, sleepy time teas, balance your lady hormones tea, tea for your liver, tea for good cell regeneration. My dad was a pusher of eastern medicine and herbal teas so tea as a healer was always part of my definition of tea.

Loose leaf, bags, unbleached bags, proper mugs, thermoses sent from the heavens, brewing systems: tea, like anything wonderful, has accessories galore. Keeping tea hot if hot tea is what you want can change your life. I frequently nurse my beverages so I was used to drinking tea hot in the beginning and luke warm toward the end. When tea stays hot all day...when it fogs up your glasses when you go to sip it even though you made it hours ago ITS MAGICAL. Hot, properly steeped has the ability to put me in a good mood even when I catch a bit of Sad Dollism.  Tea with cookies and cakes or little sandwiches, tea by itself, tea with honey or fancy honey, tea with sugar, tea with milk, cream or almond milk, Red teas, white teas, ROOIBOS (my recent favorite) black teas, herbal teas, flowering teas, green teas, herbal teas, flavored teas. There are so many options to staying warm and fuzzy inside.

If you're already a big tea fan we have a few different brands in every flavor you could ever imagine. If you're looking to get yout tea knowledge on or plan some hot tea parties we have some pretty fabulous books for you to check out! If you're looking to get converted you can pretty much talk to anyone who works at KU and we can help you find your path to tea loving. Plus its winter. Come in and pick out your perfect tea or let us help you, find yourself a good book to get into and curl up to stay warm!


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