T is for…Tea

I will always remain convinced that London is the best place in the world. Here’s why.

Picture a Bloomsbury row house that’s been converted into a B&B. Two weary travelers settle into their chairs at a dark wood table, mouths already watering at the thought of a full English breakfast. The host comes over and asks if we’d like tea or coffee.

“Tea,” I say, and am met with a solemn nod. I already know the tea will be a heady black blend. It will be loose leaf, served in a pot and there will be an infuser, a place to put the infuser when I’m done with it and a creamer filled with milk. When it arrives, it will be perfect.

“Coffee,” says my traveling companion. He’s given a bored glance and dismissed with a flick of the wrist.

“Coffee is over there,” the woman says, gesturing to the sideboard where all the tourists huddle around a tiny pot of instant Folgers.

Now, I’m sure there are plenty of Brits who enjoy good coffee. But the whole country is just so good at tea. In the US, I’m lucky if I get an extra plastic lid where I can put my Lipton tea bag when I’ve leeched all the flavor out of it. And don’t even talk to me about proper water temperature (I’m looking at you, Starbucks).

So, I’m a tea addict. I couldn’t write without it. Every morning I brew a pot – usually something black from Tea Source. (My current favorites are Scottish Breakfast, English Breakfast and Ceylon Burning Sun. Also Monk’s Blend.) If I’m heading to work, I bring a thermos. If I’m home to write, I put the pot on a tea tray (along with all the accessories – these are the best part) and carry the tray to a favorite writing spot. Once the tea wakes me up, I write!