Giving tea a chai and learning to love new things

Benjamin Haylett, Arts & Leisure Editor

Growing up, my sister was always trying to take sips of my parents’ coffee whenever she could. I don’t know if she liked the caffeine buzz or feeling like an adult, but for as far back as I can remember, she was always trying to sneak coffee.
That was never my style though. I was, and for the most part still am, a hot chocolate kind of guy. I always thought, why would I drink something bitter when I could have something as sweet and awesome as hot chocolate instead? That all changed my freshman year of college, and since then I have had a complicated relationship with the hot bean water. It’s a Catch-22, I love getting my sleep, but I need to stay up. Enter coffee.
For the longest time I thought that was my only option, but I have recently been introduced to the wide world of tea. I never liked tea for the same reasons I never liked coffee; it’s bitter and there are a hundred things I would rather drink instead, but there were two catalysts to my interest in tea.
The first is that my girlfriend loves tea, and the fact that she loves it so much made me wonder what I was missing out on.
The second was a scene from “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” in which the love interest of the film offers Scott some tea and rattles off about 15 different flavors that she had in her cabinet. The sheer quantity of tea that I had never heard of made me think that maybe it wasn’t that I didn’t like tea, but that I hadn’t found a flavor that I liked yet.
With this newfound gusto, I have been slowly accumulating different packets based on friends’ suggestions, internet reviews and the long list from the movie, and I have to say, I like tea now.
It took a while to find what I liked, but the fact that there is tea to wake you up, tea to put you to sleep and tea to just drink is a very interesting concept to me, and I narrowed down my taste to a couple really friendly, not-too-harsh flavors.
The first is apple cinnamon, which is one that my sister is particularly fond of.
Another, is chai, which was recommended to me by Chloe Forbes, our editor-in-chief.
And the last flavor that I really like would have to be lavender citrus. Lavender is my favorite scent, so it only makes sense that I would like the tea made from its flowers.
While there are plenty of sweeter drinks that I can reach for in the fridge, if I have a spoonful of honey, I would gladly take a cup of tea over any of them.
For the most part, tea has become my caffeinated drink of choice, aside from the days that I really need my potent jitter juice from the Mr. Coffee.
If there is one big takeaway that I have taken away from this whole experience, it’s that there are a hundred different things that I have just written off that I don’t like, and maybe its time to give them a chance.
After all, what’s the worst that can happen? I find out I still don’t like it? No harm, no foul.

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