Some of my favorite childhood memories were sitting on my grandmother’s lap and drinking milk that she let me pour coffee syrup into. Sometimes, but just sometimes, she would let me try a sip of her coffee too, which was rich with milk and sugar. It was quite the treat.
It ended there. I never grew up to be a coffee lover. The smell in coffee shops is heavenly, the variety delightful, and all the fun items you can buy to be an at-home-coffee-connoisseur are tempting. But I find the taste bitter and unwelcoming and the side effects from withdrawals are not something I want to usher into my life.
Naturally, I looked to tea, which is much like coffee in that even a bad cup of tea (like Lipton’s Breakfast varieties) isn’t the end of the world and will get the job done; a great cup of tea is to be revered and savored.
My new favorite tea, and first experience home brewing loose leaves, is with a Coconut Oolong from Brave Coffee Shop in Waterbury. Don’t even bother buying “bagged” Coconut Chai teas in grocery stores. Track down the real stuff. And get there early. I’ve gone in a few times to find they were out because a previous shopper had bought up 10 ounces. A tragedy of the tea commons! I assume other places with Coconut Oolong’s have the same issue.
Brave grinds their own coffee and I hear it’s amazing, but I give them props for being equally knowledgeable in quality tea. Haven’t you tea drinkers noticed how the coffee shop tea experience is relegated to bagged tea that you can find in most major stores? And tea shops with Middle Eastern vibes can sometimes be a bit too “heady” for a regular event?
Anyway, this tea is saved for weekend mornings where all I have is the couch, a Netflix movie ready to go, and plentiful hours of free time on the horizon.