To Tea Or Not To Tea?

I was never ever a coffee or tea drinker. My grandmother drank both all day long, but I hated the way they smelled and I hated the way they tasted.

Then everything changed. In college, a friend worked at a coffee/dessert shop and we’d hang out there drinking espresso and cappuccino (at her employee discounted price). I don’t know why I liked bitter coffees, but I did. Unfortunately, back in the day, coffee makers for those were way out of my price range. And coffee shops that served them were rare. So after I left school, I no longer drank coffee.

A couple of years ago, a fan kept extolling the greatness of caramel macchiatos. I still wasn’t convinced. But one night as I drove past a Starbuck’s I said, “What the heck. I used to like coffee. Maybe it won’t suck.”

It really didn’t suck. In fact, I became addicted and at the time the nearest Starbuck’s was 14.8 miles (one direction) from my house. The fact I know that scares me (it probably does you too).

And then everything changed again. One of my best buds, Ellen is a realtor and we occasionally meet for lunch and look through houses she has on the market. We were traipsing through one when I saw this awesomely strange coffee pot with these rails of coffees called Flavia. Ooooo. Hubby’s coffee pot had broken and he wanted a replacement. Hubby is one of those “Don’t come near me in the morning unless you’re bearing coffee” people. I needed to get him a maker very soon.

My curiosity was piqued. I ordered the coffee maker for hubby and discovered magic in a pot! OMG, not only are the coffees really good, you can mix and match them to make really easy chocochinos, lattes, teas, hot cocoa and more yummy concoctions than you can imagine. One of my faves is the peppermint hot chocolate. The packets are individual, single serve. Some are powder, but the teas are actual leaves and the coffees are grinds. YUM! And since I’ve discovered the mighty Flavia machine, they have now opened not one, but 4 Starbuck’s within 5 miles of my house… *sigh.*

Now on to tea… let me reiterate that I HATE TEA. Never understood the charm, not even at Starbuck’s. Tried to drink hot teas in college, but it never caught on with me. Then one day a place called Teavana opened in the mall. Hubby wanted to try the samples. I shuddered while I watched him taste them.

He wanted some. Sighing, I was a little aggravated since we had nothing to make tea with. No teapot, nothing, and these were loose leaf teas requiring real preparation. But as the manager helped him, she made a comment to me that I’ve never forgotten. “It’s not that you don’t like tea. You just haven’t found the right tea.”

She opened up a world to me that I’ve never forgotten. Since that magical day about 4 years ago where we went through the wall of tea sniffing and smelling them, I’ve been addicted. We now have a coffee/tea station in the kitchen with all of our fun drinks. My boys’ friends love it and say that visiting us is like visiting Starbuck’s.

My eyes have been opened. I still don’t drink most coffees or teas. But I have those I adore and some teas I can’t live without. So to those who think they don’t drink tea or coffee, I will give you the best advice that was once given to me. It’s not that you don’t drink tea or coffee, it’s that you haven’t found the right tea or coffee :)

If you’d like to explore, my two fave places are and

Bon Appétit!