Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tea for You and NOT for Me

I don't like tea. Most people don't know this about me, especially those who have been to my house. I have an entire shelf of tea above my cookbook collection. I have so many different bags of so many different types of tea that my inadvertent amassment has long overflowed its decorative basket and now comprises a bunch of stacked boxes next to the full basket.

People see this impressive stash, assume that I must like tea, and give me more. And I accept it. Why?

Well, partly it's because I think I should like tea. My mom likes tea. Mystery lovers and writers are supposed to love tea. And sometimes the packaging is just irresistible. I mean, Bigalow's Eggnogg'n? Who could resist?

I have always billed myself as a lover of chai. But it turns out even that's not true. Because I really hate Tazo chai, and that's all anyone wants to serve these days. What I LOVED was Borders chai, especially the special autumn Pumpkin Spice Chai, but really any Borders chai would do, and I can still taste it as I type, the phantom taste flooding my head with memories of delightful evenings at the bookstore burning my tongue on the too-delicious-to-wait chai while snooping through magazines, then peeling apart from my spouse to peruse the stacks in search of literary treasures.

Alas, for some time now, Borders has been serving Tazo chai. I wrote to complain, of course, and learned that I really am the only American who hates Tazo chai.

But if you know the distributor who created the chai for Borders and might be selling it under a different name, I'd love to hear it!

And, as a side note to Borders: Apparently you're experiencing some financial distress. I put it to you that perhaps the blame doesn't lie solely with the credit crunch. Perhaps, PERHAPS, there's bad chai karma involved.

13 comments:

Kathy said...

I love tea but not all the funky flavored ones. Mostly I stick to Morning Thunder, which almost tastes like coffeee to me.

Rob Monroe said...

Mmmm. Peppermint Tea. Hot or cold, I can always chill with some peppermint tea.

That tea I got at SBux when we were there this spring was funk-nasty. Talk about a phantom taste months later.

Sarahlynn said...

Kathy, if I'm drinking tea, the one I like best is Bigelow's Constant Comment, or, really, any orange spice tea, probably because that's my mom's favorite so I've had it most of my life. Still, it's not so much of a treat for me, just something comfortable and warming.

Rob, I'll remember the peppermint! Guess what they serve at Starbucks. Tazo!

HiddenChicken said...

If it helps at all, I'm a writer and I'm lukewarm at best on tea unless I'm sick. I'll also drink it in the evening with Ragsy if he's eating dinner and I'm not (prevents me from munching on his leftovers and, in effect, having two meals at night).

I much prefer a cup of strong, smoky coffee with cream and sugar. Of course, having too much of that makes me a bit on the jittery side, but the taste is absolutely worth it. We also have boxes and boxes of tea lying about.

Carolyn said...

The chai distributer that used to distribute to Borders is a company called Key Essentials. You can find it under the name Mystic Chai at Sam's clubs, at least in my town. Hope this helps some. (Can you tell I've already tried to figure this out?)

Sarahlynn said...

HiddenChicken (seems weird to call you that!) My current obsession is the latte. No sugar, no flavor, just espresso and milk. Divine! I think I could live on latte alone.

Carolyn, Thank you! I'll have to ask one of my Sam's Club Member friends to pick some vanilla up for me to try so I know if I should spring for the huge cans sold elsewhere online. Now if only I could find the Pumpkin Spice variety . . .

Carolyn said...

http://store.gifts-me.com/
(walking away whistling innocently)

Canada said...

I love chai, but not the Tazo. I stick to coffee at SBux. I know that at some places in the US, you can find PC (President's Choice) products. If so, they have an amazing chai tea. To make it, you simmer the teabag in a pot with water and milk, then add honey (or sugar) to taste. Delicious!

Peppermint is another favourite of mine, and orange spice teas can be jazzed up with a little splash of Drambuie and some honey. :)

Kay Olson said...

Because I am a tea snob, I do not believe you (or anyone) does not like tea. You simply haven't learned to make it right yet. ;)

Sarahlynn said...

Carolyn! THANK YOU! (And to think I used to consider myself pretty good with Google.)

Canada and Kay, ah, here you run into two of my less atrractive characteristics: laziness and a desire to be pampered. Part of the appeal of the chai (for me) was the experience of going out somewhere I love to go (what's more fun than a bookstore? maybe a library, if they had a nice cafe).

I still love the mix at home, but it's pretty easy to make (add hot water, stir).

But I will keep the President's Choice brand very much in mind, Canada, and I'll reserve my skepticism, Kay!

Cathy said...

My twin sister works for Borders as a manager and she's stressing like crazy over her job.
I asked her about that Chai tea and she said tazo sucks too. :) So your not alone. but it was done as a $$ thing.

archphoenix said...

I used to be a barista at Borders and loved that stuff. Nordstrom's eBar cafes have a Vanilla Chai that is very similar. And they sell a take home bag too.

Sarahlynn said...

Cathy, money, money . . . well, I certainly drop by and shop less now that I hate the chai! So there's lost money. Sigh.

Archphoenix, thank you! I'll have to check that out.