The duck and I LOVE tea, and by that I mean the liquid kind you can drink from a mug (we’re terrible at gossiping). When we were living in Japan we fell in love with the green tea varieties you could buy there, so much so that when our lovely friend C asked us if there’s anything she could send us from Japan, we responded by sending her a photo of a green tea pouch. Nothing else. We’re those people.Tea phone We miss being able to buy bottled green tea from the vending machine around the corner even though, cheap as we are, we usually got some at the supermarket at a much better price. Last summer when the duck and I were suffering in our hot (and not yet super beautiful) Berlin bedroom we spent hours browsing all kinds of shopping sites for a nice big thermos so that we could steep our imported tea in the evening, chill it down in the refrigerator overnight, and fill it up to go the next morning. Our laziness and stinginess were stronger. Instead, we made do with drinking our Japanese green tea hot out of a mug, like normal Europeans.
We also knew that if we didn’t ration our 100 green tea bags, we would drink them within a month. So the duck and I had to look at other tea options and that reminded us of the one thing we were not so happy with in Japan: the selection of non-Japanese tea and the crazy prices for the few varieties the grocery stores did carry (I mean 250 yen for 10 bags? Who has that kind of money?!)! But now that we’re living in Berlin (baby), we buy all the non-Japanese tea we want and nobody can stop us!

Tea duck

It’s actually gotten to a point where 90% of our daily water intake is through tea and when new friends and acquaintances are asked to name our cult or design a casket for us you bet it’s tea-related! Actually, the duck and I recently found a picture of a portrait that our former flatmate had drawn on our door: me with my hoodie on (I’m always cold, man) sipping tea from my personal mug.
Even though the duck and my appreciation for tea goes way back, we have recently noticed that we have, indeed, gone through a few tea phases. And, because we’re nice, we’re happy to share our most recent teanalasys with you:

You can’t write ‘team’ without ‘tea’, nor ‘gateau’ or ‘steamboat’

Step 1: Tea is okay
Back when I was little and didn’t even know the duck yet, I used to drink the occasional cup of tea, with friends while drawing pictures, with family to a nice nostalgic supper, at home when I was sick with a cold, and that’s about it. I didn’t mind tea, but as my character still had some developing to do, it had not yet discovered the true meaning of life: tea, lots of it!

Step 2: Tea is warm
When I first moved out from home, I discovered that tea was a great way to keep warm while also saving on heating costs (you see now why any good portrait of me had to include covered ears and hot tea?). Awesome! Those were the days when a nice evening usually ended with a way too sweetly scented candle and a cup of tea on my desk. I was a huge fan of chai with milk and all kinds of herbal teas. I also enjoyed the occasional variety of non-Japanese green tea or black tea (I guess to some of you that’s just tea).
Yeah, I had already turned tea-crazy back then, but there was still some hope.

Step 3: Green tea(m)
The duck and I were living in Japan. Because we were poor and cheap we limited our non-Japanese tea intake to the occasional iHerb order or visit to Kaldi. That was okay because we finally were able to drink as much Japanese green tea as we could possibly ask for; we drank it out of the bottle, from a mug (made with hot water and tea bags or the powdered variety), as weird soy milk, as canvas, had it as dessert, as chocolate, as cookie, the list goes on. That was the time when the duck and I realized that European or American green tea just didn’t do anymore. We had become green tea snobs.

Powdered Green Tea

Some powdered matcha we checked out in the supermarket before we tried it at our friend N’s

Step 4: Tea is life
Then came the time when we didn’t live in Japan anymore. We asked C to help us cope with missing good Japanese green tea (though I’m sure there are several well-stocked Asian grocery stores in Berlin) and went back to the “all tea is nice” days. Within the last few months we even came to accept one or the other fruitier tea variety back into our repertoire (after step 1 I had gradually distanced myself from the pink berry teas). Now that we finally get to see lots of exciting (and some disappointing) tea varieties on the grocery and drug store shelves, most of them to totally acceptable prices, tea has found a fixed spot on the duck and my weekly shopping lists and, obviously, in the liquid part of our diet. And, the more tea we buy, the more variety we have at home and the more we can coordinate our tea choice with how we are feeling at that very moment. As I am writing this post the duck and I are sipping on a nice cup of lukewarm peppermint tea (what does that say about us right now? You choose!). Yum!

What about you? Is there a food or drink that defines you? If you love tea as much as we do, what is your favorite variety? We’re in love with the Classic Yogi Tea (yup, it’s made a comeback from step 2) at the moment!

Yogi Tea, a Classic

Tea ya!

2 thoughts on “Tea

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