Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I was in a bad mood yesterday after getting jostled by the lunch crowd at Teaism. There I was, just an honest, tea-drinking guy trying to get some tea in a sea of expensive-pants-wearing, pseudo-pan-Asian-lunch-ordering people who were all positioned between me and the not very helpful staff. They didn't have the tea I wanted anyway. Today is different, in part thanks to my ipod churning up Boston's Hitch a Ride right as I got off the train. There is plenty to like and dislike about Boston, but Hitch a Ride has one of the greatest, totally overblown guitar solos of all time. Pardon me, guitar duet. Anyway, it improved my mood.

Since I couldn't get the Dragonwell tea I was hankering for I fell back on the Jasmine Green tea from Ten Ren that my secret santa gave me. Ten Ren, based out of Taiwan, is a big operation with stores all over the U.S. and a heavy presence in the tea aisle at your local Asian supermarket. Seems like most of their tea falls into that comfortable B grade which is a solid step above regular commercial grade but not fine tea either - Outback Steak House, not French Laundry. They do offer some very expensive teas but I've never tried them. I enjoy visits to the Ten Ren store in Rockville, MD, partly for the bubble tea but mostly, honestly, for the staff who are all beautiful, young, Asian women who entice customers like me with great big canisters of loose tea and good attitudes. I like this jasmine tea - it does the job with no questions asked. I especially appreciate the detailed information on the package:

Degree of Baked: (Totally Dried)

The recommended brewing time is one minute and 50 seconds. No more, no less.