15 August 2007

Blowing Through The Jasmine In My Mind...

[Editor's Note: After posting the following blog entry, it came as no surprise to me when I received an e-mail from one of my "loyal readers". I am taking the liberty of posting the e-mail I received which arrived in my e-mail box within minutes of my posting about the sub-par jasmine tea I purchased recently at a Harris-Teeter in North Raleigh. The blog entry which elicited this response follows the letter from one of my concerned, but loyal, readers.]

Dear Susan - Since you would have expected me to advise you how much one bag of that sub-par jasmine tea cost, including TAX, it comes to $0.68 per bag. That is based on fifteen almost weightless little bags of that "stuff" at a cost of $9.99 plus twenty cents state sales tax. I don't understand why you would "waste" money for sub-par tea when you can purchase in bulk, at least 200, Lipton's tea bags at Sam's for half of that price. If you are going to SPLURGE with purchases such as this, why not spend another few cents for a $0.75 cent Dr. Pepper or a Coke? .....Of course I'm kidding, otherwise you would be suggesting I slip into Walmart and pick corn silk off of that fresh corn in the produce department and smoke it in my pipe......Sure glad your Mom enjoys that Liptons Instant tea. Please don't offer her a sample of that tea which came by FedEx today. I'd go "broke" in a hurry if she developed a taste for that jasmine tea.
Love, Dad.

[What follows is the original post, the one that triggered the response (see above) from one of my loyal readers - the man widely believed to be my father - though we don't have DNA tests to confirm this as yet. :-) My mother will kill me for that last statement, but it won't be the first time. ]

I must confess, I am a tea snob. I'm not proud, but it's the truth. I am a huge tea snob. My daughter Katie has, to some extent, been adversely and probably irrevocably affected by my vice. Her own blog is entitled, "Sweet Tea in NYC" and I can't help but feel some responsibility for that - though I am no aficionado of the sugary, syrupy sweet tea so prevalent and widely distributed in the South. I prefer unsweetened but, it's clear that from her years growing up under my influence, she has her own "tea monkey" to deal with.

I have an addiction to jasmine tea and it's not pretty...well, jasmine tea is quite lovely, but my affection for it is over the top and my love for all things jasmine, particularly tea, is fierce.

And not just "any" jasmine tea. I have developed a taste for Adiago Teas Jasmine #12 - and I can't help it. I didn't "Just Say No" when the first delivery arrived on my doorstep, courtesy of a Fed Ex Agent working on behalf of a friend in Whitehaven, UK - who spends his days as a British Nuclear Engineer and his "free time" as a councilman in local government and is no slouch in the tea department, having vacationed in Sri Lanka a few years ago, (it all sounds very James Bond-esque, don't you think?). He's a blatant and repetitive "enabler" and I find myself powerless to turn it down. I feed my addiction and quench my thirst far more often than I should but, to be fair, even though it's expensive, it's very healthy and let's not forget the whole anti-oxidant thing it's got going on. Don't knock it until you've tried it. I happen to believe there's some sort of anti-carcinogenic, anti-aging component to the stuff which only heightens my already deep desire to consume more and more...it's a vicious, but delicious cycle and one I see no point in eradicating.

The other day when I was poking around the Harris-Teeter in North Raleigh and, having run out of "the good stuff", I found myself putting back real groceries and saw myself placing a box of 15 tea bags which came with the unpleasant price of $9.99. Even though I half-heartedly attempted to talk myself out of it, I didn't remove it from my basket and yes, I actually paid $9.99 for 15 tea bags of what turned out to be sub-par, unimpressive jasmine tea.

It should be noted I did NOT stop by Dunkin Donuts and score a bag of their incredibly rich and robust house blend coffee. It's not like I didn't make some concessions. Though I wasn't proud of what I paid for the tea, I didn't go hugely overboard and make the over-the-top purchase of my other favorite caffeinated concoction

My guilt was further expanded when I realized that if my father knew that I had spent that much money for 15 tea bags, regardless of how delectable and exquisite the taste may be, he would, first of all, calculate how much each tea bag cost, including tax, and then he would probably tell me I had lost my mind. I'm my Daddy would have probably fainted, after he handed me his calculations of price per tea bag, quickly followed with an agonizing shaking of his head, muttering to no one in particular, "Where did we go wrong?". It's no secret, I lose all rationality when it comes to fine tea.

But today, courtesy of my car wreck, my friend and supplier in the UK, who has been guilty of feeding my addiction many times before, sent me 16 glorious ounces of this prized, irresistible, seductive tea, as a get-well gesture and I have to tell you, that receiving this tea nearly made the bruises and lacerations worth the trouble. I am in tea heaven and I find myself handling it as if it were an sac of gold or platinum. This is the good stuff, the real deal, the best of the best the tea world has to offer. I'm so glad my British friend didn't let that whole miserable period of history when our countries were a bit "at odds" come between kindness and friendship. The Brits are a fine people and a generous lot, at that.

Thank you Mr. Norwood. I know it will result in a more speedy recovery and I will toast you from across the pond and please know that this most delightful "get well" gift, will be savored drop by precious drop - over ice, because I like it like that!

I feel better already! Bless you!