Tea is for the weak

Aug 24 2010 Published by under Etc

When it comes to hot caffeinated beverages, there are two types of people, those who drink coffee and those who prefer tea. I am a coffee drinker. While at work I typically drink roughly a liter of coffee a day. I enjoy coffee a lot, the darker the better. Oddly, I can also drop coffee without feeling the typical side-effects that most people report - headache, grumpiness, etc. This is lucky for me this week.

Where I am staying this week is a place where tea rules the day. Sad really, to see so many people so misguided. But after 5 days coffee free, I decided yesterday that I would like to find some coffee and several of my colleagues traveling with me agreed. So, I went to the hotel lobby and inquired about the nearest coffee shop.

"I believe they sell coffee at the gas station down the street" was the reply.

Struggling to contain disbelief about the recommendation, I tried to re-define what I was looking for, but only got a blank stare in return. So, to The Internet! A brief search yielded two places nearby that purported to hawk the caffeine delivery system I was searching for. But Google is apparently behind on updates for local businesses, because driving to these locations resulted in locating the local cement quarry and a neighborhood devoid of any businesses. Frustrated, I tried a bakery. Closed.

With the errand now taking far too long, what's a guy to do? The gas station cashier was very nice in helping me wrap my four cups to avoid a spill on the ride home. It was better than water dressed in brown. Barely.

That said, I don't know that I can file this under 'roughing it in the field'. More like, 'yes, I can complain even in a nice location'.

20 responses so far

  • Patchi says:

    I'm a tea drinker, but my husband packs Brazilian coffee, filters and a drip cone on all his trips. Maybe one of these with a Scientopia logo would be popular?

  • Chris Rowan says:

    I actually like both. Although I'm English, so the affinity for tea may well be genetically wired in.

  • Sounds exactly like trying to track down a decent cup of tea anywhere on the North American continent, so I sympathise, but in reverse 🙂

    I'm surprised though - even in England, you can't walk for more than 10 minutes these days without coming across a Starbucks or equivalent. Perhaps you could email me with details of this tea-drinkers utopia, so I can visit / move there?

    (I'm serious. vwxynot @ gmail. I promise not to tell anyone, despite your bizarre prejudice against tea drinkers).

  • It's like visiting our families in the northern midwest: everyone loves coffee, which is defined regionally as some weak-ass, tepid, barely drinkable Folgers bullshit. It makes it difficult, because saying, "Why yes, I would like some coffee!" does not procure you the inky blank beverage you desire.

  • lylebot says:

    Tell us where you are so that we know to bring our own coffee if we ever find ourselves going there. Please. Is it China? India?

  • Five days of coffee abstinence ! You are hard on yourself !! I drink coffee and prefer coffee ! In fact, I am usually drinking tea when my dessert is too sweetened 🙂

  • antipodean says:

    Sounds exactly like trying to track down a decent cup of tea anywhere on the North American continent.

    You could add 'coffee' to that sentence and it would still work

  • tichawona says:

    I too love a good, strong cup of coffee; however, I have tapered from over a liter a day of french press to two or three mugs a week. I have replaced this with tea... but not the crappy tea-dust-in-a-bag you get from at the grocery store. Rather, good loose-leaf oolongs and keemums. Oh, and though it is not for everyone, a fresh Lapsang Souchong will knock your socks off. Though Stephen Maturin also called tea a, "weak and insipid brew," I think it is all about the quality of the stuff you are brewing and how you brew it. Just like coffee.

  • Nat says:

    I'm immediately suspicious of non coffee drinkers.

    Cause there's clearly something wrong.

  • What Cath said. Tea rocks. You are the misguided one, PLS.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    My location is classified, sorry. But there is nary a Starbucks in the country.

    This wasn't as bad as DGT describes, but not exactly what I was looking for either. Meh, I'll get my fix when I get home tomorrow.

    Antipodean, that sounds suspiciously like those who still maintain that there is no decent beer in the US, despite the raging microbrew culture. This isn't 1975, there is good coffee to be had.

    And PiT, I can hardly take beverage advice from someone who doesn't think beer is worth their time. Refer to Nat's comment.

  • Perdita says:

    My two cents: Starbucks is not coffee. It's best classified as a flavoured milk drink. You know the stuff so strong that it'll keep a spoon upright? THAT'S coffee. And you can't get that anywhere in the States, unless you make it yourself.

  • gnuma says:

    Apparently, my field sites are now ripe with crystal meth labs. How's that for a kick in the pants? Coffee? Not necessary! I'll support my local meth producers!

    (I am being highly sarcastic here for those of you with no humors).

  • tideliar says:

    Sir! You go TOO FAR!

    On behalf of tea drinkers I DEMAND SATISFACTION!

  • antipodean says:

    No arguments on the beer front from here. I am a proud convert to the microbrew American Pale Ale.

    But you don't have any coffee I can ever find. And I ask around. Maybe in New York or somewhere they have Italian cafes?

  • proflikesubstance says:

    I guess tea beats out meth, but not by much.

    Tideliar, don't get your pinkie in a knot. Maybe someday you'll see the error of your ways.

    Antipodean, I don't know where you are searching, but we can find some decent stuff around us - both beer and coffee.

  • Douglas Adams on tea:

    "the American habit of bringing a teacup, a tea bag and a pot of hot water to the table is merely the perfect way of making a thin, pale, watery cup of tea that nobody in their right mind would want to drink. The Americans are all mystified about why the English make such a big thing out of tea because most Americans have never had a good cup of tea. That's why they don't understand."

    (Full article here).

  • Cherish says:

    If you were roughing it in the field, I'm guessing you would probably have brought a french press and some really damn good coffee with you to make up for the crappy other food you'd have to eat.

    Sadly, though, I would still end up drinking tea because coffee, as good as it tastes, does not agree with me.

  • scicurious says:

    Sci loves her coffee. Sci also loves her tea,and is very proud to say that she can make a VERY good cup of either of the two.

    But lately I've been just having the one cup of coffee a day, and I'm getting the shakes. Need a coffee pot in the lab...

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