One of the lingering effects of the British occupation of India upon its current day culture, is the afternoon consumption of tea- or tea time as the British call it. My mom religiously drinks chai (a mixture of tea, milk, and sugar) every morning and afternoon. If she doesn't get her tea fix, she'll get a migraine. The chai that north Indians drink is not spiced like they serve at Starbuck's, but is more of the Lipton or PG Tips variety doused with a lot of milk. Growing up I observed my mother's tea affliction and I swore that I would not become an addict myself. But then came my aspirations to become a writer....
In order to focus on writing, I would often go to the Barnes & Noble cafe to write (yes, I was one of those). And since I was spending oodles amounts of time there, I always felt that I needed to buy something. I can't stand the bitter, disgusting taste of coffee, and frappucinos contain too much sugar, and espressos tastes like dirty socks, and not all the baristas know how to make a chai latte correctly (I swear it sometimes tastes like hot milk); so I'd buy a cup of hot tea as a way to "pay" for my time there. My favorites are White Peach Tea and Mint Tea.
And then when I started hanging/writing at Panera a good bit, I started drinking Panera's assortment of the Republic of Tea. My favorite was the Ginger Peach, but now I think my palate is changing its taste towards the Mango Ceylon.
And then when life gave me a swift kick in the arse and I started working more and sleeping less, I found that I needed tea whenever and where ever I wrote. I didn't just drink the tea for the caffeine, but the actual act of putting my hand around a mug and sipping something, helped keep me awake and sustain my stays in imagination land.
And now that I've take my zany schedule up to the next level, while I'm at work, in between my afternoon patients, I have the need to find a moment to drink a cup of hot tea! I even pack a mug, equal packet, and a tea bag in my lunch everyday. I'VE TURNED INTO MY MOTHER!!
Sigh. I'm going to go have a cup of tea now.