Tis the season for colds and sore throats and flu and fevers. And the worst fever is tea pantry fever!
Recently, one of those seasonal bugs hit me, and I had several days of a scratchy throat, achiness, ears ringing, and a general dull feeling. Anyone who follows me on Facebook and Twitter knows that I generously imbibed tea. Green teas mainly. But also some wonderful black teas whose flavor I could taste somewhat. Anything delicate tasting would have been wasted on me, though. The tea pantry fever set in when I dove into the burgeoning supplies in there to dig out some of my tried and true friends: Gunpowder, Chun Mee, Dragonwell, CTC Assam, Young Pu-erh, and some Autumn Flush Darjeeling.
The green teas were warm on my throat and gave relief from the soreness. They also relieved the overall achiness. Sometimes, too, it was just good to sit with my nose over the steaming cuppa and inhale. The aroma was perceived only faintly but the steam itself eased my breathing. Since each tea could undergo multiple infusions, this was also a fairly economical way to get relief without resorting to an overabundance of those cough lozenges that were harsh on my tongue even while they made swallowing less torturous.
As I felt better, my appetite returned a little. Now, I usually eat a fraction of what some sources say is the typical American diet. And I eat it in small amounts usually about two or three hours apart. A little unusual, but I’ve found that digestion is better when I don’t overload the system. So, as I once again felt like eating, it was in this same pattern: a small breakfast and some Assam tea; a mid-morning nosh (often a scone or some seasonal pastry such as mince pies or cookies) with another cuppa Assam; lunch of some soup, cheese cubes, and fresh fruit along with a pot of Young Pu-erh; a mid-afternoon tidbit (whatever is easy to grab) and more green tea; and finally a light snack (possibly some protein source and raw veggies) in early evening with possibly that Autumn Flush Darjeeling or some Dragonwell, depending on my mood.
Even if you’re not feeling under the weather, you can contract a severe case of Tea Pantry Fever, getting that sudden urge to go rummaging and steeping up teas you haven’t had in awhile. Sometimes it’s just to give yourself a change of taste. Other times it relieves ennui and brings a touch of excitement to your day. Sort of like going on a mini-expedition. Try it sometime!
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