Tea for me

I’ve changed since I’ve moved back to Victoria. Lately, I’ve just been finding it nice to kick back with a relaxing … tea. Who would have thought? After years of having coffee as my main hot drink of choice, I’m getting the urge to branch out into (black and) greener pastures. I suppose part of it has to do with my ongoing search for a good cuppa java in this city. It’s been one heck of a fight to try to find a decaf coffee (as I can’t take the high voltage stuff anymore) that doesn’t taste like roasted dirt. I’ve almost given up.

Why tea? Well let’s face it – tea is just in the water around here. Victoria is a tea-drinking culture. Although I haven’t looked up to see if there are any national records, if I were to wager a guess I’d say we probably have the most tea rooms per capita than any other city in Canada. What else would you expect from the town that boasts the long-standing Afternoon Tea at the Empress? (And that’s just one of the places that hosts this dainty British ritual.)

There’s a great tea store downtown Victoria called Silk Road, and recently I attended a ‘tea lattés’ workshop there. Until a couple of months ago, I hadn’t even heard of anyone making lattés with tea – but at this workshop I got to sample several delicious varieties. I even saw a hot little tea strainer for sale there that I actually kind of coveted. As it was a cool $25 (OK, tea really is becoming popular!), I thought I’d let it go this time. I did take some loose tea home with me though – a mysteriously minty variety called Casablanca.

What’s next for me with tea? I want to try the new (to me) ‘London Fog’ that I keep noticing on the menu at Serious Coffee. Apparently it’s Earl Grey tea made into a latté. Sounds delicious.

In a culture that can’t seem to make up its mind whether coffee is good or bad for us, I have to question – will tea become the new coffee in terms of popularity? I’m not sure what the rest of you are drinking, but it might be tea for me, at the very least.

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