Up with Tea!

 Posted by at 10:57  Up With
Mar 252013
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I’ve been drinking more tea lately.  It’s not that I like tea so much.  It is for my health.   I read somewhere that three cups of tea a day would help with the arthritis pain in my knees which is beginning to annoy me.  I’ve been in denial about the arthritis for a few years now figuring that if I ignored it long enough it would go away.  Well I formed  a new plan.   Last month I decided that it was time to mention it to my doctor.  He told me that yes I did have arthritis and to tell him if I needed something to handle the pain. So much for modern medicine.

I’ve been cynical about medicine since my brothers died back when I was in high school.  Medicine couldn’t keep them from dying then and I don’t think it has made much progress since.  Notice that my doctor didn’t tell me he could do anything about the arthritis.  He only offered me relief from the pain.  So much for doctors.

It’s all up to me!

I did some research about arthritis and learned that tea is supposed to help reduce inflammation.  I’d taken up green tea a few years back as a health thing but the stuff tastes like dishwater and I gradually stopped.  At the timeI understood  that green tea was the best tea to drink but my new research said that there wasn’t  any difference between the benefits of green tea and black tea so now I’m drinking black.  It’s got more flavor.

A tin of loose Earl Grey tea

A tin of loose Earl Grey tea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think one of the problems I have with tea is watching too many old British movies.  Tea always suggests overdressed people in over decorated rooms sipping tea from delicate bone china cups.  Tea is effete snobbery that I can’t relate to while coffee is how I live- a legacy from my father’s Swedish heritage. For me, the only American way to drink tea is iced.

Still I am finding that black tea has enough taste to at least partially satisfy my craving for something hot and stimulating while I work.  I have decided to get better acquainted with the different types.  I just worked through a box of Oolong.  The description on the box said it was perfumed and delicate which is how they try to sell you on insipid green tea so I was skeptical.  It was perfumed all right but still tasty enough to know I wasn’t drinking plain hot water.

Today I opened a new box- this one is Earl Gray- or is it Grey?  This is much more like the Lipton’s I grew up with.  It has more flavor but unlike Liptons I can smell some perfume as I hold the cup under my nose.   I took a break from writing to brew a fresh cup and discovered that Earl Grey tea is enhanced with oil of bergamot (a kind of orange).  I guess that makes it a predecessor to Constant Comment.

How long can I keep this up?

I don’t know how long I can continue this tea trip.  It’s not as bad as I expected but I just don’t get the satisfaction from a cup of tea that I do from coffee.  Right now it’s a mind trip to improve my health and improve my understanding of tea.  Sipping my second cup, I can imagine the orange scent.  At this point I can’t be sure if I really smell it or just imagine it.  It’s got flavor but it doesn’t compare to the rich café dobles that I remember fondly from my days in Buenos Aires.

What will make or break my new commitment to tea is if I believe that it helps with the arthritis.  I know that I will not eliminate it.  My goal is to mitigate it’s destruction to my knee joints and keep the pain levels manageable.  So far I’m managing to feel positive about the effort.  The pain seems less.  The tea is more tasty than I expected.  Still, it’s coffee that stirs my soul and rouses me to action.  Time will tell.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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  8 Responses to “Up with Tea!”

  1. The original earl grey blend tastes the best, some of my friends drink it with some milk as well.

    • Maya, How do you know what company uses the original blend? In any case I’m not sure that tweaks in the blend make up for my need to find a bolder flavor. It’s still tea.

  2. Try getting into some Twinnings tea. it is better than the Lipton. Costs a bit more, but it is worth it. They have been blending teas in England for like 300 years. Chai is a good choice too, it has cinnamon and spices in it.

    • Justin,
      I’ve tried them all- Twinings, Bigelowe, Lipton, Stash. They are all tea and no matter how much I am a sucker for old British movies, I just don’t care much for tea. So far, the best is black, unadulterated tea like English Breakfast but if I don’t notice improvement in my arthritis soon, I’m going back to coffee,

      • Maybe you should just throw a tea bag or two in with the coffee grounds and get the best of both worlds. Then you wouldn’t have to taste the tea. you would have to drink a pot or two of coffee every day but, what the hell right?

        • Justin,
          You sound like you work for the government. Your solution provides the worst of everything. I still get the taste of tea ruining the coffee and it is twice as expensive. I’m starting to worry about you.

          • Ralph, maybe I should take all of the tea and the coffee and give you your share and the rest to your neighbors so everyone has tea and coffee. And shoot the dissenters. Just drink your tea already. if all else fails add some Jack Daniels and you won’t care what it tastes like.

          • You and Karl Marx.

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