Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I Confess, I Spent the Weekend Drinking Coffee

O great and powerful tea gods, I come before you a humble supplicant. I have been unfaithful to your extraordinary powers of taste and refreshment.

I was at the Malice Domestic conference for mystery writers and fans last week. It’s super fun and super busy. We’re running around from 7 in the morning until past 11 at night. The Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, MD serves Starbucks coffee. Sometimes there’s not enough coffee in the world to keep a writer awake and perky (no pun intended). 

Coffee in our room. Coffee in the hospitality suite, where people relax and check out bookmarks and swag from the writers. Coffee at the bar. No, really! The bar serves coffee all day, even in the evening when they also serve booze. 

They offered real cream too! My first few cups need to be strong enough to stand up a spoon in it, but if I can get real cream (not milk, not half and half)—gimme!

However, my body lets me know when it’s had enough. 

Guess what else they serve? Tazo tea. Because not everyone (no, really) likes coffee. The hotel set out six different kinds of Tazo: Zen, Awake English Breakfast, Chamomile, Passion, Earl Grey, and Refresh Mint.

A lovely china dish with lemon slices and a wooden box with packets of every possible kind of sugar, sugar substitute, and plant-based sweeteners were set before the Tazo display as offerings to the tea gods. It was a worthy altar.

The coffee and tea in the hospitality suite were paid for by various publishers. We were so grateful!

Now all y’all will recoil from me in horror, but I don’t like Earl Grey tea. *stares through computer screen and sees a wave of readers recoiling* I know. But Earl Grey to me is like trying to drink perfume. Don’t ask me about rooibos tea, either. I tried three different kids. Not for me.

But Tazo Zen tea? More, please! I especially like how it doesn’t get bitter when I let it steep a long time. The mint and lemongrass combination is relaxation in a cup. Any moment of relaxation in a conference is a moment to treasure.

I love jasmine tea, but if I let it steep longer than three minutes—BITTER! The same with white tea. When I try to let it steep long enough to have enough taste for my palate—BITTER. 

Something in Tazo’s formulations differ from other brands of herbal tea. They’ve removed the bitter. So smooth. I can drink cup after cup. Which I did when my body OD’d on coffee.

Thus, O great and powerful tea gods, I beg your forgiveness for turning away from you for the conference weekend. 

(Nobody look at the travel cup of Starbucks French Roast at my elbow, okay?)

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