Way back in 2000 when we moved to The Villages, we settled in a nice section with some great people. One of them was named Billy (not Bill) and as he was the youngest male, we called him Billy the Kid. I have been telling him that he is now Billy the Old, but he claims to still be the “Kid.” Despite that Billy is one nice guy. When I showed up for golf last week, he handed me a nice tin of Earl Grey tea from the Charleston Tea Company. What is particularly unique about the gift is that it is tea that is grown in the good old USA. Apparently, many moons ago someone brought some plants over from China. I am not certain whether the plants were smuggled in one of those old big steamer trunks or just hand carried as there were not so many restrictions back then.
The plants were placed in the ground, but nobody used them until lately. Thus, we can now buy American grown tea and not the stuff from China. Now, I know you can also buy tea grown in Sri Lanka or India in particular. I love Darjeeling tea from India. In fact, the last green tea I bought came from Columbia – not South Carolina, but South America. However, the point is that you can now get tea grown in the USA. It is an excellent tea. I had some first thing after I brought it home. It made me feel like a new man – which The Blond in the House said was a good thing. It would have gone well with crumpets, but I didn’t have any.
Now I recognize that many people are coffee lovers and pay little attention to tea. My parents were coffee drinkers, although my mother drank tea too. I was never able to stand either the smell or taste of coffee. I recall an incident when I was in college and was having dinner at a girl friend’s house. They gave me a cup of coffee without asking, if I wanted it. I did not know what to do without offending them. I reluctantly took a sip, but left the rest. Yuck! I was told that when I went in the Army that I would learn to drink it – never happened! Tea is much better.
It must be remembered that tea has a long history in this country. It was the Boston Tea Party not the Boston Coffee Party. If they had dumped that big a load of coffee in the harbor, it would probably still smell today. The fish would likely just be considering returning about now. In addition, a coffee-colored harbor is just not a good thing. Undoubtedly the Boston harbor would have lost a ton of business to New York and perhaps even Philadelphia. I guess we owe a debt to the British that they put the tax on tea and not coffee. Unfortunately, I have read that the colonists were so perturbed over the tea tax that many of them held their noses and switched to coffee.
I might mention in passing that it is easy to tell tea drinkers from coffee drinkers. Coffee drinkers arise in the morning all grouchy and glowering until they have their cup of coffee. Tea drinkers, however, arise smiling and glowing. They leisurely read the paper and when finished brew some tea. They eat a nice breakfast and head out to face the world.
I should also mention that The Blond is a coffee drinker, but the above paragraph does not apply to her. Yep, I should definitely mention that!
Barry Evans writes about “Life in The Villages” for Villages-News.com.