Monday, May 5, 2008

Coffee, tea and me


In the mid nineties, I used to drink coffee and tea quite a lot despite their adverse effects on me (totally can't sleep if I take too much or too late in the day). After getting bouts of gastritis pretty frequently, I decided to stay off these two drinks. I wasn't addicted to them so it was not difficult to deny my body of the caffeine and tannin it was used to. The only tea I would drink was Chinese tea during Chinese meals at eating places. I continued to stay away from coffee and tea when I got married, pregnant, and started breastfeeding in 2002, mainly for the baby. The hot beverages I would take were chocolate, milk or malt drinks.

Late last year, I returned to drinking a bit more tea, especially Chinese or green tea for its health and cleansing properties. Somehow along the way, I developed slight cravings for coffee too. It became full blown when Eugene switched instant coffee brands and I decided to check it out...(yes, I'm blaming him!). My coffee tastebuds were awakened from their 10-year slumber so now, I'm back to drinking coffee although I'm still careful about not taking too much, especially those brewed ones which are stronger.

It also got me thinking about learning more about coffee and tea. In the process, I found some fun trivia facts here and here. Did you know that:

.Bach wrote a coffee cantata in 1732
.Milk as an additive to coffee became popular in the 1680's, when a French physician recommended that cafe au lait be used for medicinal purposes
.In 1900, coffee was often delivered door-to-door in the United States, by horse-pulled wagons
.In the days of the early Chinese emperors, legend tells us only virgins wearing white silk gloves were allowed to pluck the budsets that would become white tea
.There are reputed to be more than three thousand types of green tea in China alone, so it rivals wine in diversity
.There are ‘Blue Mountains’ famous for both coffee and tea: the Blue Mountains in Jamaica where exquisite coffee grows, and the Blue Mountains that are known as the Nilgiris in southern India, on which a very special tea thrives

And of course, Manhattan Transfer's Java Jive came to mind.

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