May 21st, 2009|
|12:38 am - Tea-d Off|
Solid day, met up with terminus8, walked around Square One to talk and catch up.
Along the way, met up with a mutual friend, working at a tea place called Teaopia. I'm a regular there, and most staff know me by my constant order of an iced Wild Cherry tea. This one friend, we also know her from my university; every time I am in there, and she is working, she tries to get me to try a different tea. But most times, I just want my Wild Cherry, because it's damn good! I try new ones sometimes, but she's never working then.
She tried, once again, but failed. terminus8 got something new however, and there was a small confusion by another staff as to who ordered what. I automatically recognized my Wild Cherry, offhandedly remarking that "I could recognize my Wild Cherry a mile away by this point." Our mutual friend raised an eyebrow: "You think you could always identify Wild Cherry from a distance?"
She works at a tea wonderland. She knows a crazy amount about tea. If I was half-sane, I'd have picked up on the challenge, and wisely stepped down.
Apparently my ego outweighed my wisdom this night, so I gave a cocky "Yeah!"
She proposed a challenge. We'd come back later, and I'd have to visually ID the Wild Cherry from across the store. If I was right, I got the Wild Cherry and she'd drink a "nasty tea". If I failed, SHE got the Wild Cherry, and I got the evil tea. terminus8 got the decoy tea no matter what, so he won by simply being there ;]
I promptly forgot about this, and later had a coke AND a coffee. As I was finishing the coffee, we walked past her store again, and she waved us in. They were getting ready to close, but she had been waiting for me.
She's brewed both Wild Cherry and an "other", and had me stand on the other end of the store to try and pick which was which. My ace in the hole was not simply the colour of the tea, but how transparent it was.
...both were red to the point of BLACK. One glance, and I knew I was fucked. I tried to make a judgment as best I could, and picked one.
As promised, she then prepared me my Humble Tea. And... wow. I now know the taste of defeat, and it is Tarry Lapsang Souchong. From the website description, emphasis mine:
"This distinctive Black Tea is known for its naturally created deep, pungent, smoky aroma. Black Tea leaves are fired over smoking pine needles, which produce its overwhelming scent and flavour. This unique tea experience is a must try for Black Tea lovers."
..."unique" is right. It smelled like a campfire, and tasted like burnt cardboard. VILE. And to top it off, it was caffeinated, which mixed amazingly with my coffee I'd just finished. It was the most horrible thing I'd ever drank. Choice quotes include "it offends taste buds I didn't know I had", "it tastes like my mouth wants me to stop drinking it", and when I made terminus8 try a sip, "the taste is haunting me". I had to stick a lid on it so I could block the smell enough to get it close to my face, and ended up mixing in 6 sugars and a bunch of milk to make it POSSIBLE to drink.
But I drank the whole fucking thing, because me and my fat mouth brought it upon myself. The whole time, I felt the tea shop's Buddha was watching and laughing at me. Afterwards, I ripped off the part of the drink insulating sleeve that said "Your Journey to Wellness, the balance of Mind, Body and Soul", and wrote on the back "The taste of defeat is Tarry Lapsang Souchong". I plan to keep it in my pocket for a while, as a charm against being an egotistical ass and getting myself in over my head ;]