I've had several whole day meetings with some clients, and something very curious happened during the coffee break each day. My tea was brewed and carried to the office in two well-worn flasks. It had to last me through the entire day, so I rationed it very carefully. By the late afternoon, I still had at least one very delicious cup of Darjeeling to savour.
And then it happened.
The break was announced, some headed for the toilets, others went outside to smoke, and one guy broke out his tea stash. I wish I could report that he was a loose-leaf tea drinker. Alas, it was a plastic Ziploc bag with a variety of bagged tea.
Nevertheless. The assortment was carefully arranged. Others were curious what his bag o' tea selection offered and gladly accepted his invitation to pull out their choice of teabag. Someone put on the kettle and soon thereafter teabags were submerged in nearly boiling water.
'Wait just a minute', I hear some of you say. 'You're a tea snob, right? No teabags for you. Why did this put such a ridiculous smile on your face?'
Well, of course loose-leaf tea is the goal. It's what I'm sure people would insist on if they knew how far superior the quality of tea almost always is when it's loose-leaf. We all know the arguments for rejecting teabags. But this was tea (no matter how substandard) being fully enjoyed by a group of people who very likely would've otherwise had yet another cup of overheated coffee. These were my people.
Did I try to lure them over to the leaf-side? I did not. I sipped my perfect cup of Darjeeling and smiled like a Cheshire Cat and took in a deep breath.
And then I let it out. Still smiling.