Sunday, 5 June 2011

drinking while unwell

What do you drink when you absolutely can't taste anything?

That's a bit of an exaggeration, because although I have a bit of a cold, I'm still able to taste. It's just that I'm sniffling and wheezing and all I want is something that soothes my throat. Last year when I was in Greece, I introduced Greek Mountain Tea when I wrote:

You needn't Climb a mountain

I remember when I wrote that I thought, 'I'm so rarely ill. It might be years before I actually get to find out if this helps when I'm under the weather.' So back to my question. If your sense of taste is muted or even deadened, what tea do you drink?

Was in my local Asian Supermarket this weekend, and look what I found. If you've been reading lately, you know I'm slowly getting deeper into Pu-erh tea. Whenever I wander into such a shop, my fantasies take me to a place where I make some fantastic find. Some tea that has nondescript packaging, but is excellent tea. I had to find out if this was any good.

I'd had enough Greek Mountain Tea loaded with honey. It had soothed my throat, but I needed tea. Real tea. Just so happened that my friend Jeffrey the Contrarian was visiting, and I cajoled him into trying this stuff. But not before he indulged himself in plenty of jokes about the name Pu-erh and how the un-steeped tea smelled of 'poo air'.

Jeffrey the Contrarian had had the fannings that I wrote about last week, and was less than impressed. He said the taste was noticeably fermented, and it was clear this wasn't a complement. So I wanted to see what he thought of this simple Yunnan Pu-erh.

He said it was less pungent. It was definitely drinkable. I thought it had almost no taste, but my above-mentioned muted sense of taste might have something to do with that. My suspicion is that I'll use this nondescript tea in some blends, but that it won't easily become a regular tea in my rotation.

What about you? Do you even forego tea entirely when you're ill? Do you drink infusions?


  1. Was it cooked pu-erh or raw (sheng)? If the latter, ain't nothing like it. Love the stuff in an unhealthy "hide-outside-its-house-in-the-bushes" sorta way.

  2. Neatly written, kitten. x

  3. When I am sick, I use that time to indulge in the less than fortunate teas that are pushed to the back of my cabinet, due to lack of interest and sub-par quality. Haha. It certainly helps to have some "under the weather" teas!

  4. When I'm sick, I often drink tons and tons of an herbal tea made from lemon balm and mint. Years later, I found that both mint and lemon balm have antiviral properties. Huh! I just liked them...peppermint seems to clear out the sinuses a bit and I liked the way the others tasted.

  5. Geoff-it was cooked, and not the best quality. It didn't taste very different from a simple Yunnan. We'll see if it's any better once I'm well.

    Thanks Amuse. Nice rhyme.

    Sir Will-yes, that's exactly what I'm doing in this situation.

    Alex-you know, I'm not partial to mint tea, but I might try it for this very reason. Lemon balm might be a bit harder to come by...but not impossible.