A Librarian & Her Tea

I’m a librarian and have been described as a tea snob.  I did some quick searching online today and couldn’t find anything describing whether this was a librarian stereotype or not.  Although Jo Dereske has written a series of mysteries of a librarian who drinks tea and overall fills the stereotypical librarian role.  I like coffee but I had a bad cup a couple of years ago at one coffee shop so now I’m very careful of when & where I have coffee.  Plus who makes it.

I spoke with the owner of a different coffee shop a few years ago about the difference between espresso and regular coffee.  It seems almost counter-intuitive to me but according to Andrew espresso has less caffeine and acid than percolator or even drip coffee.  He explained that although espresso is stronger than regular coffee, because espresso isn’t in contact with the water as much as regular coffee then less acid and caffeine are drawn out of the grounds to your drink.  Espresso does bother me less than regular but I still need to watch how much I drink, when, and who’s making it.

Tea on the other hand, I can drink by the pot all day and evening.  I typically drink black tea and some oolong.  Puerhs, the only deliberately aged tea, can be pretty strong and now that I’m out of graduate school I’ve cut back on them.  Green and white tea are so fussy in regards to water temperature that the only time I drink them is when a good tea shop makes a pot for me.  Due to my preference for black tea I find green and white teas, as well as tisanes (aka herbal), to be rather weak by comparison.

Where the snobbishness comes in is that for the last eight years I’ve been using loose leaf tea rather than tea bags whenever available.  If I go to a restaurant, order hot tea, and they bring me a tea bag…I’ll drink it but am not happy about it.  The quality just isn’t the same as loose leaf.  I’m also particular about what I add to my tea, I don’t like the taste of sugar in my tea and only put honey in tisanes but will occasionally put milk or lemon in my tea, depending upon the tea.

So while tea may fit the stereotype of librarians, librarians can still quote J. M. Barrie, “Do you want to have an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?”

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