My favorite meal to eat out is breakfast. Just something about having someone else make the hash browns, eggs and bacon and then do the cleaning up afterward is like a great gift to me. Don’t get me wrong, lunch and dinner out will not be turned down by yours truly anytime. But breakfast is just a meal that I would rather let someone else make.
I usually don’t drink coffee. I prefer tea. As a former waitress, I can tell you that no waitress likes to hear a customer ask for hot tea instead of coffee. Coffee is a pour as you pass by, it’s a throw it in the cup and done liquid. Hot tea requires a separate little decanter with hot water in it on a saucer, maybe a wedge of lemon and then the tea, of course. And that is where I’m going today. About that tea.
I like to call myself a plain Jane kinda person. Not a lot of frills or extras in my being. You aren’t going to get a 400-word answer to a question from me. I don’t really care about checking each and every package of chicken in the meat bin. If I want chicken, I just pick up a package of chicken and trottle off. So when I say I like tea, I just like regular old tea in plain tea bags. You know tea that tastes like, well, like tea. Not minty, orangey, sleepy time, or licorice spiced caramel lined bags that steep for three hours before you sip it and then you get all squiggly because it’s just sooooo good.
So when I was recently out to breakfast and ordered my requisite hot tea I was not surprised that the waitress brought an array of teas to choose from. What did get my attention was that the 50 different teas of the world were in a box — with a lock on it! Okay, it was a fake lock, but it was a look-like-a-lock hasp. The box was cedar and was carved on the top with a tea tree and “TEA” was so romantically scripted through the tea leaves. All very fancy smanchie.
Inside the box was, if you were a professional tea snob, an impressive five rows of teas to choose from. I just sighed at the sight. Then the hunt was on for a “just tea” tea bag. I fingered my way through the alphabetized offering. Apple, rather have it in a pie? Burberry, isn’t that a type of coat? Chamomile, must change color in the cup! Dusty Rose — I wanted to paint a room that color! My little decanter of hot water was cooling off when I got to the T’s. You guessed it, no just plain Jane tea was in that overstuffed tea box.
So I set it aside and as the waitress scooted by I held up and slightly waved my hand to get her attention. Another thing a waitress ignores is a guy that snaps his fingers or a woman that waves her napkin like she is about to surrender. So I just calmly raise my hand and give a polite little wave that says, “Hey! Hey! You hoo. Over here!” Not my table, let’s move on ...
Here she comes. All of 19 years old with, I’m just here for the tips written on her face. (Nothing wrong with that mind you — I also worked for tips and earned a nice pot daily, I might add.) She slides up and asked what I needed. I asked her for some regular tea and she gets a horrid look on her face. Seems that this tea box is quite a thing in this establishment. So much so that they had like three or four tea boxes and they are filled several times a day by what I suppose is their tea wizard. Kind of like a wine steward, but you know, for tea. No, no I explained, I just wanted tea, you know, flow through bag that you just dunk up and down in the hot water. The bag that, if you are fast enough, will color the water just enough so you can taste tea then pull it out quick so that you can use it for a second cup because you are so frugal that you re-use tea bags. Yes, yes, I re-use tea bags. I have a very frugal streak in me. Squeaking along.
Faster than I expected, she came with a disheveled, found in the back of the cupboard tea bag. Hurray! Of course by that time the water had cooled off so I, (the customer who is always right, right?) asked for fresh hot water. I left a 25 percent tip and mentally noted not to visit that tea room for breakfast again. Maybe I should develop a taste for coffee. Nah, my way of living is just way too much fun!
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Really!