It's hard not to notice that many cyclists are also avid coffee drinkers. I guess I am too, in the sense that I am thoroughly addicted and must drink several cups a day in order to function. But I am not a coffee connoisseur. I am okay with most espresso blends. I keep it simple with a French press. I add a bit of milk. And I prefer a nice big mug over a dainty cup. After more than two decades of drinking the stuff, I have never felt compelled to explore the world of coffee beyond this.
Tea, on the other hand, has always been a danger zone - something that I sensed could plunge me into yet another crazy hobby. Perhaps that is why I've mostly played it safe and stuck to grocery-store tea bags. I did not want to cross that line.
That is, until recently. There has been a lot of tea drinking at my house this winter and at some point I was gifted a teapot and some loose tea. Long story short, I now have a small collection of delicious teas, about the properties and history of which I know more than I care to admit. It wasn't long before I began to develop my own masala chai recipe, and purchased a dedicated Tokoname kyusu for green tea. Right...
Well, at least playing around with this stuff has kept me sane over the past couple of months - although I use the term "sane" loosely. Earlier today I was debating the idea of a Mobile Tea Party. Inspired by conversations with Jacquie Phelan and by memories of the Xtracycle display at the last Interbike, I had the idea to install a samovar on the back of a bike and turn it into a neighbourhood Tea Chariot. Say a driver is cranky sitting in traffic - I can offer them some tea. A passing cyclist looks thirsty? Cuppa tea. Pedestrian in need of refreshment? Tea! Heck, I can even drink some myself at red lights.
Sadly, I don't think it is feasible to boil water via pedal power while cycling around the neighbourhood. According to this video, it took 11 cyclists on bike generators to boil 1 cup of water with a 1kW kettle! But it's a nice idea. And probably a sign that I should put down the tea (it's Darjeeling tonight) and get out of the house more.
So: coffee or tea? What's you preference and how into it are you?