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Amy Eddings' Food for Thought: Lessons from a Tea Lover

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In the afternoons, around 5 P.M., I'm really Jonesing for a cappuccino. Even a decaf one, made with foamy, hot soy milk, in keeping with my detox efforts for 12 more days. But I can't. I must resort to tea.

Not even black tea, because it is caffeinated. I must settle for watery herbal teas.  

I need help. I turned to my colleague, reporter Ilya Marritz, who has boxes of tea kicking around on his desk.

"I think I always liked tea better," he tells me, "but when I got into a relationship with an English guy 10 years ago, it solidified it."

Ilya and Aaron drink Yorkshire Gold loose leaf tea every morning, out of a teapot, complete with a tea cozy.

"I initially mocked the tea cozy, but now, I'd have a hard time living without one."

He takes his with milk, no sugar.  

"In England, there's a debate over whether you put the milk in first, or the tea first. Since I follow Aaron's system, it's milk first, then tea. George Orwell did it the other way."

I don't know how he determines how much milk is enough, without having the tea already present in the cup, to alert you though the change in the tea's color. Whenever I have done milk first, I end up with a cup of hot milk lightly flavored with tea.

I asked him why he doesn't like coffee. The smell of it. The heaviness of it in your mouth. The foaminess of the milk.

"It's not as refreshing. Coffee always seems more of a controlled substance to me."

Huh. He's got THAT right.

What's the key to loving tea, I asked Ilya.

"Get a cozy."