Talking Beverages and Tea Shops

Modern Domestic Woman Tea Elizabeth Rago Writer

I used to be a committed lover of wine and then found drinking the grape before 4 p.m. posed a problem to daily function and the risk of adding a DUI to my spanking clean driving record. I loved wine, you see, and was a regular cheerleader at the tippity top of the wino bandwagon. I Facebooked about wine and longed to bathe in its lip-staining goodness.

But then I started to get hangovers. Bad ones, my friends, so the thrill abruptly came to a halt when, after an evening with the girls, I vomited at 2 a.m. at the mere thought of a 6 a.m. wake-up call from the small children who lived in my house.

Coffee became my new best friend and – with it – the jittery goodness of productivity. I made love to the bean knowing I could drink it morning, noon and night with no judgment and proclaimed myself a coffee addict. I tweeted about coffee and wrote blog posts about coffee and “accidentally” snorted it once just to see what would happen. The only realization was that my obsession with coffee had escalated to a full-on addiction.

I did the Dr. Oz three-day Detox Cleanse shortly after I bit my husband when he poured his coffee without consulting me first. I wrestled my dependency to the ground by way of hunger pains and caffeine withdrawal hallucinations. Green tea was my only solace during that three-day horror fest and I desperately clung to the ritual of bringing any sort of beverage container to my lips, declaring to the caffeine gods I would be a tea lover for the rest of my life if I could just choke down the lunchtime smoothie without regurgitating it all over my husband who, by the way, promised he would join me in the detox but instead bailed and ate a Jimmy John’s sub in front of my eyes as I batted at a mirage of Portillo’s hot dogs buzzing around my head.

I emerged from the detox pounds lighter, armed with a clarity that only a seasoned shaman locked in an ashram for a weekend with Dr. Oz could possess. My wardrobe went from preppy, straight-laced coffee consumer to an oolong-drinking bohemian with one trip to my local consignment shop.

I’m a tea junkie now. Pinning about tea and going to tea tastings and making up my own 50 shades of Earl Grey story by having my way with Harney and all of his sons!

What is it with our obsession of beverages? Can a girl become so preoccupied with libations that she values the drink more than her accessories? The answer, my dears, is yes.

There are several establishments around our area that pose more than simply selecting leaves to brew, but offering a happy experience to visit. The Tea Tree in Batavia (29 N. River St. next door to Pal Joey’s) is a delightful stop that not only meets the needs of your desired tea shopping, but esthetically transports you into a bit of history. The building is more than 100 years old and the natural limestone was quarried nearby. Enjoy a hot cup with friends or host an event – the Tea Tree Team is always up for a party.

The Coffee Drop Shop, a hidden gem located in the Berry House Shops on Third Street in downtown Geneva, is the place to find an amazing array of loose leaf teas and an abundance of tea pots and kettles. Not sure what kind of tea would tickle your fancy? Don’t worry, shop owner Judy Jendro will guide you to your next favorite steep.

Tea drinking is truly an art, one that steers clear of the zippy after effects of coffee, but still manages to fuel you with a gentle nudge of energy. If you’re looking to dip into the preferred beverage of “slow living,” I wholeheartedly endorse the switch to tea!


This article was originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on May 18, 2017.

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