Five Years Tea Is Religion To Me


Trying to figure out what the post title means? Don’t. It is completely nonsensical.

Randy has been sending voice texts to me recently and unless he talks like a robot, then the texts are garbled. When he does voice text like a robot then the text always includes something about how he’s talking like a robot.

Anyway, we were at the grocery on Sunday morning because that’s what we do even though sleeping in one goddamn Sunday would be nice.

Randy and I have fallen into grocery store habits. I stand at the deli clutching my number and he goes to Starbucks and gets us a drink. We didn’t need anything from the deli today though, so I went with him. I decided to get black tea and load it up with cream and sugar.

Starbuck’s doesn’t carry the black tea I used to get.

The barista told me that I now had a choice between Earl Gray and Chai. I don’t like either. He said they also had an English breakfast tea that was a mix of green and black tea and I settled on that.

I was talking to Randy, not the barista, when I made the comment that I hated chai tea. Apparently, just hearing that someone hates chai tea was enough to shatter the poor boy’s heart. He looked up, his eyes swimming behind his thick black framed glasses and his spirally curls quivering ever so slightly.

Hipster barista: Tea is a religion to me. Can I ask, how many different chai teas have you tried?

Me: uhhhhh. Six?

I don’t know if I’ve tried six. He asked me a question and I panicked. 

Hipster barista: People are often confused by chai tea. Chai tea is waaaah wah wah waaaaah wah.

I stopped listening because I didn’t come to Starbucks for Tea History. 

Randy, who is a tea fan, mentioned a brand he likes: Have you had Harney’s Russian Country blend? They have it here in the international section.

Hipster barista, curling his lip ever so slightly: Oh, that brand. Well, that brand really isn’t appealing to me at all. I mean, I know a lot of people like it, but they process their leaves with chemicals and I don’t enjoy that strong chemical taste.

Me: Holy shit, Randy. He sounds just like you talking about beer.

We walked away and I laughed at Randy: Dude, he just hipster douche bagged the shit out of you.

Randy: Fuck that guy.

Me: Hahahah. Loser. Chemical tea drinker.

I sipped my tea, which basically tasted like hot watery sweet milk.

Randy worked his way through the beer section which usually takes a while.

An old American Top Forty was playing over head. Help Me Make It Through The Night was in the line up. It was the Gladys Knight and the Pips cover so it must have been an early seventies top 40. A man who looked like a young Anthony Perkins stocked the beer shelves.

The barista story was kind of funny, so I dictated to Randy and he sent me a voice text. He did not use his robot voice.

‘Five years tea is a religion to me’ was one of the lines in the text.

I also had:

  • Hey young girl in park stocking the beer shell.
  • A hygiene curly headed to read the hipster grande.
  • And I am kind of dumb because I don’t know what size one is toasty chai tea.

It’s a good thing I remembered most of what happened because I have no idea what that last line was supposed to be.

When it comes to beer, Randy really is just as douchey as the barista. He has the same little lip curl when he talks about beer he deems beneath him.

I am not a beer fan.

If I drink a beer, I want a lager or maybe a Guinness, but it’s rare. Randy likes to drink beer that is so bitter it melts your tongue. I know. I have tasted them before because he said they were really good. Fucking liar. Still, he tries to include me in his love of beer that has words like ruination and sculpin and bastard and floyd in the titles.

Randy: Smell this beer.

Me: It smells like BO

Randy: BO?

Me: Cat piss. It smells like cat piss.

Randy: Get the fuck away from my beer.

Then a few hours later:

Randy: Here, smell this one.

Me: Cat piss with undertones of fruit salad that has gone over.

I don’t know why he continues to try.

Yesterday was rainy. Today is hot and muggy. We’re spending our Sunday cooking, cleaning, and avoiding yard work. Randy has his skunky beer in hand and I’m thinking about making a steamy cup of chemicals to relax with.



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    • oh god..I hate it. But, I try to feign interest because Randy loves it so much. By feign interest I mean that I’m not interested and I don’t even try.

      • Everything is made from chemical elements.

        Skunky denotes spoiled by light or old beer. Mostly, that happens with light and lager types beers stored in green or clear bottles. Or warm cans stacked in a display. I don’t drink skunky beer. It gets poured down the drain.

        Now, let’s talk about skunky coffee.

  • I’m trying to imagine the look of distaste I would get for my love of Tetley? I find those round bags really bring out the flavor of my plain old black tea. Plus they fit the bottom of the cup just so and the order of it soothes me.

  • The robot voice phrases are strange yes…..but the experience with a barista…..and beer lover are spot on! I hate when the young Starbucks kids correct me if I happen to use small or medium please. Uppity! And babbling on about old school beers vs craft beers….geez. Gin and tonic for me. Fun read, Michelle!

  • I love your posts! My Chai Tea story… I love Chai Tea and to me that means tea with all kinds of cinnamon, cardomon, and other yummy spices I can’t spell. On my first trip to India I couldn’t wait to get “real chai tea” from the originator of Chai Tea! With great anticipation, I ordered Chai Tea at the first restaurant we ate at. Puzzled look on waiter’s face. Chai Tea, you know Chai Tea, with all the spices and stuff. Head nod/ roll. He brings me black tea. No spice. After several days of trying to find Chai Tea I ask my colleague about this. no Chai Tea?? He laughs at me and tells me Chai means Tea, so I’ve been ordering Tea, Tea. I still don’t know how to order the cinnamon-y, spicy tea in India!

  • I don’t have a fucking website, lmao…but I love the post!! I think I want to become a writer…so I can sit on my ass at HOME and say I’m trying to think, lolol…love the post! Hate tea and beer!! SMOOCHES!

  • I want to have a beer with Randy even though it sounds like he’s a total hophead, whereas I prefer maltier brews. It was Guinness, after all, that made me a beer lover in the first place. This is not to say I mind a strong IPA once in a while.

    I’m going to stop with the beer now before you accuse me of being a hipster douchebag. I am many things but a hipster is not one of them.

  • Hilarious read. My husband mumbles a lot in real life, forget the voice messages. I used to say “What?” a million times. Now I just repeat back to him what I hear and it is always good for a laugh.

  • So funny! I love how you told the story. What a pretentious dbag. I’m a tea drinker too, never drink coffee, but geez it’s just tea, no need for the historical lecture. And I always order small, med, large too!!

  • The hubs and I are both domestic beer drinkers. I know, Randy would be appalled, huh? And I’ve never been a big tea drinker. Now give me some ice cold Lipton on a hot day and now we’re talkin! 😉

  • I’m celebrating my 40th year of drinking beer. 25+ of that spent drinking domestics. I don’t care what other people drink. I don’t feel superior or appalled. People like what they like. And what I like is better.

  • Ha ha ha, too funny. I hate beer, hate tea (except some herbal ones) and really dislike Chai, (which is definitely the word for tea in arabic and turkish)
    I could have fun in a room with those two!
    Beer does seem to smell of feet or cat pee to me too and tastes worse. Sorry Randy!

  • I don’t understand tea, but I do understand beer snobs, they’re my people. I’m with Randy – the more bitter the better. Recently we were at a party and the beer choices were Summer Shandy, Corona and Coors Light. I wanted to hit someone in the face.

    • Hah hah, so true. No one “likes” beer the first few times they drink. Beer’s an acquired taste. No one “likes” IPA the first time they drink it. IPA’s an acquired taste. But once you acquire the taste, the soulless, mass produced beers (Summer Shandy, Corona and Coors Light) taste like carbonated water. I’ve always maintained that light beers, in particular, are made for people who really don’t like the taste of beer.

  • the only good chair tea is one made in an Indian restaurant that has been simmering on the stove all day with milk.
    Chai teabags suck.

    Just sayin1

    Also – I am with you on the skunky beers – if, and that is a rare if, I have a beer it is a very light one – corona, or thai beer, or even a coors lite. Don’t tell Randy. I want him to like me.

  • I could just see the whole scene–hilarious! I’ve tried chai maybe twice, because I think it’s gross so why keep trying? I’m not a beer fan either. My husband is a connoisseur who prefers dark beers.

  • Laughed out loud at “Cat piss with undertones of fruit salad that has gone over.”

    And the voice texts are hilarious. Thanks for the morning pick me up.

  • I never liked any domestic beers. They’re too damn bitter and give me headaches when I stop drinking them.
    Last year I went to Germany and stayed with some friends that live there. They introduced me to Weisbiers. OMG, they’re awesome. Nice flavor, no headaches, no bitterness! It’s like angels on high singing when I have one. Or six. No headaches and no hangovers. I attribute that to there being only 4 ingredients in German beers.

      • I loves me some margaritas, long time!
        They represent freedom to me. After my wife and I had our son, we never got to get away as a couple. When we finally did, we went to the beach and had dinner at a Mexican place, Tequila Mockingbird. I had several margaritas and the chance to just savor them and enjoy the together time. Ever since, they bring me to the same special place.

        Plus, after 3 or 4, I’m bulletproof and invisible.

  • As I am in Russia at the moment can’t keep up 5 coffees in the morning
    Green ,black ,herb, whatever tea 11.00am
    Vodka lunch time .
    Beer ,tea,vodka tea time !!! And by this time fuck they all taste the same to me

  • Well the next best thing is where it’s at as long as it’s what YOU like (more wine my lady) fuck the tea x coffee

  • My tea and coffee choices are broken down into what accompanies them.
    Coffee (18 % cream only) – pie, cheesecake, polite cake (my mother decorated cakes when I was growing up so I’ve eaten more icing and cake than the average person will even encounter in their lives- I only eat cake now to be polite and I try to scrape off the icing), eggs, and any other kind of breakfast food
    Green tea (plain)- oatmeal cookies, shortbreads
    Orange pekoe or earl grey (milk only)- bars, cinnamon toast, bagels with peanut butter and honey

    I can drink beer to be polite-a shanty if I can get away with it- let Randy curl his lip at that as well as the fact I’ve never had an American beer. Cider and wine are very fine but if I’m going to drink drink it’s bourbon all the way…no ice, no water, just bourbon

  • I was getting all snobby thinking about how I am a rational, stable person without pride or prejudice. Then, I remembered the times I’ve turned my nose up at a piece of fruit that just isn’t ‘all that’. Its mealy, or soft when it should be firm, or firm when it should be soft, or I’ve dumped a cup of coffee because it isn’t from dark, oily, Columbian beans, or it was brewed more than five minutes ago.

    And Sunday mornings, Michelle! That’s when I get served breakfast in bed with that Columbian coffee, (but no Columbian) and do absolutely nothing unless I want to. You must promise to like the next beer shoved under your nose in return for a Sunday in bed.

    • hahaha…it won’t work. He is set in his ways and he likes it when I go with him….

      I turn my nose up at all kinds of coffee. I like my coffee best.

  • My favorite beer, back when I drank beer, was called Golden Bear Stout. It was made by a company in California, not the one in New Zealand. I was also fond of Sierra Nevada’s barleywine style Bigfoot ale. I also drank a lot of Guinness and a fair amount of Grolsch. We also made our own beer for a while, but that was mostly my friend Jack’s doing. It came out surprisingly drinkable. One time he hopped it with a serious overkill of green buds (we did hail from Humboldt County, after all) and it was among the best tasting beers we made. The problem with that, as you can imagine, is that it takes about an hour for the pot to hit you, and as these were tasty brews, we didn’t find out that one was all you needed (or wanted) until our front room looked like Jonestown…
    I missed out on my opportunity to become a tea-head when I worked at Tumbleweed (a natural foods warehouse) where we wholesaled eight brands of tea, which took up five whole sections of pallet rack. There were zillions of them, and as I did the inventory, I had to know all of them. I used to drink the Traditional Medicinals tea when I had a cold, and it seemed to help, but I never really tried most of the teas we carried.

  • Don’t get me started about any cheese! Total feta snob, will go many miles out of my way for fresh Parmesan, Philadelphia “cream cheese”? Horrible gelatinous stuff. You get it. Fun post.


  • Not sure where you live. We are in San Diego and spend our Sundays touring and tasting at our local breweries…Ballest Point, Stone , Green Flash….ect. too many to list. No housework for us ☺if ypu ever make it here we have more beer than Randy could drink., ….Saturdays our wine tasting days, sorry no tea. But we did sample A Green Tea IPA at Stone, it was different.
    Love you Blog, keep up the good work

    • We’re in Ohio. I have heard all those brands and I know Randy drinks a lot of Stone beer. He just had Ballest Point this weekend, the Grapefruit Sculpin (cat piss with undertones of fruit salad that has gone over. haha) and he really liked it. He would be jealous of your tasting trips.

      And thank you for the kind words about my blog!

  • I’m not myself unless I have a Pacific Vanilla Chai tea in the morning. NOT the tea bag kind, the powdered kind. But I have had bad chai’s. Starbuck’s has terrible chai. It tastes like black pepper, and if I wanted to drink black pepper I’d just ask for ten grinds of fresh pepper, please.

    In other news, I found something ELSE that can melt your tongue yesterday. Oregano oil. DO NOT believe that shit about putting it under your tongue because damn. It’s like being punched in the mouth by the devil. With a red hot poker. I think it actually blistered my lip. I think I’ll stick with medicinal vodka on ice.

  • This post made me think about two entirely unrelated stories. 1) While we were still together, the ex got a fancy schmancy phone that we could talk into and it would send texts for him (unlike my phone, which requires me to laboriously type using just one finger, because I can’t master texting with my chubby thumbs). He would send texts to my daughter, Kristina, and the text always showed her name as “Christina”. She was offended for about a year because she thought her dad did not know how to spell her name. 2) I don’t drink or enjoy beer or wine (must be that Mormon upbringing – ruined so many sins for me). Several years ago, I won a trip to Napa Valley and part of the prize was visiting all of these wineries and tasting a ton of wines. The people there (both winery employees and other patrons) were incredibly pretentious with their, “It’s raaather oaky with a chocolate undertone,” and “I’m getting just a hint of raspberry and tobacco – it’s maaaavelous!” My standard operating procedure that day was to take a small sip and then covertly swap glasses with my husband when he finished his – so people thought I was boozing it up with the rest of them. One of them turned to me and asked, “Don’t you think this one is buttery? And….” *smacks lips together several times* “there is definitely a finish of current, don’t you agree?” I took a small sip and then responded, “Tastes like cherry cough syrup with a hint of baby aspirin.” I was not asked for my opinion for the rest of the trip.

  • Oh, God, I have missed reading you!!! I cracked up so freakin’ much reading this. I hate pretentiousness on any level, but especially with coffee, tea, and wine. I did finally buy a coffee grinder, because my Kroger took up half their coffee space with K-cups (hate those bastards!), and now I can only get the coffee I like in whole beans. I hate Chai and beer. My worst nightmare would be a Chai-flavored beer. Wine is okay, and I drink a little of it, but give me a good margarita made with Corazon Silver, tart, no “margarita mix”, and no salt, on the rocks, and, yeah. It’s a good thing I don’t always have limes on hand is all I’m sayin’.

    You should see my friend Cindy’s texts. Her old-style phone autocorrects everything she types and she never checks to see if it’s what she wanted to say. So reading her texts is like trying to read Sanskrit, but always a good laugh. It keeps my brain fresh. LOL

  • Leave it to Starbucks to screw up a cup of black tea. Green tea in English Brekkie? Are they insane? How can you possibly claim to sell tea when you don’t offer a simple cup of black tea? As drunk by whole countries full of people on a daily basis without a lot of nonsense added to it. Hey, Mr. Barista, keep your pretentious hipster religion crap out of my cuppa.

  • LOVE this post… I do my shopping first thing because, well, people… I don’t like people. I don’t like slow people. I don’t like lots of people. so.. I do my shopping as soon as the store opens on the weekend.

    Now… tea… I don’t like chai tea. I don’t like green tea. I like Lipton or Tetley. I’m from the South. I like mine strong, sweet & ice cold. 🙂

    Beer… “Cat piss with undertones of fruit salad that has gone over.” HAHAHAHAHA!!! I’ve never been a beer drinker. HOWEVER, I found Clown Shoes Beer by accident. I love the Undead Party Crashers (a.k.a Vampire Slayer). They have great stouts and some decent IPAs. My boss likes the IPAs and I prefer the stouts. Let Randy know that he needs to check these guys out. They are from the East Coast, but they have markets in select areas. We get our fix here in Phoenix at Total Wine & More.

    Thank you for the laughs. 🙂

  • Damn baristas. They’re beverage bullies. haha Atta girl, if you’re gonna drink the occasional beer, make it a Guinness. As for chai, I like it, but they make it too sweet at Starbucks. It’s like sucking liquid bubble gum through a straw.

By Michelle


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