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The nectar of the gods

Isaac Lorton | Wednesday, November 13, 2013

As none of you may remember, I wrote a column nearly six weeks ago about how coffee was the secret to life. If you were wondering: Coffee is still the nectar of the gods. However, there are some (weak) people who are unable to handle its awesomeness, and in an effort to include everyone into this hot beverage club, let’s talk about coffee’s cool cousin, tea.
Tea is the only other acceptable beverage of choice if you want to have an advantage over the rest of humankind.
Like everything else, tea was made (discovered) in China, supposedly by Shennong or the “Divine Farmer.” Since then, tea has become the second-most consumed beverage in the world. Tea still has caffeine, but only half of what a typical cup of coffee does. Whether it is black tea or green, tea is extremely versatile and can be mixed with nearly anything, which is why it comes in a mind-boggling number of flavors. Tea is also delicious, but don’t take my word for it.
As Mick Jagger put it, “I have nasty habits; I take tea at three.” Although the bad boy of rock n’ roll does not take his tea at the proper time (usually around 4 p.m. – however, I think tea should be drank at all times), you have to admit that his tea-drinking habits have kept him going. Mick Jagger has been producing music and touring for the better part of five decades on a questionable diet of whiskey, cigarettes and illegal drugs. The only thing that provides Mick Jagger so much youth, energy and enthusiasm, is his three o’clock tea. As many of you may have guessed, Mick wants his tea to be black.
If a music great’s vote of approval does not sway you, how about an acting legend? Audrey Hepburn once said, “When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over.” Luckily for Hepburn, and for all of us, everyone needs a cup of tea. And so life carries on because tea wills it to do so.
And if a Grammy-winning musician and an Academy Award-winning actress still can’t convince you, here is an author and theologian to make the case for tea. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia, which has everything a book needs: Talking animals, battles and an umbrella-carrying faun. Like coffee, tea clearly goes well with literature.
Henry James said so in his novel The Portrait of a Lady, “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
So there you have it, if you can’t handle coffee, go out and enjoy your cup of tea.

Contact Isaac at ilorton@nd.edu
    The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.