There’s something lightly, mischievously taboo about having an extravagantly nice drink: the strawberry lemonade slush at the patio restaurant, the $7 flavored latte on a busy city morning, the overpriced but well-packaged experimental drink that you finally let yourself buy because hey, isn’t that the reason why you’re working so hard in the first place?
Sitting on a bench overlooking the Yanagawa canals, willow trees swaying in the humid evening breeze, a friend asked me, “What are you passionate about?”
Normally, I’d regurgitate a rehearsed answer along the lines of alleviating human suffering, or experiencing and building community, or Dane DeHaan in the 2013 film Kill Your Darlings. But an off-hand thought entered my mind and stuck -- I am passionate about enjoying beverages.
The more you get to know me, the more I let slip that I am not a particularly calm person. I try to present as chill because I admire chill people and think it’s a good ideal to strive towards. But truthfully, I am particular about the ways I do things and allow slight disruptions to grate on my neurosis.
Enjoying a beverage is antithetical to that tension. It is the counter-symbol to disorder. It represents satisfaction at the end of the day, the opportunity of a new morning, the savoring of peace and presence.
I am the type of person who cannot enjoy a meal unless I am clean and at a good stopping point in my to-do list. Similarly, I will not splurge on a beverage unless I feel like I’ve earned it. That means that whenever I am partaking in a cheeky bev, my life is in good shape. It means that I’ve made responsible decisions that created the space for leisure.
Life, at its best, is a series of small pleasures. Of those small pleasures, a fancy beverage is among the most attainable and splendid. My daily prodding forward is motivated by the promise of a small oasis: the joy of taking my time to sip a tasty drink, preferably with someone I love.
I asked Twitter and Instagram: what is your favorite beverage and when/where do you have it?
Thank you for sharing your drink experiences with me. I had a lot of fun figuratively cracking a cold one with you.
Whatever you’re sipping on, I hope that it tastes good and makes you feel good. Treat yourself, chug a bev, share your faves, get the next round, have delicious drinks with delicious company. You deserve it.
Brit’s Tea Corner
I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea lately. At my house, proper teatime involves a mug of emerald liquid steeped at the correct temperature for the correct amount of time, a little above and to the right of a light beige melamine plate holding the treat of the day. When it’s serious, I use my best fork, one intended for children with rounded tines on one end and a Miffy decoration on the other. I take a moment to observe and appreciate the right angles of my place setting. I waft and inhale, then bring the cup to my lips for a small sip. I partake in performative lip-smacking, pretending that it helps me discern taste. I think about astringency and tannins and mouthfeel and body. I consider the nexus of flavor - sweet to bitter on one axis and aroma to umami on the other. Marine or muscatel? Grassy, earthy, nutty, savory, floral, oceanic? Smooth, velvety, viscous? Most importantly, good?
Tea is a little pocket of order in a chaotic world - a meditative grounding - a focused, deliberate engagement with pleasure - the gentlest part of my day.
Tea Recommendations (not sponsored, just tasty):
In the spirit of this post, I’d like to buy five people a drink. If you could use a drink, please shoot me a message. <3