Those who have known me a long time, know that I love my coffee – it was a ritual for many years – special cup, milk frother and coffee grinder. All that got left behind when I came to Beijing. And I really thought I could do without it – NOT! ( I lasted 4 days and then I started running out of my tea!)
For the past four months I have been drinking instant coffee with some kind of cappucino mixture that Nescafe puts out. It is very nice, fills up a large cup and I usually have one or two per day. That hasn’t changed since I came here. The teachers lounge at school (a restful room of great beauty) makes a real cup of coffee, which I can enjoy once a day for free. I usually take advantage of that!
However, it’s my water drinking that has changed the most since coming to China. All my collegues drink hot water. We have two very large thermos flasks that hold tap water that has been heated to boiling. There is a special boiler on each floor that serves its teachers and students. I’ve actually gotten used to this and enjoy hot water at home as well.
My tea drinking habits have changed as well. I love my Earl Grey tea and very quickly ran out of my Stash Double. Not too worried, I bought a package of Twinings – it’s not the same. Fortunately a friend brought me 3 boxes from the US, so I’d better be good till July. I usually enjoy a cuppa after work, but not every day.
I have learned to add very small amounts of tea and other herbs to my hot water. I enjoy Oolong, but rather than a strong brew, I use much less and enjoy it more – and without adding sweetener to it! Sometimes I add mint, or fennel, chrysanthemum or saffron – whatever is handy at my desk or in the kitchen. This has been a great way to cut back on the late night eating that was part of my life back in Canada. I can heartily recommend this new habit and fully intend to import it when I come home!