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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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The coffee saga

My cousin at Giant's Causeway

My love affair with tea began at the tip of Northern Ireland, in a restaurant at Giant’s Causeway. My geology-minded cousin wanted to visit the site, so there we were, the four of us–my grandparents, my cousin, and me.

The Irish table--site of my tea testing experience

Once we had clambered among the rocks, it was time for lunch. The table was so small, we had to put the tea pot underneath the table! My grandfather ordered the tea, but when it came, it was hot. He had hoped for iced tea and asked if anyone wanted it; I did not think I liked tea but figured I should try it since, hey, I was in Ireland, land of tea and sheep.

Ireland is green and filled with sheep.

I loved it, and I proceeded to drink my way through Ireland–with tea. I kept a journal, and at the end of our trip, I had had something like twenty-four cups of tea. That’s somewhere around six cups of tea a day!

Of course, when I returned home to Richmond, I could not keep consuming tea at that prodigious rate. Too much caffeine, not enough walking-everywhere-as-a-tourist exhaustion. But my love of tea remained with me for the next three years.

I read books on tea, collected teapots, gave a speech on the benefits of tea-drinking for speech class, bonded with my not-at-that-point boyfriend over mutual coffee dislike, frequented the tea store in Richmond, began every morning with a mug and like as not ended the day with the same.

I still love tea. But I have long wanted to drink decaffeinated coffee after dinner parties. It seems so elegant, the delicate white cups on their saucers, a dessert more refined than a brownie. A few months ago, I began to accept a half-cup of coffee at every catered event I attended. I mixed in milk and mounds of white sugar and sipped at it a few times, disliking the bitter taste but enjoying the sophistication aura of dessert coffee. Silly, I know. I feel the same way about cheesecake; I don’t like it, but it seems so refined!

And then I ordered a decaffeinated coffee from Starbucks. I managed to get about half of it down. Then came the decaffeinated vanilla latte from the Monon Coffee Company. Then the vanilla latte at the airport Caribou Coffee a mere week ago–the first caffeinated coffee drink I’d ever tried. I managed to drink most of the small size, wishing there were a half-cup size I could order.

Now I sit in Hubbard and Cravens, having tried my first mocha. And I want another. This might be the first coffee drink I really enjoyed… and I might have been craving coffee for a few days prior to the event.

Tell me now. Am I treading a dangerous path? Should I nip this coffee craving in the bud before it gets out of hand? I don’t want to have to have coffee in the morning to function. Tea is quite sufficient. And mixed coffee drinks are expensive. And I feel a traitor to tea. But the foam, the foam! Mmmm….

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  46. Olivia says:

    Lucky you, in London! There must be something the UK which instills a love of tea.

  47. […] day at work…so…I have been giving coffee a try for the first time ever (I’m like Olivia, tea is my thing usually).  It’s not so bad…when it is half creamer and […]

  48. Kristen Raves says:

    Olvia- I think we should try to get the United States on board with afternoon tea. That was one of my favorite parts about London. I am not a huge tea drinker, although I do like it, but after going there I am definitely a fan. Tea with scones and sandwiches are my personal fav. So, let’s start the trend so everyone else can jump on board!

  49. Olivia says:

    Ah, yes, the liquid candy syndrome. I am familiar with such a phenomenon, though black tea remains vulnerable to the same risk. I have not had coffee since… and have a mug of tea sitting on my desk

  50. Noah says:

    I too require large amounts of cream and sugar added to my coffee to make it palatable. However, it’s just like liquid candy at that point. As such, I stick with tea.

  51. […] To continue my stilted outline of my summer schedule as a Butler Summer Institute scholar, I shall pick up where I left off on Sunday, pondering the goodness of mochas. […]

  52. Olivia says:

    Yes, I know it can be expensive. I also don’t want to get hooked on the caffeine. Good advice. I think if I get coffee drinks, I’ll tend toward the decaffeinated as well. Tea will always have my heart.

  53. Tea Sets for Sale says:

    As a former coffee drinker of 16 years and now a devoted tea drinker I say do what your taste buds tell you but keep in mind that tea is much healthier for you and your right mixed coffee drinks are very expensive and fattening. I would probably drink the tea on a regular basis and treat yourself to the coffee drinks every once in a while. Also you can add milk to tea and make it a tea latte which is very yummy. Best of both worlds.

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