The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

I bought a box of Lipton tea bags, standard black/orange pekoe brand, for the office yesterday. I'm easily the biggest consumer of hot tea in the office; I can't stand coffee, and I limit the amount of soda I drink, so my stimulant fix has to come from the teabag. I probably go through at least three or four bags a day (putting each bag through a second dunking, or else I'd OD bigtime). So considering, it's only right that I spring for the $3 every couple of months for a 100-count resupply. Fuel to keep you going.

Today, I opened the box to fish out my last fresh bag of the day. A little glint of color at the bottom of the box caught my eye. I figured it was a coupon, so I dug my fingers in to get it. Surprise! It turned out to be a free sample bag of chamomile tea, with the words "caffeine-free" proudly displayed on the wrapping.

Caffeine-free? Is that supposed to be a selling point? I think not. My feeling is, what's the point in drinking tea if you don't get that caffeine jolt out of it? Same line of thinking dictates that I won't touch non-alcoholic beer, either.

Funny thing about chamomile--it's one of the few English words I have trouble pronouncing. Maybe that shouldn't be too strange on the face of it, as it has distinct non-English roots. But it's a word that I heard the first time in Greek, and I guess it's such an infrequently-encountered word, and the English version is so close (as is probably all language variants of it, at least European), that I never got the hang of distinguishing it. Just forming the syllables in my mouth feels strange. It's a subtle reminder that, while my default language is English on all levels (spoken, conscious thought, etc.), I was in fact raised learning two tongues simultaneously.