yes, deer… tea


So I’m at a place. A place where I have just ordered a cup of tea. Not a coffee shop but a café-ish, snack-ish place in a high end facility of high-end art.

Wait. Let me start again. I have NOT ordered a cup of tea. Not quite yet. There’s a couple ahead of me who have ordered an Americano and a latte and the ‘beverage maker’ is tending to said order with an inordinate amount of flourish, twirling and dramatic gesture. It’s a production, a real bean-fueled drama, complete with intensity of face, a body one with the urns, flicking this way then flicking that. The only sound is the whooshing of steam. Whooooosh. We, the audience, are silent, some of us possibly in awe.

The whole thing seems a titch overblown but then I’m not a coffee drinker.
I stifle my inclination toward cranky cynicism at this point and consider the value, the ‘art’, of preparation instead…

The whole thing takes time.

Finally the coffees are served and the Americano and latte couple leave. It’s my turn. I step up to the counter.

“I’d like a cup of tea please.”

[cue the crickets]

The visual is this: picture a deer in the headlights. This artistse of foam and froth just stares blankly, no words, and then…

“Tea??” he asks in a tone that suggests concern, like maybe I’m making a rash decision.

“Yes,” I confirm.

He takes a cup and sticks it under a tap labelled ‘hot water’, drops in a teabag, shoves it in my general direction. “There you go.”

I laugh—part amusement, part delirium from having stood in line this long—and say I was hoping for a bit more ‘art’, and he, all seriousness and java wisdom says: “Nope, tea’s real simple.”

Real simple indeed.

It occurs to me that it would be pearls before swine to enlighten him… I make a mental note instead that next time I’m in the snack place of the high-end facility of high-end art, I’ll do us all a favour and just have a V-8.