emanuel apr15 tea.jpg

Photo by CoCreatr/Flickr CC

Yesterday's tea parties were many things, astroturf or real grassroots, staged or phony--but they weren't about tea, which even the most loyal coffee drinker should learn to love. "Loyal" is the right word, since it was the original tea party and boycott of tea that helped turn this country into a coffee, not a tea country, and give tea its pinkie-up rep.

But the dirty secret of many coffee obsessives is that they stash a secret love on the side--as I did while researching my own book on coffee. The one I settled on as an essential in my morning brewing (which yes, involves coffee too) is the one Zeke Emanuel has decided he can't do without: Yunnan. I mix many other teas into a blend that varies each morning (no, I don't mix any coffee in--that's a whole other daily blend), but Yunnan is a staple.

My own love affair with Yunnan was inspired by Ari Weinzweig, whose education in tea resulted in his strong dependence on it, which induced the same thing in me. I buy mine from him at Zingerman's, or, for quick replacements, from Peet's--which recently sold a deluxe, and very expensive, version called Leaping Tiger, prettily curled into the little balls called hong luo, that I might have developed a dangerous weakness for.