I'm not the one with the tea problem!

Dear Mr. Tea,

I have a problem. I think I'm obsessed with tea. I've just started college this year, and I'm shocked how my roommate manages to live without tea (he's a coffee man himself.) Yet he thinks I'm the one with the problem! Mr. Tea, I have to confess to you that I'm starting to wonder if he may be right. I've always grown up thinking that everybody travels with ten pounds of tea (mainly oolong, though I've got all the varieties represented), two teapots, four teacups, and an electric kettle. I'm starting to get scared too: just the other day, my roommate and a few of his friends joked about reenacting the Boston Tea Party in the campus fountain! What I want to know is, am I the one with the problem, or is it everyone else around me that is having issues?

Big Man On Camellia Sinensis


Ah, college. A time where a young man or ladytype can really explore what they are as a person. Every dorm has its eccentrics. My freshman year roommate used to walk around pretending he was in a chatroom. He would say things like "LOL" instead of laughing, and "BRB" when he was leaving the room. (This is particularly remarkable seeing that Mr. Tea went to college in the days before the Internet.)


University eccentrics aren't a recent phenomenon, either. We've all read and hated Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, after all. And possibly the only readable poet of the British Romantic era, Lord Byron, kept a pet bear named Gringolet in his dorm room. Supposedly there was a rule forbidding dogs in his dorm, but no one said anything about bears, so Trinity College couldn't really do anything about it. Byron would feed Gringolet, groom him, romp around the room with him. In return, Gringolet ate Byron's roommate. Since Byron enjoyed having a good time more than his studies, this worked out in his favor: due to an odd clause in the housing contract, the death of Byron's roommate ensured him straight As for the rest of his collegiate career. Byron went on to write (but get bored and not finish) the very long poem Don Juan, and eventually got himself killed when his doctors suggested "bleeding" for his fever, but forgot to stop it.

So imagine all the things that an overly large tea collection can do for you! Why, I say join your friends in your Boston Tea Party reenactment (though please use another company's brand rather than Adagio's!) So many people find history dull and boring, but you have the chance to make it come alive! Seize the day, young drinker, and remember: most colleges forbid electric kettles nowadays because of fire restrictions, so pick up a microwave-safe ingenuiTEA, and enjoy!

Mr. Tea
Hating British Romanticism Since 19XX.