I have long been fascinated with the idea of the English and their tea. It seems the whole day revolves around it. When a pal drops by, when the day is starting, when things go awry as they are prone to do, the instant response of the British is to put on the kettle. Coming from Texas where iced tea is de rigeur, I was horrified at the thought of drinking my tea hot. With milk no less. Lemon, yeah. But milk? No way. I come from a long line of coffee drinkers. As in pots and pots per day. I'm not that big on coffee but I can drink gallons of iced tea. If I do drink coffee it is thoroughly diluted with milk and sugar and flavoring. Cafe au lait is in my opinion the best way to drink coffee. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the whole hot tea and milk thing.
Several years ago I was in a bookstore/coffeeshop and it was cold out and I was hankering for something hot to sip on. While perusing the coffee offerings I noticed something called Chai tea. Hmmmm.. what might that be? They described it and I thought, as usual... eewww. But, for whatever perverse reason, I tried it. And was instantly hooked. I finally knew what it was all about. Coming from a very small town where such exotic things as Chai tea are unheard of I had to lay in stock when in the "big city". From there I ventured out to try other teas, yes with milk. And now I know why, when the mind is troubled (or even when it's not) the benefits of preparing a steaming hot cup of tea and settling down to enjoy it. Those Brits have been doing it for hundreds of years, seems they were on to something after all. If you haven't tried it, come on over... the kettle's on.