If one is not a coffee drinker—as I certainly am not—occasionally one needs something to administer a matutinal kick in the butt in order to get moving. For most of the year, I’ll drink a nice mellow tea like a good grade of Ceylon or, if I’m feeling rich, a Darjeeling. But during tax season, when it’s still dark at 6:30 in the morning, I need something that will keep me from pouring my body back into bed.
I buy most of my tea loose and prepare a whole pot using one heaping tablespoon measure per 1.5 liter pot. A pound of tea, which lasts me for four to six months, costs somewhere between $5.00 and $10.00. (Compare them with coffee prices, if you will!)
The Assam teas available from Ahmad of London are Barooti and Ghalami. Curiously, neither are featured on the company’s U.S. website, probably because they’re packaged for the Persian market; and I buy all my tea at the local Persian markets. Since I live and work in a neighborhood that is joking referred to as Tehrangeles, it’s not difficult to find a number of well-stocked Persian markets, such as, for instance, Star Market on Santa Monica Boulevard and the Jordan Market on Westwood Boulevard.
Every time I’ve ever written about tea, I make the point that tea has far less caffeine than coffee—even the stronger Assam blends—because a pound of tea makes infinitely more tea than the equivalent weight of coffee beans makes coffee.