“A Delicate Blend of Love and Tea Bags” (Medium)

A personal essay by Amanda Montell

I’m opening the fridge, zeroing in on my fourth Diet Coke of the day, when Ben appears in the doorway and declares, “I think we should get into tea. Like, hot tea. We could be a tea couple.”

The man has a glint of revelation in his eyes — the kind you see when a wiry-haired scientist surfaces from his laboratory after two sleepless days to reveal a potential breakthrough. “We could have a collection of unique craft flavors, and host tastings with our friends in the dining room. A tea couple,” he repeats, “that sounds like us. Don’t you think that would be great?!”

The next morning four boxes appear on our doorstep. Overnighted on Amazon Prime. Ben eagerly disembowels each cardboard cube to reveal a hand painted kettle, a monogrammed mug, and two-dozen canisters of complex, vaguely international flavors like “Mandarin Lavender” and “Spanish Campfire.”

I have never seen Ben drink a hot beverage in the four years we’ve been together, not once. He drinks canned, carbonated, artificially sweetened sludge like all good Americans. But I take no issue with him going through a tea phase — better than kombucha or any of the other New Age tinctures people here in Los Angeles claim to live by.

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