Tea (2004-09-24)

A few years ago I had a chance to spend an hour with seven second graders.  As we were talking, I offered to get them drinks from a vending machine.  To my surprise six kids asked for green or oolong tea.  The remaining one requested an orange Fanta.  I don't know many seven-year-olds who wouldn't want a fizzy soda and opt for unsweetened green tea instead. 

Japanese people, young and old, love their tea.  This is evidenced by the sheer variety of tea for sale in stores.  Tea is also always included in vending machines that sell drinks.  Apart from being a national beverage, tea is used in food such as cakes, ice-cream and even noodles. 

In summer besides homemade lemonade, I often make jugs of jasmine tea and keep it in the fridge.  Nothing cools you down like a tall glass of ice cold jasmine tea in the summer heat, not even a fizzy soda. 

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