Cost: 100 yen
Found at: Cheerio Vending Machine
I like my tea like I like my childhood dancing instructors: bitter, and full of personality. In fact, I think I drink tea to re-create that childhood experience of a middle-aged woman in a tight leotard and a tighter bun yelling: “AGAIN!” in an angry, eastern-European shriek to a room full of seven-year-olds.
This tea, however, is no Madam Niyazova, Madam Zhaparov, or Madam Abdulov. This tea is, decidedly, a Teacher Amanda or a Teacher Jessica or a Teacher Jennifer. This is the kind of tea that asks about your feelings, that comforts you when you’re crying, and that lets you goof off a little when their back is turned. This is the tea that gives you what you want: mild and organic and cheap and slightly sweet. But this is not the tea that gives you what I need: the strict discipline, cold disappointment, and acrid bitterness of the real world. In short, this tea is too bland. There’s nothing interesting about it, and you forget the flavor almost as soon as you finish it. After all, I don’t remember the teachers who were indulgent, but I will remember cruel, uncompromising Madams forever.