Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Power of Ambivalence

Well, not really. (Please vote, kthx.)

Some of you may have seen my online status during the last month, even though I'm not cool enough to twitter: "Call 1.800... and ask for Tazo lotus tea to be put back on!"

The fact that I forgot the last seven digits of that Tazo number might show the fact that I'm forgetful. It also might highlight the (unfortunate) fact that I never called, myself. Maybe I'm just that awesome to simply delegate tasks to my Facebook friends (but I'm not, and I actually kinda think delegation stinks. Most of the time.) And in an effort to defend myself, here's my Tazo lotus story.

It was senior year in high school when we suddenly realized the amazing Tetley drawstring tea bags had suddenly been taken from the cafeteria, probably because the seniors were drinking the teachers' stash. Grumbling about the lack of a minor caffeine pep and of the entertainment of tightening a drawstring (yes, lunch was often boring), we found Tazo tea a few months later on a caddy above the coffee machine.

Luckily, in spite of my short stature, I also have a hidden talent: I am really good at getting tea bags from caddys a foot above me. Just ask the really tall lady who refused my help the first time. (The trick is to tippy-toe and grab a tea bag between your index and middle fingers, crossing them as you pull the tea bag down from the caddy. I promise it works.) This began my daily lunch habit: a bag of Tazo lotus tea, occasionally sprinkled with a bag of rock sugar.

Tazo's advertised its lotus tea as "a delightfully subtle tea with the delicate taste and aroma of lotus essence. This surprisingly full-flavored yet delicately floral blend is clean and light-bodied with an aroma reminiscent of freesia." Lotus has a flavor profile of "peach, nutty, flowery, overripe, melon" and an aroma of "tropical fruit, green tea."

Now, I can't say I knew that when I started drinking Lotus. I did taste the nutty and overripe flavors in my mouth, and I can say that it was a delicate flavor (as Tazo's release repeats, "delicate"). But I didn't realize that my particular fascination with this tea was probably from the floral flavors and scent (no way I could have recognized freesia, even though it's my mom's favorite flower). That makes sense, though, considering my enjoyment of lavender Earl Grey and rose petal tea.

In any case, I became gradually addicted to Lotus, finally getting my own stash and drinking at least three cups a day. And yet, upon graduation, as soon as I was cut off from school-accessed Tazo I couldn't find it in a grocery store anymore.

And this is where we (I had gotten my mom hooked on Lotus, too) went into the hunt: we placed custom orders at Cub, Byerly's and Lund's every few months, with no response. We harassed Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. I asked most of the Starbucks I entered if they sold Tazo Lotus (they didn't). And then the Davis Square Starbucks told me Tazo Lotus was discontinued, which brings me back to the top of this blogpost.

And seemingly in laziness-induced limbo.

Until my mom hit up Fresh and Natural Foods randomly one day and found it. Assured by its expiration date (late 2009) we realized that a) Lotus hadn't really been discontinued or b) Lotus activists were looking for the tea too or c) we were just that awesome.

We chose c) and went home with a couple of boxes, satisfied.

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