I drink a lot of tea... probably about 5 very large cups of tea a day of varying sorts.
Until recently, I drank a lot more tea at work than I did at home. The reason for this is that work had one of these.
My previous approach for making tea was to take a pyrex teapot, heat up the water, go to my computer, get absorbed in what I'm doing, and find out 80 minutes later that I boiled the water down to nothing. No wonder I drank more tea at work! Why pyrex teapots? Because, anything else will burn/melt/self-destruct under the abuse I put it under. It used to be a semi-common occasion for me to smell incredibly overheated aluminum, only to realize that I probably just killed another teapot. Pyrex is absolutely amazing in comparison, but still... an empty teapot is an empty teapot.
As a means of preventing me from burning down the house, I decided to visit ebay. Now, two hundred and someodd dollars later, I have a water cooler/heater, as seen above. It's awfully convenient... but maybe it wasn't convenient enough, since I still had to dig through a kitchen cabinet full of teas.
So I bought a tea hutch... and while LiveJournal was down last night, I installed it. You have never seen such a packed tea hutch in your entire life. i have a plethora of tea. Infact, I have more tea than your average lesbian yoga instructor.
I have all your common teas... black tea, earl grey, orange pekoe... and, of course, your higher quality Assam black teas... and the breakfast teas (English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, etc.), and probably a half dozen types of chai... and then there are all those spiced, festive holiday teas that aren't chai, but might as well be called chai anyways... there are all the looseleaf Chinese teas in their large, decorative tins (jasmine, oolong, lotus, pu urrh, etc.), and the Japanese teas (green tea, green tea with toasted brown rice, etc.)
After that, the teas start getting new-agey. Mint teas, crysanthemum teas, peach tea, apricot tea, a half dozen "zinger" teas... (lemon, orange, rasperry, etc.), lemon hibiscus, orange mango, mango spice, orange spice, licorice spice, ______ spice... and then the teas that are designed to make you feel a certain way... tension tamer, sleepytime tea, energy tea, tea for colds, tea for depression, tea for cramping, tea for diets...
How the hell did we get all this tea? This doesn't even begin to include the umpteen large bags of ingredients we have on the top of the refrigerator for making pearl tea. I swear... there is a tea gnome smuggling odd, almost embarrassing varieties of tea into this household. It's bad enough that I get tea religiously from somebody every Christmas, but really... I have enough for now!
My best use of tea in the last year was probably at this party I threw... I took the biggest images of magician and circus posters that I could find online, such as those at this site, printed them out on multiple sheets of paper, dunked them into warm, tea-infused water, tore them strategically, dried them off, and assembled the separate printed sheets into rather authentic looking, aged, ripped, weathered posters. All in all, it was quite a carny!