Is 'Tea-Drunk' a real thing?
Tea-drunk may or may not have its foundations in physiological fact, but when one approaches tea like a lover, there is no doubt, there is a sensation, long and lingering, heady and full, thick and full-bodied that for lack of a better word we call 'tea-drunk.' This is not a caffeine buzz, oh no. This is more like a true connoisseur/alcoholic/Hemingway sort-of person who could write throb-inducing paragraphs about how the whiskey feels running slowly down his throat. Its why I both loved straight whiskey and even more, hot Sake when I used to imbibe. The spreading warmth, the chi of certain liquids triggers many un-nameable(by me) and unknowable(by me) myriads of interior circuitry to flush and swell, memories trigger sensations, headiness follows, and sometimes, yes, it is like a caffeine high, but not in its primacy. First and foremost it is a sensation of head and chest and heart swelling, opening to the coaxing of the elixir at hand.
For me what follows is often moaning and a really awesome and loud belch. If the after-effects had been so innocuous with alcohol I might never have ventured past my senchas and fallen so hard for all these oolongs and dark story-telling puerhs.
I drink tea and I fall in love. I fall in love with the moment, the tea, the various shadows that fall in between my lips and the cup, the room, the great always right-there-for-me NOW.
As I age and this skin dries out, cracks, crazes, thins and blood flow slows, tea is the thing that brings me back to a youth that is far beyond numerical years but takes me into the ageless eons where I am part of everything, and the tea is simply the most elegant and understated post-it-note reminding me of that one true thing. I am here. Now. Whatever the life circumstances around me are, and with no intention beyond being present in this chair, at this time, with this cup, this friend, this alone-ness, this family, this sip of tea.
And that make me drunk.