Why I Love Tea: Jesse Wanagas

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Last week my friend Jesse Wanagas invited me over for tea and a conversation. Jesse and I met in high school 13 years ago. Her ability to be intelligent but a goofball, sensitive but strong and a fan of all things nerdy immediately drew me in. We very quickly became close friends, spending most of the day at school together and almost every weekend at each others houses.

Jesse now works at Bell Media as a Communications Coordinator for The Comedy Network, Space and Bravo. We grew up, got jobs and no longer get to spend as much time together, but the time we do is guaranteed to be full of fun, laughs and very opinionated discussion on the newest movie or TV show we are obsessed with watching.
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Rachel: Why do you love tea?

Jesse: I don’t drink coffee and I don’t like coffee, and tea is the natural alternative to that. It is a lot lighter and not as aggressive as coffee.

Rachel: When did you start drinking tea?

Jesse: I’m not sure, I have always drank tea, I probably got more into it because of you. You’re the first person who gave me a collection of tea and a pink teapot, I know how hard that was for you (for those who don’t know, I have a hatred of the color pink. Jesse loves pink but somehow we make our friendship work) then you started working at David’s Tea so I got all of the tea.

Rachel: What is your favorite tea?

Jesse: I have three go to teas; rooibos, peppermint and Blueberry Jam (black tea with blueberries from David’s Tea). Those are the three that I typically alternate between. When I started drinking tea I wanted to drink cool interesting teas like cookie dough, or red velvet cake, ones that were very flavorful. But as I got to know more teas my favourite ones ended up being much simpler flavors.

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Rachel: What tea are you making for me?

Jesse: I am making a plain rooibos tea. I first bought it when you worked at David’s Tea because you told me it was very hydrating. I was with a friend who was buying a gift for someone and wanted something that would be good for hangovers, and I ended up buying some too. It turned out that I unknowingly already had a lot of rooibos tea that had lots of other flavors in them, but I like the straight rooibos. I find it light, it is a nice flavour but not overwhelming, it has a natural sweetness to it and is easy to drink plain or with a little bit of honey in it. And I am serving it in my Dr. Who mugs. My favorite is the Dalek mug, I get to say I’m going to exterminate whatever is in it.

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It goes without saying that my visit with Jesse was wonderful. I do not usually drink rooibos or any caffeine free tea. It was great to find an appreciation for something I rarely steep for myself.

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