As previously stated, I am a fan of tea. A huge fan. Not necessarily a tea connoisseur, but certainly a seasoned tea drinker. So dining hall tea simply does not cut it. I like chai, green tea, raspberry tea, perfectly pear white tea, lemon ginger tea and the list goes on.
Point being, I do not like bad black tea. Good black tea, sure. But in college, how are you supposed to get such a thing?
Well, the answer is easier than you might think. Get an electric kettle! Now, you might say “But we’re not allowed to have electrical heating appliances in our dorm rooms.” Well, there is a way around this rule! At Tufts, at least, we are allowed to have electrical heating appliances that turn off automatically. And what luck! Such a thing exists: electric kettles that turn off when the water has boiled. Wonderful, right?
Right. Well, let me just say that my tea kettle is absolutely and one hundred percent the best purchase that my mother and I made on our college shop. The benefits? First off, I do not have to go to the dining hall for my caffeine fix. Instead of getting up early, I can stay in my room and make tea there. Second, I am a singer. Tea is good for singers. Third, who doesn’t love tea when they’re sick? There’s no better cure for a sore throat. Fourth, what else are you supposed to do if you want tea after the dining hall has closed? Fifth, this tea kettle is very energy efficient, it turns off as soon as it is done. And sixth (yes, I swear this is the last one), it is a great way to build community.
Community, you ask? Yes, community. My room has become somewhat well known for its ability to make tea, and many of the people in my hall take advantage of that. Come into my room on any given day and you will see about 10 people throughout the day coming, talking and relaxing with tea in hand. It’s easy to make, it’s good, it’s healthy, and it gives people a reason to hang out. Who wouldn’t want it?
I suggest getting an automatic electric kettle. Just please don’t get a plastic one. Heating water in a plastic kettle is just asking for the chemicals in the polycarbonate to seep into your tea, which is not very healthy. So unless you want a possible added risk of breast and prostate cancer, obesity, brain damage, infertility and diabetes, I would suggest going for stainless steel.
I have a stainless steel kettle and it is ideal in both its utility and its green-ness, very insular and very energy efficient. If you’re worried about cost, the cost difference between plastic and stainless steel is minimal. Plus, the extra $10 to $20 is worth it if you care at all about your health.
Note to self: Electrical stainless steel tea kettle is a beyond worthwhile purchase.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a freshman at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.