Back in college when I was first getting into loose teas, one of the first ones I bought was a Chinese black Lichee Tea that I found somewhere… during my first trip to Eden with Huyen and Thuy, I think. It tasted nothing like the lychee fruits I had come to know and love, but it was still distinct enough from regular ol’ black tea to be noticeable. Over a couple-year period, I worked my way through a small tin.

Fast forward to post-graduation. I’m shopping at an Asian market across the street from my (then new) job and find a huge tin of the same tea. I buy it and put it on my shelf at work. Over the next seven years, I drink it maybe twice. No reason I slowed my intake of it, we just grew apart. It happens all the time between men and their tea.

This morning, I re-noticed the tin on my shelf. You know how when something’s sitting in one place for so long, that you look right past it and don’t even notice it’s there anymore? Hence the re-noticing. I was surprised when I opened the tightly sealed tin that not only was there 98% of the tea left in there, but that it still had a nice scent. A bit fainter than if it were fresh, but it was still there. Not bad for a cheap tea.

I’m enjoying my third cup of the day. It’s like rediscovering an old friend. I feel like I’m sitting in my dorm room in Madison Hall, watching kung fu movies while sitting in Huyen’s extra taped-up bean bag chair, drinking my lichee tea brewed with crappy water in my $10 hot pot. Memories. Sweet misty tea-water colored memories.