My favorite tea has suddenly become quite the commodity, at least in my immediate neighborhood.

Last week, we ordered groceries from Albertsons, not just because we’re lazy, but because we both keep getting distracted and then tired, and with Fuzzy’s toe, and my ankle, neither of us has been in the mood to go TO a store. On the list was Tazo “Refresh” tea. If you’ve never had it, it’s a mint and black tea blend, with tarragon tossed in for a bit of a kick. It’s a little smoother than a true herbal mint – for a sharp mint tea, I recommend Celestial Seasonings Peppermint, actually – and it’s great with either sugar or honey.

Albertsons didn’t have any.

When I went to Tom Thumb (think Safeway, if you’re west of the Rockies), they ALSO didn’t have any.

So, I went to the source, my local Starbucks (the one at I20 & Carrier Parkway, in case anyone really cares), and, because they’ve changed their displays for Christmas, couldn’t find any on the open shelves. “But they SERVE it,” I thought, “so they must have some.” I asked the nice baristas, whose names I haven’t yet learned because (don’t faint), I’m limiting my Starbucks visits to once or twice a WEEK instead of once or twice a DAY, and they went on a pretty intense hunt, but came up with nothing. They did mention that they usually get new orders on Tuesdays.

That was Sunday.
Today is Tuesday.

So, ever hopeful, I trotted back to Starbucks, despite the fact that we’d declared it a junk food night, and there were piping hot fries waiting in the car with an unsupervised Fuzzy, and asked if they had the tea. My tea. The stuff I drink, unsweetened, while I’m up here in my office (because it doesn’t attract ants) and sweetened in the afternoons when I sit down for an hour to cuddle the dogs and read the mail.

The lithe male baristo, who totally should be a classical guitarist or beat poet, based on his wardrobe (maybe both), and is probably neither, warned that they had NOT in fact received new tea, but that he thought there might be one place that hadn’t been searched. He went off to do that while the taller, laid back baristo with the mop of curly hair (whose name, I later learned, is Christopher (how auspicious)) came back with not one, but THREE boxes of the cheery green-label tea.

“I have three,” he said, triumph evident in his voice.

“I’ll buy two,” I declared. And I did.

I also bought a venti soy no-water chai, but that’s really not the point.

The point is that I am stocked with tea once more, and as soon as I finish posting this, I’m going to set the kettle on to boil, brew a mug of it, and curl up in bed to read for a bit before sleep.

Life is good.

Edit: After checking the package, while I was waiting for my tea to steep, I’ve discovered that there is no black tea base, after all. However, I stand by my assertion that Refresh is milder than a pure peppermint tea.