In the interest of maintaining my tenuous hold on serenity, TGITE 2008 has been put on temporary hiatus while the caffeine works its way out of my bloodstream. I can't handle that much tea in a day, but I still can't seem to restrict myself to a dainty tasting sip when those tall, frosty glasses of perfectly brewed iced tea are right there, begging to be chugged. It's probably a feeling that most people save for whiskey.
When I worked in food publishing a few years back, the days were full of tastings, at least 10 small plates a day: a bite of brownie, half a cookie, a spoonful of cheesecake. But there's really little sense in not eating a whole cookie (actually, you have to eat at least three to make it a proper serving), so I'd always grab a few more, and brew another cup of tea in the test kitchen to go with it.
After I started thinking that someone with a knife was hiding behind every corner of the office hallways, ready to stab, though, I realized it was time to step back from eight cups a day. I'm more interested in the calming, rather than stimulating, effects of tea- I'd definitely be a part of the heroin-over-cocaine camp.
So it may have been slightly foolish to greet the end of yesterday with a Thai iced tea at one of the best restaurants in New York, Sripraphai (64-13 39th Ave., Woodside, Queens). But the company was delightful, and my memories of special meals there so strong, that I simply couldn't resist.
I didn't even put up a fight. How can you when the evening is as balmy as Bangkok, roses are in bloom all around the table, and you're facing an icy glass of rich black tea doused with sweetened condensed milk? It's strong, sugary and without question, the best treat I'd had all day.