From Where I Sit – In the Know

I don’t about you but I hate to be the last to know. Let me qualify that. I don’t necessarily care about what is trending on Twitter because anyone who’s awake and aware of her surroundings could figure that out based on general media (print, radio, TV) buzz. That is, after all how people got the scoop for ages after the smoke signal thing became passé.

I manage a Twitter account for the big event I’m coordinating, Babas and Borshch Ukrainian Festival, so that I could get into the habit of checking the trends list. That would up my ?connectedness quotient.?

Catching the odd episode of The Social also keeps me aware of lifestyle issues that may be affecting my kids? lives more so than my own. FYI: Our Canadian equivalent of The View is so much smarter, hipper, nicer?well except for Lainey, perhaps: she revels in her mean girl vibe.

But I digress. What got me thinking about being in the know was a trip to the DAVIDsTEA store in West Edmonton Mall. I first became aware of the company at Christmas when my mom got a sampler gift pack from someone. Then I saw the beautiful ceramic mug, stainless steel diffuser, and lid they sell when I sampled some very nice tea at Greg and Carrie’s. To learn my son drinks tea from his very own mug should have been a clue.

So when did tea drinking go from something mock-worthy that little old ladies did to something young hipsters do? Beats me. But popular it is. That store was hopping. It was loud, busy, and heavily staffed. One wall was lined with sampler gift sets and accouterment like spoons, mugs, travel mugs, teapots, filters, and more. There was nary a teacup or saucer in sight.

The shelves on the wall behind the counter are lined with large canisters of loose tea. The bright coloured labels separate the teas into types: white, green, oolong, black, pu?erh, maté, rooibos, and herbal. According to their website, there are more than 150 types. The staff is knowledgeable about the makeup of the specific blends and their health benefits.

And health is what brought me there in the first place. I was exploring Dr. Oz’s website and found a piece promising that drinking tea can whittle down one’s waist size. No exercise-induced sweating required. My short shopping list included a white tea, an oolong and yerba maté.

Eighty-seven dollars and a crash course in teas later I was heading out of the store with my beautiful turquoise bag of treasures. And you thought Tiffany’s blue box was special. Hah.

That bought me a mug set, four tins of one hundred gram batches of tea I chose (based on sniffing and ingredient lists), a gift with purchase called Forever Nuts that smells good enough to eat, and a full colour tea menu.

Just a few days in, my waist is the same but my hip-ness is trending, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.