The readers of the BSR are an intelligent, forward-thinking crowd, so I know you will not think less of me if I admit that I don’t drink coffee. My hot beverage of choice comes from a leaf instead of a bean. That’s right, I’m a proud member of Team Tea.

I could talk about the virtues of tea all day. Just to name a few: reduced caffeine content means you can stay alert without getting jittery, you can grow your own at home, and there are a kajillion varieties (that’s a technical term). I and many other tea drinkers like to choose different teas to suit various moods or activities. For me, it’s usually black in the morning, green in the afternoon, and red or herbal at night.

Recently, I began to notice something very odd about my tea-drinking habit: I associate particular teas with whatever activity I was doing when I began drinking them. And I’m not talking about a conscious association; rather, the smell and taste of the tea has the power to completely transport me to another time and place. For example, whenever I drink my favorite Rooibos tea, I am brought back to last summer when my boyfriend and I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix almost every night. The same thing is true for a wonderful Chai looseleaf tea and the novel I was reading at the time, Hyperion. It’s an involuntary reflex. No matter what I’m doing or thinking in the moment, I can make a cup of tea and the past suddenly has an overwhelming presence in my mind, whether I like it or not.