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It started out innocently enough. I first experimented with simple blends, nothing complicated. I only did it because it was something that helped me relax on the weekends or after a particularly grueling day at work.

I knew I had to be careful with my new 'hobby' because I had heard stories about people moving on to the harder stuff only to get hooked. Once that occurred, there was no turning back.

Soon my hobby had turned into an addiction. I hid my habit from friends and family (this will be the first time they hear about it, they will be shocked and stunned).

I was too embarrassed to admit I needed help. What had been an activity left only for weekends and evenings soon followed me to work. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized I needed a quick fix at the office just to make it through the day.

I needed to go cold turkey, but could not break my grasp from the sweet elixir of happiness: tea.

What did you think I was talking about?

Famous tea addicts

Never much of a coffee drinker, I first started my affair with tea by purchasing those cute little sampler boxes you can find at any grocery store or drugstore. You've seen them, the boxes with the cute little bears on the front, and the teas named: Sleepytime, Tension Tamer, Ginseng Energy and Tummy Mint.

Bored by those teas, I moved on to the serious stuff, black, green, white, herbal and organic teas. By no means am I a connoisseur, but I have sampled all varieties and have several favorites, with the Indian blends being my preferred selections.

Fun facts about chai:

  • Chai is the Hindi word for tea. In the United States, many people refer to Indian tea as Chai tea, a redundancy (since chai means tea) resulting from the fact that the two words originally derive from two different spoken forms of Chinese.

  • The origins of the chai masala recipe are obscure, but it is believed to have been created after the British began cultivating tea within colonial India during the 19th century CE to compensate for their inability to meet demand from Chinese exports.

  • Chai can be prepared in many ways. The most common way is to add milk, water, sugar and the spices and tea, bringing to a boil, and then proceeding to simmer it for a few minutes. It is then strained and served.

  • Black tea, the main ingredient in the chai tea recipe, contains the most powerful antioxidants that science knows. Tea and chai tea help prevent and fight many different kinds of cancer, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure may reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and are being studied for their ability to boost the immune system.

  • In addition to its invigorating effects, enjoying a soothing cup of freshly brewed chai can be a great relaxation aid, and is often useful as a stress reliever.

  • For you tea purists out there, what is your favorite? What are the best places to buy? I need a fix man, help a girl out!

    Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes, I'm still dealing with my cravings, but I think I will be able to deal with the withdrawal symptons symptoms (See the effect it has on my spelling?!).

    Talk to you later, a freshly brewed hot cup of tea is calling my name.