Casey Rhode is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Interdisciplinary Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.
In this week's post, Casey shares how a case of traveler's cold helped her discover her new love of Irish tea, how she's embracing the concept of "tea time," and her recommendations for the best spots to get tea in Dublin.
I want everyone reading my posts to see my entire adventure, even the not so fun parts, so here I am. The sickness that our advisors mentioned we would get after about a week finally got to me. I wish I could say everything was all fine and dandy this whole week but being sick and starting classes and an internship isn’t the greatest combination. I’ve been drained and cold and coughing up a storm in the middle of classes. I’ve taken a bunch of medicine to hopefully feel better soon, but the one thing that has really helped is the tea I brought from home: organic roasted dandelion root tea with a couple drops of lemon juice.
Tea Garden's selection of teas
Now, I’m not a tea person normally, but for some reason since I arrived in Dublin I have been drinking tea every day. I can’t go a day without it, partially because so many people are also drinking tea, so I feel obligated to drink it during “tea time”. By the way, “tea time” is actually just any time you want it to be, which I kind of love.
There are two tea spots in Dublin that are a must see if you are a tea lover though, the Tea Gardens and Wall and Keogh. Tea Gardens were a part of one of our My Global City places we could go to, but Wall and Keogh was a bit closer to campus so our Senior Program Coordinator, Hayley, thought we might like to check it out.
A comfy place to sit for a cuppa (the lady in the back had a chocolate milkshake).
Tea Gardens had one of the most relaxing environments that I’ve been to since I arrived in Dublin. When walking in you have to have an open mind I think because of how different it is from the rest of Dublin. It’s not just a shop where you sit down and order a drink and cake. No, you’re there for an experience unlike any other. They have a wide variety of teas, all laid out so you can choose which you’d like to try: white tea, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea. Tea Gardens really promotes the health benefits that tea has for your mind, body and spirit. After the rough week I had, I was very open to listening. They have more than tea though, they have some milkshakes, coffee, and cakes as well just in case you aren’t in the mood for some tea. You could sit on the floor and drink your tea and play some card games with your friends, which I saw many people doing while I was there.
This was only half of the teas Wall and Keogh offer in their quaint shop.
Another day and another tea shop; Wall and Keogh was a quaint place about a fifteen-minute walk from campus. They have over 150 teas to choose from but also have coffee if you’re not a huge tea fan. They also have an all-day breakfast menu and some cakes you could take to go with your coffee or tea. I walked in not knowing anything at all about tea, so I asked the lady what the most popular was. She said Irish Breakfast and laughed but showed me some of her favorites by letting me smell the top of the jars. I asked if she could choose one for me since I didn’t know which I’d like. I don’t know the name of what I drank, but it had this coconut aftertaste which was pretty good considering I don’t really like tea. On top of the tea, I enjoyed some avocado toast with egg and ham on top.
My Irish breakfast, which, funnily enough, didn’t actually include Irish Breakfast tea!
So, even after a not so great week physically, I still was able to find the positive parts of being here in Dublin. Being sick away from home is hard in the states, but across the world is way harder. I’m lucky my parents taught me how to take care of myself. I always fought my mom on drinking tea when I was sick, I’m sure she’s proud of me for drinking the dang tea for once so I can feel better.
Casey's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.