Beyond the Winter Blues

Beyond the Winter Blues

READ TIME: 6 mins.

Spring as a metaphor for change is common in media.  Literature, film, music, anywhere you look you’ll find it. New love, new life, fresh air. The sun finally starts staying up past 5pm, and everything feels reborn. As you look in the mirror and examine your reflection, you find yourself craving this change. You ignore the tired eyes, and the smile — you focus instead on your hair, which you think could use some revamping. A haircut maybe? But maybe it’s not your hair. Maybe it’s something else. 

You try not to think about how it's the middle of March and it’s snowing more than it did all winter. The roads are clogged by ice and slush and it does not feel like spring.

You have an idea. Something to remind you that despite the gloomy weather, the birds are chirping and the days are longer. Perhaps a Bean and Pearl visit will knock some spring into your step. You haven’t gotten to try the new spring line-up and if you recall correctly, the drinks all sound pretty good. Maybe it’s not your hair, maybe you just need a day out. You pack your laptop, hoping to be able to get some work done. 

You open the door and greet the wonderful bobaristas behind the counter. You set your stuff down at your favourite table, which is conveniently empty, almost as if it was expecting you. 

As you sit down, trying to decide which of the four drinks you would like to try first, you glance at the screen in front of you, where the promotional posters are displayed proudly. Lemon Iced Tea, Passion Fruit Black Tea, Pistachio Milk Tea and Pistachio Latte. 

It’s cold outside but it’s pretty warm in here. So maybe when you get the latte you’ll take it iced?  That would be a good break from the hot drinks you’ve been having to warm you up lately. Or maybe you want to start light; work has been a lot lately, maybe something nostalgic? Lemon Iced Tea sounds reminiscent of the juice boxes you used to devour as a kid. Maybe nostalgia would do you good. You’ve made your mind up on trying all four drinks today, you’ve earned a sweet treat. In the end, you can’t decide. You ask  the person behind the counter and they smile, laughing and saying maybe you should spread the pistachio drinks between the fruit teas, so that you aren’t overwhelmed by just one flavour. 

You nod, ordering the Lemon Iced Tea. You take it Iced with tapioca– you’ve never had iced tea with tapioca before. You wonder what it will taste like, you rarely stray from your tried and true regular order. 

You take a sip, and notice two things. 1) This is a little more tart than the iced tea you’re used to, the stuff from the cans in the convenience store, and 2) this tastes like sixth grade soccer practice - on an April afternoon when the field was still wet with rain from the night before. You relax. New, yet familiar. It doesn’t take you too long to finish the drink from there. 

Next on your list is Pistachio Milk Tea. After something so light, a drink you were able to practically chug, you move onto a more rich milk tea. That sounds great right now. The nutty flavour of pistachio is so undeniably spring that you can't help but smile excitedly when the rays of sunshine beam through the window behind your table. This was a great time to come in. The sun is shining, music is playing. You take a sip of your Pistachio Milk Tea and forget about the gloomy weather. The drink is different from anything you’ve tried in a way you can’t quite describe. It’s much more complex. You’ve gotten it with tapioca, once again, and as you chew on your toppings you try to describe what it tastes like. It’s sweet, of course, and has an earthy flavour that you find yourself quite enjoying. You don’t really see pistachio flavoured things too often, and you make a mental note to see if there’s anything you can try. Vaguely, you can recall a classmate in elementary school that had pistachio flavoured snack cakes. You think to yourself, this drink would pair well with those - or really any biscuits. Damn, you should have brought that half eaten pack of cookies with you.

The milk tea takes you a bit longer to finish. It’s richer than the fruit tea, and you find yourself quite enjoying it. Once you finish off the last of it (and go to the bathroom), you beeline for the counter to place your third order of the day. 

Passion Fruit Black Tea.” You say, “With tapioca please.”

You tap your foot to the music as you wait. It smells like tapioca in here, the aroma of brown sugar bathing the shop in its sweetness. The drink doesn’t take much time at all, and soon you’re back at your seat, struggling to pierce the seal with your straw. 

You get it eventually, taking that first sip. You remember trying the Passion Fruit Tea before, but this one is different. It has a little more depth to it, something about the black tea adds complexity to the flavour. It’s tart and sweet and refreshing. You sigh contentedly, letting the drink transport you to a spring garden. As you sip your drink you feel as if you’re surrounded by blooming flowers, breathing in the crisp spring air. Refreshing. 

You stand up to throw away your third cup, dutifully getting in line for your last drink. You’ve had a lot of iced drinks. Maybe you’ll change your mind and get the latte hot for a change of pace, probably a good idea, considering soon you will have to step into the freezer that is outside. 

Before you know it, they’re calling out “Hot Pistachio Latte,” and you go to get your cup. You let it cool down, people watching as you wait. Once it is at a more acceptable temperature, you take your first sip. The drink warms you up instantly– the flavours of the coffee and the pistachio blending together so beautifully. It’s rich and perfect for when you’re craving coffee. For days like today, when you need a shot of spring along with a shot of espresso.  

The blank word document on your laptop keeps you company as you sip your latte, thinking rather than typing. As you finish your drink and stand to throw your cup away, you have an idea. You will write about spring. About change. 

That is what spring is about. It’s about new beginnings. 

Maybe you didn’t need to cut your hair at all. Maybe you just needed to try something new. Maybe you just needed a break.

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