Well, I am officially ready to take that long trip to Mars. The Guardian has a report about a new push for tea in space, which basically combines 2 of my favorite things EVER: tea and space! With enough quality tea, I would be a very happy (space) camper for a VERY long time. Now I just have to convince Elon Musk of the benefits of letting this slightly ditzy blonde tag along on his mission!
I could be like an interplanetary Robert Fortune, transporting tea plants to someday plant in Martian soil. MMMMMMM….I am already imagining tea brewed from Martian-grown leaves tasting even better than the finest Darjeeling teas. Of course, I would first need to learn how to properly pluck, wither, roll, and oxidize the leaves to ensure the best flavor, but that has been an ambition of mine anyway, so maybe I can learn how to process tea as my specialized astronaut training. And then there is the whole issue of the lack of atmosphere and magnetosphere on Mars and all that jazz, but hey, at least there is some water. You can’t make tea without water!
The Guardian article goes on to detail the menu that is being created to accompany tea in space, which is all fine and dandy if you are into that, but I am personally more interested in the beverage itself. Finger sandwiches and pastries are not really my thing. However, I was almost addicted to the freeze dried Astronaut ice cream from the National Air and Space Museum gift shop. (Relatedly, I think Matcha-flavored freeze dried ice cream would be all kinds of amazing, and another great way to have tea in space.)
We may be a long way off from actually planting tea on Mars, but being able to have freshly brewed tea during the trip there is definitely a giant leap for mankind!