What would 2022 be if it were a beverage?

We all struggled in 2022, trying desperately to recover from the global turmoil of the prior years.  With Covid-19 now slowly (hopefully!) retreating from the daily landscape, the world was finally taking steps to return to a new normalcy.  But even in a world that may feel more “normal” than in 2021, changes abounded in 2022. From Bob Saget to Queen Elizabeth II to Coolio, inspirational lights went out around us; the conflict in Ukraine grows, ebbs, and flows day by day; people were enthralled by new movies and TV shows about Jeffrey Dahmer and Top Gun, and Will Smith rocked the Oscars broadcast with “The Slap Heard Round the World.” Inflation, unemployment rates, housing prices, and ongoing supply chain issues all wrought their own havoc worldwide as well.

As people returned to public gatherings to discuss serious world events (sprinkled with the latest gossip) and mull over prominent news stories with loved ones, neighbors, and peers, there was plenty of opportunity to “spill the tea.”  As a beverage, 2022 would represent not only the world’s reawakening but also the calm after the storm. That fresh invigoration and subsequent calm are perfectly captured in a tea.

Designing a beverage that reflects 2022, we are reminded that lavender and berries are sweet, juicy, and natural — symbolizing people blossoming and thriving in an altered world after the storm. The addition of ginseng could embody our desire to improve our health, as ginseng is purported to have positive medicinal benefits.  A touch of gentian root with its inherent bitterness represents the many hardships that occurred in 2022, like the conflict in Ukraine, supply chain issues, and continued inflation (as well as the lingering sting on Chris Rock’s cheek!).

There will always be adversity and strife, and despite the turmoil in 2022, there was also plenty to celebrate. So a drop or two of honey illustrates the good times and positivity of the year. That touch of honey will also indicate the importance of bees to our world and the flowers they pollinate.  Honey models an environmental awareness that is now moving to the forefront of our public consciousness.

The flavors in the 2022 beverage represent mankind’s unity while continuing to remind us of our challenges and the bittersweet nature of the world in which we live.  So, if the year 2022 was a beverage, it would be a tea drink sweetened with honey and berries with flavors of lavender, ginseng, and gentian – sweet, juicy, and natural with a healthy slant featuring a bitter taste. A complicated and multi-faceted year like 2022, and a flavor profile that deserves a name to its liking, and no better name fits than the Unflappable Flavor: a flavor so complicated and contradictory that to the untrained tongue it may seem strange, like 2022. However, as you unfold the various flavors, you’ll find a level of comfort and familiarity with the unflappable flavor profile that is much needed in times of crisis and turmoil. As we move toward 2023, never forget: Life is Delicious!

 

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Written on December 9, 2022.