By Spencer Ackerman
Amanda isn’t feeling well — she’s so sick she forgot her byline on her last post — but her healing-tea recipe made me think of something that made me feel better in a flash last January. Sick as a bastard — stuffy head, mucus-filled, sinus pressure, fever — I stumbled into Mocha Hut on U Street NW between 13th and 134th Streets to try and do some work after going stir-crazy at the Flophouse. Eden, one of the Hut’s angelic coffee vendors, noticed I wasn’t feeling particularly well and made me a cup of tea that she said came from a recipe she learned from, of all people, Dick Gregory. No questions asked, I drank the tea and felt significantly less-ill.
Simple and plain: steep two tea bags’ worth of your favorite black tea — I like Darjeeling — in a mug’s worth hot water. Take two tablespoons of red pepper flakes — yes, two — and dump them in. Glob a bit of honey in there as well. Force yourself to drink the whole thing while it’s still very hot. The pepper will open you right up. It won’t be pleasant. But suffering is redemptive.
Nothing in this post should be interpreted as a slight in any way to the Big Bear Cafe in Bloomingdale. There will probably be a debate at some point about whether to deem the BBC as IFA’s ‘official’ coffee shop. I would vote in favor of such a motion. But I hasten to add that Mocha Hut is also a lovely coffee shop and not everything has to be either/or.