Name: Derek C. F. Pegritz--normally known only as Pegritz, though I will occasionally respond to my first name.
Location in Pittsburgh: Actually, I live about an hour south of Pittsburgh, just outside of Uniontown. But I'm often in the Pittsburgh area, as I know quite a lot of folks in town since I lived there in the early 2000s.
Favorite kinds of tea and why: any and all forms of white tea, because were it not for the vast amount of white tea I consume, I would probably be dead.
No lie. I am far from healthy, but I have not been ill, in the sense of suffering from any sort of viral or bacterial infection, in nearly two and a half years. Prior to 2006, every few months I would find my rickety body invaded by all manner of nasty animalcules, and lived my life under the constant threat of everything from sinus infections to the dreaded bronchitis...which I once had for seven months (from October 2005 to May 2006). After seven months of hacking up my lungs, I said, "FUCK THIS SHIT," and began seeking out any means of strengthening my immune system (which was about as effective as the French military at the time). I tried everything from weird Chinese decoctions made of roots that no one but the most desperate would consider drinking to all manner of modern nostrums and snake medicine. Hell, I even surrounded my bed with cinnamon-scented candles in the hope of blocking the ill humours with aromatherapy.
Yeah...I was out of my mind at the time. Until I discovered the undeniable wonder of Snow Buds White Tea at the 64-C Coffee Shop in Squirrel Hill. I'd heard that white tea was rich in antioxidants, which were supposed to be Good For You in one way or another. Having been a tea fan since childhood (even at the age of seven I used to love to brew up cups of plain' ol Lipton tea, chug 'em down, and go wonderfully berzerk with all the caffeine), I've been a big tea drinker for years...yet somehow never really knew about white tea until 2006, when I saw the Snow Buds tea on the menu and figured, "Hey, that stuff's supposed to make you feel good, so let's try it."
Between that and occasional doses of Zicam--a true miracle drug if ever there was one--I haven't weathered anything worse than periodic allergy attacks in over two years. Seriously, I drink so much white tea it's funny I don't sweat it. Between the glorious caffeine and the feeling of sheer exuberance that any form of light, but potent, white tea summons up in me, I guzzle it down like it's the ichor of Dionysius himself. It's one of the few things (aside from music, Flight of the Conchords, and weird fiction) that makes it possible for me to get through life without feeling like I've been cursed to some utter reprobate hell.
Do you frequent any cafes or tea rooms? If so, which ones?: The 64-C, the Beehive. Occasionally a Starbucks if I have absolutely no other choice. I haven't been getting out much lately, but my house is a tea room in and of itself, so....
Do you collect any sort of tea items? (boxes of tea, teacups, etc): Oddly enough--consider I'm a rabid collector of damnear anything--I don't. Antique medical equipment? Transhumanist sci-fi novels and collections? Old New Wave albums on vinyl and/or cassette tape? H. P. Lovecraft memorabilia and horror collectibles? Yes, to all....But as to tea-related items, no--I'm too busy buying up huge boxes of tea to consume in order to prolong my unnatural life.
Do you enjoy subcultures involving tea-related meet-ups?(steampunk, EGL, etc): Without a bloody doubt. I'm currently re-reading The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling for...ohhh, the 90th time, and working on a novel of my own concerning the birth of an Internet-like "Common Telegraphy Network" in late Victorian London.Interested in group afternoon tea sessions?: Sure! If they're on the weekends, at least. Damn job....
How did you find this community?: I think I saw it in pghgoth or something. *Shrug*
If you want, post a picture of yourself and a tea-related activity.