My daughter had a car accident today (she's fine, if sore), and it seemed only fitting that when I read about tea customs in Italy, it is suggested that Italians only drink tea at home when they are sick.
Add to this the suggestion that asking for a cup of hot tea in Italy gets you water run through a coffee machine, imparting the taste of coffee to your tea. Just today, in fact, while out with my daughter, we sampled tea in a store we were visiting, and it was overwhelmed by the taste of, you guessed it, coffee. No doubt they used the same machine to brew the tea that they have previously brewed coffee in. For someone who doesn't drink coffee, it really destroys the tea when this is done. Yuck!
Keep in mind that Italy is the home of espresso and cappuccino, so the idea that tea is not commonplace there makes perfect sense. The teas that are generally consumed are chamomile or fennel. Both are herbal and can be viewed as medicinal.
So, today, I am drinking some chamomile in a mom related mug. Just because.