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How Pu’erh Got Me To Stockton

That isn’t exactly accurate.  I drove myself there and I’m not sure that I could find a store in Stockton that carries Numi’s Pu’ehr, but they should.

Friday I drove to Stockton to pick up 500 pounds of Maui Brand plantation white sugar (aka evaporated cane juice) for the vanilla sugars we make.  There was a break in the weather, and though I can’t say I was excitedly anticipating a trip to Stockton, I had no choice but to go as they weren’t going to deliver the sugar to us.

The plan was to pick up the sugar, then head out to see my grandsons for the evening.  They were the prize for the long drive.  I fortified myself with the pu’ehr tea in anticipation of driving over the Santa Cruz mountains, across the Santa Clara Valley, over Altamont Pass and across part of Central California to the delta town of Stockton.  While I usually have only one cup of tea in the morning, I had two as I wanted to be wide awake and alert.

The tea worked and I almost got there without a hitch.  But one small slip-up cost me forty-five curious minutes in the less-than-stellar part of downtown Stockton.  Well, at least I believe there is a stellar part of Stockton.  I just didn’t happen to see it.  I looked at Stockton’s Visitor Bureau site today where it assured me that Stockton has its own symphony, beautiful fountains, a flourishing theater and much more.  In fact, it says that Stockton beckons me.

That may be so, but I didn’t see anything that came close to what was allegedly an historic treasure and San Joaquin’s county seat.  Mostly I saw seedy housing, boarded store windows, and extremely poor looking people in the area where I was lost.

I placed at least three calls to the warehouseman who works in Stockton but lives in Lodi.  He got out a map and attempted to help me home in on the warehouse.  A slight slip on his part and I ended up at a deadend street near a small Mexican restaurant where blessedly not one but two sheriffs were having lunch.

Turns out I was actually nearly there, but by now I was hungry.  The sheriffs assured me that the food was good here but that there was also a Pergos and a Denny’s if I wanted more cosmopolitan fare.  I opted for a cheese enchilada and beans to go, both of which spilled out of their containers so that by the time I got to my car my lunch was in the bag. Literally.

I finally got the sugar and headed back to Walnut Creek.  The 50 pound bags of sugar were balanced more to the right than the left of the car, so I spent the next 1-1/2 hours compensating as I headed over the windy pass.  I arrived in Walnut Creek with just enough time to get my grandsons to the park to run off some energy before the rain hit.  Fortunately I wisely brought some pu’ehr tea with me and had a nice strong cup of hot tea when we came home from the park.  In fact, I have to admit, this tea is really growing on me.  Certainly more than Stockton. And my apologies for any of you readers who might live there.  If I ever come back, I look forward to a tour.  And, if you have a specialty grocery or natural foods store, I highly recommend you ask them to carry Numi’s pu’ehr tea.  You won’t regret it.

Patricia Rain
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