An Englishman and His Tea

An Englishman and His Tea

As an Englishman I know without a shadow of a doubt certain unshakable truths. The sky is blue, buses and phone boxes are red, cricket is the sport of gentlemen, a mince meat pie at Mrs McGilligan’s Pie Shop will always cost two shillings and most importantly of all; there is no disaster that cannot be solved by a good cup of tea. The British Empire was built on tea. The humble tea bag cannot be improved upon. It is the pinnacle of hot beverage, backbone, courage and English honor making technology. It will never change.

Or so I thought. Now I don’t know which way is up or down, left or right. I simply do not know what to believe any more. It seems that like most things in this crazy modern world tea making technology has moved on.

Tea Stick

This “latest innovation in tea making,” otherwise known as the T-Stick (there goes English grammar and spelling as well), was given to me instead of a tea bag just the other day when I requested a cup of tea at Rotterdam train station. At first I thought the young lady was placing the paper sashay of sugar in to the boiling water and embarrassed myself by trying to stop her. This “improvement” is a fine example of the kind of anarchy that happens when we let young people listen to their Beatles and their David Bowies.

Honestly! What would the queen say if she knew?

41 responses to “An Englishman and His Tea”

  1. Probably the same thing she’d say when she finds out you’re spelling Britain, “Britian”

    The Unexpected Traveller

  2. The girlfriend says:

    You poor thing…..

  3. Amanda says:

    I suppose more to the point is how did it taste? Of course I’m from the US so I’m already upside down on the subject of tea.

  4. tenakalaz says:

    not real tea though is it…. ?
    Not exactly the tips of the broken orange peacock that we all love!
    I see the Gramma police found you though! Hide, I won’t tell them where you are! ;P

  5. Invader Stu says:

    The Unexpected Traveller – Well this is most indecent of me and it has been corrected. Please do not tell the queen. The punishment for such a thing is to be beheaded.

    The girlfriend – I’m glad you understand.

    Amanda – Dare I say it… it was good. Confound it all!

    Tenakalaz – If grammar police read any farther I might be on the lame for some time.

  6. Aledys Ver says:

    Sacrilege!!!! :o) I don’t know if I’m more surprised at the new contraption or at reading that you actually liked it … I thought you were going to say you hated it! :o)

  7. Invader Stu says:

    Aledys Ver – I was honestily torn. could I say tea was bad? No matter how it was made?

  8. Anneke says:

    This is going back to the tea egg. (supposedly better tasting than paper bags) So I don’t know what you’re on about. Surely, as a true British gentleman you must find it comforting, taking you back to old times…?

  9. Invader Stu says:

    Anneke – Yeah… Well… I have one thing to say to that… er… Look! A three headed monkey! *quickly runs away*

  10. zed says:

    One does not drink afternoon tea in one’s establishment out of a paper straw. It has come to one that that is how one’s grandson’s inhales talcum powder of a sort. One insists that the guillotine should be brought back as swiftly as possible.

  11. Gez says:

    Heh. I’ve seen these before – mainly from putting them in kerstpakketten from when I was working on the run-up to Christmas. A couple of packs ended up in our own kerstpakketten. I gotta say though, they don’t quite brew as strong as I’d like em to. Still, at least it’s better than instant tea. Like instant koffie, it’s just not quite right.

  12. Invader Stu says:

    Zed – At once your majesty.

    Gez – Instant tea (and koffie) is the work of the devil.

  13. Ash says:

    I’m sure it’s not quite right at all! Dutch tea is just horrible in any case, and they don’t even put milk in it. English tea is the only real tea, preferably Yorkshire tea, but that’s because I grew up in the tropics where the tea is really strong.

  14. Alison says:

    My Scottish mother had two failings in raising me: I can’t roll my Rs and I just haven’t developed a taste for tea.

    That said, even I find the concept of instant tea and these T-Sticks to be wrong on many levels.

  15. The girlfriend says:

    Dutch tea horrible??? Haha… I didn’t know there is such a thing called “Dutch tea” ? Ever heard of “Dutch breakfast tea”? And the Dutch actually do drink English tea…only not in an English way…but in a much purer form! I drank tea the English way when i was a kid… glad those days are over ;P

  16. Amanda says:

    I’d never heard of instant tea (ok, maybe iced tea which is more of a koolaid). What could you do to tea to make it easier to make than putting in a bag? Or stick in this case.

  17. thamarai says:

    haha, the Indian version of tea or ‘chai’ as it is called is quite complicated in making..I was surprised to see a tea-bag replacement for that to begin with..I wonder if there will be a T-stick..:)

  18. Corver says:

    Hey nice Blog! I’m from the UK too and have lived here for 5 years. I work in a UK team that only has native english people and guess what we just ran out of proper tea bags! Mayday!

    We also have loads of UHT mini packs of milk for tea purposes. There is also a trick with the coffee machine, where you push coffee with milk and quckly pull the cup away after the milk dispenses.

    Here’s to praying someone brings in thier own stash from home tomorrow.

  19. Gez says:

    Amanda – a good few years ago someone came up with instant tea, in exactly the same way as you get instant coffee. It was water soluble granules that when you add hot water to it tasted of something probably only the Americans could call tea.

    The girlfriend (Stu’s, not mine) – If you drink “Pickwick English Blend”, then it’s made by none other than Douwe Egberts, who I’m sure you’ll know are just as Dutch as Philips and C&A :)
    So yes, there is Dutch tea. Even if it’s trying to pass itself off as English. (I say, it’s just not cricket ! Confound the dastardly blighters!)

  20. Anita says:

    Hahaha !! I agree with Aledys: sacrilege. Probably so wrong as having wine in a plastic cup…

  21. Anneke says:

    Oh dear, I am surrounded by tea snobs! Oh wait, there is a three-headed monkey! :P

  22. Corver says:

    Gez, You are right, today i tried the (Dutch) English tea and earl grey. Both (literaly) pale in comparison to PG tips, Tetley and Yorkshire Tea.

    To make maters worse the PG tips monkey I have pinned up in my cube is mocking me!

    Even Mrs. Corver (who’s Dutch) has become a tea snob. She’s even started going off the rank stuff some of her friends try and pass off as coffee!

  23. Invader Stu says:

    Ash – Yes… *cough* Who would drink tea with out milk *cough* Most un-British *looks worried*

    Alison – In Scotland wouldn’t that be tea with whiskey?

    The girlfriend – My Dad would never let us get married if he knew you felt so about milk in tea :p

    Amanda – It’s just laziness me thinks

    thamarai – I would not be surprised

    Corver – Welcome to the blog. Running out of tea bags is the biggest disaster that can ever befall a man or woman. It is actually the one disaster that a cup of tea can not solve because you have no tea. then again once you have tea it is solved so tea can still kind of solve it.

    Gez – What I don’t get is why they felt the need to invent it. Why add hot water to powder when you can just add a tea bag to hot water. How dose it help?

    Anita – And beer in plastic cups

    Anneke – Where?!

  24. Corver says:

    Yeah the disaster solving properties are true!

    Quote from “A bridge too Far”

    Corporal Hancock: Sir. [Offers mug of tea.]

    Major General Urquhart: Hancock. I’ve got lunatics laughing at me from the woods. My original plan has been scuppered now that the jeeps haven’t arrived. My communications are completely broken down. Do you really believe any of that can be helped by a cup of tea?

    Corporal Hancock: Couldn’t hurt, sir. [Urquhart accepts his mug of tea.]

    It always wors in Eastenders too.

    Its ok because its home time, and (shhht) i have a secret emergency tea supply at home.

  25. kiki says:

    Please stop referring to this product as tea. It’s taboo. Teaboo.

  26. The girlfriend says:

    What will the Chinese people think about this??? They started this whole tea thing right??? So it doesn’t matter which company makes the tea bags…it’s all a rip off anyway ;P

  27. The girlfriend says:

    And BTW… the Irish drink the most tea in the whole of Europe ;P What do you think about that!!!

  28. Invader Stu says:

    Corver – I hope for your sake that it is well hidden since you just announced it to the whole tea drinking Internet.

    Kiki – It’s te(a)rrible

    The girlfriend – I think it sounds like a challange :p

  29. The girlfriend says:

    @Stu- beat the Irish?? You know i already did!!! ;P

  30. Invader Stu says:

    I’m staying out of this one :p

  31. Keith says:

    “Honestly! What would the queen say if she knew?”

    I think the Queen (God bless her little cotton socks!) [posh voice] “My husband and I are not amused”.

    Come to think of it, neither am I. . .

  32. Keith says:

    Sorry. Clanger! I meant to say:

    I think the Queen (God bless her little cotton socks!) would say in a posh voice, “My husband and I are not amused”.

  33. Veronica says:

    Since I’m not english, I have a small question about the three-headed monkey. Does it come from the beloved (by me anyway) Monkey Island I computer game? Or is it just a saying that has been built into that game?

  34. Invader Stu says:

    Keith – And what would she think if she saw that little mistake?

    Veronica – I believe it comes from the game. Incidentally; I’m selling these fine leather jackets.

  35. Veronica says:

    Fine leather jackets sir, may I interest you in a banana picker?? (Which if I remember right was used to pick some bananas to give to the three-headed monkey so they could give you something.) I wonder if I have a computer old enough so I could play that game again.

  36. Invader Stu says:

    How about a rubber chicken with a pulley in it.

    Are you aware of the remake that is out: http://www.lucasarts.com/games/monkeyisland/

  37. Veronica says:

    Yes I am. A colleague told me yesterday because he bought it ;). Only hesitating because when I buy it I’ll be stuck by the computer until done. Meat with condiment anyone?

  38. Invader Stu says:

    Just as long as it’s not served on… porcelain.

  39. Kelly says:

    The T-Stick looks a bit too sci-fi for me. I’m a PG Tips gal so it’s pyramids for me. ;p

  40. Invader Stu says:

    It does look like something captain Kirk would use to make his tea

  41. HarryMonmouth says:

    Those crazy Nederlanders. Whenever I ordered a cup of tea over there they would always bring me a cup of hot water with a tea bag on the saucer for me to put in the water. A very weak and horrible tea bag at that. This is not the way to make a decent cuppa. Every time I went to a new cafe I had to explain how a cup of tea was made when I ordered it otherwise I would end up with something undrinkable.

    It is no wonder they prefer coffee over there. That is one of the things that they definitely make well. I imagine they are just as horrified as you were when they come over to England and discover that we drink the coffee equivalent of instant tea.

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