The Ins and Outs of Tea Drinking...
I’m a tea drinker. A well-made mug of English or Irish Breakfast Tea really floats my boat. In fact, it puts the wind in my sails and makes me launch through the stormy oceans of the day with zeal and oomph.
The first sip of tea is greeted with a loud, ‘Aaaahhhhhh!’ and every mouthful after that just gets better. Tea makes me smile and for the duration of that cuppa, everything is zen.
But, am I adequately catered for when it comes to hot beverage commercial consumerism?
It seems that in this day and age of latte-espresso-machiatto-decaf-soy-chai-mochas, coffee shops have forgotten about the humble tea drinker.
Take, for example, my recent outing to Mega Famous US Based Coffee House.
My hubby, a vanilla latte drinker, gets a plethora of choices in relation to coffee blend, shot strength, milk fat content and flavoured syrups.
His coffee beans are grown on the side of a Colombian hill that receives exactly three hours of sun per day followed by six hours of dappled shade. The plantation overlooks a small village that is populated by virgins who spend their day collecting holy water from the local monastery in order to lovingly tend to these immaculately conceived coffee beans.
After being harvested by university-educated men with the hands and precision of neurosurgeons, the beans undergo a rigorous selection process, one so rigorous it sounds more suited to the recruitment of a corporate Vice President rather than the selection of beans.
After they have made their way to our local Mega Famous US Based Coffee House, the beans are freshly ground to the perfect granulation and then seeped through purified water into a pre-warmed cup. The milk is heated to a specific temperature, added to the espresso shot and topped with creative squiggles by coffee makers trained to the highest level of a black belt Barista.
The end product really is a work of art.
My request for an English Breakfast tea was greeted with a tea bag thrown in a luke warm mug of vile tasting water, with a palate that hovered somewhere between acetone and seawater, with a small jug of ice cold milk on the side.
Jesus! I wouldn’t want you to go to too much frigging effort, Mega Famous US Based Coffee House! Did you place the tea bag lovingly in the mug or just fling it from the other side of the store? WTF?
The worst thing was that my ‘drink’ was only eighty cents cheaper than my husband’s masterpiece.
Again, Mega Famous US Based Coffee House. WTF?
Let me educate you on how to please a tea drinker:
1. Warm my cup, in fact, heat it with boiled water first because as soon as you add luke warm water to a cold mug, guess what? Yep, the temperature of the water drops faster than a day old scone from a six-storey building.
2. Boil a kettle. Don’t give me that shit from the coffee machine because it tastes like three-week-old urine from a cat suffering kidney failure who recently ate a shite-load of asparagus.
3. Ask me how strong I would like my tea. Sometimes the tea has more tannic acid in it than the stuff I used to soak my feet in prior to a route march in the Army.
4. Put fresh tea leaves into a goddam teapot. Do NOT give me a freaking tea bag unless you want to see me open up a can of tea-fury on your ass.
5. Ask me whether I would like my milk warmed or not, because guess what happens when you pour ice cold milk into a luke warm cup of tea? Yep, you got it. It now has a temperature comparable to one of your Frappacinos, and I don’t remember asking for an Iced Tea.
In short, treat me with the same respect you do all your coffee drinkers and remember the golden rule – tea drinkers love their tea just as much as coffee drinkers love their coffee. I am a paying customer, so please remember that like every other caffeine addict, I just want a great cuppa.