In defence of tea

In defence of tea

We’ve been busy greening the house recently.

Well, when I see we, I mean “other trained professionals”. After 8 and a bit years in a drafty old Victorian terrace we decided enough was enough and it was time to keep at least some of the heat in.

And so it is that we’ve had floorboards sealed, glazing doubled, lightbulbs LEDed, a boiler replaced, heating controls fitted and solar panels mounted – with solid wall insulation on the way.

Possibly, all of this good work has been offset by the 7000% increase in kettle usage for the tide of roofers, electricians, engineers, scaffolders, builders, carpenters, assessors, glazers and so on who have ebbed and flowed through the house of late.

But as Chief Drinks Officer is the only role I’m skilled enough to hold during all this, I’ve realised there’s been a small update on what it is to be a British male (for every visitor has been both, so far).

There is a cliché of Builder’s Tea. The strong, mug-brewed stuff, nearly half-filled with full-fat milk and granulated sugar. From my informal survey it seems almost no one wants this anymore.

Some folk have switched to coffee. But in late 2014 I feel confused by it. Do those asking for coffee expect you to crack open a jar of Maxwell House? Or transform Sumatran Gold into a flat white whilst stamping a loyalty card?

Most modern and confusingly of all is that it’s now apparently safe for British men to ask strangers for an infusion. And to think, we don’t live anywhere near London!

I am very behind the curve on this. I find myself mumbling apologies for having run out of honey chamomile. I’m now asking questions like “would you like your raspberry and echinacea with lemon or without?”

So I’m pleased that we British fellas are now allowed to be more discerning in a post-metrosexual world. But I’m sad for tea. I think it’s been marginalised. Not least by well-trained baristas expected to dunk a one-cup teabag into a keg-sized cup of not quite boiling water. With milk added as liberally as a latte. I hope it finds its place in the sun once more.

What do you think? Do you maintain your love for a good cuppa? Or have we progressed irreversibly into caffeine hits and detoxes?

One thing seems to hold true throughout though – everyone still fancies a chocolate Hob Nob, don’t they?

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