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Everything stops for tea. Saturday October 5, 2013

"I'll just put the kettle on and make a nice cuppa."

We probably hear, utter or think those words, or something like them, every single day. well, we do in the UK!

I can't recommend enough Jack Buchanan's nostalgic and witty tune - Everything Stops For Tea.

As the clever Twinings advert proposes, tea can 'bring you back to you.'

Try swapping your old builders-yard-type mugs for an elegant mug, or better yet, delicate cups and saucers (yes even you men). Pretty cups, fine tea pots (never commit the mortal sin of making your tea in the cup), and floral cake plates can always be found, cheap as chips, in charity shops. I love being able to choose different cups for different moods.

Be open to trying different teas. The tea leaves for Lapsang Souchong, my personal favourite, are smoke-dried over pine-wood fires, so the aroma is like that of a pine wood and the taste? Oh as smoky as certain single malt whiskeys. Divine.

For those sensitive to caffeiene, herbal teas can renew and offer comfort.

Ensure the boiled water is fresh and not reboiled. Experiment taking your tea without milk, perhaps adding a slice of lemon instead. Go wild, invest in a tea strainer and try the real deal - loose leaf tea.

Don't feel you must indulge in calorific cake or biscuits whilst supping your tea. In countries like Azerbaijan, they take their tea with juicy raisins, or dried fruit.

There is no such place as 'Happiness'. For me, Happiness, comes in wee fleeting moments every day. Even on the grimmest of days, spending a few moments preparing a quality cuppa is to create one of those precious moments.

Yes, a wee tea ceremony can elevate one's mood, just as it did Mr Buchanan's.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Sat, Oct 5th 2013 @ 9:23am


I do like to combine new technology with traditional values. The tea bag is an example of civilisation evolving at its very best.
Now - take the making of a simple cup of tea for example. Something many, unfortunately, get wrong.
Years ago, I remember my beloved father insisting upon making his own cup of tea.
His efforts comprised of a little battered aluminium teapot, just large enough to produce two cups of tea.
He then generously filled this little receptacle about half full of loose tea. Upon this was poured boiling water and after vigorous stirring it was placed upon the top of the solid fuel coal fired boiler to fulminate (or should that be germinate). No percolate.
After about two hours of bubbling away - it was pronounced suitable for consumption.
The spoon would then stand erect in the cup reminiscent of a perky teenager. (Male or female)
One of the many downsides of this exercise was the copious amount of discarded tealeaves that regularly blocked the kitchen plughole. (They were very good for the garden I remember being told).
Moving on, my ex wife’s brother in law, (I am not sure where this leaves him in the grand pecking order), anyway, he was a very talented gardener and dedicated green fingered type. A gentle type. A true man of the earth.
After several abortive efforts to find employment within his chosen field, using his undoubted skills, he hit upon a cunning plan and tried to join the police service.
I am now unsure why this did not result in success; however, he then turned his attention to another uniformed service - and became a prison officer. Ah ha you might think, taking into consideration his horticultural tendencies, what a strange choice for a man of the soil to choose.
Well he had his reasons;
1. He was unlikely to become redundant - considering the constant encapsulation of new offenders together with the re-internment of recidivist old boys.
2. Warm and dry working conditions of employment.
3. Free uniform.
4. Generous pension and paid holidays.
5. Early release - sorry - retirement.
6. And obviously the noble calling of trying to make the ‘light fingered’ into respectable ‘green-fingered’ members of society.
Now one of the essential and invaluable skills a prison officer learns from the start - is how to make a perfect cup of tea.
He honed this skill to perfection, and fortunately he passed this ‘insider’ information on to me.
Now he had a lovely way with flowers, and his herbaceous borders were a delight to behold, however, it was his tea making expertise that left one in no doubt as to his true calling.
His technique was simple, (once one thinks about it), however, it’s a skill most of us are never taught at school or university.
Firstly, boil the water in a kettle.
Here the best idea is to use water from a mountain stream or filtered from underground through centuries of porous rocks purchased at great expense.
Next warm the cup with freshly boiled water and slush it around the receptacle to well heat the outer surfaces. Discard.
Now place a suitable teabag, (a Twining Assam variety is my preferred choice), within the cup - and again bring the kettle to a boil and pour the boiling water quickly over the teabag.
Here’s the important part. The teabag must be constantly and vigorously agitated to extract the full strength and flavour from the tea.
It should be gently squeezed and pummelled - without mercy - until every last scrap and drop of flavour has been released from its inner echelons. Only then can the awaiting thirsty recipient enjoy its full flavour.
The failure of most tea making types - in my opinion - is to fail to agitate and chastise the tea bag vigorously enough resulting in rather a ‘limp wristed’ fist of a cup of tea. Tastes life ‘gnats pee’ in modern parlance.
Finally add milk and sugar to taste. Enjoy. Simples.
Here ends my tea break,

Anonymous Sat, Oct 5th 2013 @ 10:08am

I agree, making and drinking a cup of tea is a very comforting process and my mother's answer to a lot of problems seems to be "let's have a nice cup of tea".. Definitely, makes me feel a bit better every time! My favourite is Earl Grey but it has to be Twinings... Bit of a tea snob I suppose... But I think most people are quite particular about how they have their cuppa!

Anonymous Sat, Oct 5th 2013 @ 12:35pm

I love tea, me.

PWD Sat, Oct 5th 2013 @ 2:23pm

Nice post, just to bring the tone down a bit i remember my dad pouring his tea into the saucer and slurping away at it it was years later I realised he did it to cool it down. happy days


Mary Blackhurst Hill Sat, Oct 5th 2013 @ 7:55pm

Perfect. This exchange has made my day! And the day was already pretty good already. Anonymous - if you're not already a blogger you should consider joining the team. Ahhh. It's now wine time - but if it were not, your inspired description would have me heading for that kettle at speed.

Anonymous Sat, Oct 5th 2013 @ 9:03pm

Great idea, as with so many others, as ritual matters Depression suppresses the energy for rituals making it so difficult a vicious cycle to break. one small element: how to switch from sugared chocolate pleasure to tea with a sugar substitute (I use Trivia)? One way is to suffer the stirring and grit required to drink iusweetened baking chocolate with Truvia or use a blender that has to be washed. Or just heat the milk (soy if you can stand it). Or, learn to love tea which, alas, is hard for me.

Anonymous Sat, Oct 5th 2013 @ 11:39pm

Brilliant, that takes me back!

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