Afternoon Lovelies,

There’s nothing like a cup of tea.

This week you have the special option of watching or reading me chat about tea. I’ve never done it before and when chatting I do love a bit of a ramble and I seem to go “uh” a lot in a rather high pitched voice! If you really want to, you can both watch and read!

Here you go…

What does tea mean to me? It’s culturally a very British thing to enjoy a cup of Rosie Lee,  and I do indeed love it.

It’s my first drink of the day. It’s the liquid that imageenters my body and makes me feel human when I’ve just woken up exhausted. It’s the warming drink I crave when I’m freezing cold at work because the outside doors are always open,  or when children have tested my patience. It’s the soothing drink my own children offer me when I’m low, sad, or they think they’ve pushed me too far! It’s the social drink my friends and I love when we want a girlie chat. It’s the relaxing drink you enjoy at the end of the day when you finally sit down.

Tea seems to be the answer to a multitude of problems and conjures up so many different moods. Once you’ve had a cuppa the world is brighter,  outlook sunnier and difficulties more easy to face.

A cup of tea can cross the generations and shape your tea drinking nuances. It has certainly shaped mine. At our family gatherings there is forever a cry of “Who would like a cup of tea?” and the hands go up, except for my children’s, who strangely don’t follow the love of tea tradition! What is wrong with them?!

But people can be very particular about their likes and dislikes where tea is concerned, depending on their generation or culture. The taste, colour, how it is made, even what utensil it comes in!

Here I chat about tea and me, or tea and Fi

What tea do I buy?

My usual everyday tea is PG tip teabags, usually of imagethe pyramid variety. My parents have Yorkshire tea which I also like, but being more expensive I wait until it is on offer. I am not a fan of Tetley tea bags, which I once bought.

I have suffered from severe voice loss in the past and when my voice is weak or I have a cold, I also drink pure Green Tea, which I have come to enjoy. It sadly won’t ever replace a normal cup of tea.

How do I like my tea?

When I was a child I had my tea with milk and sugar. I was painfully shy, which is news to some who first met me as an adult, and at 16 I became a Waitrose employee. I can remember having tea for the first time in the canteen and the sugar was at the far end of the table in front of people who were talking. I was too shy to interrupt and ask, so forced my tea down without sugar. It was ok and grew on me. Now I can’t abide tea with sugar!

In my college days friends made cups of tea of all strengths and again I drank it. When you are young you don’t care. If  it is warm and wet you are happy, but my least favourite is milky tea that a college friend used to say “looked and tasted like cat piss!” I like to have tea with colour and taste, but not too strong.

I also can’t drink tea when it is just poured and boiling hot.  When we were little, my Irish gran was very particular that tea should be boiling when served, she had an asbestos mouth, I don’t!

In those days we had tea leaves and tea was made in a teapot. She always asked if the pot had first been warmed with boiling water. She said she could tell if it wasn’t!

Today, when we have large family gatherings and use a teapot, we might use teabags, but we still warm the pot, it’s a tradition. We also put the milk in the cup or mug first and then pour the tea.

If however I am just making a mug of tea at home or work, I put in the teabag, then the boiling water and add the milk afterwards. It’s easier to assess the strength and colour!

I do like my tea hot, although I often find I get side tracked, leave it too long and it is lukewarm or cold which to be fair, is disgusting.

What do I like to have my tea in?

I like to have my tea in a mug, mug, mug and ideally a really big one. My gran always had to have her tea in a cup with saucer, but any of those that we have, reside at the back of the top cupboard or have been given to charity! I always found that you couldn’t get your fingers through the small handles and a second cup was a necessity.

My favourite mugs are two large wide rimmed thick Provence Rose Stanley mugs a friend gave me from Cath Kidston. I also have some favourites I purchased from Whittards a while back. They are bright and chunky and although not wide rimmed, I still like them.

Have I any tea habits?

Along with pot warming, I have two habits that can annoy my colleagues, when I make tea for them. Firstly,  I don’t pour the tea to the top of the mug, so they always feel short changed. I’m not sure why, maybe I think I’m leaving lots of room for the milk? Secondly, I always leave some tea in the bottom of my mug that has to be poured away. I think it is a habit from when I used to have tea leaves and now although I don’t I still leave the dregs. What a creature of habit I am!

Honestly Fiona xx