As and when President Trump’s state visit to the UK goes ahead, there is one matter that needs to be raised to the top of the agenda. Getting the Yanks to provide a decent cuppa. Queenie needs to get onto this.
If you’re a person who likes green tea, camomile tea, raspberry infused nonsense tea, peppermint blueberry herbal tea or similar, I have the utmost respect for your right to choose.
But let’s be honest. A proper cup of tea involves proper tea bags (I’ve accepted the demise of loose tea and the redundancy of tea strainers) such as Yorkshire Tea, Lancashire Tea, Twinings, PG Tips, I’ll even grant you Typhoo from Poundland. Across Europe and the USA other brands seem to call this “black tea”. It is proper tea. Not fruity. Not herbal. Proper tea. Pour boiling water over tea bag. Agitate the bag. Leave for a couple of minutes. Add milk. If you’ve used pot, add milk to the cup before pouring.
Yesterday, the owners of the hotel we stayed in cooked us a fantastic breakfast. It was the first time we didn’t choose from a buffet. The tea or coffee question was answered with tea by both of us. A little wave of excitement ran through my body as we each received a china tea pot and china cup and saucer.
That excitement dropped a little as a dozen or so tea bags were delivered to our table. I tried to avoid the accusatory glance but I’m sure the look on my face said “why on earth are you expecting me to dip a tea bag into water. Everybody knows you need to pour boiling water through the tea bag to make a decent brew”!
Being British I smiled my thanks, albeit diagonally, and got on with things. Chris dived into the tea bag basket. Various fruits. Pomegranate. Green. Mint. Camomile. Light relief when a single bag of black tea was removed. Decaffinated. WTF! And he dropped it into his pot!
With the temperature dropping in my tea pot I’m in a state of panic now. I’m British. I’ve been offered tea and I want a proper bloody tea bag don’t you know!
As I flicked through the odd range provided I found some Earl Gray. Not quite my definition of proper tea. It tends to taste like somebody’s already used the tea bag three times. But it was the best I could do. An adequate morning cuppa when I’d been hoping for so much more.
At least our lovely hosts supplied semi skimmed milk. One location got the right tea bags, failed on the boiling water and then supplied cream to whiten it with. That was a rejection from me as I reverted to coffee.
And it will be coffee for the rest of the trip. The insult of the Boston Tea Party is complete!
Chile is the real worry. We never got round to colonising them. Not a hope in hell of a nice cuppa in Easter Island or Santiago!
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel got it.