Thursday, January 15, 2009

Miss Da Tea

(I don't expect any sympathy for this post. On the contrary, I'm braced for gales of derisive laughter and mockery ...)

I've been living in Australia for nearly 12 years now, but I still retain much of my stiff-upper-lipped Britishness. I'm incapable of throwing a cricket ball in a straight line, I won't countenance beetroot on a burger and I call creamy dairy products 'yog-hurt', not 'yo-gurt'.

Also I cannot function properly without tea. So when I ran out this afternoon, it was a complete disaster.

'Just go out and buy more!' I hear you cry. Would that it were so easy. You see, January is always the worst month of the year for me financially. The pay offices of the various magazines I work for close up completely from mid-December to mid-January, so I can't invoice for any new work for a month. Meanwhile I have to invoice in advance for all the regular contract work I'll do in that four-week period. That's fine, if you're a decent financial planner, but for anyone else ... well, you can see the problem, can't you? A sudden fattening of the bank account, just days before Christmas ...

It's been especially tough this year, with my wife's teaching work at the university summer school falling through. Today our combined financial resources clocked in at about 45 cents, so popping out for tea: not an option.

Fortunately tomorrow marks the end of the cash drought and my account will be (for a very short time) in the black. Until then, I have to cope with the box of emergency tea bags I found lurking in the back of the cupboard.

Oh, did I not mention I have tea bags? The thing is, I'm not just cash-strapped, I'm also a tea snob. Tea-bag tea does not taste the same as real tea. It just doesn't. So I won't drink it. For me it's got to be leaves brewed in a proper pot to the correct strength (mahogany-coloured ... builders' tea).

Which is how my wife came to stroll into the kitchen and find me frantically hacking the tops off the bags with a knife and tipping the contents into our tea pot.

Yes she laughed, as I'm sure you are. But do you know what? I had a cup of tea. Made with leaves. Brewed correctly. Mahogany-brown colouring.

And it tasted like shit.

I bring it on myself, don't I?


Blogger Roo Green said...

I feel your pain. I really do. A life without tea is too miserable to contemplate.

I use teabags though!

9:05 PM  
Blogger Addster said...

Too funny! Tea bags are indeed acceptable - you just have to find the right ones (99 varieties later, I've settle on Rooibos). It's all part of the Adventure Of Tea. Your goal in 2009, Pete, is to discover, by trial and error, a type of tea bag that you actually like. Even if it's just for emergency purposes :-)

11:02 PM  

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