31 Letters in 31 Days: Letter 8 – Dear Tea

Dear Tea (Proper tea, nothing herbal that tastes like I’ve mixed pot puree with hot water in a mug and downed it. )

My first taste of you was through the rubber teat of a baby bottle. I’ve always liked you sweet, and back then, very milky. Now, in 2011, at the age of twenty four, I like you dark-ish and hot, so you last longer, and if I am paying for you in a cafe or pub, it stretches out the abominable cost that little bit more. If I have a cup of you, and I am distracted from drinking you for whatever reason, I need to make you again. Warming you in the microwave is a crime against humanity. I need you piping hot, no other way will do. My travels have been dogged with bad luck on your front and even worse on mine. Unable to easily find you (after running out of my supply from home) in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Israel or France, I was at a loss. You have been served in glasses, bowls, and outside of the cup, as in I was passed a cup of hot water and you, in your bag form, on the side. There is nothing I need more than a cuppa after a hard day in a new country. The sheer disappointment of blackcurrant or camomile tea rising over you on the menu, is close to that of losing a wallet or missing the sun rise over the sparkling Mediterranean. In foreign countries they fail to realise the importance of a good, proper cuppa to an English traveller. They don’t seem to understand that a camomile tea or a dark shot of espresso will not do the trick. It will not satisfy the English taste, and will merely make the heart yearn for its fatherland. Tea, I respect you from the bottom of my heart, but like all other things in life, you can’t get it right all of the time. Typhoo for example is Satan’s piss. Yorkshire, on the other hand, (from my place of birth, Harrogate) was brewed by the gods. Putting the kettle on has to be up there in the top activates of mankind, after killing Osama and before the creation of bread and butter pudding. The divine nature of tea should never be mocked. It lifts us from depression, unites families and makes the day complete. Tea, I salute you. Long shall you remain the chosen beverage for me, wherever I may be.