Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tea And Antipathy


I am in the office kitchen, looking in the tea cupboard.

INNER VOICE: Hmm...Chai...Lapsang Souchong...Goji Berry and Arrowroot...where's the Earl Grey?

Seconds later:

INNER VOICE: There's no Earl Grey. Why the FUCK is there no Earl Grey?

Seconds later:

INNER VOICE: I specifically asked the office manager to get Earl Grey. Honestly, you can't get the staff...wait, what's this?

(It is a new packet of Earl Grey teabags, recently purchased by deeply efficient office manager)

INNER VOICE: These are Whittards teabags! I specifically asked the office manager to get Twinings! I *only* like Twinings! I told her that! Whittards Earl Grey is too strong! Also, Whittards isn't a proper tea company, it's only a pretend tea company, which sells over-perfumed girly doll tea in an attempt to lend a more upmarket air to its frankly pedestrian china. And they turned me down for a job once. Bastards. Although actually that might have been Cargo Homeshop. But still. This is going to upset my entire afternoon!

INNER VOICE: Patroclus, do you ever consider that you lack a sense of perspective?

INNER VOICE: (meekly) Yes.

I make a cup of Whittards Earl Grey, in my special Alan Turing 'magic' mug. It doesn't taste too bad.


Sylvia said...

Yes but these things matter!!
Lucky you having an office manager to cater to you every whim - when I was a proper grown up with a job we had to buy our own stuff!

Tim Footman said...

Arrowroot? Wouldn't that just make thick tea? Or is that the point?

patroclus said...

Sylvia: I don't know about 'every whim'. That could get out of hand quite quickly. We do have an office Wii, though.

Tim: I might have made that one up. What is a goji berry, anyway? It seems to be in everything these days.

Valerie said...

I fear that I have approximately eight different brands of Earl Grey in my cupboard (ten if you count the caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions of Lady Grey). Surely I am a philistine. Worse: I like my Earl Grey with lashings of milk and sugar.

Though admittedly I /do/ have Twinings. And I /don't/ have Whittards. So that's something.

— Tea Philistine

Valerie said...

BTW my husband's sister-in-law pressed packets of dark chocolate-coated goji berries on me when we left Australia. I have to say I think they basically taste like chocolate covered ants. That is to say, chocolate, with the faint and crunchy sensation within of something suspiciously formic in nature.

Billy said...

My tea at work ambitions have been thwarted by the fact the tea out of the machine is worse than vomit and bringing my own would be far too much effort (and someone would nick my milk) so I've resigned myself to drinking twice as much tea at home.

Lorna said...

That's a mighty sophisticated office tea cupboard, Earl Grey brand notwithstanding. My work only has a large jar full of suspiciously dusty tea bags of unknown variety. Not a Goji berry in sight... *sniff*

rivergirlie said...

goji berry is the new pomegranate - which is the new blueberries - which are the new kiwi fruit - which is the new ...

extemporanea said...

I only drink Earl Grey, and am completely with you on the Twinings issue, to the point where I simply won't drink another brand unless some less discerning host has given it to me and I'm being polite. This is true dedication, given that Twinings is imported into South Africa at vast expense, rendering it approximately three times as expensive per teabag as any other brand.

I figure that, as expensive vices go, it's probably preferable to gigolos or crack cocaine. Although the effects of withdrawal can be ugly.

Urban Chick said...

oh heavens, yes

i'm with you on this

whittards is pretendy tea

twinings is the business

but for me, it's lapsang souchong (especially now that rose pouchong has disappeared from waitrose without a trace)

my earl grey days are over...

patroclus said...

Valerie: Your tea cupboard sounds like the greatest tea cupboard ever. Also thank you for using the word 'formic', which is a splendid word and surely connected somehow to Formica, but I know not how.

Lorna/Billy: Crikey, how do your employers expect you to work properly without an adequate supply of speciality teas?

Rivergirlie: Hmm, I was unaware of this progression. Is it like the Fibonacci Series?

Extemporanea: Let us hope that Twining's's (ooh, apostrophes, someone please help) PR agency happens upon your comment and sends you a free crate of Earl Grey in recognition of your commitment and loyalty.

UC: Ooh, I love Lapsang Souchong too, but it doesn't do to drink too much of it, lest it lose its specialness and become ordinary. I've never tried Rose Pouchong, must track that down.

Anonymous said...

Jasmine, Waitrose own brand. Though that tea shop on Neal Street is all right in an emergency.

(the kind of emergency in which a tea shop in the middle of overcrowded tourist-magnet Covent Garden is more convenient than a near-national supermarket chain, obviously).

PS With you on the Whittards front...

PPS ...and waiting for your lament for Fopp

patroclus said...

Ah, Waitrose is but a distant shimmering chimaera in Shepherd's Bush. In fact that place in Neal Street is probably more convenient for me than Waitrose.

The Fopp lament is on my - ahem - *secret* blog.

NB By 'secret', I do not necessarily mean 'more interesting'.

entropy said...

Best. Tea Shop. Ever. is Le Palais Des Thés (IMHO). Luckily that's on the other side of the channel or I'd regularly spend more money than is wise on flowery teas. And pretty Japanese cups.