I love tea.
I start the day with a cup of Earl Grey as soon as I get up, which I leave to stew until it’s very strong and just the right temperature – i.e. not too hot to drink quickly, straight away, once a good big dose of high-quality soya milk is added to it.
And then, I have another.
And another. And probably one approximately every hour or so until about 5pm, when I stop. But only really to preserve my ability to get to sleep at a reasonable time of night.
As well as EG I also like the occasional cup of builder’s tea, especially to accompany cake or cream scones.
And after Chinese or Thai food there’s nothing nicer than supping a whole pot of jasmine green tea, served really weak and really hot.
I used to drink herbal teas at work in the office, but kind of went off them once I left that environment behind.
But it’s fair to say that I do love tea.
Whilst we were away on holiday I didn’t drink any tea at all. Not even at breakfast.
It was stinking hot for nearly all of the time, even early in the mornings and I do not share my mother’s opinion that a nice, hot cup of tea will cool you down. Incidentally, this is equally untrue of the local Cretan firewater raki, despite what the taverna man told us.
Unlike my Australian nieces, I do not hold with iced tea. Ugh. In my book, neither soup nor tea were ever meant to be served cold.
And when you roll out of bed entirely refreshed, and there is freshly squeezed orange juice on offer made with oranges that only kissed the trees goodbye a few moments before, and with a soft mountain breeze, clear air and bright sunshine replacing traffic noise and general grey chilliness, tea becomes sort of superfluous to requirements.
The Greeks are not known for their tea-drinking. Perhaps this is because of the ubiquity (presumably due to the heat) of UHT milk, which everyone in Britain knows tastes disgusting in tea – or, for that matter, in anything else.
Whilst I am not averse to the odd cup of weak Cretan dictamnus (or mountain tea) it’s a bit of an acquired taste.
And sorry Liptons, but your brew is distinctly inferior to the stuff I normally drink.
So I didn’t have any tea for two whole weeks, until the last day on the way to the airport, when there was a cup included in a “Simple Breakfast” we stopped off for along the way. I drank it black (it was Liptons) and it was ok.
I fully expected to return to my usual tea-slurping normality as soon as we got home.
I did enjoy this morning’s first cuppa of the day. But I really didn’t anticipate the fact that I just can’t seem to get back into drinking tea.
It’s very strange. I’m not unhappy about cutting back on my caffeine consumption, which may have explained the persistent headache of my first few days on holiday, but there are other unexpected, knock-on effects. Like, what exactly do you punctuate your day with if you don’t drink tea?
I don’t like coffee – neither the taste, nor what the caffeine it contains does to my stomach and head. I bought a jar of Barleycup yesterday, but it seems too thick somehow, for regular drinking. Like ploughing your way through a mugful of Ovaltine when it’s not bedtime. Or slurping a cup of custard.
I know that really, I should do what I did on holiday – and drink more water. But somehow, stopping work for a nice glass of water just doesn’t seem very enticing.
I miss sitting down with lad over a cuppa and a biscuit when he gets in from school.
And I miss the excuse to just sit and do nothing in particular for ten or fifteen minutes at a time.
I’m sure my taste for tea will return soon, whether I want it to or not. I’m not sure if that’s something to be looked forward to, or viewed with regret.
All I know is that at the moment, I am bewildered by my current state of beverage befuddlement.
It’s just not really my cup of tea. ♥