Service, Tea and Life, Tea Retail

Eight Minutes To Normalise

Eight Minutes.

I just set the timer beside me for eight minutes.

In eight minutes, the cake I have carefully made to Lady Devotea’s exacting recipe will be ready to come out of the oven. It’s strawberry and white chocolate. There is no flavouring except actual strawberries and actual white chocolate.

But I digress. I have a rant to get to.

I got up today in order to let three people into the building at 5am. I’m usually up by 5, although that’s not the same being showered and in full “pants-on” mode by 5.

Two of the three people did not arrive on time. One has just arrived 90 minutes late.

The five minute warning just went off. Maybe a quick check on the cake.

So, the guy that I let in at 4.50 is an electrician, and before long, I offered him a cuppa. I was delighted to find he was a tea drinker.

I asked him which of the 30 teas I had at my disposal he might like.

“I just like normal tea” he said.

I recoiled a bit. There’s that word again. “Normal”. “Normal tea”.

It’s an expression I hate.

What’s normal? I could be existential about it and ponder the true meaning of normality, or hazard  a guess about the paradigms that exist with his reality… Is that really eight minutes? Best check the cake.

Looking good, but might give it another four.

Back to “normal tea”.

Unfortunately, exploiting underfed, unwell, unhappy African workers, smashing tea up with machines and then shipping to somewhere else with cheap labour – perhaps Poland – to be encased in cheap bags before stocking UK supermarket shelves with them is ‘normal’.

Well excuuuuuuuse me for saying “NO! THAT’S NOT NORMAL”.

It may be usual. It may be common. It may be prevalent. But it is in no way normal.

To call low grade teab*g tea “normal” is to imply that a proper cup is “abnormal”. It’s suggesting that either the method or the leaves themselves are not the real way of having tea.

Well, get a grip, guys.

Everytime you agree to have a cup of teab*g tea, you are going down the “abnormal” route. Don’t try to pin that on us loose leaf lovers.


OK, cake out, scones in!

Someone once said “Cafe owners who use teab*gs are thieves, or stupid, or both“*. Someone once said “Nothing says how indifferent I am about you than a cup of teab*g tea”.**

We must fight, people!

Now that our first branded permanent tea shop has been open a week, I can look at the figures.

For starters, the tea to coffee ratio is really pleasing to see. But I digress.

Slightly over 50% of our tea sales so far are Lord Petersham. And people are coming back for more.

So as far as I’m concerned, that’s what’s normal, A blend of hand picked teas named after an obscure Edwardian Lord, crafted for the daytime palate and served with whatever you want on the side.

Normality has been restored. Thank you for your patience.

Scone, anyone?

* I've checked and that was me
** Once again, turns out that was me




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Tea History, Tea Retail

The Hub

I was going to start by saying “regular readers will know”, but as I have published only three short, simple pieces in five weeks, I probably don’t have any left.

The last four months have been the most demanding of our lives, and this Thursday, the catalyst behind it all will come into being.

I’d like to say “burst” into being but I don’t have the energy.

Every waking moment (and there have been hardly any non-waking ones -four hours continuous sleep is  luxury I don’t remember) has led inexorably to Thursday.

It’s hard to see one’s nearest and dearest actually fall over from exhaustion. To have to physically restrain someone from working any longer or virtually force a drink down their dehydrated throat is a highly emotive situation.  All of which leads to Thursday

We’ve overseen the renovation of a pub and renovated living quarters that were so disgraceful I was surprised we didn’t find a documentary crew from “World’s Filthiest Tenants” who had got lost behind the rolls of smelly carpet on the fourth bedroom.  We’ve bought a car and an overly cheerful SatNav so we can make endless trips to the paint and carpet shops.

All to get us to Thursday.

“Is something happening Thursday?”, I hear you ask.

Yes, something is.

On Thursday, The Devotea At The Oaklands will launch.20140710_091330

It’s a tea room / coffee house / family restaurant. It has its own menu and its own hours which are different to the pub, yet you can visit both at the same time as they are under one roof.

Lady Devotea has done an  amazing job selecting fabrics with which to recover a collection of old chairs which have been bought and refurbished.


So, from Thursday The Devotea teas will be available in the UK once more, along with a resurrection of some of our coffee blends, cakes, scones of course, muffins and more.

I’d write more about it, but we’ve got menus to finish, teas and coffees to blend. We’ve got a new logo for The Devotea to unveil, and a new logo for The Devotea At The Oaklands. We’ve got a counter to finish off, some painting, some machinery relocation, some plumbing, some baking. Some training to provide for staff. Some teaware and servingware to purchase.

I’ll probably see you on the other side of Thursday. Either online, or at Notley Green, Great Notley, Essex, UK CM77 7US, The Devotea At The Oaklands.

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Tea and Life

One Kilo

I haven’t blogged for a while, and that’s down to an almost unprecedented level of activity and exhaustion

For those of you are unaware, Lady Devotea is opening a tea shop, in a pub in England. We are living above it and I am pitching in with the renovations to our living space as well as immersing myself in a writing project.

In a month or two, I’ll obtain the necessary paperwork and run it with her: in the meanwhile her effort is superhuman.

One thing she has done is install a one kilo container of Mokabari East Assam tea downstairs in the pub after the departing managers appeared to take the teab*gs with them.

Builders, painters and the odd punter have been enjoying pots of this delicious tea.

Inexorably it is being depleted.

One cup at a time, eh?

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Tea and Life

One Lump Or Two?

Life is frantic, and that’s my excuse for no blogging for more than a week.

Lady Devotea is working 18-20 hours per day in her new job. I am using that same time to work on extensive renovations, shop for every single thing you need in a new country and research and writing the new book.

When I crawl out of bed after a few hours’ sleep, rather than a leisurely two hours of blogging, I’m dismantling a kitchen. At least we now have one habitable room plus a working bathroom.

So, I was sitting around talking* to the staff who now work with Lady D, and one story tickled my fancy so much, I knew I had to blog about it.

One staff member was talking about a business she used to work in where the male owner and the female manager enjoyed a lot of “personal time”. Long impromptu meetings – champagne included – with muffled sounds coming from the behind the office door – a door they really should have locked on one apparently memorable occasion.

So, talking to the staff member who actually walked in on them in the act of sharing their great and abiding passion – a passion his wife may well have had some thoughts on – came this gem:

“Well, it wasn’t the first time I caught them at it, I came in early one day and found them <insert your favourite euphemism for going at it like the clappers here> on the front counter, next to two cups of tea”.

I’ll repeat that last but… “NEXT TO TWO CUPS OF TEA”.

My immediate thought was “Well, there’s a blog right there”. Followed by “never go buy a sandwhich where that front counter is”.

I just thrilled to the possibilities.

Were they planning a three minute act in order to time the brew to perfection? Perhaps they both drank it black and were waiting for it to cool when they were seized with an unstoppable passion?

Or maybe, just maybe, it was the tea itself that drove them to contravene the rules of polite society and enact a scene of infidelity, carnality and food hygiene offenses.

I’d like to think so. And I’ll leave it there, because your imagination is where this story is truly fleshed** out.



*Researching, not talking. Researching, definitely. 

** Yes, I said “fleshed”.

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Service, Tea and Food, Tea and Life, Tea Retail, Tea Stories

It’s Happening Now

A year ago today, on our Wedding Anniversary, Lady Devotea and I were having a bit of an adventure.

We were in Las Vegas, having flown in the day before. It was the day before World Tea Expo and we had a dazzling array of stuff to look at, sights and sounds to absorb, book launches to be at and afternoon teas to attend.

It seems so much more than a year ago, but it isn’t. Today is once again our Wedding Anniversary. 28 fantastic years.

I’ve been quiet of late, hinting at stuff happening, but not blogging much.

The truth is, we’ve been working on a project that is huge for us. And whilst I would like to have announced it in March, and in my birthday post in April, and almost did in my last post for Lady D’s birthday: at no point have I been able to say for certain what the immediate future holds for us.

Until today.

We are spending our anniversary in a hotel in Adelaide, and it is our last day in Adelaide. We have sold up. We are moving on.

I’ve lived here since 1983, Lady D since the early 70s. Two thirds of my life: my entire adult life, I’ve been a person residing in Adelaide, South Australia.

The seeds of change were sown by our trips to the UK/Europe two years ago and for me particularly, America. I loved the energy, the welcome and the optimism. I must say I returned feeling a bit dissatisfied with my life and work here.

Not so much the tea – our pop-up tea shops were a great source of delight in particular – but the HR consulting work we had been doing for years was starting to get really dull. And clients were nervous about the economy.

I couldn’t reconcile the staid conservatism and caution here with the extravagant energy and enthusiasm of everywhere* we’ve been in the last few years that was not here: Thailand. London. America.

And so, it happened. Lady D and I were mid-karaoke one day in January and we got a Facebook message from a cousin of my good Lady. A couple of “how are you?” type-messages were exchanged.

Then, as Tom Jones‘ “Sex Bomb” started, a two-sentence business proposal was put to us. And before the song was finished, we had accepted.

What followed was months of intense work, putting together a business plan to make our newly acquired dream a reality. Most if it throughout the night.

By early March, we’d put together the greatest plan ever. And we received a crushing blow when it seemed all for nothing.

A month later, we were working on Plan B, when we got the news that the people we had lost out to had pulled out. It was back on.

That was four months ago. In that time we have re-written the plan four times. We’ve had wins and we’ve had setbacks. Times when it was so close we could touch it. Times when it seemed impossible. We had marathon days of 24 to 30 hour of continuous work; other days where nothing happened at all.

And so here we are.

It’s not all gone to plan, but it’s happening. It’s happening now.

We are in a hotel room, as I said, surrounded by huge suitcases. Our furniture and household effects have been partly sold off, partly put into storage, and partly loaded onto a cargo ship. Our cats are residing in a four star kitty hotel in Melbourne, awaiting a tearful reunion in about 5 weeks.

Our beautiful house, where our children went from teenagers to fledglings and then flew the nest, became the place we ourselves flew from when it changed hands yesterday, gone to a lovely couple with three children of their own.

This is our last day in Adelaide. The Devotea Australia has been handed over to one of our sons to manage.

Tomorrow, we board the plane for England, and a new life.

Our business partners this week took over a traditional English Pub in a wonderful village 40 minutes from London.

We will be living and working there, after some remodelling (of the pub, not us!).

The most important part of that remodelling for all of our tea friends will be this: the fifty seat Devotea-branded tea rooms that will form part of the complex.

We will take the opportunity to relaunch our on-line business the UK, and we don’t believe this will be the only Devotea tea room in England. There will be more to come.

It’s not all plain sailing from here. I’ll have to spend some time back in Australia obtaining the right work visa which will mean a bit of frustration and twiddling my thumbs. The building needs a lot of work. There are renovations to both the pub and the living quarters.

The past six months or so of work may well pale into insignificance compared to the next six. We will need all of our boundless energy and enthusiasm. We’ll need all of Lady D’s skills in remodelling the space to transform it from “room in pub” to “tea room/cafe/bistro” (as well as the other spaces), and we plan to launch that side of the complex July-ish.

So, there you have it.

Its all happening.

And it’s happening now.


* Obviously not France
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Tea and Life, Tea Stories

The Restoration

Today is May 29th, and on this day in 1660 the English Throne was restored.

Here on this tea blog, why should we care?

For starters, Charles II of England marred Catherine of Braganza, who  is credited with making tea fashionable in England. This eventually lead to its consumption in English colonies. After all, it had already been in England for a while, but it was not popular until this highly successful celebrity endorsement.

On a blog post of May 29th two years ago, I also mentioned other key events on this date in history, such as the fall of The Byzantine empire. And on that particular day in 2012, we were announcing that we were making The Devotea teas available in both the USA and the UK .

But as I mentioned back then, they overriding feature for me of May 29th is it is Lady Devotea’s Birthday.

Yes, it is an annual event, but for me, one that gives me a chance to demonstrate the depth of my love for this remarkable woman.

We’ve been married nearly thirty years, and as you probably know, she would have got far less for murder.

It is an annual event that can fill me with dread if I don’t think I’ve had a spectacular enough idea to celebrate it. Most years, I get the thinking cap on about April and plan it with incredible precision. Some years, it’s hard to come up with that killer idea or the time itself is awkward.

I’m not a very clever person when it comes to expression, but I am quite an organiser and planner at times, so there are still a few obvious ideas in the tank, like skywriting a message* or organising a visit to somewhere fabulous and exciting.

I know this is a big day in the tea community: It should be referred to as “International Lady Devotea Day” and I imagine a whole lot of Lady Devotea tea blend will be raised in celebration.

When it comes to my own personal monarchy, no restoration is needed. I swore my allegiance in 1984, and nothing’s changed.

I know that Lady Devotea rarely, if ever reads my blog. And that’s not surprising. After all, she gets an unfiltered stream of my opinions and rants, why look for more?

I have taken the opportunity on these pages many times to express my love for her, I’m better at it in writing than I am in real life in many respects.

When I started this blog post several days ago, I wasn’t sure where it was going. Various circumstances have dictated exactly what course I charted and what point I reached. Watch this blog for plenty of news, real soon.

But right now, early on on this most notable of days, there is a cup of tea that won’t make itself. A silver tray awaiting that tea. A folded newspaper. Perhaps some flowers. All these things arrayed with as much love and care as I can pour into them.

Hopefully, fit for a Queen.


* I mean paying for it, I do not plan to actually pilot a plane personally, And believe me, that’s for the best

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coffee, Service, Tea and Life, Tea Retail, Tea Stories

I’ve Bean Meaning to Mention…

Those of you who pay attention and follow my every word – that’s all of you, right? – will know that I have had an uneasy relationship with coffee. I outed myself as bi-beverage when I wrote Swinging Both Ways. I mentioned that it was acceptable, in some circumstances to order coffee, not tea, after a meal in No Shame, But Plenty of Blame. And then finally, I had a messy divorce from coffee and outlined it in It’s Not You, It’s Me.

In several of those, there is a mention that when we do a Pop Up Tea Shop, we blend our own coffee.

Well, soon we’ll need to blend some coffee for a project, so what I thought I’d do here is compare blending tea and blending coffee, as I see it. For your amusement and edumacation.

Bear in mind I’m not a fan of blending for consistency, I like seasonal and annual variation. So this is not about that.

To me, here’s what is the same, and here is what is different:


Blending for taste: it needs to achieve an excellent taste that is in your head, OR answer a question (What if I mixed 30% of A and 20% of B with 50% of C) in an unambiguously brilliant fashion.

Offering a significant variation: There’s no point having a stack of very similar tastes. This is an easy trap to fall into and we are not immune: we are in the process of culling some black tea blends because we have 8 out of our stable of 23 teas.

Blending for customer preference: “Very strong”, “lower caffeine”, “not bitter”, you need to understand what customers will ask for and provide an answer.

Consistency of supply: There’s no point making a super blend if 15% of it requires raw material from a Tibetan monk who brings his product to market only on leap years. Or a raw product that varies wildly and predictably.


With tea, it is far easier to blend for forgiveness. Using core teas that produce a good brew across a wide range of steep times and temperatures and methods makes it a little “idiot-proof” . With coffee-making being a more mechanical process, if someone can stuff up a cappuccino with one blend, they can stuff them all up equally. And some machines are not as effective as others.

With tea, one can blend for (leaf) smell, whereas coffee is not normally smelt by a customer as a raw product in isolation.

With tea, one can blend for raw tea texture to add interest. Coffee, well – it’s beans, and not many people know a Nicaraguan Maragogype from an Ethiopian Limu by sight.

With tea, one should not blend in such a way that all the heavier ingredients end up in the bottom of the pack. Not an issue with coffee.

So, with all that in mind, it’s time to blend.


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Tea and Life, Tea Retail

Not Exactly a Hunger Strike

In 1989, I found myself on a plane belonging to Hassanal Bolkiah.

There was a pilot’s strike in Australia, and I had earned a trip overseas for selling many printers. This involved getting to and from Sydney, and with Qantas and Ansett on strike, our Government made other arrangements.

On the way to Sydney, I took a C-130 transport plane provided by the RAAF. We sat in webbing along the fuselage. Lunch was a box containing a tin of tuna in lemon juice, two crackers, an orange and an orange juice. (only a person with a citrus allergy would remember that 20+years later) The toilet was a hole in the wall, around which a plastic sheet could be held up by burly airmen. I ate the crackers and crossed my legs.

On the way back, I had a choice of 4 splendid meals, and visited the bathroom several times to marvel at the gold tapware and avail myself of the 5 different liquid soaps on tap.

Yes, the Australia Government had rented some aircraft from Mr Bolkiah, AKA Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam and who holds the posts of prime minister, minister of defence, minister of finance, head of Islam, head of customs, supreme commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the inspector general of the Royal Brunei Police Force.

He is most commonly known as The Sultan of Brunei, and with $20bn, there are no end of people lining up to give him more titles.


Skip forward to 2012, and Lady Devotea and I visited The Dorchester in London. I blogged about it at the time, and it was a sublime experience.

What I did not know at the time was that the aforementioned Sultan had bought it in 1981. His Dorchester Group includes the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

He’s also been busy in the intervening years, for example, passing a law in 2006 that said he was infallable. I guess if the prime minister, minister of defence, minister of finance, head of Islam, head of customs, supreme commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the inspector general of the Royal Brunei Police Force are all in agreement, that should not be hard.

And in his wisdom, he’s set about bringing Sharia Law to Brunei. To quote Wikipedia:

Bolkiah is implementing a Sharia law penal code that includes death by stoning, the severing of limbs, and flogging for crimes in Brunei such as abortions, adultery and homosexual acts. The Sultan himself, together with his family members are exempted from the Sharia Law.

Now, Sharia Law is a form of religious law, and it is quite similar to many other religious codes. Promulgators of it believe that religious law should trump other forms of law, such as civil or criminal, and they do not believe in what many people believe to be an important principle, the separation of church and state.

There are many other religions that offer similar viewpoints and there are many religious leaders who would happily adopt the principal that an old man with a book written hundreds of years ago of dubious provenance is all he needs to inflict suffering upon others and feel righteous and self-important about it. It doesn’t matter what that book is, having the book and the moral authority is all they need.

As an atheist, I find all religions equally odd, and so I can’t really comment. I certainly respect people’s right to believe in God, Allah, fairies, Cybermen*,Vishnu, Buddha** or His Majestic and Glorious Majesty the Giant Goat of Joy***.

The penal code described above is, however, barbaric. It is cruel and is nothing more than the sadly inbuilt savagery that significant proportions of the human race have struggled to expunge from their basic make-up, while others malevolently embrace it.

It is also the most hypocritical action ever. To exempt his own family makes him a huge laughing stock, or would if it were not so serious.

So, it comes down to this: to take afternoon at The Dorchester or to visit another hotel in the group is to support this regime. Now, a celebrity boycott has targeted the group.

On CBS News Dorchester Collection CEO Christopher Cowdray said the campaign to boycott their group was unfair, pointing out that many people deal with Saudi Arabian companies (with a similar regime) and that many of the protesters where wearing clothes made possible by human rights abuses.

Despite the fact what he says is true, it  does look awfully like Pontius Pilate’s washing of his hands.

First raised by Stephen Fry and Ellen DeGeneres, the celebrity boycott of these premises is an impressive flexing of the power of press. No doubt all of the premises have suffered somewhat.

Sadly, I think it’s true that whilst the Sultan enjoys his $20b and his 1800-room palace, the real losers will be the minimum wage workers who work at these places.

But I’d like to think they can find jobs at other places who might benefit from not being boycotted by famous faces and thought leaders.

So, looking at the pros and cons, Lady Devotea and I will state here, on the record that we will not re-visit the splendid Dorchester (or any other parts of The Dorchester Group) until either the ownership changes or the laws introduced a month ago in Brunei are repealed.

I urge you to examine your own conscience and join us if you wish.


*  I really, really hope not

** OK, so he was an actual person

*** Send me $75 for Holy Book of Goatisms and license to preach.


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Service, Tea and Food, Tea and Life, Tea Retail

The Big Eight – A Food Service Nightmare

Tea is pretty simple.

When you serve tea in a commercial setting, you can be mostly relaxed about causing allergic reactions.

Of course, you need to filter the water and boil it properly. Tap water can be dangerous and trigger allergies in some cases, as this medical paper on pesticides suggests.

But mostly, tea should be free of the “Big Eight” Allergy causing foodstuffs:  eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, nuts from trees, groundnuts, soy and wheat.

Obviously, it’s easy to just not put milk in tea, and to put soy milk in if someone wants it ‘milky’ but cannot tolerate milk but can tolerate soy, or to put almond milk in if someone cannot tolerate milk or soy but can tolerate tree nuts, or too…hang on, maybe it’s not that easy.

Some flavoured teas have chips made of vegetable protein with flavouring sprayed on them. The vegetable protein is often made from soy beans.

Now that’s confusing.

Add food and you get a whole new dimension.

Take my own allergy, which is not one of the listed one: citrus. This allergy surprises people because it knocks out Earl Grey Tea (flavoured with oil from a citrus tree), most cheesecakes (lemon as a setting agent), fruit cakes/ hot cross buns/Christmas fruit mince pies (lemon/orange peel is cheap and filling and therefore popular in them), dried apples and sun-dried tomatoes (lemon juice to preserve colour) and virtually every dish ever made in Greece, Spain or the Middle East. It’s often found in commercial tomato juices, in biscuits, in curries: it’s everywhere!

And my allergy is unusual, so I get that it’s awkward. Every time I fly I list the allergy, every time I get a meal full of citrus. According to Delta staff, there are 7 “tick boxes” for special meals, and as ‘citrus-free’  isn’t one of them, they just don’t care. It’s not like you can eat next door if you are unhappy!

But when it comes to the more prevalent allergies and conditions, every tea shop and café/bistro owner needs to be aware of the danger posed to potential customers.

The best source of information is the customer themselves. Everyone is different. For example, as a result of my citrus allergy, I have an irrational fear of orange or yellow coloured sweets. Give me a bag of jelly beans or jubes and I’ll fall on them with a vengeance, but I’ll hand back half a bag of yellow and orange ones. I may look sideways at the green ones too. I know that makes no sense. I don’t expect other people to guess it.

When we have been serving food and/or tea to the public, we’ve always worked on three principles:

  1. Think ahead and have a few items that suit common allergies and conditions or lifestyle choices: Coeliac Disease, Diabetes, Vegetarianism
  2. Make everything fresh, so the person who made the food can talk directly to the customer if needed
  3. Be flexible, especially if the customer is also

You can’t please everyone: one day a man marched into our tea shop and up to the gelati counter, screamed “THIS IS NOT VEGAN” and then marched out.

That guy? Not going to please him. And quite frankly, he wasn’t welcome back. Not that we ever saw him again, probably because of our hideously non-Vegan ways.

Coeliac Disease is one of the more interesting ones. Way back in 2007, we used to keep a supermarket brand of gluten-free frozen bread in the freezer in case anyone asked, wrapped in sets of two slices. Saxon AKA Devotea Junior was our chef, and he insisted. I thought the product was unpalatable rubbish.

Saxon was right.

People who suffered this disease were incredibly grateful that they could get a piece of tiny, hard, flavourless toast substitute under their eggs or around their burger. It was an important lesson.

Since then, Lady Devotea has ensured that every pop-up tea shop had a gluten-free offering, usually made with something like almond flour. Often they were the tastiest thing on the menu. Sometimes she steeped them in orange syrup just so I could be trusted alone in the van with them, I think.

Cost is an issue. Almond flour can be more than ten times the cost of wheat flour. Naturally this is reflected in the final price.

And higher prices are attractive to some food outlets for the worst of reasons. People everywhere are trying a gluten-free diet in pursuit of of other health goals, not due to having Coeliacs. Manufacturers can charge more for gluten-free, whether it is actually gluten-free or not.

Here’s an example: At Domino’s in the USA, you can pay extra for a “Gluten Free Crust” that comes with the warning “not recommended for Coeliac sufferers” .

I understand how cafes and restaurants play the percentages. If less than 1% of the population can’t tolerate gluten, less than 2% are vegetarian, less than 0.4% have an allergy, why spend money catering for them?

It’s a valid argument if you accept the premise. But I don’t!

The reason I don’t is that gluten or meat or shellfish or milk are not compulsory in all dishes. And you do not need to make a special effort just be aware of what you do.

I’ve never met a true (human) carnivore. Most people are omnivores: it doesn’t stop them enjoying a vegetarian lasagne!

When we have offered a wide variety of items at a Pop-Up teashops, we have to guess how many we can sell in 4 or 5 hours. And on many occasions, we had to break the bad news to a Coeliac sufferer.

“Well, we HAD some gluten free almond and raspberry cake, but it sold out first.”

Food for thought.



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