No Shame, but Plenty of Blame

I know from the evidence of my own 1.8 eyes (one’s not very good) that people often order coffee at the end of a meal.

In my Teaist belief system, Yin & Yang are replaced with Tea & Cake

Most people do not eat out every day.

Sure, some people might buy the same plastic burger everyday for lunch or start each day with an oil-soaked hash brown served at somewhere between the boiling point of titanium and the temperature of a penguin’s Martini on ice.   I used to live near a McDonald’s whose speciality appeared to be one of each when you bought two,  and I do know the joy of pseudo-potato with fat, salt and fat and salt.

But really eating out is sometimes a special occasion, or sometimes serves to make an occasion special.

I’m a little difficult to please. “NOOO”, I hear you gasp in amazement.

I love to cook, and I don’t mind spending hours doing so. So if it comes to the choice between an adequate restaurant meal and making something myself, the later is my preference. I’m not the world’s best dessert cook, but luckily Lady Devotea is an excellent baker of cakes and lots of other delectables. Her Persian Love Cake is simply the greatest food I have ever eaten.

So, basically going out starts with the company you are with. Whether it is a romantic dinner for two or a romantic rugby union club end-of-season bash, you are there for other reasons. All they have to do is feed you well.

Many times, they do that. Often your expectations will be exceeded.

Sometimes it’s ingredients you don’t often use.  I rarely cook with duck or goat at home, but will often select either when out, as they are favourites.

But, having said all that, there are many times that I’ve gone out and absolutely loved the food, all of it, and been very satisfied with the service. The company, whether it be just Lady D and I, or a gaggle of friends and family, or business associates/workmates has been fantastic.

And then we come to the postprandial beverage.

Just when you thought I was going to get to the point, let’s divert.

I am publicly out as being bi-beverage. I do enjoy a coffee at times.

More than that, we have a coffee bar at home, An actual counter, which we removed from a coffee and tea shop we had, with an espresso machine, a grinder and all the top stuff, like knock boxes, an assortment of metal jugs, thermometers and highly caustic cleaners.

We have our own range of coffee which we blend (it’s only available in our pop-up tea shop for the odd coffee drinker) and Both Lady D and I are trained baristas. As are one of our sons and both our sons’ partners*. We often have lovely jersey milk on hand.

So, we can have a pretty spectacular coffee at home.

But realistically, even with the growth of ‘idiot-proof’ capsule coffee machines, where you can put a precisely measured capsule of coffee (that was roasted far too long ago) in a slot and press a button, the majority of coffee drunk in homes in the west is instant. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes because the person “doesn’t have time”. One of the worst reasons ever.

Personally, I had my last instant coffee in 1981, I’ve been clean for nearly 32 years.

WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE AHEAD And we know that many homes use teab*gs. Far too many.

So, when you are out, if you order a coffee, you are likely to get something better than you might have at home. Whereas ordering tea, it is far too likely that you’ll get a teab*g slopped in a cup.

So, I just wanted to say it’s OK to order coffee.

Yes, a perfectly complementary cup of tea might work a lot better than a milky coffee. Yes, you don’t need that much caffeine at the end of the day. Yes, the staff were taught to use the coffee machine by a passing parking meter repair man. But still, it isn’t instant, like you sadly have at home.

There is no shame in ordering that coffee. No shame at all. It’s simply taking the path of less appallingness.

So, no shame, but let’s hand out the blame.

I BLAME the restaurant. How dare they treat tea drinkers like second class citizens? It’s an outrage.

Sometimes, though, blaming the eating-house  is like kicking a confused puppy standing next to a steaming pile on your best rug. I mean, they’ve shelled out thousands on a coffee machine so they can sell coffee for 60% profit, whereas for the same money they could sell you a cup of tea and make a 95% profit. So by definition, any restaurant that does not steer you toward loose leaf tea is run by dunderheads who probably wear slip-on shoes as they can’t tie their laces.

So, if I can’t blame them, who can I blame?

Well, you. You know who you are.

  • If you use instant coffee and /or teab*gs at home, you are part of the problem.
  • If you’ve never lectured a restaurant on why they should have great tea, you are part of the problem.
  • If you return to restaurants where there is not good tea, you are part of the problem.
  • If you do not broadcast far and wide, using Foursquare or Facebook Places or any other platform whenever you get a good or bad cup of tea, you are part of the problem.
  • If you do not take tea making accoutrements with you and ostentatiously make tea at the table in places that do not meet your standards, you are part of the problem.

So, let’s have no cause for shame, and no reason for blame, Let’s get every place you might want to eat doing the right thing. The future is in your slightly tannin-stained hands, my friends.

*If you paid attention to the apostrophe placement, you will have read this as two sons with one partner each. Not one son with a harem.

5 thoughts on “No Shame, but Plenty of Blame

  1. What I really want to know is; where is the Persian Love Cake recipe? Feel free to add it to the post immediately.
    As to having bad coffee at home, we don’t have any at all, but most people I know who drink coffee, use coffee beans, or freshly ground beans, not instant. So our friends and family complain of bad coffee in restaurants not at home . Not sure if it’s an Australian thing to have instant, or if it’s just the circles of refined coffee drinkers we move in
    : P
    About broadcasting your experiences on fb or 4sq, I often check reviews from various “eating out” review websites before deciding where to eat.

  2. Thanks for showing us when we are part of the problem but a little “you are part of the solution” would be nice, don’t you think so?

  3. “If you return to restaurants where there is not good tea, you are part of the problem.”

    Sorry. I’m not willing to give up eating out altogether and I fear that living by the above credo would require it around here.

  4. I’m not ready to take my own teapot to a restaurant but I am ready to scowl at anyone who gives me a teab*g. Baby steps.

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