Some You Win…

Each of us has a set of personal rules and standards that govern what we do with regards to the teas we will drink: the when and why.Never be too timid to try a new tea. You should be more afraid of missing out on what might become your new favourite tea.

For example; I do not drink tea made from teab*gs. A quick summation of why:

  1. On average, tea in teab*gs is of vastly inferior quality
  2. Operations growing this inferior tea tend to have far more exploitative work practices
  3. Paper teab*gs adversely affect the taste of tea
  4. Teab*gs sold as “silky” or “silken” are a con

Another common dislike amongst the tea drinking fraternity is a hatred of ready-to-drink iced teas, often called RTDs. These tend to have little actual tea in them, but a whole lot of sugar and various chemicals you would not necessarily choose to add to your cuppa.

When out and about, my preference is for a cup of fresh brewed loose leaf tea. Or possibly freshly brewed iced tea.

If I find a place that has neither, the usual response is to go elsewhere. If I find a place that has loose leaf tea, I will tend to order a cuppa even of I actually want a cold drink, because loose leaf needs to be encouraged everywhere.

But sometimes it gets tricky.

Yesterday we visited a little hipster deli/lunch bar we have visited before. The place has about 20 large jars, each with a capacity of about a kilo of tea. They are clearly sourced from multiple vendors.

I was a little uncomfortable. In the year or more that has elapsed, I don’t think the tea jars had appreciably declined in contents. In such a coffee-centred culture that’s not a huge surprise.

As it was warm and we had been strolling for hours, I had a look at the cold drinks fridge. There was a new kind of RTD, one of the more “authentic” iced tea products made with brewed tea. Rather than risk the stale jars, I could try this.

But no!  A check of ingredients shows lemon juice in all flavours. I was foiled by my allergy.

So I reverted to plan ‘A’ and ordered a silver needle. It was very poor. Not enough tea was used, and the tea was indeed quite stale.

I could have had a teab*g at any of a dozen other venues on that street. Or a Coke. Or a hot chocolate.

But no, I let principle guide me, and I did not enjoy it.

It might sound like I lost out.

But on the other hand, three hours earlier we lunched at a bakery that offered 10 loose leaf teas. I chose “Scottish Caramel Tea” at random, because it was such an unlikely combination of words. Turned out to be a pu-er infused with vanilla and caramel.

And it was delicious.

You win some, you lose some, and whilst I’d prefer to win, you have to be prepared to lose sometimes.


5 thoughts on “Some You Win…

  1. My mother and I went to a famous hotel known for their tea ceremonies. Granted, we were there after such ceremonies, but we chose to stop and have tea anyway.

    Tetley’s. In a bag.


    1. I hate it when you get teab*gs in a five star hotel. There’s the inevitable getting rid of the fuel cans and other evidence, the removal of CCTV footage, the carefully constructed alibi etc.

  2. I wonder why that tea was called Scottish caramel? With ingredients such as Pu’er, Vanilla and caramel I can’t spot anything that’s remotely Scottish.
    As to the bags, my local grocery store has just stopped selling any loose leaf teas they had, and now only sells bags. Sad. But remind me to blind test you one day, to see if you can detect every single bagged tea over a loose leaf cuppa.
    I’m kinda curious how I’d do too.
    Glad to see you writing. Means a lot!

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