Friday, January 11, 2008

Tea Time

What is it with tea? I live in France, but I drink English tea every morning. The tea thing started back in Washington, DC. Ken drank tea and I picked up the habit. The English tea thing started later, in San Francisco, when we discovered PG Tips.

In the nifty pyramid bag!

I'm not a fanatic. The tea thing goes in cycles. I've had whole years without tea, only coffee. I don't buy exotic teas. I don't buy loose tea. Just these everyday supermarket tea bags from England called PG Tips.

These days, most mornings in our house begin with a pot of PG Tips. Sometimes one of us will make a pot of coffee, but that's the exception and not the rule.

I don't do elevensies. I don't take tea at four o'clock. I don't eat crumpets (not that I wouldn't). I like my tea like I like my coffee: black. No sugar, no milk. Just tea. Two cups a day. In the morning. I used to put a lump of sugar in my tea but no more. I also went through a honey stage. But now it's just black. I can actually taste the tea and I like it.

Do you get PG Tips where you live? In Australia? In Hong Kong? In Canada? In South Africa? We find it in some stores here in the French countryside. There are enough English people living in and visiting the region that our stores have a few shelves of British food items. Including PG Tips tea.



  1. Desolée, no PG Tips in Anniston, AL which does have lots of Lipton for our sweet tea.

    I once had Aussie neighbors who "ate tea" in the evenings which really was their supper.

  2. I like tea very much, but I like sugar even more. So I put a lot of the latter into the former. I get the best of both worlds! Here in the States, I have a hard time finding my favorite Lapsang Souchong. "Je regarde en avant" to buy a lot of it when in Paris this spring and bring it back here, as usual!

  3. CHM, we saw an interesting use for Lapsang Souchong tea on a cooking show the other day. You make a pot of it and then use it as a cooking liquid, with onions, carrots, bay leaves, etc., for a chicken. I'm going to try it soon.

  4. Is Lapsang Souchong the one that has a bouquet of...asphalt? Guess it's an acquired taste that I have not acquired.

  5. You, Gentlemen, made my day ( well it is grey and slushy out there).
    On Ken's site I nearly drowned my key board with coffee when I read CHM comment about Taylor's wine and now a bouquet of tar :-)

    Seriously there are some good one upstate and even in Quebec these days ( even an Ice Wine)

    as far as "eating tea" I believe that Evelyn means " High Tea" as per the English definition: a combination of Afternoon Tea and evening meal.

  6. Of course, we have PG Tips in Toronto. Some parts of the city are still quite British.
    I grew up very French in Montreal. We drank thé noir mais JAMAIS en sachets. There was a ritual about making tea. My mother bought tea leaves.She put 5ml per cup in a boule à infuser or she used une passoire to serve the tea.One of my aunts could "read" tea leaves. Then we would not strain the tea and when the liquid would be drunk, she would look in our cup and tell each one of us what would happen during that week.It was always a romantic story! I miss my mother's tea parties...

  7. Yes, Chrissoup, you are right. Lapsang Souchong tea is advertised as having a smoky flavor. It certainly is an acquired taste. If you had been here in Imperial County after one if the rare occasions where we had rain you would know the very distinctive fragrance of the Creosote bush. It is also a very special smell that I like. But make tea from its leaves....

    Ken, I can't wait to have that recipe of Chinese chicken. Do you have to serve it at five in the afternoon with scones?

  8. Beaver, you are so right. The Aussies had a sort of high tea which was their dinner. My friend would call it tea and they would eat their tea. I had never heard of such.

    They were great neighbors who had some great names for things- they called chickens, chooks, rang us up, said "righto", etc.

  9. These are truly terrific comments. I didn't know anything so mundane as tea would spark such a fun discussion!

  10. Tea, mundane? The British will come after you, Walt.
    Listen to Charles Dickens:
    "My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clean the muddle of a head, I should better understand your affairs."


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