Thursday, January 20, 2011

You guzzle your coffee... I'll sip my tea...

I think I once overdosed on Caffeine! It was in the final year of my degree. I had to hand an essay in on John Steinbeck's 'The Grapes of Wrath' the next day. I hadn't even read the book! Have you seen the size of it? It is thick. They don't call it an epic novel for nothing. It took a considerable amount of Coke (the cola kind), coffee and pro plus to stay awake to read that and then write an essay. It took all night and all day. It took longer for me to finally have a good night's sleep afterwards!
After that I could not drink coffee without feeling very dizzy. I haven't drank coffee for over 20 years. The coffee madness has passed me by. The bewildering list of coffee concoctions at Starbucks is a long way from the jar of Red Mountain I had to hide from the other students I shared a house with. I think I can be forgiven - but Hubby wont be- for going into a coffee shop in Lyme Regis and ordering, on his behalf at his request, a 'frappa mocha chiato'. He stood outside peering in through the window laughing most heartily at my stupidity for ordering it! He had made it up! I actually think if I went into Starbucks in the states they would make him one (whatever it was!!!) How, living so close to the beautiful cafe culture of Europe, especially Italy, did we allow the crass American cawfeeeee-to-go culture invade Britain? Like many things in America, the selling and drinking of coffee suffers from excess. Starbucks has, apparently just started selling a new 'Trenta' coffee cup . Trenta means 30 in Italian. The cup holds almost a litre of coffee - more than the capacity of the average adult stomach! Good jawb we're not dealing with average sizes.
Americans appear not to be able to go anywhere without a 'to-go' cup - that is a take-away cup with a lid on. The cups seem to either contain coffee or wine. They stand at the bus stop to wave their kids off with their coffee. I feel like Victor Meldew on this one - It drives me unreasonably insane. No one lives further than 2 minutes from the bus stop. The bus is on time nearly all of the time. If they left their cup at home it would still be hot when they waved young Tammy and Todd off on the bus. Leave it at home!!! Show some restraint! They drive drinking coffee too which I have also blogged about and find very irritating!
As for my cuppa, I drink tea! I suppose I let the side down for 'British' tea - I dont exactly have builder's tea but I am working on the bulider's bum!!! I am very particular about my tea. It has to be weak, with just the right amount of milk, and if possible it has to be PG Tips! I was most excited when I finally found a box in a store here! (even if it was quadruple the price!). I have learned through bitter experience that it is a total waste of time and hope to order tea anywhere. Even when the waiters seem to understand and even tell me it is British tea, it ends in bitter disappointment. I have taken to carrying around my own tea bags and ordering hot water and milk and making my own. I sip my tea and observe the madness!


  1. from Jason
    Well Ms Jane, I have made u a few cups of (weak) tea during your time at school. I'm sure your PG tips would dunk more than one cup if only you had somewhere to put the hot tea bag!

  2. Don't worry i have a large box of PG tips to bring with me. Not a huge fan of coffee myself and i only drink 1cup of tea a day, so i am bringing my brand of fruit tea and i promise i will not take it to the bus when i see the children off to school. Good idea about dunking yor tea bag twice!!

  3. I did my English thingy on Grapes of Wrath rather than Thomas Hardys stuff. Got free tickets for the remake of True Grit next week. Same night as my beloved Derby County play Ipswich. Bugger!

  4. Hey Jason- I miss our tea breaks from the Madness of the day!
    The thought of weak tea prompted me to amend the blog and mention builders tea!!!

    Good to see you visiting Ken

  5. From Debbie B
    I hope you took your best china teacups and teapot and have shown them how to have proper afternoon tea in traditional English style.