Monday, 25 February 2013

Tea drinkers

Bernard Salt's item in the Weekend Australian about tea drinkers attracted my attention.  He said that tea people have been conditioned to expect less than coffee people.  Apparently, in an earlier piece he used the expression "second-class citizens". The direct link is mostly behind the paywall, but you can also see a summary of the recent item on his Facebook page.

He's right, of course.    You get swirly designs on the top of your flat white, but tea drinkers are lucky if they get a coloured tea-bag tag dangling over the side of their cup.

And coffee drinkers get attention from "caffeine dealers" (see image)! 
I usually drink coffee (although these days, not after 6 pm because it seems to affect my sleep), so I'm not a tea drinker.  However, it seems to me that things are a bit out of balance here.   The wide choice of flavours offered to tea drinkers hardly seems adequate to redress the balance.

Salt says that he has recently been lured into drinking coffee, at least in public.  In other words, he is now bi-drinkual.   This sounds like capitulation, although Salt claims the reason is that he found he liked coffee after all (while visiting Cuba).  


  1. By definition a tea bag is floor sweepings done up in a suspicious envelope (literally- I have seen the being collected on a Sri Lanka tea estate- sold at a profit margin that would make old time tobacco companies envious, and further loaded in imbiberies with a service charge for heating water and carrying it to table.If you want a cup of real tea don't buy it in a cafe. If you like tea you need graded loose leaves, freshish. At home, disregarding exotic things perfumed with herbs and spices, we have T2 high quality Assam at breakfast, first quality japanese style green tea that we buy in bulk by mail from Bright (or sometimes Chinese West Lake green tea) in the rest of daylight, and Darjeeling selected estate after dinner. This is not snobsville, it's just like choosing wine there is too little time on earth to drink rubbish when not necessary.

  2. Supplementary note from my domestic tea adviser: T2 sells quality loose leaf tea enclosed in a fine gauze pyramidal envelope for those who can't handle larger quantities of loose tea, or want easy disposal of spent leaves.