A post of tea

Where there’s tea there’s hope. Tommy's Brew-up Kit

ISO 3103: originally laid down as BS 6008:1980 by the British Standards Institute. Produced by ISO Technical Committee 34 (Food products), Sub-Committee 8 (Tea).
Method for Preparation of a liquor of tea for use in sensory tests (pdf)

Corporal Hancock: Sir. [Offers mug of tea.]
Major General Urquhart: Hancock. I’ve got lunatics laughing at me from the woods. My original plan has been scuppered now that the jeeps haven’t arrived. My communications are completely broken down. Do you really believe any of that can be helped by a cup of tea?
Corporal Hancock: Couldn’t hurt, sir.
Major General Urquhart: [accepts mug of tea.]
A Bridge Too Far, 1977

“The first cup moistens my lips and throat.
The second shatters my loneliness.
The third causes the wrongs of life to fade gently from my recollection.
The fourth purifies my soul.
The fifth lifts me to the realms of the unwinking gods.”
-someone in China between 618–907

“Tea is nought but this:
First you heat the water,
Then you make the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know.”
-Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

“All well-regulated families set apart an hour every morning for tea and bread and butter.”
-Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

“Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? -how did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.”
-Sydney Smith (1771-1845)

“Christopher Robin was home by this time, because it was the afternoon, and he was so glad to see them that they stayed there until very nearly tea-time, and then they had a Very Nearly tea, which is one you forget about afterwards, and hurried on to Pooh Corner, so as to see Eeyore before it was too late to have a Proper Tea with Owl.”
The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne, 1928

George Orwell: When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden:
First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.
A Nice Cup of Tea, Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.

Colin Blythe: “I’m afraid this tea’s pathetic. I must have used these wretched leaves about 20 times. It’s not that I mind so much. Tea without milk is so uncivilised.”
The Great Escape, 1963

“The British have an umbilical cord which has never been cut and through which tea flows constantly. It is curious to watch them in times of sudden horror, tragedy or disaster. The pulse stops apparently, and nothing can be done, and no move made, until ‘a nice cup of tea’ is quickly made. There is no question that it brings solace and does steady the mind. What a pity all countries are not so tea-conscious. World peace conferences would run more smoothly if ‘a nice cup of tea’, or indeed, a samovar were available at the proper time.”
-Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992)

“No serious discussion of British Army food could be considered complete without tea. There were four meals per day: breakfast (morning), dinner (noon), supper (evening), and “tea”, a light meal normally served around 4:00 PM. Tea would be served 2-3 times daily, usually at breakfast and during afternoon tea.
“In 1933, the British Army authorized a daily ration of 2 pounds of loose tea per 100 men.”
“Tea, British Army, 1945”, The Joy of Field Rations

Turlough: “I quite miss that brown liquid they drink here.”
Will Chandler: “Ale?”
Turlough: “No. Tea.”
Will Chandler: “What be tea?”
The Doctor: “Oh, a noxious infusion of oriental leaves containing a high percentage of toxic acid.”
Will Chandler: “Sounds an evil brew, don’t it?”
The Doctor: “True. Personally, I rather like it.”
Doctor Who, “The Awakening”, 1984

Neil Gaiman: “This is the biggest, most important thing to know: For a black tea, you pour boiling water on tea leaves. That’s ninety percent of the art of making a decent cup of tea. Hottish, not boiling, water tends to make a weird tea that’s bitter and weak at the same time, and is no fun to drink. (Boiling water. It’s why God invented the kettle.) It’s the final ten percent of the cup of tea that you’ll get people calling each other heretics for adding the milk (not cream) first, or whether to use teabags or loose tea and whether burning in effigy or a nice box of chocolates was the correct reward for whoever decided adding bergamot oil to tea was a good thing*, or all the other tea things that people like to argue about.”
the last tea post, 6th June 2005

Worf: “Good tea. Nice house”.
ST:tng, 43152.4/51 “The Survivors”, 1987

If I pour your cup, that is friendship.
And if I add your milk, that’s manners.
But If I stop there, claiming ignorance of taste,
That is tea.

But if I measure the sugar
to satisfy your expectant tongue
then that is love,
sitting untouched, and growing cold.
Pale Sun Crescent Moon, “Cold Tea Blues”, Michael Timmins, 1993

Cat Jones: “A mountaineer friend of mine has related the method used by a German climbing partner on the Eiger north face: 1) put water in pan 2) put tea bag in pan 3) put milk powder in pan 4) stir a bit 5) put lid on pan 6) put pan on stove 7) heat pan until not-very-hot 8) drink 9) get all shirty when English climbing partner gets all shirty and exclaims ‘no wonder you lost the war!’ before tipping ‘tea’ down north face.Italian method – boil water in large pasta pan, add one measly weak tea-bag (see aforementioned Lipton’s), continue to boil for a couple of minutes, serve to friend of the British persuasion, get shirty about lack of gratitude shown.”
British tea making skills!, Straight Dope Message Board, 15th November 2005

Mrs. Doyle: Do you think would our new guest like a cup of tea Father? The little sheep fellow.
Ted: I don’t think they drink tea Mrs. Doyle. Not unless you have some special sheep tea. (laughs)
Mrs. Doyle: Yes.
Ted: What?
Mrs. Doyle: I do have some sheep tea in the kitchen.
Ted: Right well em.. Give him some of that then.
Mrs. Doyle: Okay so.
Father Ted, 3.2 “Chirpy Birpy Cheap Sheep”, 1998

“As for adding milk to the tea after it is poured, the [Royal Society of Chemistry] issues a stern scientific warning against the practice. It seems that dribbling a stream of milk into hot water makes “denaturation of milk proteins” more likely. And who would want that? “At high temperatures, milk proteins – which are normally all curled up foetus-like – begin to unfold and link together in clumps. This is what happens in UHT [ultra heat-treated] milk, and is why it doesn’t taste as good a fresh milk,” says Dr Stapley [Dr Andrew Stapley, a chemical engineer at Loughborough University]. It is better to have the chilled milk massed at the bottom of the cup, awaiting the stream of hot tea. This allows the milk to cool the tea, rather than the tea ruinously raise the temperature of the milk.” “How to make a perfect cuppa”, BBC News, 25 June 2003

TV Tropes Useful Notes: Tea and Tea Culture

Tea Dammit! “Do you realize, man, that she might get up from there a bloodthirsty vampire?”
“Oh.” The falconer looked down at the still figure and the smoking anvil. “Good idea to face her with a cup of tea inside you, then,” he said.
Carpe Jugulum, Terry Pratchett, 1999

Tea pot is on, the cups are waiting,
Favorite chairs anticipating,
No matter what I have to do,
My friend there’s always time for you.

2 responses to “A post of tea

  1. there can never ever be too much written about tea

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