Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coffee has spoiled the tea party

LOL. I sympathize with the guy below. I have been drinking tea all my life that I can remember and still think there is nothing like it. Brisbane cafes do generally have some choice of tea but it is all fancy-pants stuff. So when the waiter asks me what tea I want I usually say: "Bushells, the tea of flavour". I never get it

ARE we tea drinkers second-class citizens? Let me elaborate. I'm an eight-cups-a-day tea drinker. No milk, no sugar, simply black. Orange pekoe, Darjeeling first flush, oolong and then green tea. Yet most cafes and restaurants have menus with endless variations of coffee. You know the usual trendy drinks such as lattes, mugacino, cappuccino, espresso macchiato and cafe con leche. But where's the tea? If you are lucky there will be one or two types listed at the bottom of the blackboard - usually English breakfast or Earl Grey.

If you want further proof of our lower ranking on the citizenship scale, watch what happens after you have had your meal. The waiter always asks if anyone wants coffee. Do they ever ask if anyone would like tea? Rarely. And how about the look they give when you are the only one in your group who says "Can I have some tea?" They look in shock and puzzlement and say, "Yes, I think we may have English breakfast and Earl Grey." You go for the English breakfast because daring to ask for Darjeeling is likely to offend.

And then observe who gets served first. That's right - the coffee drinkers. Out comes their little cups of froth decorated with designs of fern or eucalypt leaves, or something that resembles a love heart. And then out comes the tea. I would say nine out of 10 times out comes a tea bag stuck in the small cup (to really make matters worse watch how often it is served in a glass mug . is there no shame?) Of course you may be lucky and have it served in a pot with the tea-bag label dangling out for all to see.

But occasionally you get the five-star service you really want and deserve. Real tea leaves in a white china pot and a petite fine china cup and saucer. But such quality is rare.


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