Refreshing the parts

I wonder when I first started drinking tea? I never drank it as a child at home, but in fact I have no memory of drinking it at all until maybe I’d left home and was a student. But did I? I can’t associate it with anything at all, my first cup of tea. I do wonder because i drink a lot of it now, with a little milk – and tea in first not milk in first. That is another thing, at home my parents always put the milk in first – so when I started tea drinking why didn’t I follow them? I think I know the answer to that – at home we only had loose tea but when I first started drinking it, whenever and wherever that was, I would have used teabags.

Another thing which seems strange now thinking about it, I don’t think my family used a tea strainer – there were always tea leaves in the bottom of the cups (not mugs, we didn’t have mugs then) It seemed the normal thing to do because of course how would you read your fortune in your tea leaves if there were no tea leaves? Also, there were no tea bags then! These days we use leaf tea and we use a strainer!

At home my parents only used ‘proper’ ground coffee in a percolator – but it was cut with chicory because I guess they couldn’t afford pure coffee. Instant coffee was a novelty, apart from Camp Coffee, made with all milk.  When Nescafé first appeared it was in a small flat tin, I think it was a two ounce tin, but I might be mistaken. It was only for occasional use, and probably (though I’m not sure) made with warm milk. By the time I was a teenager instant coffee was more available, but it was when I was with some student friends that I first came across dried milk – but that’s another story!

Back to tea… I think it was probably when I got together with my husband that tea drinking became a bit more of a thing; we both love tea (and beer!) but first thing in the morning, if we’re thirsty during the day, then tea is the thing, and i confess we do have very large mugs. Our non-tea drinking daughter is mystified, but tea for us is the most refreshing drink (apart from beer, yes. I’m repeating myself!) To misquote from an old advert, “tea refreshes the parts other drinks cannot reach!”


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