Saturday, June 21, 2003


Will be sure to stay clear of UHT in future. I find that anything less than semi-skimmed is just not cricket. Full fat can often split with the heat of your lovely cha and leave a greasy residue on the surface, and cream in your tea is just for senile old women and the Cornish isn't it?

Decided last week to try something a little bit special and made myself a cup of tea using Evian. Big mistake...due to the high mineral content of the water it leaves a very nasty looking film on the surface of my delicious beverage and spoiled what could of otherwise been something quite wonderful. After some careful experimentation I found that this is true of all bottled waters, including the water found in office "coolers". It may claim to be "Perfect bottled purity" but trust me, using mineral water will win you no friends.

I would predict that Southerers will experience something similar when using hard water. This leaves them in somewhat of a quandary. If hard water, mineral water and water from the office cooler resulting in the "floatsam syndrome" what are they to do? Other than a pipeline laid from my kitchen tap to various kettles around the capital I think it safe to assume that the majority of Southerners are right royally buggered when it comes to making a decent cup of tea. My heart goes out to you all. Give a southerner a chanceTM is arguably the greatest concept since Dr Barnado felt it was time to do the decent thing for urchins. A nobel prize is surely on the cards for you Matt.

A colleague (in London, bless him) raised an interesting point concerning biscuit etiquette recently, namely biscuit loss. When a biscuit is overdunked resulting its premature demise to Davey Jones locker at the bottom of the mug is it a faux pas to retrieve this with one's fingers and carry on drinking or should one give up on that particular cup and start again? Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

In an interesting aside, I found myself in a job interview in London recently and received quizical looks when I mentioned that a tea making rota would be crucial in ensuring my long term commitment to the firm. This was within a large investment banking firm who deal with transactions of billions of dollars every day yet it never occured to my erudite contempories how employee morale might be bolstered by providing them with decent cups of tea on a regular basis. Who in their right mind would entrust their considerable amounts of hard earned to a suit with coffee breath that could strip paint? If I was handing over my life savings to be invested on my behalf I'd want to know that it was with a man I could trust, a man of honour, a man of dignity, a man of moral fortitude. In short.....a tea drinker.

Whatever happened to the tea ladies who wandered around large offices serving tea out of giant urns and had a decent selection of biscuits available? Bring back the tea ladies with their trolleys of delight!!!

For all you Southerners, I want to get the "give a southerner a chance TM" charity campaign off the ground. I shall be in London again at the start of the week and I shall be bringing with me a large bottle of Northern water and some Yorkshire Gold bags. If you would like a cup of delicous Northern tea, made by own fair hand, you can find me in Islington mocking the patrons of the nearest Starbucks (I'll be the one in the balaclava with the pick axe handle and fine china mug brimming with hot cha).

Chin chin,

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