In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Tea is my drug of choice. Here's my favourite brand in fact; Typhoo.
I like it strong and sweet, which I'm told is referred to in the UK as 'builder's tea.' Whatever, that airy-fairy flavourless nonsense the tea snobs go on about isn't worth bothering with. I let mine steep for a good 6 minutes and 30 seconds (longer and it gets bitter). I set a timer so I don't forget it.

Unlike beer, tea goes well with both a bacon sandwhich and a donut. Coffee will too, I suppose, but unless the dessert is really rich and can fight back, I find coffee to be a bit of a brute, bludeoning the palate into submission.

I credit the ritual of stopping for tea in the afternoon when home from work with strengthening, if not actually, saving my marriage. The schedules may change but the Mrs. and I still look for times to have a good cuppa (hopefully with tea snacks too) together. Now that the children are older and have developed an appreciation for hot caffeinated beverages they join us. Sometimes they're having chai or even coffee, but the results are the same.

A few year's back my family gave me an enormous teapot for Christmas. I had asked for one 'as big as my head' and they found one.

Sometimes when I have a lot of friends over for a gaming session, everyone wants tea and a regular teapot just won't do. But this fellow holds a good 10 cups. Recently my very talented daughter knit a cozy for it. It's a manly Scotch thistle pattern. She has plans to do a bunny cozy next.


  1. Very manly. Would have been better with a scarlet dragon on green and white field, but hey...

    What is it with not having any ice for your tea in the UK? Is there a refrigeration shortage? Last time I was there (admitted: 20 years ago), it was all I could do to get a glass of iced tea. Hopefully you barbarians have seen the error, etc., etc.

  2. It is hard to be manly with anything to do with tea cozies. This was the pattern she found and it has the benefit of being expandable to accomodate my oversized tea pot.

    I guess iced tea never really caught on in the UK, but then they don't get the really hot stinky summers we do in North America. I'm not sure what the popular summer time drinks in the UK are; lemonade? various fizzy drinks? I must ask my British emigre friend, Peter.

    I was appalled when I first went to the US (PA and WI) that ice tea isn't neccessarily sweetened. I guess up here in Canada we actually drink 'southern' style iced tea.

  3. I'm on Vancouver Island in BC, Canada . . . and my darling wife tries to keep two 2-liter jugs of iced tea in the 'fridge for me. I'm currently drinking some (a mix of green and white tea with mint). Very refreshing . . . even when it isn't summertime.

    -- Jeff

  4. I'm impressed..I am a Twinnings Irish Breakfast man myself and drink it unsweetened..a 10 cup pot, very excellent indeed

  5. Twinnings is nice, but a bit expensive. I sometimes get a tin at Christmas for a treat (English or Irish Breakfast or Earl Grey).

    The 10 cup pot is essential for those gaming nights when everyone wants tea!

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  7. Hi James,

    Just a quick note from ye merrie olde England.

    Regarding your comments on tea, this is normally consumed piping hot whatever the weather. Most people will have been told from childhood that, on a hot day, “a nice cup of tea will cool you down.” but I expect this is an excuse so as not to give kids too many sugary soft drinks.

    Iced tea has always seemed more popular in the colonies as it never seems to sell well over here. Several companies, such as the Snapple, have tried to launch ready-to-drink versions but they have never seemed to have much success.

    Builder’s tea generally refers to strongly brewed tea served with milk and sugar in a mug (rather than the stereotypical fine bone china which is rarely used). Even a quality blended tea sold as ‘English Breakfast’ or English Afternoon’ would be described as builder’s tea if served this way.

    The vast majority of people still drink ‘normal’ tea, made with teabags, from companies such PG tips, Tetley’s Yorkshire, Ty-phoo etc. not the ‘posh’ blends such as Earl Grey, Lapsang Sushong and chamomile.

    Hope this helps.

  8. Truly a civilised, man :o)

    B.t.w - my family always laugh at me when I say no to chocolate "as it will spoil the taste of my beer"!!