A rant on behalf of tea drinkers

Why don’t we have tea-only cafes or at the very least separate queues for coffee and tea when ordering drinks?  I get fed up of being stuck behind people ordering new-fangled coffee – latte, expresso, whatever – which not only takes ages to prepare, but is also often accompanied by a loud gurgling noise and later by a noisy banging as coffee beans or whatever are discarded.  In a small room, the noise can be earth-shattering. 

Why on earth are coffee drinkers following wine drinkers in being pretentious?  At least with tea drinkers, even if one orders a fairly exotic blend, it doesn’t take ages to prepare and the drinker doesn’t make a song and dance about it (‘the camomile was soooo soothing’).  It’s bad enough that the consumption of coffee exceeds that of tea in this country, but let us at least make sure that true traditionalist tea drinkers are not discriminated against by noisy bourgeois coffee drinkers.

If no one shares my view, then the title can be amended to ‘tea drinker’.  I shall fight the good fight regardless. 

Right, got that off my chest – time for a cup of tea.

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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13 Responses to A rant on behalf of tea drinkers

  1. Well said Prof. Norton and I agree totally. There are times when tea drinkers are treated like second-class citizens.

  2. Tea drinker says:

    Get off my lawn!

  3. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,
    Chinese tea house culture is one of the wonders of the world. Drinking fine teas chosen at the counter is one of many delights. Perhaps an act of a good globalism would be to promote a British version. In modern China they are not all formal tea ceremonies and traditional dress. Some would be quite suitable as inspiration or grounds for imitation,,,

  4. carokinkead says:

    I’ll happily second that idea — though I despair of ever seeing it implemented here in the US, where the fact I’m a tea drinker, not a coffee drinker, is often met with amazement. Frequently, I’m met with a choice of Lipton or, well, Lipton, though there are a few places who are now offering a choice — even if it sometimes take a bit of convincing that yes, you really do want tea and not whatever bean they’re featuring today.

  5. I really dislike it when you order a cup of tea in a restaurant and are given a mug of hot water and a tea bag. I understand people like their tea different strengths but this is just wrong. Give me a teapot at least.

  6. ladytizzy says:

    It would be helpful to discover whether coffee drinkers experience similar levels of discomfort as described; maybe the smell and the sounds are evocative of a lazy, hot summer spent near the Med (or Seattle).

    Meanwhile, have you considered a Thermos? Catching up with tweeting while in the queue? Or sitting to be waited upon in a tea shop?

    Good news may be around the corner: last year, the number of cafes on the high street are down 11%, tea shops up 9%.
    http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/about-us/press-releases/high-street-2012/

  7. D F Rostron says:

    I’m with you on that one, nothing beats a nice pot of tea, with, in my case, too much sugar (cane not beet) for most, but that’s the working class bit coming out.

  8. Lord Norton says:

    I appear to have hit a nerve, not least (interestingly enough) among American readers.

    carokinkead: I am very familiar with the problems in the USA, though as Ilona Wheldale England indicates, we now face similar problems across here.

    ladytizzy: Good to know the number of tea shops has increased. Finding them is always a problem. The last really nice one I found was in Warwick. I would love there to be a really good, old-fashioned tea-shop in Hull or surrounding area (am I missing something?). Sitting waiting for a pot of good tea in a tea shop is a delight.

    D. F. Rostron: You probably don’t beat one of my students from many, many years ago who used to put six spoonfuls of sugar in each cup of tea! Using unrefined cane sugar is at least a good move.

  9. Neil M says:

    Well, its good to know that the tea drinker “doesn’t make a song and dance about it” Certainly no evidence of that here! The gurgling that you hear may simply be the steam coming out of your ears so I would advise cutting down on your consumption.
    A fairly simple solution that would not require any real segregation would be to depute the person taking the money to throw the teabag in a cup and leave the person operating the coffee machine to focus on those who have the temerity to demand their small, dry, extra hot latte with an additional shot and the sugar fee syrup.
    Personally, I get far more annoyed with those who have spent time queuing and then seem totally taken by surprise by the ordering and payment process when they get to the front.

  10. macarthursmutterings says:

    We won’t see you ordering a skinny chai latte any day soon then 😉

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