The Tuesday Muse – Tea Time.


Ahh tea time. 4pm. The kettle’s hot, the teapot’s ready for filling, and there is a full cake stand.

Except – when does this ever happen?

Never. Unless you have high tea at fancy school, or it’s the holidays, or you’re retired. Or if you finish work at 3:30, like me.

Tea? Coffee? Obviously tea, but which one? I’m not sure if there’s too many teas, or the selection is just brilliant. I am partial to a certain weird one called Lapsang Souchong – it’s made by smoking the leaves over burning pine needles – but Assam is just fine. I have qualms with English Breakfast, because if you’re going to blend things, surely you should make your own blend? Hence antique tea caddies with two compartments for two teas, that you can choose the amount of which you blend with. But I suppose it will do if there’s nothing else.

Now – milk? Yes? No? Yes with generic Indian tea, huge no to Earl Grey and others. You know, the ones where milk ruins the taste. Even though people insist on it. At work, I frequently get odd looks if I ask if milk is required in someone’s Earl Grey – as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world to add it. Weird people. Having said that, one bird was posh enough to ask for a slice of lemon the other day. Even I don’t do that.

No one has time to make cake anymore either. This I regard as a great shame as homemade cake is so much nicer than shop-bought. Found a marvellous recipe from Hugh which is a regular sponge where you weigh the eggs (in the shells) and however much they weigh, you use the same amount of sugar, butter and flour. Basically it sounds like a pound cake, but it turns out excellent, and much nicer than pound cake sounds. There seems to be a currently craze of cute cupcake things going on, like tea and cake time is the quaintest thing in the world and we just HAVE to have tea darling! But really – huge slab of freaking awesome cake? Or tiny cupcake that is a fifth of the size? Man cake or poncy girly cake? I ask you.

I know it's not exactly "trad" but it IS awesome 😀

Having said that, cake is not the only option. Crumpets? I think so. Muffins also, but not really scones… And what’s with clotted cream? Just no. Not really cookies either – they’re more a “with milk” thing, or a midnight option, but tea and cookies don’t sound well together, so the likelihood is that they won’t go well together. Not like cake does.

I feel we should all be allowed tea time. Even my dad (who saves lives every day in the hospital) has tea time. Things are so civilised in the NHS. I’m sure someone will say that NHS workers shouldn’t have tea time as it’s our taxes paying for it – but whatever. Free health service? Yes please. Tea, being “what made Dr Watson and the British Empire what it is today”, is the cornerstone of comfort, and is a lovely way to start and end the day. Always best at 4pm with cake though.

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One Response

  1. Ah, but you are forgetting the possibility of a very large cupcake. That surely changes the equation? I will say though, both are excellent, especially with tea.

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