Here’s a little something that a grad student in my post-doc lab made for me back in 2003. I had a kidney infection and was banned from drinking tea for two whole weeks.
I don’t know if you can read it, but the label below the tea bag says
“in case of emergency, break glass”.
(The thing next to it is the plush lymphocyte that Mr E Man got me at Christmas. It’s wearing a Nature Network button. Did I mention that I’m a geek?)
I love tea. Mostly what I would call “proper tea”, which goes by the strange name of orange pekoe in North America. This caused me no end of confusion on my first day in Vancouver. Jetlagged beyond all belief, I stopped at a Blenz
outlet on my way to my new lab for the first time, and asked for “a large tea please”.
Barrista: “What kind of tea?”
CAE: “Just tea.”
CAE: “Normal tea. Tea tea.”
Barrista: “You mean orange pekoe?”
CAE: “No, normal tea. Black tea. Not orange flavour.”
Barrista: “That’s orange pekoe.”
CAE: “No it isn’t.”
Barrista: “Yes it is.”
CAE: “No it isn’t.”
Barrista: “I’ll just make some orange pekoe and you can tell me if that’s what you wanted.”
CAE: “Oh, this is normal tea. Erm, thanks. And sorry.”
I did wonder what the hell I’d got myself into. The Bryan Adams CD I’d been subjected to over breakfast at my hotel didn’t help either.
But worse was to come.
Did you know that some Canadians don’t have kettles?!! Yes, it’s true. I had to buy one in my first week. Apparently some of them make tea using a microwave, FFS. (Yes Dr G, I’m talking about YOU). There’s no death penalty in Canada, but if there was… they’d be next in line after the folks who serve tea by giving you a cup of warm water and a tea bag. People! You make tea by pouring boiling (not boiled) water onto the tea. Any other way is unacceptable. You’ll only get repeat tea-drinking business from me if you do it properly.
Thankfully, Canadian supermarkets sell Tetley tea (and Branston Pickle, no less) so I can make my own.
I also like all kinds of herbal tea. My usual weekday regime is a big mug of proper tea in the morning before work (with a little bit of milk and no sugar),
Home tea stash. The silver caddy is stuffed with proper (Tetley) tea bags.
a cup of fruity tea, a cup of minty tea, and another cup of proper tea throughout the day at work,
Work tea stash. I have my own kettle on my desk and keep my milk in the nearby fridge. The mug is a gift from Mermaid and the text inside says: “n. having more creative ability while drinking tea”. This sums up my performance in my last job, where I had all my best ideas while either drinking tea or riding my bike.
and sometimes another fruity or minty cup in the evening. I’m drinking the last of the black cherry tea right now. I do drink green tea, but only very occasionally. I’m not quite sure why I have so much of it.
Most Saturday mornings involve sharing a big pot of tea with Mr E Man while we tackle the New York Times crossword in the local paper. This is the best part of the week.
What we’re really missing over here is a tea blend that’s optimised for the local water, a la Yorkshire Tea
, Scottish Blend
etc. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to develop my own blend and become the Tea Queen of Canada. Kneel before me, ye Colonials…