Friday, January 21

Tasha Dhanraj breaks the myth of tea

- May 22, 2012

Not drinking tea is incredibly difficult in a country where you can’t even get your toenails cut without being offered a cuppa. It is such a quintessential part of existing in the UK that not drinking it sometimes makes me feel like a pariah. Also not drinking coffee means that whenever I bump into some faint acquaintance in the street and have to lie about wanting to hang out more, I also have to lie about wanting to pop over for a cup of tea, or grab a cup of coffee sometime.

“I hate to break it to you but you’ve all been lied to”

When I was growing up, tea was always a grown up drink. I still remember the day that I realised my cousin drank tea and thinking “Is that allowed?” My whole life I’d been a hot chocolate kind of girl. It was only a couple of years ago that I got over my in built apprehension and tried a cup with milk, no sugar. I hate to break it to you, but you’ve all been lied to – tea is disgusting. You only drink it in case there’s another war and you need to seem patriotic enough to your neighbours to avoid being labelled a spy.

I do like chai tea though. Luckily, chai is alternative enough for the good people of Brighton to stock it in every café between Portslade and Peacehaven. However, it’s not when out and about that I have troubles. It’s that awful, pompous, middle-class prat that I embody when at someone’s house, I have to respond to the supposedly innocent question; “Would you like a cup of tea?” With, “Oh, I don’t suppose you have any chai do you? That’s the only tea I drink”.

I’ve had to carry bags of chai tea with me wherever I go, just in case I get in that awkward situation. I’ve even considered pretending I’m allergic to black tea leaves, but can have chai because the cinnamon and cloves act as the antidote.

I just wish that the rest of the world could be honest with themselves that they hate normal tea, then everyone could storm the Twining’s factory and demand that they started filling Every Day Tea boxes with chai teabags. Imagine what a lovelier place Britain could be. Until then, please don’t offer me a cup of tea unless you have chai. Just save the awkwardness and offer me some Ribena and we can all carry on our lives a lot happier.

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1 comment

  1. May 23, 2012 by Rahie

    Thank you SO much for writing this! I’ve always wondered how the majority of the world could stand tea–I thought there was a trick to it or something. I’m just great with a good old fashion water bottle.

    Fun fact for you–‘chai’ means ‘tea’ in Hindi, so it’s like ‘tea tea’, which is awkward.

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