Wednesday, January 9, 2008


It’s raining outside. The day is cold and grey. In a little while I will leave the house to go pick up the kids from school. We will walk home in the rain and get moderately soggy, in spite of our use of umbrellas. Once home, we will all change clothes, put on some fresh, warm socks and I will put the kettle on for a good cup of tea (properly called “a cuppa”).

The kids will have English breakfast tea. Two scoops of sugar and cut with milk. Heather and I will have a steaming cuppa PG Tips (black with sugar, which makes the Brits detest us for defiling a veritable English institution). All the same, it will be just what the doctor ordered.

We will nibble on a cinnamon flavored biscuit (“cookie” to you Americans). We will sip our tea, snuggle under a blanket while lounging on our comfortable couches, chat, laugh and take in our warm, red wall in the living room. It will be cozy.

This, in my mind, is what it means to “have a cuppa”.

Care to join us?

As all good granddaughters of British grandmothers, I have been drinking tea since I was a little girl, in my little plastic tea set. Even though coffee is my favorite, there is nothing like a good cup of tea in the afternoon, especially if you can get your hands on some good shortbread to go along with it.

Even though my grandma taught me how to make tea properly, with a warmed teapot, and a tea cozy and circular pouring of the water, most of the time, we do the uncouth tea bag in a cup version. We have a very nice selection of tea in our cupboard. Troy’s favorite is Earl Grey, which I turn up my nose at, because I think it tastes like flowers. (I’m aware that may be the intended taste.)

I like plain old black tea, Tetley, or PG Tips, or even Mark’s and Spencer’s brand. But there is one thing that I cannot abide, and that is milk in my tea. Yes, I drank it like that when I was a child, but as the Bible says “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” And, there is scientific proof to prove milky tea is an abomination unto the Lord. But I’m not gloating.

And if you like spicy tea, nothing beats Good Earth Sweet and Spicy. I need to get me some of that.

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