I had a whole bunch of different topics I was looking at writing about this week. They were all very serious, and in light of recent political events I decided that serious things could wait. It’s been a hard week and writing something a little light-hearted seemed more appropriate. We live in dark times, but don’t worry, there’s nothing a good cup of tea cannot fix!
Yes, that does mean I’m about to write a blog post about tea. Strap in, this is going to be one hell of a ride.
I’ve been drinking tea in one form or another from a very early age. One of my earliest memories is being at my great Grandma’s house after school and having a cup of tea poured for me sat at her kitchen table. She used to brew it in a proper tea pot, and pour the milk and sugar into the cups before hand. I’ve never seen that practice again, but I tell you it made the best cups of tea. The only issue with it that I can remember is that young Stephen here, used to run around the table drinking the sweetened milk before Nan could put the tea in.
Tea has been my companion through many difficult times. It was there when I was studying for my A-levels. It was there when I was cramming essays at university and pulling all nighters. It was there when I was crunching on numerous games, working twelve hour days to get content finished. I remember when I was attacked in my home town of Blackpool by a group of chavs, and when I got home my Dad made me a cup of tea with plenty of sugar to, “calm the nerves”.
It’s both a practical drink, giving you a caffeine boost when you need it, and also a comfort drink. It’s my go to hot beverage, and although I am quite fond of coffee, tea will always be my number one.
You would think that being this fond of tea would make me somewhat of an expert on the different types, tastes, flavours, and brands. Well it doesn’t. I pretty much stick to one brand these days and that’s Yorkshire Tea. It’s good, strong tea and that’s what you want. I’m not really picky about it though, I’ll drink other brands if that’s whats on offer, but when I buy it in I try and get Yorkshire.
I drink black tea with a little milk and one sugar. This is the only way to drink it in my view. Two sugars is too much and having more milk makes it too weak.
It’s joked about a lot, but tea is such a fundamental part of British culture. I think it’s becoming less so, but most of my friends and colleagues enjoy a good cuppa. Even in game studios that I’ve worked there has been a group of us who all convene at the same time each day to share a brew and have a chat about work we’re doing or life in general. It might seem silly, but there is something unifying about sharing tea with like minded people.
It’s not just black tea, however, that I drink. In more recent years I have grown a taste for green tea. Right now I would say I drink about 50/50 black to green tea, but I would like to drink more green than black.
The reasons for this are that I take green tea with nothing added, so it doesn’t have sugar or anything else mixed in which makes it a little better for me. There’s also the numerous health benefits green tea offers over black tea, while also having less caffeine in it. Overall green tea is a healthier drink and I enjoy it, so drinking more of it appeals to me. That being said, I don’t think I’ll ever stop drinking black tea. It’s just part of who I am.
What green tea do I drink? Well I’m enjoying Twinning’s at the moment. I like the pure green tea, but I also dabble in ones that are infused with other things, such as ginger, lemon, and jasmine. I’ve heard there are plenty of other brands available that are better quality, but I am yet to try them.
I think my next great tea related adventure will be in trying loose leaf tea and seeing what that has to offer. I tried a little bit of loose leaf tea drinking when I lived in Poland, but not a huge amount. I would like to give it a proper go though.
It’s interesting how tea is part of so many cultures across the globe, and in so many different ways. For some it’s all about the ritual of tea drinking, for others it’s a performance enhancer, helping them get through a busy day. For most people though, I think tea is a cup of warm reassurance that everything will be okay, and no matter how hard life gets you’ll always be able to consolidate yourself and push onward.
I think after some of the shit 2016 has thrown us all recently, I think we can all appreciate the value of feeling like everything will be okay. Go put the kettle on, make yourself a nice cuppa, and have a sit down. I promise you’ll feel better and the world will seem that little bit better.