The Measure of a Day

What is your measure of a day? I used to have an informal rating system based on toast. A day was either a soggy toast day (bad) or a crispy toast day, which was good. Seeing as how I am now denied bread and all bread-products – something that is very, very hard for me (just ask Moose about my reaction to the Crack Muffins) – I felt the need to reevaluate my rating system.

So I now have an rating system based on mugs of tea.

The first mandatory cup of the day is not counted in this system, by the way. Without that first cup mug bucket of tea as soon as I open my eyes, the day simply wouldn’t happen.

My standard day used to equate to about a two cup. One mid-morning and one mid-afternoon, with a cup’s variation either way depending on weather and whether I am at work (often less tea) or writing (often more tea).

Taking this as the mean, therefore, you can see that it’s not been good lately when I have been on five cups of tea. Yesterday I downed six, yes six, cups of the warm nectar. Even for me that level of chain-drinking is excessive, especially when you take into consideration the fact I now have to drink my tea black. Damn lactose intolerance over-turning twenty years of tea drinking habit. I think the last time I was that bad it was the Thesis Summer and I was existing on Kit Kats and tea. A great way to loose a dress size, but not conducive to overall health or good skin.

Yes, I am turning into the Tea Monster again. I have even taken my own tea bags into work, because if I am going to be drinking endless cups of black tea, I would rather drink my favourite Assam than manky Asda’s own.

I’ve just remembered another time I drank endless cups of black tea: when I was doing archaeological field work. When you’re stuck in a field in the middle of nowhere and you don’t smoke, there’s not a lot to do in your breaks other than drink tea. Well, there are other things, but when your 18 and every other person in the unit is over the age of 50, tea is always the safe and more appealing option.

This post is by way of explanation for when/if I start or end a post with “today was an X cup of tea day”.

For the record, today was a five cup of tea day. I had got it cut down to three whilst at work but some days, all that stands between you and total office oblivion is a trusty Tetley teabag.

8 thoughts on “The Measure of a Day

  1. I drink a LOT of tea too. It’s 8:58am on Friday morning, and I’ve already polished off two cups.

    Switch to green tea instead of black though. A number of reasons:
    – It’s healthier.
    – It smells better.
    – It tastes better (although there may be a period of “getting used to”).
    – It doesn’t stain the mug or your teeth.

    Green tea is actually made from the same leaves as black tea, but it’s fresher and therefore healthier.

    Get Googling for Green Tea and read about it yourself, then pop to Holland & Barretts (or any good supermarket) and get yourself a box. I personally go for Clipper’s Green Tea, but they’re all around the same kind of thing – just make sure the ingredients are 100% Green Tea.

  2. I like green tea, and jasmine tea is especially refreshing, but most of the time I need the caffeine black tea brings.

    To be strictly true however, it is not ‘fresher’. Black tea is fully fermented, where as green tea is semi-fermented. The leaves are picked, cut and rolled in the same way, and then treated slightly differently. They will be about the same age when they make it into the packet however. That is if we are talking about Chinese style tea. Japanese tea, for example sencha, is different again.

    I used to be a tea merchant, so I know all sorts of arcane trivia about tea (and coffee for that matter).

    Have you ever tried White tea? It is fermented even less than green tea and has a really, really delicate flavour.

    Welcome to Bright Meadow and the comments Scott 🙂

  3. I aim to drink no more than three mugs of tea a day, and usually keep to that. Mainly cos I’m mildly concerned about caffeine intake, however I do drink Darjeeling so not many worries on that score.

    White tea is divine. M’husband bought me a bag of loose leaf from Betty’s in Harrogate (aka Taylors, the makers of Yorkshire Tea) which I’m eke-ing out, and I’ve occasionally come across the teabags in Sainsbury’s. I like mine with a teaspoonful of eucalyptus honey.

  4. I won’t bust your bubble on the relative caffeine values of the different teas. Darjeeling tastes lighter but… As I said, no bubble-bursting here 😉

    If you’re looking for good white tea, Whittard of Chelsea do a nice blend, as does Waitrose.

  5. Um, no?

    To get technical, Darjeeling is still a “black” tea thanks to the way it is dried and processed, but because it is lighter in flavour, it tends not to get brewed for as long, so you get less caffeine in a single mug.

    The relative amounts of caffeine vary depending on what blend you are using, how old the tea is, how long you brew it for, how much you put in the pot… Basically, drink whatever you want to drink! If thinking it has less caffeine makes you feel better, then it has less caffeine.

    And regardless of caffeine content, tea is chock-full of good anti-oxidants and cancer-fighting goodies, so keep drinking 😀

  6. The curse of working for Whittard on and off from the age of 16…

    We had proper training programmes and certificates and everything. You were only allowed to wear the “tea merchant” (blue) apron when you had passed your tea tests, and the “coffee merchant” (red) apron when you had passed your coffee. The one I was really proud of was when I got the “Machine Specialist” (black) apron. They were rare.

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