Monday, 26 January 2015

26th January 2015 - On being Tea Total..Totally!

Thought for the day: "The rule of Bards, Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!"

So the computer is still dead ... I waited a good time to see if it was capable of resurrection, or even perhaps returning as some form of zombie or even a White Walker...  I didn't burn it on purpose.. but nothing. Interestingly the USB still seems to work so I managed to charge my camera up - even though the machine was not swtiched on. That seems a little reminiscent of HAL but that is another nightmare...

At the end of the day - if you are dry, then you have to take solace in Tea. And it seems that so many of us do.

We drink 165 million cups a day 95 per cent from tea bags, 70 per cent of us had at least one cup yesterday using up 25 per cent of the nation’s daily milk consumption.

Shen Nung, a toxicologist, discovered tea by accident in central China around 2737 BC. Apart from thinking it a nice drink, he used tea as an antidote to 70 or so poisonous herbs. His stomach exploded after his final experiment because the tea obviously wasn’t efficacious against that particular herb.
Catherine of Braganza, queen of Charles II, introduced it to England as part of her dowry; when she landed at Portsmouth in 1662 she asked for a calming cup of tea; none could be found so we gave her a flagon of beer instead. (seems legit!)

In China they used monkeys to pluck tea leaves from the trees: annoy the monkeys up in the trees and they will angrily shake the branches bringing the tea floating down to you. You can still get monkey-plucked oolong tea, ma nau mi ti kuan yin.

In the 17th century Dr Simon Paulli, a German, warned that tea-drinking ‘hastens death’, particularly in the over-forties. Paulli was the same doctor who, no doubt with the benefit of hands-on experience, famously taught that if you rubbed a woman’s breasts with hemlock juice they stay ‘properly small’.

Ireland has the highest per capita consumption of tea in the world: 75 per cent of the population are avid tea drinkers drinking on average six cups a day. In 1910 tea was considered to be a bigger public health problem than alcohol in Ireland. Russia ranks second in tea drinking – presumably to dilute the effects of vodka.

Britain became a nation of tea drinkers due to the monopoly held by the East India Company on China tea and our exclusion from the Mediterranean sea and the coffee exporting countries bordering it during our wars with France and Spain.

Tea, due to its price, was originally the preserve of the rich; some people believed that the poorer classes should not be allowed near it. Posh ladies carried the key to the tea caddy around their necks to stop light-fingered maids stealing it, and selling it. They did, however, sell discarded tea leaves to make a bit on the side.

High taxation meant that tea was often adulterated with brick dust and other toxic stuff (second hand tea). Some tea contained no tea at all. For most of its history more tea has been smuggled than sold legitimately.

Tea was good for illicit sex: amongst the privileged, tea drinking required a tea gown; this was loose-fitting and was not worn with the usual corset. That meant that no maid was required to dress m’lady who could enjoy an assignation, and a cup of tea, in her boudoir without a nosy maid being present. This was known as cinq-a-sept, the time when it all happened.

John Wesley, founder of Methodism and a tea-totaller, believed that tea brought us close to the ‘chambers of death’ and should be avoided, even though he imbibed himself.

Some men believed that the drinking of tea was making English women ugly. In 1822 William Cobbett wrote that tea killed pigs and leads women into prostitution, recommending a quart or two of ale instead. It makes boys effeminate and has them ‘lurking in bed’.

Tea was responsible for the rise of the women’s suffragette movement; tea rooms such as ABC and Lyons gave them somewhere respectable to go un-chaperoned.

In 1914 the 320,000 men and 12,000 officers of the Army Service Corps were catering for 5 million British troops – their ration included 5/8 oz of tea. In 1940 Chuchill said that ‘tea was more important than bullets’.

Drinking tea 'cuts risk of dying early by a quarter': Antioxidant ingredients in the drink are good for the heart.

A study shows that drinking tea reduces the risk of dying from causes unrelated to the heart by a quarter. The benefits of tea are largely due to the antioxidant ingredients.  The study involved 131,401 people aged 18 to 95

Experts also say it is better for you than coffee and tea drinkers are more physically active...

After the July 2005 subway bombings in London, Jslayeruk was quoted on the Metaquotes Live Journal assaying:

"When the news reporter said Shopkeepers are opening their doors bringing out blankets and cups of tea I just smiled. It's like - Yes. That's Britain for you! Tea solves everything. You're a bit cold? Tea. Your boyfriend has just left you? Tea. You've just been told you've got cancer? Tea. Coordinated terrorist attack on the transport network bringing the city to a grinding halt? Tea dammit! And if it's really serious, they may bring out the coffee. The Americans have their alert raised to red, we break out the coffee. That's for situations more serious than this of course. Like another England penalty shoot-out."

Another favourite quote is from the great Samuel Goldwyn..

"Coffee isn't my cup of tea."

But after all this thought about tea - no-one is answering the real  question...

"Do you put the milk in first or second??"

I leave you to argue it out...  I am not even touching the Scone Question ....   

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