Tag: tea drinking etiquette

Brewing Tea English tea drinking research methods History of Tea tea customs tea rooms

Tea Cups Talking: Disposable paper cup 2019


Disposable paper cup
Cup, composite paper and plastic coating, origin unknown, 2019 mass produced.

“How can you do this to me? Fill me with a hot liquid that screams how much it hates being contained and cradled in my form. A form that renders me unsuitable to return to the earth.  You then scream at me, reviled for cluttering the highways and byways of your lives.

“A little bag of indeterminable contents attached to a string with a cardboard label was flung into my body– I can tell you the contents of that bag started to complain immediately, about everything. He shrieked at the hot water that is whooshed in from the noisy machine – not hot enough to jump and fizz with life. Then he starts shrieking when the milk is added before he finishes brewing – he wanted three or four minutes and now the poor little fellow sits in my belly, weeping uncontrollably, seeping out dark brown tears that have no flavour. My cousin told me his cousin had cold milk poured into him first, then the poor bag, and then the dull hot water. The bag was screaming in agony at the torture. A plastic hat was stuffed on the cousin’s head with the cry of health and safety, a corrugated waistcoat slipped around his middle and the offer of little sugar sachets to add to make the whole concoction more palatable along with a wooden stick.

“Why do you use us like this? My lips are not designed to be kissed for pleasure, I am paper with a plastic coating to provide an impermeable surface. I can be used but despair that your taste-buds are deadened to sensuous pleasure in your quest to save time.

“What is this thing called time that needs to be saved?”

Brewing Tea English tea drinking research methods History of Tea tea customs Types of Teas

Tea cups talking: French tea cup and saucer circa 1920



Breakfast Cup and Saucer Porcelain, transfer-decorated. Sarreguemines factory, France Circa 1900 – 1920
Breakfast Cup and Saucer, porcelain, transfer-decorated, Sarreguemines factory, France, circa 1900 – 1920


“You English, you think you know everything to do with tea. And yet the very word that describes my pattern should give it away,  Chinoiserie. A French word adopted by you to describe the European view of the imaginary world of China. Despite adopting the drink of China as your own, it is the French aesthetic, unsurprisingly, that can accurately describe a sensibility beyond the understanding of you rost-bifs.

“Look at my luscious willow blooms drooping over the exotic pagodas, the red wooden bridge that arcs over the limpid waters, the fisherman in the foreground and the camelias  nestling at the side of the internal rim pattern.

“I am a breakfast cup, the one used for a leisurely levée. My colours may be unusual in pinks but I am here and I have my place. I am porcelain, French porcelain, a material that you English never really mastered preferring the easy option of bone china to churn out your mass produced offerings decorated with banal images of flowers, endless flowers to represent an English style. How do you see the form of the cup if you plaster it with copies of nature – or perhaps that’s what you want, to disguise the vessel, to submerge it in a bower of flowers and distract your attention from the tea itself. The feast of the eyes to provide the flavour, and atmosphere, as you continue your non-verbal dialogue of one-upmanship.”

Brewing Tea English tea drinking research methods History of Tea tea customs

Tea Cups Talking: The Mug circa 2017

The Backbone of England



A Tea Mug
Earthenware mug with white glaze, England circa 2017, mass produced.


“I’m good honest and upright, no flim-flam about me – you get what you see.

“Nothing better than my cargo; drop in my teabag, add milk, loads of sugar – I can take it – I’m the champion of the worker, your friend when you need to be lifted from the toils of your labours.

“OK, so he’s cheap, this tea bag – but he’s like me – no nonsense, straightforward, reliable, the  20th century English worker, we made this country.

“Just rinse me out and fill me up again – nothing is too much for me to provide succour and nourishment for my hardworking chap. I am there to service his needs – forget the poncey airs and graces of that gnat’s piss enjoyed by the la-de-da in their ridiculous tiny cups – I am the British Bulldog – the man of the masses, the salt of the Earth.”