Friday, December 11, 2009

I Love Coffee, I Love Tea...

by Christine Wells

Does anyone else remember Manhatten Transfer, or am I the only one who hums along to the java java song when I'm boiling the kettle of a morning?

Well, actually, that is a barefaced lie. My children most often wake me up at around 5am (I really need to lock that cupboard under the stairs more securely, don't I?) and let's just say, I am not a morning person. So if I make any noise at all in the morning it takes the form of grunts and mm-hmms until I get that first, enlivening sip of COFFEE.

Anyhoo, since we had so much fun with the food wars (and since I recently had to pack COFFEE in my luggage to visit our friend Foanna Campbell who does not deign to keep makings of the precious beverage in her house) I thought we might have ourselves a little discussion about many writers' dirty little secret.


In liquid form.

Now, having drunk one, two, three, f--ar too many cups of coffee today, you might suppose that I would quite possibly come down heavily on the side of coffee.

You would be right.

There are so many different ways to drink coffee--cappucino, espresso, latte, Betty Blue, short black, long black. And then there are all the fancy ones like affogato and moccachino and mellochino and the flavoured syrups and the yes or no to caramel on top.

Then there's the fat content of the milk, what size to get, all these decisions... And of course you learn what you like and stick to it, so you can rattle off double-shot regular skinny flat white no sugar and the barista speaks your language so she doesn't have to ask twice. (Btw, I believe only in Oz do we have flat whites, which are sort of like a strong latte and served in a regular coffee cup. Skinny flat whites are also known--affectionately--as Gwynneth Paltrows here... but I digress)

However. There is something to be said for tea.

I know. Shock, horror! But I can't eat a Devonshire TEA or a Cream TEA with coffee, it just wouldn't be right. And of course, high TEA with all those yummy little morsels on their tiered china plates require a beverage rather more refined than coffee to complement their delicate toothsome goodness.

And then there are the herbal teas, the fruit teas, and chai tea which smells so heavenly it really should taste a lot better than it does:) I love green tea with jasmine. It tastes divine and the antioxidants make me feel quite undeservedly virtuous.

So, yet again, I sit on the fence like the good, dutiful Libran I am.


If the world could contain only TEA or only COFFEE, I think I would have to choose COFFEE, simply because it does a better job of keeping me awake so I can write, late into the night..

What about you? Is it tea for two or coffee for you? Or do you eschew hot drinks altogether? And no, I'm afraid hot chocolate does not count!


mariska said...

mine !

Tawny said...

Ooooh, I'm a tea girl. A iced, unsweetened black tea girl all the way!!!

I easily drink a gallon or two daily, right up until I collapse into bed.

And I'm a snob about my tea. It has to be iced (hot tea makes my throat dry-go figure), it has to be unsweetened (the only sweet drinks I like depend heavily on tequila) and it has to be plain ole black tea - no foofy fruit or fluffy flavors.

I've been known to pack a bag of Lipton tea bags and brew a hot cuppa in the AM, then promptly dump it over ice at conferences or vacation spots that don't think iced tea is necessary before putting on clothing (it is... I'd be dressed pretty scary without it).

Christine Wells said...

Congrats, Mariska! You are really taking Lime to the wire on snaffling our feathered friend, aren't you?

Christine Wells said...

So...has anyone been at one of these conferences and seen Tawny in her pjs going to the ice dispenser one morning? LOL

Tawny, I remembered you saying you drink your tea iced. So you don't come armed to conferences with the pre-prepared iced tea, then? They sell them in bottles here but I think they do tend to be sweetened or flavoured. Wow, I don't think I could drink it straight. You're one brave woman!

mariska said...

I'm a tea person too, Tawny :) Well, it's more to An Iced jasmine tea , and with sugar of course!

i drink coffee sometimes, when i can't open my eyes and feel very sleepy in the morning. but just for one cup of coffee not more than that.
Cappucino or Moccachino flavour will be perfect to start my morning with a cup of coffee:)

brownies anyone ?

Christine Wells said...

Ooh, Mariska! Iced jasmine tea sounds lovely. I must try that.

And yes to a Brownie, too, of course!

Emmanuelle said...

Tea !!! I'm just having a huge mug of tea right now (earl grey with lemon and orange dried peel). There is nothing better, with a table spoon of honey....*sigh*

Helen said...

Congrats Mariska have fun with him

Me I am a coffe person but I do like tea but prefer it from a tea pot made with tea leaves not from a teabag. Actually I have just been down to my girlfriends (who is English) and she has a special pot that makes 4 cups for the two of us LOL.

But if I could only have either coffee or tea it would have to be coffee, I always have 2 cups in the morning (I am a morning person) before I even start to get ready for work or do anything really. I was at Gloria Jeans today and had a mocha coffee and I love those. It kept me going while I was Chrissy shopping yes I finally started and now only have a few things left to get YAY.

Tomorrow I am minding Jayden and Hayley we are going to make another Chrissy cake and put the tree up while we listen to Christmas CD's and I am sure I will need a few cups of coffee to keep me going.

Have Fun

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

It would have to be coffee for me. I usually just drink the one cup in the morning but it is very strong, cut with sugar and evaporated milk. I have a 2-6 cup coffee maker for me and a large one for when my BF is here. I make about a half pot of mine which is one of my big coffee mugs. Until that is in my system I communicate with a series of grunts and hums and an occasional raised brow. When he is here, he goes through two 16 cup pots but to me they are little more than hot water.

PinkPeony said...

Hola Christine:

I've been drinking coffee since I was eight and my parents didn't assign us bed times during the week so if we were sleepy in class, then we cut back on the caffeine. I like my coffee very strong; Starbucks or Peet's bold. I use a Bialetti stove top espresso pot and like Diana, I use a splotch of evap milk and bit of has to be that perfect caramel color. When I travel, I bring my own coffee and Melitta drip filter. I do drink tea as well, but I tend to squint and frown until I've had my cuppa joe each morning. Congrats, Mariska.

PJ said...

I was so proud of myself with the pie vs cake debate but Christine, you've put me right back on the fence. I love both! But, having said that, they must be decaffeinated. My body stopped tolerating caffeine surges (horrors, I know!) about 20 years ago. So, except for the occasional chocolate or "real" iced tea, it's decaf for me.

Some mornings I swoon over a cup of hot green tea, other days it's Celestial Seasonings Herbal teas such as Cinnamon Apple Spice, Country Peach Passion or Mandarin Orange Spice.

Lately, I've been swooning over the delicious Nestlé Coffee-Mate flavors in my morning coffee. I started off the week with Parisian Almond Crème then switched to Italian Sweet Crème. I'm feeling a little Christmassy this morning so I think it'll be a day for Peppermint Mocha.

Have a lovely morning! I'm off to brew some coffee!

Barbara Monajem said...

Nooooooo! This is an impossible choice to make.

However. Since this is a hypothetical situation (thanks to Mother Nature, who provided us with both coffee and tea) and since if coffee didn't exist, I wouldn't be able to miss it, I'll go ahead and pick TEA.

I drink coffee only once a day, sometimes less. I'll often get a latte at Starbucks and make it last 2 days, even 3.

On the other hand, tea is my constant companion. Mostly, it's black tea brewed in what amounts to a makeshift samovar (teapot sitting on top of a kettle on a low, low heat on the stove). Not that I wouldn't prefer a real samovar -- they're so lovely -- but I've never had one that lasted more than six months, a year tops.

Jasmine tea is lovely, too, especially from Steeps Tea in Canada. Their Earthly Paradise Jasmine really lives up to its name. Sigh.

Margay said...

That is such a hard choice! I love coffee, but I love tea, too, especially flavored tea. I don't know if I could make a choice between them.

Gillian Layne said...

Tea. I love hanging out at Starbucks and playing cards with iced coffee, but tea wins every time. Iced and sweetened all summer, and hot all winter. I'm a big fan of dark and strong, English breakfast or plain ole Lipton works well. I don't care for pale tea. Tazo has this tea called Passion which brews up a dark pink/purple and is so delicious.

Tea and coffee are both very good for you, unless the sugar content outdoes the caffeine--which in my case, it always does.

~Drew said...

This one is easy for me, no perching on the picket here. TEA.

Love the smell of coffee brewing, can't stand the taste. I tried, I really did, but after all these years, I still can't abide it.

I should clarify, HOT TEA. In Canada, we are a nation of mostly tea drinkers, though it is probably more evenly split now.
Must be the British ties.

I drink a pot of tea every morning, slowly. Love English or Irish Breakfast tea (or in Canada, our national brand, 'Red Rose', an Orange Pekoe) and in the evening, maybe a cup of Earl or Lady Grey tea. Herbal teas are fine, but I prefer a full-bodied tea.

Iced tea is OK as well, as I had no choice but to drink that in restaurants traveling through Tennessee and other Southern States this summer. I learned quickly to get the unsweetened!

And Tea with milk, cream in tea is yuck, to me anyway.

TEA!!! HOT!!!

Janga said...

I love the smell of coffee brewing, but the only time I drink it is occasionally after dinner at a first-class restaurant. I enjoy a hot cup of tea far more often, but my beverage of choice is iced tea. I think drinking it is a requirement for membership in the Southern Chauvinists Club.

Maria said...

I like both, it depends on the mood and what's available. I eat snackcakes with both. I am a snob about the quality of whatever I'm drinking though, it has to be good quality and in tea I only use local honey.

MsHellion said...

If those are my only choices (Pepsi or Mountain Dew is my caffeine sin of choice), it's Coffee. (I've never heard of a skinny flat white, but now that I've investigated it a bit, it's probably what I'd most order.) I like skinny lattes or skinny cappuccinos. I like them with shots of sugar-free caramel syrup.

I wouldn't drink tea--hot or cold--on a bet. I'll drink water first, and I don't like water. And of course, in America, we're all odd. For one, after we basically stopped drinking tea after that Party in the Harbor thing that got us in ill-graces with England, we pretty much went to coffee and never looked back. Later, in the South, they started up with the iced tea thing--and now it's the only tea any of us know.

So Americans usually specify if they want iced tea or hot tea--which internationals always think "isn't HOT tea redundant?" No. It's not.

I went on vacation in Virginia with a girl from Canada. She was a major tea drinker--of the hot variety--but we're "in the South" so the only tea she was ever offered was iced tea (which is naturally iced SWEET tea, Lipton, mind you) and she couldn't find hot tea for love or money.

We were in a pub in Williamsburg (you'd think the colonial town would have had hot tea, but no) and she asked for tea. The waitress brought her iced tea. My friend sent it back and asked for hot tea. The waitress was confused. Then she went over and got another glass, put no ice in it, and put "hot" sweet tea in the glass and brought it back to her.

My friend was so stupified she didn't bother to try a third time.

flchen1 said...

Oi, Christine! Why on earth wouldn't hot chocolate count?? ;) I tend to love the smell of coffee but not really drink much of it myself. (Although coffee ice cream is deeeelicious!) And I'd be happy with a mocha, early in the day!

So if pressed to choose a non-chocolate hot drink, I'm going with tea. Preferably decaffeinated! A couple months back, my husband and I went enjoyed an incredible Japanese meal. The servers made sure our tea cups never got empty, and I happily sipped away.

As I lay wide-eyed later that night in bed, I realized that yep, green tea's not necessarily decaf!

Congrats on the GR, Mariska!

Christie Kelley said...

LOL, Christine. You had to pack coffee, I had to pack my coffee maker and the coffee to visit my sister-in-law over Thanksgiving. My husband thought I was nuts and addicted...well, duh!

Like you, I enjoy both coffee and tea. But unless I'm sick I must have coffee in the morning. In the afternoon, I have either a cup of red rooibos or some earl grey. The red tea is herbal and has no caffeine, which is good because I can't do caffeine in the afternoon.

And btw, I love Manhatten Transfer!

Stephanie J said...

I'm a tea girl through and through! I can't stand the coffee. It's just too bitter for me and I can't even handle it in small amounts or sweetened.

I also consume large amounts of spiced cider and hot chocolate at this time of year. Basically, I drink my calories! :)

Current cup: Black Assam Finest

Gannon Carr said...

I can't possibly choose sides on this one, Christine. I love both! In the morning, I love my coffee with half and half and a little sugar. Although, I have tried the peppermint mocha creamer that PJ mentioned--yummy!

English or Irish breakfast tea, Darjeeling, green tea, jasmine 'em hot! Of course, being a Southerner, I love my iced tea, too.

Christine, when we lived in Italy, I loved the baristas who would make the fanciful designs in the foam of my cappuccino! :)

Virginia said...

Congrat mariska on the rooster! I am a coffee girl myself! I have to have that coffee first thing in the morning. This is mostly in the winter! I don't drink coffee much in the summer!

Deb said...

Hi, Christine.
I have 2 cups of coffee in the morning with my lowfat evaporated milk and a teaspoon of sugar. I tend to make it strong. At night, however, I like a cup of hot, sweet tea. Sometimes coffee will do instead, but I find I relax with a cup of hot tea.

Anna Sugden said...

Definitely tea - and, I'm the polar opposite of Tawny on this - has to be hot (iced tea makes my throat go dry!) and preferably with milk. Not too strong.

I'm with Tawny on the straight black, no foofy fruit or other flavours ... though a good green tea is nice too. Definitely NOT Earl Grey - blech! Also like Tawny, we've been known to bring our English Breakfast with us *g*.

That said, I do like the occasional latte. After years of drinking way too much coffee at work, I find if I have it too often it makes me feel icky. But, every now and again ... yum. Especially with a shot of mint in it.

catslady said...

Definitely coffee. I grind my own and love it black. I will drink the flavored ones and the fancy lattes etc. but those are more like a dessert. My husband got me a cappachino machine a few years back but it's not the same as what you get out. And as for tea, I have finally learned to drink it. When I was a child I only got tea when I was sick so I associated the two for a very long time.

jo robertson said...

Dang! I was so going for the hot chocolate, which I love!

I prefer tea over coffee, but if you're going for the caffeine high alone why not just pop a jet alert?

But my fave, as everyone now knows, is Pepsi, fully loaded. There's really not enough caffeine in soda to give you a boost, but it sure tastes better!

Nancy said...

Mariska, congrats on taking home the rooster!

Christine, that's an interesting question--tea or coffee. I do like my coffee in the morning but tend to lean toward tea (or Diet Coke, not one of your designated options) the rest of the time.

Having grown up in the South, I have a bias in favor of iced tea, but no else here drinks it, so I tend not to make it. My folks always had a pitcher of unsweet, iced tea in the refrigerator, but they both drank it.

In the winter, I drink a lot of hot tea. Am hoping to find Republic of Tea Ginger Peach in my stocking--but I always have to put a regular teabag in with the herbal kinds because the herbals smell wonderful but taste like hot water. I think the link between my nose and my taste buds must be faulty or something.

And one of my favorite food substitutes is Toast-Chee crackers (Lance only) with actual Coke, though I'm trying to cut down on high fructose corn syrup and other liquid calories and so have switched to Diet with Splenda.

Nancy said...

Oh, and high tea is one of my favorite semi-meals. A bunch of us went to the Plaza Hotel during the NYC conference for afternoon tea. It was such a great experience, it was like being Princesses for a Day.

The dh, however, is a coffee guy.

Nancy said...

Christine, I don't especially like pre-sweetened, bottled iced tea. The taste just seems off somehow.

Minna said...

I prefer tea. Being a tea drinker in this country is not easy, as most drink coffee. But strangely enough, all my friends are tea drinkers, too. And for me it has to flavored tea. Twinings Voyage Brazilian Baía is one of my favorites. And I miss wild strawberry tea. I haven't found that stuff for a long time =(. And peach tea.

Anna Sugden said...

Oooh Barabara - a samovar is so lovely. Being half-Persian, I'm with you on loving them. I have a little toy one in my office, but never had a real one of my own.

Louisa Cornell said...

Tea, darling! Always, forever, TEA!! Preferably hot tea, but being a Southern girl I will also drink iced tea so long as it is made below the Mason/Dixon line. Anywhere north of Tennessee or say South Carolina and they just don't have the knack. No offense meant to ANYONE who lives above those lines.

However, I have a tea kettle on all the time when I am at home. One of my prized possessions is a mug warmer my Mom gave me one Christmas. It came with a Garfield mug and is shaped like a donut, but it keeps my tea piping hot to the last drop. Love it!

My Mawmaw was horrified to learn that the three of her grandchildren who spent their formative coffee drinking years in England (Me 9 to 12 - Jim 6 to 9 - Brian 3 to 6)not only did not acquire a taste for coffee, but even as adults none of us are coffee drinkers. My two big Southern redneck brothers are hot tea drinkers all the way! And we even have afternoon tea wherever we are.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Christine,

No coffee for me, since my first
pregnancy almost 49 years ago! I enjoyed an occasional cup, then
morning sickness did me in. Was
not able to drink coffee after
that. It's tea, and sometimes a cup
of hot chocolate, for me.

Pat Cochran

Christine Wells said...

Hi all, sorry to disappear for some sleep, but you know how it is:)

However, having downed my first COFFEE of the day I am now fortified and can be somewhat lucid!

Emmanuelle--you know, Earl Grey always *sounds* good to me. It *smells* heavenly, but the taste... Hmm. I think perhaps I need to try your recipe and see what a difference it makes!

Christine Wells said...

Helen, what a lovely day you have ahead of you! My mother is doing exactly the same with my little ones this weekend.

Yay, another vote for coffee! And I'm so with you on the superiority of tea leaves over tea bags. I love really strong tea and the bags just don't cut it, IMO.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Dianna, is there anything worse than weak coffee or weak tea? Blech!

I love "the occasional raised brow"!! I'm going to use that one:)

Now, I've never tried evaporated milk in coffee. Is that creamier than normal milk? Interesting...

Christine Wells said...

Hiya, Jen! Love the sound of the perfect caramel colour coffee. I have one of those Italian pots and it makes divine coffee (of course, you need great beans, too) but I'm a little too lazy to use it regularly. It actually gives me the jitters to have too many cups of that coffee, it's so strong. But it's the only kind of coffee I can drink straight, with no milk, because if you make it right, it has that lovely, smooth, velvety consistency that almost has a sweetness of its own. Hmm, I'm waxing poetic! I might have to write an ode...:)

Christine Wells said...

PJ, now that's poetry! Aren't the names for tea and coffee flavours sooo cool? I wonder if we have those Coffee Mate things here? I know we have their creamer.

I must say, I'm a bit of a fence sitter, too. I mean, my mother makes the best pot of tea and tea has a special place in my heart because I grew up drinking it with my grandparents, who never touched coffee, as far as I know. But I rarely bother to make it for myself except when I have it to keep dh company and then it has to be extra strength! I hate feeling like i'm drinking milk and hot water!

Christine Wells said...

Barbara, what is a latte like after 3 days??? My mind is simply boggling!

Your samovar technique sounds like it would brew some really special tea. What a pity you can't find one that will last longer.

Christine Wells said...

Margay...are you a Libran?? Just curious. *G*

Christine Wells said...

Gillian, that Passion tea sounds very exotic and highly appropriate for a romance blog!

Yes, I love strong black tea, too, and I'm glad that Twinings now put strength ratings on the side of their packets. I now go for Afternoon tea, which seems to have the strongest rating and it's very nice. Otherwise, Irish breakfast or English Breakfast are great, too.

Margay said...

Not a Libran, though my sister is. I'm a Scorpio - but I was born on the cusp of Sagittarius.

Christine Wells said...

Yes, Drew, Australians were originally tea drinkers because of our English roots, too and we drink it hot all year round. Drinking it hot is actually supposed to cool you down, ultimately, but I'm not sure if that's correct, or the reason behind it.

And oh, yes, I always raise my eyebrows when a historical romance mentions having cream in tea. I don't think the British have ever done that! Although I did wonder whether when Americans say cream and sugar they mean milk and sugar?

Christine Wells said...

Janga, what is the Southern Chauvinists Club??

Christine Wells said...

Hi Maria, I'm with you on the quality. A barrista once told me that cafes advertise they have a certain brand of coffee bean, but actually there are all different grades of bean to buy from the same company, so you might like Lavazza in a certain cafe but that doesn't mean you'll like it somewhere else. It's sooo complicated! LOL

Christine Wells said...

MsHellion, I'm giggling about your poor friend trying to get some hot tea! You'd think if they had some tea bags or leaves handy to make the iced tea, it wouldn't be terribly hard to make the hot variety! But of course, when in Rome...

Interesting about the historical reason for the switch to coffee. I hadn't made the connection but of course it makes sense!

Christine Wells said...

Fedora, I was just trying to keep things simple with the embargo on hot chocolate.LOL

Oh, yes, green tea has caffeine in it. In fact, the Japanese monks used to drink it to keep themselves awake for rituals that lasted all night. It looks and tastes so healthy, you feel like it must be caffeine free, don't you?LOL

Christine Wells said...

Hi Christie! Woohoo! There's someone here as addicted as I am! Love the idea of taking the coffee maker along as well.

And double woohoo on the Manhatten Transfer. They have such a distinct sound, don't they?

Jane said...

I would choose tea. We like to drink it with milk and sugar. I like black teas like Assam and Darjeeling. The only teas I drink plain are the Chinese black teas like jasmine.

Christine Wells said...

Stephanie J, you are probably wise not to fall into the coffee trap.

Mmm, spiced cider sounds fabulous. My FIL got into mulling wine after we brought back sachets of mulling spices from England. I must have a look for some spiced cider recipes.

Tawny said...

I'm with Tawny on the straight black, no foofy fruit or other flavours ... though a good green tea is nice too. Definitely NOT Earl Grey - blech! Also like Tawny, we've been known to bring our English Breakfast with us *g*.

You do know that Anna is my sole sister, right? (heheehe- she came up with that -shoe addicts unite, get it?) We're just a little opposite in a few things.

Christine, bottled tea makes me go blech. I'm not a fan of pre-packaged anything anyway, but they always add weired stuff to the bottled drinks, on top of usually sweetening them. Nope, no thanks.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Gannon! You dishy ladies are certainly sitting on the fence with this one.

Oh, I love those little designs. Actually, the pic on the blog post is from an ad for coffee stencils you can use to do patterns on top. What will they think of next?

Christine Wells said...

Virginia, I used to be like you but now I drink coffee no matter how hot the day is! It really is an addiction and I should stop. But I don't smoke or drink to excess (be quiet, Fo, I don't drink that much, really!) so coffee seems like a relatively benign habit to have.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Deb! Yes, I think coffee is definitely a drink one should avoid at night unless one is trying to meet a deadline:)) Thanks for commenting!

Nancy said...

Christine wrote: And oh, yes, I always raise my eyebrows when a historical romance mentions having cream in tea. I don't think the British have ever done that! Although I did wonder whether when Americans say cream and sugar they mean milk and sugar?

Well, personally, I mean half and half.

We had cream in our tea in Britain--though that may be a modern concession to tourists.

Christine Wells said...

Anna, I would have pegged you as a hot tea girl, so I'm glad to know I was right. And I must say that I have tried to like Earl Grey but never quite succeeded.

Anna Campbell said...

Mariska, congratulations on the chook. We know he loves his coffee!

Christine, what a gorgeous post. And I love the illustrations. Suddenly I have an urge to eat smoked salmon sandwiches! And that ship on top of the cappuccino is lovely. Giggled at the Gwynneth Paltrow comment - hadn't heard that before. I love a flat white although I remember the horrified look on a Starbucks girl when I asked for one on my first trip to the US.

Sadly, I can't handle the caffeine in coffee although I'll drink decaf and pretend it's like real coffee when of course it isn't. I drink tea by the bucketload, as you know!

Nancy said...

Drew, a whole pot in the morning? I'm jealous. I fantasize about having a pot of tea, and the dh gave me a beautiful china pot with little blue flowers on it--but it holds ONE cup. Not exactly what I had in mind.

On cold afternoons, like today, when I'm at the computer, I'd love to have a continuous supply of hot tea. *sigh*

And chocolates because, hey, they're chocolates.

Christine Wells said...

Catslady, there is something very therapeutic about grinding your own beans, isn't there? And the smell is divine!

Christine Wells said...

Sorry, Jo! I didn't realize you preferred hot chocolate. I was just trying to make the discussion more specific. Pepsi, yes, well that's a whole 'nother debate, isn't it??

Nancy said...

Janga, speaking of the Southern Chauvinists Club (never heard of it, but it sounds intriguing), I think it's still the case in the South that an order for "tea," not specifying more, results in sweet and iced.

Many years ago, I was visiting friends in NYC and ordered tea with lunch, expecting iced. It arrived hot and unsweet. Ah, the variations in cultural norms!

Annie West said...

Christine, what a lovely post. I got drawn in by the gorgeous piccies (yes, I know I'm shallow).

I'm a coffee girl but I drink tea as well, in fact I tend the start the day with a cuppa. When we first visited England I had to adapt to it after years refusing to drink it with my parents. Then I discovered the truly heavenly delights of cream tea (none of that whipped cream, my girl, just pure clotted cream!) and I was hooked.

It was strange living in Germany. Their coffee is great, though often very strong, but I could never get a tea that tasted right to me (unless it was herbal). It was almost what I wanted but not quite. We get so used to certain, tastes, don't we?

Christine Wells said...

Nancy, you should treat yourself and make iced tea if you like it! That's how I think of coffee, an absolute treat.

Oh, sorry to hear about the tiny teapot! I have one of those, a gorgeous Humpty Dumpty that my boys always want to play with but are very careful with on pain of death! But you want more than one cup out of a tea pot most of the time, don't you?

Christine Wells said...

Ooh, Nancy, high tea in NY just sounds sooo fantastic! We MUST do it in 2011!

I can undertand about the sweetened tea in the bottles. I don't mind the peach flavour but I wouldn't go looking for it.

Christine Wells said...

Minna, wow, the Twinings blend sounds amazing. I've never heard of that one. We tend to get the basics here, although having said that, I'm talking about the supermarkets. There are specialist tea shops that might have more exotic blends. I must have a look next time I'm in the city.

Christine Wells said...

Louisa, why of COURSE you drink tea! I would never have supposed otherwise.

Tell me, what is the knack of making iced tea? It seems like the kind of thing you couldn't go too far wrong with but obviously that's not the case!LOL

OMG a mug warmer is exactly what I need. I am always running around with the boys and then microwaving tepid cups of coffee. I must see if I can hunt one down.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Pat, I hear you on the morning sickness! Only for me it was morning noon and night! I totally lost my yen for coffee or tea or just about anything, really. But it came back after the birth, unfortunately!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Jane, thanks for commenting! Another tea drinker. I think tea might be winning, which I did not expect, given most of our readers are from the States!

Christine Wells said...

Haha on the sole sister, Tawny! You two will have to blog together about shoes one day.

It seems like the consensus is definitely no to bottled iced tea. Interesting!

Christine Wells said...

Really, Nancy? You had cream in tea in Britain? I've never heard of that before but maybe Anna can tell us whether it's usual or not. Sometimes I think something is a British tradition only to find that Australia has departed from the traditional somewhere along the line. No one here would ever have cream in their tea as opposed to milk.

The only cream I've had with tea has been dolloped on a jam-laden scone. Mmm. I must admit, we had so many cream teas on our last trip to England, I was actually sick of them by the time we left!

Christine Wells said...

Anna, those pics do look scrumptious, don't they? Next time you're in Brisbane we must have high tea at Room with Roses. I went there with the girlfriends for my birthday and it was spectacular!

Christine Wells said...

Annie thanks for dropping in! Aren't the pictures lovely? Interesting about your travels--I actually think the water you use in tea makes a vast difference. I always notice it when we are at the coast, where the water is softer or harder than town (I can never remember which!) and the tea never tastes right. Even the coffee is different.

And OMG clotted cream. Ahhh. There's nothing like it, is there? My dh always complains about the whipped cream they serve here, especially when it's that stuff from a can. But oh, the health issues! I'm a bit glad it's not so easy to buy clotted cream here!

Anonymous said...

Hey Christine! I am a coffee girl. Love the tea in the afternoon and evening, but I can live without tea. I CANNOT live without coffee.

I drink mine with lots of cream and sugar, if I have my druthers, but am trying to cut back on both cream and sugar, so I'm not sure where that will leave me.

My dream coffee drink of late is a carmel latte with whole milk! YUM!

Oh, and I love that song. I still hum it whenever someone says I love coffee...


hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Christine Wells said...Now, I've never tried evaporated milk in coffee. Is that creamier than normal milk? Interesting...

Oh yes, very creamy, if I don't have the evaporated I just don't drink it.

Nancy said...

Christine, a tea expedition would be great fun. However, the Plaza was bought and turned into a largely residential facility. I just checked the website and found no mention of tea, which was formerly served in the Palm Court. Pastries are available in the Champagne Bar, with fine coffees (for those who are into coffee), but nothing about tea.


Clotted cream is one of my favorite things. I first had it at a little tea room in Tintagel, at an outside table, many years ago. Clotted cream, scones, and tea constitute my favorite food substitute on the far side of the pond.

I did have "white" tea in London, at a swanky hotel (courtesy of my mother), but I don't know whether it was milk or cream or whether it was just an accommodation for tourists to offer the white part.

~Drew said...

Nancy I drink that pot over a few hours, LOL!(A brown betty teapot-holds 6 cups, natch) And that is exactly where I consume mine, in front of the computer,
Agree, nothing like chocolate and tea.

And on the cream debate, No one in my family uses cream in tea. Milk, at least 2%, never skim, skim milk turns the tea to the consistency of dishwater, LOL!

My grandmother used to insist putting the milk in her cup first, THEN pour the tea. Always.
But that's a whole other debate...LOL!

Christine Wells said...

Yay, Kirsten! Another coffee mate:)

And another who knows the java song.

Yes, I love cream and sugar in coffee. Like you, I try to cut down and I can manage to drink my skinny flat whites without sugar, but if I'm having espresso I always need the sugar and what i suppose you would call half and half, not skim. I drink tea quite happily with skim, though. In fact, whole milk tastes too milky in tea. Oh, and caramelatte is one of my faves, too!

Christine Wells said...

Thanks for the info, Dianna. I must try it some time.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Nancy, that is a shame about the Plaza but I'm sure there would be any number of other places we could get a bang-up high tea in New York. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I expect that it was just milk and not cream with tea in London. I think maybe it's just a language breakdown I've been having and that perhaps when you all say cream you often mean milk? Certainly, they do have white tea in England but in my experience, it's usually milk.

Christine Wells said...

Drew, I think that's why I need my tea really strong, so the skim milk doesn't make it taste like dishwater.LOL Perfect description of weak tea, btw. I hate feeling like I'm drinking hot water and milk. Blech.

Janga said...

Christine, there is no Southern Chauvinist Club--or at least none I'm aware of. It's just an expression I started using years ago when I had a brief conversation with the poet Janes Dickey after one of his readings. I responded to a story he related about his joy at returning home to the South after spending considerable time outside the region with a comment about my homecoming celebration with a friend when we reached North Carolina on our journey back after venturing into northern climes and were served grits at breakfast.

I said, "We knew we were back in God's country," and he said, "As one Southern chauvinist to another, I understand." The friend who was with me teased me about belonging to a fellowship of Southern chauvinists. Thus, the Southern Chauvinists Club was born, a convenient designation for those of us who feel blessed to have been born Southern. :)

Nancy said...

Janga, grits! I know exactly how he felt! Nobody else eats grits. Or even understands what they really are.

They are so NOT hominy.

Nancy said...

Christine wrote: I think maybe it's just a language breakdown I've been having and that perhaps when you all say cream you often mean milk?

Many people probably do, but I use the same half-and-half out of the dairy case for tea as I do for coffee.

Joan said...

Diet Coke.

Just sayin'

Christine Wells said...

Janga, what a great story! I like that idea of the Southern Chauvinists club. I'm sure there's one for Australians, too:)

Christine Wells said...

Nancy, I'm just not going to ask what grits are:) That sounds like a whole nother blog. In fact, since we have so many dyed in the wool southerners among us, you all should blog about what it means to be southern some time.

Snork, Joanie! I like diet Coke too.

But it is no substitute for coffee.

I'm just sayin'

limecello said...

Tea! Hot, or cold :)
If hot, unsweetened. If cold... either way.