I don’t drink tea. I don’t drink coffee. This can cause problems.
In any situation involving people you are not entirely familiar with, someone at some point will offer you a tea or coffee. By receiving your hot beverage, you have something familiar to drink, something to hold/do during breaks in conversation, and the host feels like they’ve helped make you feel more comfortable. It’s simply social etiquette (at least in the UK). So when I come along and reject offerings of such comforts, it messes up the whole situation just a little.
Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what happened throughout my first two weeks of this new job. It seems that at some point, everyone in the office has offered me tea/coffee, and come away from the interaction baffled by my persistent and apologetic rejection. In an effort to remedy this situation, I today made tea for everyone. And it was a great success.
Turns out making tea is really easy.
Despite claims that “Oh! Making tea correctly is an art form” and “You must leave the tea bag in for precisely 43.6 seconds before measuring out 22ml of organic semi-skimmed milk along with…”, it’s all actually very straight forward and quite hard to get wrong. I put a tea bag in a mug. I added boiling water. I added milk. I removed tea bag. Everyone said it was good tea.
All these debates about milk before or after the water, and how long tea bags should soak are, I now think, mostly just placebo. As a highly qualified one-time tea maker, I think people need to get off their high-horses and just drink the mouldy water that so many people adore. #controversial
P.S. The one exception is have to tea-drinking is the apple tea they have in Turkey. Utterly delicious. Would recommend.