Heroes of Tea: Arthur Dent (The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

Poor Arthur Dent. Whisked through space by a semi-alcoholic alien travel writer when his home planet is destroyed and totally unable to get a decent cup of tea. I may not be able to sympathise with the first part but I certainly can with the latter.The Nutrimatic drinks dispenser on board the Heart of Gold tries it’s best, but only ever managed to produce a drink “almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea” (the phrase ‘not entirely unlike’ becoming a catchphrase in itself). I’m of the firm opinion that the drinks machine in my office building has been produced by the same firm. Varying wildly in colour from day to day it’s a constant adventure to see whether what you’ve got is actually drinkable. On top of that I spend a fair amount of time working in France where getting some tea is an equally traumatic task.  So, Arthur Dent, I and countless other office workers around the country salute you and your valiant efforts to uphold the fine British tradition of tea, even in space. I may not be hitchiking the galaxy, but I know where you’re coming from.

(I have chosen the picture based on my favorite Arthur. Sorry Martin Freeman, but you are not him. You are a good John Watson though)

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Oolong tea-tasting

To cheer up an office Monday, we ran a little tea-tasting party with some of the oolongs that naivetea sent.

We tried five from their selection: Rose Violet, Yuzu, Mint, Lavendar and Osmanthus.

Our favourite was the Osmanthus, which everyone agreed was light and very refreshing.  The mint was very powerful.

The tasting was enlivened by the discovery of Fergus-Ray Murray‘s poetry.  Enchantingly, though perhaps somewhat sadly, he notes the song is based on a true story.

the oolong tea song

Oolong tea, Oolong tea
Won’t you please come back to me?
I lost your box six weeks ago,
And now I don’t know where to go
For Oooo-oolong tea

Oolong tea, no other tea
Does quite what you do for me.
I miss your subtle peachiness;
Green tea’s great but you’re the best,
My Oooo-oolong tea

Oolong tea, Oolong tea
Your little leaves I long to see
But I can’t find you anywhere
I keep trying shops and you’re not there
Oh-oooo Oolong
Tea ye, Oolong

Oolong tea.

(based on a true story)

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I found myself in Midtown New York last year.  It didn’t seem like a promising tea-town, until we stumbled into subtletea, who took the topic seriously.

They had a comprehensive tea-menu, divided into morning, afternoon and evening teas…

and their website lists a whole load more…

I have to admit being a little intimidated by choice, and consulted Tom for his advice.

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in Midtown and after a cuppa, head over here.  There’s nice tea, and as well as wifi for the macbookers, they have a range of magazines.  When I was there I found this in one of them:


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Sarah-Jane intro

Name: Sarah-Jane

Favourite tea: The cup that someone makes you when you’re sad and tired and it’s the best thing they can think of to help.

Favourite place to drink tea: Curled up on the sofa with a good book. Either that or at the end of a good night out.

Favourite mug: Does anyone remember a TV show called ‘Ed‘ that was about a lawyer who also ran a bowling alley? When I was supposed to be revising for my A Levels I got obsessed with it. A couple of years later my friend went to America and brought me back an ‘Ed’ Mug that says ‘Attorney at Law’ with a picture of a bowling pin on it. I don’t even use it to drink tea out of, I keep pens in it as I’m scared it will get broken or faded if I actually use it.

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More tea-tut for you to enjoy cluttering your home with!  Hurrah!

This time, it’s in the form of a tea towel.  Now, quite how the tea-towel relates to the contemporary cup of tea I can never quite be sure.  Perhaps for mopping spillages, for keeping the pot warm for people remiss enough to misplace the cosy, perhaps for drying those dainty tea cups?  I must admit, my tea-towels are not truly tea-specific.  That is, until yesterday.  This is because yesterday I was lucky enough to be given a Very Lovely new tea-towel.

As you can see, it is indeed Very Lovely.  As such it will only serve genteel tea-specific functions.  If you would like to buy your own, or another from their range of printed goods (their tea Christmas Card looks very handsome) then this link will be helpful.  If you would like to jot down further suggestions for tea-ing up your tea-towels, then I would be delighted to read them.

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Etsy picks: mugs

Etsy is brilliant. You can find pretty much anything you want on there and it’s all made and sold be independent artists & crafters from around the world. The only problem is that it’s easy to get sucked into an idle browsing black hole, which is what happened to me this weekend. However, it’s not all wasted time because in my hunting I managed to create a list of some of the nicest things to drink tea from on the site.

This mug has a bear on it, dancing the La Bamba. I don’t even know what else you want, or expect, from a mug. $25 from corduroy.

I’ve had my eye on this Pride & Prejudiced themed mug for a while now. I’m a bit of a Jane Austen fan, see, and what could be more English than a cup of tea from a mug featuring one of the classic lines in English literature? $16 from Brookish

We all know mustaches are hip right now. Tom had one for a while so he probably started the trend. Anyway, cash in on it with this mustache mug, $14 from DailyGrinder

What to do with the teabag once I’ve brewed my tea for the required amount of time is always a tricky subject for me. I brew herbal teas for longer than my standard Yorkshire fare and so have a tendency to wander around with the bag in mug. Not having anywhere to put it has lead to a) overbrewing and b) wet teabags on my desk before now but as if by magic, this amazing mug with teaba pocket is here to solve all my problems. The real question is why somebody didn’t think of this sooner.  $25 from AngelaIngram

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Sri Lanka

Beautifully shot video about the tea industry in Sri Lanka that I’ve just stumbled upon.

[Sorry, can’t embed it, but go here to watch!]

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