Sunday, 5 April 2009

Everything stops for tea...

My American friend, the Redheadeditor, laughs at me every time we chat. This is invariably at about three or four o'clock in the afternoon and I will be sitting in front of the computer catching up on my emails with a nice cup of tea - like all true Brits.

During school holidays in my childhood, it was compulsory for us all to sit down and have a cup whilst listening to 'Diddy' David Hamilton on Radio One who had adapted the tune above, rhyming 'when the clock strikes three' with 'everything stops for tea' and playing two or three tracks without interruption.

Sitting down for a cuppa is such a quintessentially English thing. Assam and Darjeeling or those perfumed imposters, Lapsang Souchong and Earl Grey. Connotations of Victorians, the Empire, India, the Raj and the Memsahib. Tea and tiffin with one's social standing dependent on whether you put the milk in first or after.

However, a year or so ago, I started to do the unthinkable. I stopped putting milk in at all, partly to do with my associations with Ruf, who is a vegan and I didn't like the way it tasted with soya milk. But I still drank my 'monkey' tea... just black.

The PG Tips chimps were always my favourite advert and even the rather insipid recent dilution with Johnny Vegas and Monkey can be quite entertaining.

When I became more ecologically conscious, I moved away from PG and began to buy the Fair Trade Organic Clipper tea which was advertised as a greener option and made a very good substitute with the added bonus of the feel good factor in terms of helping the poorly paid tea traders of the world.

A few months later, I was introduced to herbal teas and, in particular, Rooibos, the South African red bush tea. My favourite was definitely the one that came mixed with vanilla. The smell was divine. However, I was alerted to the theory that too much rooibos can affect thyroid function. So, being of a certain age, I reserve my rooibos indulgence for special occasions only.

Someone suggested that I use chamomile teas to help encourage a less frantic frame of mind during my current emotional upheavals. Twinings do various chamomile selections but, again, my favourite involves vanilla and honey as an addition.

I was perusing the Stress No More site recently in the course of my research into my impending Menopause and I discovered Yerba Mate. This South American infusion is very pleasant indeed and many people claim that it has a lot of health-giving properties. It is like a cross between a herbal tea and normal tea, with a similar effect to green tea in that it definitely energises you. The sort of tannin-y after-taste is familiarly comforting too.

One thing I have definitely noticed since I started drinking it is that my appetite seems to be suppressed. Obviously, I have a lot of emotional stress going on at the moment which, with my predisposition towards anorexia, gives me problems in eating anyway but this is different from usual. It's not so much that I don't fancy eating, it's more a case of actually feeling full. To test whether this really is the case, over Easter, I shall be sharing some of the bags with a couple of friends: Ruf, who can always eat, and another female friend who is actively trying to lose weight and adores herbal teas.

Their observations to follow in a couple of weeks.

If you fancy giving Yerba Mate a try, please can you order through the link below. Now that I have to get myself a job and a new home, I'm using all possible means to supplement my income. But I will only be recommending the things that I do actually use/like.

With many thanks to everyone who has contacted me direct to offer their support. It really does mean a great deal.

Joanna x


Gorilla Bananas said...

Could the full feeling you get from drinking tea be wind, Mrs Cake? I remember a recipe for a fart potion that was a type of tea.

Lady in red said...

I am known in our office for drinking 'funny tea' I have a variety of fruit teas from Twinnnings. Our MD drinks green tea.

I have been meaning to contact you, your recent posts have made me want to reach out and hug you.

Krazy said...

I am from South America and drink mate quite often. When I was in college we used to keep us awake while studying late nights. It has caffeine in it, so it boosts your energy. I drink it in a "mate" ( which is a decorated gourd with a metallic straw. When you drink it like this, you can drink a whole thermos of water without even knowing it. It is definitely filling, and it's an excellent alternative to snacking when you are trying to lose weight. Of course you need to avoid putting sugar in it.

Dark Side said...

Cake (Joanna) I have just been catching up on your posts of the last few weeks and I am so very sorry to hear things have finally reached the point of no return....

(((hugs)) is all I can send but heartfelt all the same..xx

Anonymous said...

I am a tea connoiseur....838-8490

I can share cups and recommend riverside in Hillcrest is a great place for tea,coffee,and chocolate or liquor chocolates...

courtesy of Nemo

Mr. Nighttime said...

Growing up in NYC, I hated drinking tea. My mom would try giving it to me when I was sick, and I thought it was the nastiest, vilest liquid on the planet. Then, when I went away to college in Buffalo, a miracle happened.

Since Buffalo is so close to the Canadian border, I had a friend that liked to go shopping in Fort Erie, and he would bring back boxes of PG Tips.

At his insistence, I tried some, and was totally blown away. I began to understand that a lot of the tea we had here in the US was crap, and I fell in love with PG Tips, and later, Typhoo.

Nowadays, I can find them in the local stores here in Rochester, and I enjoy a cuppa in hte afternoon or at night.

Gotta go, kettle is boiling.

Anonymous said...

For the people of the closed forever portal....

it is closed due to lack of access to e-mailing...but the number is legitimate...

small gatherings,etc..

if anyone was inquired about the closed forever portal...31,ann,etc

tea connoiseur or orchid guy...

having my cake said...

Mr Bananas - I suppose that's always an alternative way of looking at it... but there is no distention or exhaust :)

LiR - Im not so keen on the fruit teas. A bit too much like warm Ribena for me. Thanks for the hug x

Krazy - I forgot to mention the caffeine bit but that would probably explain why it reminded me so much of green tea. I never put sugar or milk in my tea. The gourd sounds fascinating, although over here that might be regarded as rather odd in a cafe :)

Dark Side - Thank you x

Nemo - err... ok

Mr Nighttime - I know whenever I used to go abroad on holiday, we always took our own teabags from home. I didnt realise the States was such a backwater in tea terms tho :) Have one for me!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cake, I've been a bit of lurker here but have really enjoyed reading your blog.

I'm a fellow tea fan, and it was lovely to read this post.

As for your appetite loss, I've recently discovered smoothies. There's nothing like having one of these when you can't be bothered to eat. Someone also recommended taking royal jelly to help stimulate the appetite.

I hope things work out for you. From reading your blog, I really feel like you deserve some happiness.
Clare x

having my cake said...

Clare - Hello and Welcome x Thanks for you good wishes and I do enjoy Smoothies :)