Recently a friend (who shall remain nameless (John K.)) compared me to an “old lady” because I described my new morning routine: I make toast and I make tea. Tea and toast.
I’ve described the toast to you, but not the tea. I started with Harney & Sons but as that started to run out, I bought a box of PG Tips from my local Gelson’s. I first heard about PG Tips from my friend Morgan, who went to school in England and drank lots of tea; then I saw it again in April Bloomfield’s new book, where she describes drinking it with a splash of milk.
The carton comes almost like a packet of tissues; you open it from the top:
Inside are stringless tea bags; you plop one into a mug:
And pour on the boiling water:
The timing of this is crucial. You want enough time for your tea to steep.
So my morning ritual goes something like this: I walk into the kitchen and I put a pot of water on to the boil (I don’t have a kettle, so it’s just a metal pot). Then I feed my cat (yes, the cat thing adds to the “old lady” argument; noted), put a tea bag in the mug, and when the water comes to a boil I pour it over the tea.
That’s when I put the toast in to toast. When the toast pops up and I’ve spread it with that day’s topping (fig jam; Nutella with sea salt) the tea’s usually ready to go:
I’ve been adding a small spoonful of sugar and a splash of milk, and then I eat the toast while sipping the tea.
So much about this ritual appeals to me: because of the small amount of effort, it feels a little special. Both the toast and the tea are warm, so that’s comforting. And the caffeine in the tea is just enough to start my day; I can still have my typical afternoon coffee later on.
As for the tea itself, PG Tips produces a strong, flavorful tea. The milk helps temper it, and the sugar adds just a hint of sweetness.
So the next time you see a box of PG Tips at the store, take it home along with a loaf of bread. You may want to adopt a cat on the way back too. Then you and I can start an Old Lady Club and start our mornings with tea, toast and cats together. We can even have our hair in curlers.