PG Tips (A Morning Tea Ritual)

May 24, 2012 | By | COMMENTS

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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:

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Inside are stringless tea bags; you plop one into a mug:

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And pour on the boiling water:

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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:

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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.

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  • Rachel

    America is an odd country (English born and bred). No electric kettles, no milk in tea… If you drink a lot of tea an electric kettle will improve your life immensely. I take my tea with just a dash of milk, no sugar, I can’t stand sweet tea. I’ve never heard of anyone in England putting honey in black tea.

    I also recommend Yorkshire Tea, although PG Tips is good, tbh I’m not fussy about my brand of tea, as long as I’m getting my 5/6 cups a day (tea and water are pretty much the only non-alcoholic drinks I drink).

    (I also read your toast post, the fact you had to go and buy a toaster to make toast was odd too, you’d struggle to find a house in Britain without both a toaster and an electric kettle).

  • STT

    PG Tips is the second best choice – I can’t drink coffee, which I adore, so tea is very, very important to me. I drink Tetley British Blend in the little round sachets, and it’s deeply satisfying. We went through a big renovation recently, and the house was crawling with handsome Irishmen, and each and every one of them were Tetley’s British Blend drinkers. Sigh.