Writing Portfolio


Time for tea

A forum post on the Wanderlust website got me thinking today. What’s the best tea or coffee I’ve ever had?

I really like tea. I get through rather a lot of the stuff every day and I have a somewhat larger-than-usual mug at work, because that second cup is never quite the same as the first.

But the best one? That’s tricky.

Sometimes they’ve been memorable for the venue. Tea served with condensed milk in rural Kenya, or out of a samovar on an overnight train in Ukraine. Tea from a Thermos flask on top of Pen-y-Ghent in the Yorkshire Dales, or on a windswept Suffolk beach.

Or, let’s face it, served slightly stewed when poured from a very large pot during tea at a cricket match.

My strangest tea-drinking experience was in Khartoum where there are women who serve chai on street corners for passers-by. They all have their own small single-burner stove and a kettle that looks like it was hand-made out of an unidentified larger metal container. I cannot speak Arabic and so had no idea what I was being charged – I just grabbed a handful of coins from my pocket and the woman selected the correct change.

But in the end, I think that the best one is the first of the day. Wherever I may be.

And coffee? Well, in my opinion you can’t beat an espresso in a café in any Italian town. But I am partial to Tim Hortons when I’m in Canada.

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