We are a fairly diverse office.
Six boys and two girls. Three fathers, and one stepfather. Two husbands, three co-habitees, and three singles. One marathon runner. An ex-military man, an ex-husband, and an ex-sailor. Four homeowners, two renters, and two multiple-home owners. One in his 20's, four in their 30's, two in their 40's, and one about to turn 60.
We are all very different. Different lives, different backgrounds, and different outlooks. But we've discovered a common ground.
We are all obsessed with tea.
Someone will do a tea round about six times a day, and each time, the reaction is as if everyone is on the brink of dying of thirst. Enthusiasm abounds. The steaming mugs are brought back through to us, and each one is grasped and slurped from, and everyone gives a pleasing, "aaaaah". There is nothing like a new cuppa tea.
One of our lads joined the company as a hardened coffee drinker. He would arrive and head straight for the Nespresso machine, with one of the little black capsules, and a small cup, to get a short sharp shock of caffeine, and go back, and back five and six times a day. Then one day he was accidentally given tea instead. And now he's one of us. We converted him. Lured him in and snared him. With tea.
But we're diverse in our tastes. PG Tips, of course, gets the popular vote. But I'm an Early Grey drinker myself, so I took a box of that in on my first day. One of the boys was given a sample of Redbush, and that's become a popular mid-afternoon tipple. And mint tea (or "lesbian tea" as it's oddly known between the boys) of course, for the return to the office from an indulgent lunch.
Then one day there were hangovers, and I introduced them to the wonder that is Twinings Morning Detox. Knocks all hangovers dead. Official. But it convinced us of the medicinal qualities of tea, and now we look to it to fix everything. Stress, hunger, digestion, hayfever. Everything.
This afternoon I discovered that there are no fewer than eleven different sorts of tea in the cupboard. I think that we've become obsessive. We have reached the point where we really only go to work to drink tea. I think that maybe we need to ween ourselves off.
I wonder if there's a tea for that ...?
house of eels: july 2017*
1 week ago