Tea. For our US neighbours across the pond who don’t generally own kettles as part of their kitchen paraphernalia, tea is seen as something delightfully old fashioned, ladylike and whimsical, to be served at 4pm in frilly porcelain cups with sugar lumps, a vicar and some crustless cucumber sandwiches.
But as we all know, tea is a particularly Irish experience too. And quite a different one at that. None of yer Liptons or PG Tips here, thanksverymuch. Oh no. Bang a bag or three in a mug, leave it brew for a half-life of at least a thousand years so the resultant tannin stains will keep your dentist in business till kingdom come and that’s a proper Irish Cupan Tae O’Toole. Forget to warm the teapot first? Expect a clatther about the head from your mother for your incredible stupidity, so. It’ll get cold, you craythur! And dare to refuse a cup in someone’s house on a visit? <insert Mrs Doyle Clip here>
And then of course, like county colours, it’s possible to size someone up and assess their character – much in the way that a Nordie Mammy can know your seed, breed and bad thoughts based on your surname – based on the brand of tea they drink.
So people. Are YOU a Barry’s or a Lyons quaffer? Me? I’m in the Lyons camp. I grew up in a Lyons household, despite having a Corkish father. What can I say? He was clearly rebelling, as is the wont of those from the Real Republic. And to this day, no other tay holds sway.
You? Dish in a comment. This is a safe space of no judgement. Yet…
(by Kirstie McDermott)