India Doyle: Tea is the answer

What ever the question, tea is the answer

There’s absolutely nothing that can’t be solved by a cup of tea.

…Well you know, except things like world poverty, world peace, the morally deficient state of mankind, David Beckham’s Left Foot, David Beckham’s Right Foot for that matter…oh no, that’s Love, actually.

Sorry, where was I?


Carol Ann Duffy wrote a lovely little poem about how much she liked pouring her lover’s tea and she hits on the intrinsic intimacy that comes through the whole act. Each cup can be seen as a small present or gesture, which joins individuals. The act of giving from one person to another, where hands may awkwardly touch as it is passed across, fingers lingering around the same chipped mug which bears the skull-bendingly hilarious slogan, ‘keep calm…and drink tea’.

Pouring and passing a cup of tea need not signify anything sexual (I know, shock horror) – but it denotes affection at least towards another individual. It shows that you are willing to take time out of your day, to sit and listen to another, to bond and to share something, even if it is just an uncomfortable ten minutes spent slurping in silence. In this fast paced world, drinking tea allows you to stand – or more likely to sit – still.

Tetley’s, Lipton, PG Tips, Typhoo, Earl Grey, and all those hippy herbal ones that shout promises of SKINNY and DETOXIFYING at you through their clever bright packaging…whatever your poison, we have all come to rely on the soothing, calming, restorative nature of, not only the tea itself, but also the social aspect that comes with it.

I know what you’re thinking – “India Doyle, this is worse than when you lost it and wrote about Ghosts last semester”.  Well the thing is Valentine’s Day is on Thursday, and what with Tesco looking more and more like a butchers on LSD, I think it’s important to find non-red tin foiled ways of showing love and affection towards another human being.

Oh yes, Valentine’s Day. On no other occasion would any of us be tricked into buying a chocolate bar in the shape of a light switch, which says ‘turn me on’. February 14th is the most awkward and uncomfortable day for couples and non-couples alike. If you have a partner, you face the prospect of sitting uncomfortably in Pizza Express, fondling your pizza and avoiding the smirks of passers by. Or worse, if you ignore the day, you must exist on the adrenaline of not knowing whether or not you have made a fatal mistake. If you don’t have a partner, you find yourself justifying how you really are okay with being single, whilst walking past some smug couple in Pizza Express. The whole day is a total nightmare.

With this in mind, I would now like to draw your attention back to tea. I suppose not tea, but tea as a symbol of the small, intimate ways in which we all show our affection every day of the year. So this Thursday, when the Lumsden Rose inevitably doesn’t come through the door, one can take solace in knowing that as long as you’ve got a kettle, tea will give you something more permanent and life affirming than any Thornton’s chocolate could.