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||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
I was a bit dismayed to read that there has been a slump in tea sales in recent years and am sure that is in some way linked to the apparent rise in anti-social behaviour. I am not convinced however that this is due to people drinking fruit-flavoured infusions as an alternative.
I heard on the radio this morning that there has been an increase in milk sales recently which has been attributed to the rise in the “cappuccino culture”. This seems also to be a more likely explanation for the fall in tea sales.
Be warned, the Americans went down this very same path many years ago and look how that ended up!
|Nicey replies: When I was chatting on the radio about it the chairman of the Tea Council flatly refuted any claims that coffee was involved. He also thought the figures were a bit misleading, and not as much as painted by Mintel. He put the blame on fizzy drinks and herbal teas, but made the point that their findings are that people switch to tea as soon as they go to collage or get a job.
Good point about the Americans, we don't want to end up with the sort of society that gives rise to Barney rather than Balamory.
A colleague of mine has just commented on the sludge in the bottom of my mug."What's that!?" she exclaimed, with that facial expression which one usually wears when removing something unpleasant from the bottom of one's shoe.
"That's where I've been dunking digestives", I proudly proclaimed. (I'm an out-of-the-closet dunker.)
"Aaah," said she, obviously not impressed. "That's 'glopping', that is".
Well I've not heard of 'glopping' before, and so I began to wonder. What other names does the wonderful hobby of dunking have? Do you or any of your esteemed staff or readers know of any alternatives?
Best wishes to Wifey and the YMoS.
|Nicey replies: Sounds like she was calling the bottom sludge 'glopping'. Any how to be fair it's not a pleasant business dealing with other peoples bottom sludge, I would consider it good etiquette for dunkers to clean out their own mugs. I suppose in the movies when they want to artificially simulate lots of 'glopping' for an epic tea and biscuit dunking scene they let a couple of Weetabix go soggy in milk and use that. I bet that will turn up in one of those bonus 'The making of' special edition DVDs at some point.|
||I, like many right-minded individuals, am more than a little concerned with the shocking statistics re low-level tea drinking amongst our youth. This coming mere days after the endorsement by our government of banning hoodies at Bluewater seems like more than a coincidence. Indeed I feel that the lack of desire amongst our youth to enjoy a soothing cup O tea is directly linked to the increase in yob culture. I have been enjoying tea since my earliest years & have never indulged in yobbish pursuits. Home Office minister Hazel Blears is on the right track when she makes the case for getting families to eat dinner together but this idea should be taken further & include mandatory tea breaks for all youths, with a nice selection of biscuits on little china plates. This would give them time for quiet reflection with their peers & hopefully assuage any desires to don a hoodie & make merry hell in a nearby shopping centre.|
Mr Jason Cook
Let me introduce myself. My name is Steve Stone and I am a growing Tea enthusiast. Both the brand and the style of tea making can be as important as the biscuit it comes with.
As I am rushed for time I have to make this email short and to the point (I am a busy student). Nice cup of tea and a sit down has unfortunatly missed a very important point about tea. (I'll try not to sound to much like an activist but....) Did you know because of fluctuating market prices for the tea farmers (God bless them for growing that beautiful golden drink) they often dont know if they'll get their money back from the production cost? Trade rules are grossly unfair to farmers in the developing world and it is because of this that fair trade tea is so good, more then matching its rivals in taste and quality. Not only this but you can drink it and know that you are not robbing innocent farmers of their lives. Its all organic and tastes lovely.
Its the sweet taste of justice to accompany that perfect bourbon.
Tea is beautful, and we should keep the farmers that grow it experianced enough to pass on their tea growing knowledge to their children in as an enthusiastic manner as those who enjoy the product of their labour. Please please please replace the PG tips picture with a fairtrade picture as PG and Tetley are particully bad :( (It is a simple and effective step to take)
Also tea tastes soo much better in a china cup instead of a plastic one :D
Many thanks for your time
|Nicey replies: Steve,
As we have always said we drink PG and so personally that is that. However, of course the points you raise are of real importance to real people's lives, and we are very happy to give them space here. PG have this to say about their responsibility to producers and their membership of the Ethical Tea Partnership, as are Tetley. Now I'm the first to say that I've not had first hand experience and witnessed the arguments either way with my own eyes. It is, however, of note that such a body exists and and that it was set up by the industry to provide independent monitoring of its own practices.
The fact that more and more people such as yourself are being vocal about these issues is putting increasing pressure on the industry to be transparent about the practices involved in tea production. Your right as a consumer to choose fairtrade products is having a real effect on the market, and market leading products ultimately have no choice but to respond to that constructively or loose market share. After all if the big brands are seen to be actively addressing ethical issues then surely this will lead to a far greater result for all concerned in the long run.
Yes obviously drinking tea from plastic is far from ideal, however, at times such as on the 9:45 Kings Cross Express it does the job nicely.
|Sorry to spoil the numbers Joanne, but I have added to the Garibaldi correspondence, and you may have counted me as male, when in fact I am female! On a Garibaldi type biscuit not, has anyone else noticed that those apple and cinnamon biscuits sold in packs of three biccies by McVities as part of their Go Ahead range are remarkably like Garibaldis in shape and texture? Three are just a nice number with a nice cup of tea when having a sit down.|
Yours biscuitly (in a female sort of way)
|Nicey replies: Hoorah for you and your ladyness Chris (we worked it out ages ago..). Yes there are some good fruity biscuits to be had in the Go-Ahead range, which is recovering nicely from its initial Mr Motivator led campaign, some ten or so years ago.|