EVERYTHING stops for tea.
It’s refreshing. It’s easy to make. And it’s our national drink.
A lovely cup of tea sets you up for the day and helps you put up your feet at the end of one.
However, I can’t help but admit that I am a traditionalist when it comes to a cuppa.
I can’t be doing with Earl Grey. Perfumed tea!
What’s that all about?
It’s like drinking scent. With a dash of milk. And I also don’t fancy these new-fangled herbal teas, either.
I admit I am a bit of a child in the matter. While I’ve tried (accidentally) Earl Grey and can vouch that I don’t like it, herbal infusions (as they are known) have not crossed my lips. But I just know I won’t enjoy them.
Camomile, raspberry, peppermint!
It makes my mouth go dry in protest just thinking about them.
However, it seems that our business leaders are becoming addicted to the stuff.
A new piece of research shows that board room meetings are refreshed as often as not by a cup of jasmine tea as they are by a cup of common or garden tea.
Some say that this is because celebrity slurpers are behind the trend.
And, being dopey, some people will simply follow like sheep wherever their favourite showbiz personality leads.
Whatever, last year’s sales of herbal teas went up and up, it’s claimed.
They were dominated by fruit and berry flavours though teas with medicinal qualities are catching up, apparently.
Another reason is that people are looking for alternatives to a glass of wine as a relaxant.
They have turned their backs on the corkscrew and turned on the kettle.
Now, I can understand this.
And here the Yorkshireman in me comes to the fore.
We are constantly being softened up by politicians for an impending rocket rise in the price of a bottle of booze.
They reckon it is for our own good. We are drinking too much and our health is suffering.
Yeah, sure. Nothing to do with massive sums they will poach from our pockets in the process? Of course not.
Whatever. I can see that some people will want to reduce the amount of cash they spend on increasingly expensive bottles of booze.
And that would fit with another trend.
For it is reckoned that one shopper in three is planning to cut back on their food bill as part of the belt tightening we are all (unless you’re banker, of course) engaged in at the moment.
The retail sector is said to be preparing for a dip in turnover and profits as the nation counts its pennies.
And who can be surprised?
With petrol prices rising to dizzy heights and the cost of many other essentials on the up, we have got to make economies somewhere.
Who knows it may even get people to looking at what they eat and, even more importantly, how they prepare it.
Cooking a good meal can be almost as rewarding as eating one.
And I have found over the years that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to produce good food.
But it does take time. There are those who say they don’t have any of this precious commodity to spare. But that’s rubbish. They just can’t be bothered.
Well, got that off my chest. Now I’m off for a nice cuppa...