I have been drinking hot sweet milky tea since I was eleven. I love everything about it.
I like going for walks with a cup of tea in my travel mug. I like sitting at my desk and writing with a cup of tea at my elbow. I like making M make me tea. (And, when the girl is old enough, I will teach her to make me tea.)
Over the years, various people have tried to shame me over the amount of sugar I use in my tea. And I mostly shout at them until they go away.
A few years ago, realizing that my metabolism was slowing down and that I do use too much sugar, I foolishly tried to cut out some out.
After a week or two I realized that I was fiddling with the one thing that consistently makes me happy. And that I relied on the boost the sugar was giving me in addition to the caffeine.
Well, today on Facebook, someone shared a link from a 1945 essay George Orwell wrote about making the perfect cup of tea.
And I was mostly in agreement with him until I got to these two paragraphs:
"Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should
be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here.
But still, how can you call yourself a true tea-lover if you destroy the
flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally
reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as
beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting
the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very
similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.
Some people would answer that they don’t like tea in itself, that
they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need
sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try
drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very
unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it
I promptly got M's attention and read the offending paragraphs to him, mostly because I wanted him to feel better about himself.
I felt good about making him feel good, until he said, "See!?! You should try going two weeks without sugar!"
I stared at him, flabbergasted, and retorted, "Only if you cut the sugar from your coffee!"
"Fine!" he said.
We stared at each other.
"Starting when?" I asked.
"Tomorrow morning," he answered.
And now I'm going to have to do it. Because of George Orwell and M and my bloody metabolism. All of which is to say: WAAAAAH!