Archives for 26 April 2006

Advice to an Englishwoman about to take her tea

By all means you must have your tea. It is tea, not wine, that is the nectar of the gods. The British became the greatest nation on earth by the simple expedient of drinking more tea than the Chinese. They then established the British Empire in order to safeguard the shipping lanes and secure their tea supplies. American cotton, Alsatian iron, Sumatran tin and Aztec gold, all could be left in foreign hands — but tea was a Strategic Commodity and had to be controlled. As, for obviously consequent reasons, did sugar. So by all means drink your tea, and if it is bitter or slightly off, close your eyes and think of England.