Sunday, 18 April 2010

Mad Hatter Tea Party

Last Friday was the deadline for tax submissions in the US. In recent years this has become a media event, thanks to the “Tea Party Movement”. This blog is not a political blog, even on a Sunday, so I will try not to comment on the politics of it. I can’t but resist drawing your attention to the sound intellectual basis for the “Party”, especially considering the towering genius in Sarah Palin who has been adopted/appropriated/self appointed as its mascot. But we shall let that pass lightly.

Instead this post is on the Tea, in the Tea Party movement. I know the political advantages of claiming the legacy of the Boston Tea Party, but I am intrigued as to what kind of tea, if any, is drunk in Tea Party meetings, especially the sort where the N word is frequently used, and the vocabulary is limited to hoarse renderings of baby killer, shoot the pig etc etc.

Anybody who’s been anywhere near the country knows what sort of tea is served and consumed in the bastion of the free world. This blogger, some years ago, had the mortification of this experience. He went to an eating joint and asked for a cup of tea. What size ? Small. He was given a 1 metre tall giant of a glass with enough hot water to keep 3 cows from thirst for a year. And separately, one limp tea bag – yes one limp tea bag. I ask you, fair ladies and gentlemen, is this what that noble drink has come to ?

I hereby declare war on the tea bag. I cannot even imagine to understand how anybody could conceive of the idea of making tea with a tea bag. Unfortunately, I know how, having worked in the company that unleashed this monstrosity on the unsuspecting public. There were armies of wizards with PhDs who were, forever, designing an “improved tea bag”. Imagine the lot of these worthies – when they reached the gates of heaven and St Peter asked them what noble deeds they had done in their lives, they would have to say, I increased the length of the tea bag by 1 cm !! Ouch !!

Back to the US. On enquiry, in my greener days, I was advised that tea in the US meant iced tea – only the whingeing Poms had it black. So I decided to sample this local adaptation of the great drink. Small size again. And what did I get ?? An even taller glass, perhaps 2 metres tall, filled with 74 cubes of ice and some pale liquid trying to find its way through those massive glaciers. After this, the limp tea bag seemed positively inviting.

I simply cannot believe that either of these two alternatives were on the menu at the Tea Parties that happened all over the US last week. Imagine a 700 pound man yelling obscenities at the government while sipping hot water from a glass with a thread dangling from it. Sort of destroys the image, doesn’t it ?? Not even the Beer Party can go with the picture – a six pack of Buds Lite might be better, but does not do justice to a fire breather. Whisky Party, or Rum Party, might be more believable but don’t have the tang.

So therein lies the real problem for the Tea Party movement. Forget the N word. Sort out the T word !


gils said...

i the first :D

gils said...

T for tax i the hate too ..grrrrr....kattabomman mathiri..velai pakarom sambalam vangarom..unaken katta vendum vari apdinu vasanam pesa thonthu..

gils said...

prev comment was from a movie :D u shd watch it to pick up ur tamil :D

gils said...

nethu i was watchin alice in wonderland....cudnt c it fully...seri mokka..intha tea party sequencela stop paniten :))

Ramesh said...

@gils - Agree Gils ; Under Section 11A (1c) subsection iii, Gils is hereby granted full tax exemption on the grounds of outstanding service to the blogging community. G3 is granted 50% exemption for egging Gils on ! And yes, Alice in wonderland is an eminently forgettable movie. I thought you only watched movies starring Tamannah ?? (only zeno and RamMmm would fully understand !)

Sandhya Sriram said...

keeping the connosieurs of tea in ourselves aside, tea bags have indeed simplified life.

it has removed the tea boys serving carcinogenic reheated (but very tasty) tea.

It has removed the tea making clerks and kitchens from offices

it has removed the desk service of tea

it has removed distinction on quality and clenliness of cups on tea depending on the hierarchy and power of the individual.

And any day it is better option to the vending machine teas which serve tea with unhealthy icing sugars.

and so some credit in heaven to the persons who introduced the concept :-)

But given a choice - i would have preferred the dabara - tumbler tea served with a smile by that friendly tea boy :-)

ambulisamma said...

Am not sure what i can comment on tea,since am a non consumer.But always felt great for those tea bags since,i need not put an effort on doing the tea dish,while prparing tea for one person.
But i guess china tea is tastier,recently husband got a compliment from an china client and it was fresh tea leaves and he is loving it.

zeno said...

Starbucks la large latte mocha apadinu lam vangi kudikaama edhu enna chinna pulla thanama ? :)

Deepa said...

HAHAHA !! When you described that 'small' cup. I was vehemently nodding my head! Maybe its a fallout of this place being the 'land of abundance'. Forget whats inside the cup, atleast its in abundance!

Although, I am not a tea-drinker. But making tea is an epical phenomena in my house! There is one person solely dedicated for making tea. My dad wants it made just the right way. Unfortunately, if you mix all ingredients and put it to boil if you are feeling lazy, he can make out in one sip, and then you can be killed. My grandpa liked tea in the Teapot, milk and sugar on the side. My Mom likes it served just the right amount and in her favourite cup. If I look at the extended family, there are as many quirks as there are individuals.I am sure all over the country everyone has his own idea of a perfect cuppa. Such is the royal importance of tea in India, belittled in the land of 'Tea Party movement'! :D:D

@Gils: Thanks professor! :P
(For everyone elses info, I am under Gil's tutelage to learn Tamil! :P:P)

Ramesh said...

@Sandhya - Oh yes, the office tea is story unto itself. The tea vending machines are surely the worst invention of man ! The dabara tumbler is more suited for the aerated coffee - perhaps the chipped old tea cup might give a better flavour !

@ambulisamma - Yes tea is a big thing in China , but of course the green variety. If you like your tea with 1 litre of milk and a kg of sugar in it, hardboiled for 15 mts, then you won't appreciate this version.

@zeno - Much embarrassment. Personal experiences quoted here were before the onset of Starbucks !!!

@Deepa - Oh everybody has his own favourite in tea and everybody else's way of making it results in dishwater.

J said...

Not being a huge tea drinker, my response is the same as for the Tea Party Movement - what's all the fuss about? Tea drinkers are a particularly difficult lot to please - it has to brewed just right, too much or it will be bitter, I have never been accused of brewing it too less; leaf please, no dust; fine china cup please, no ceramic mugs; nothing beats the sweaters lovingly knit for the teapot :)

I do miss the tea boys bringing coffee/tea... oh the good old days.

Ramesh said...

@J - What is life if we don't make a mountain of a molehill !! You a coffee drinker ?? Then we shall post on the appropriate technique of aeration !!

Vishal said...

Perfect T-Post (Technically Thiru's Tremendous Tantalizing Post) for a Sunday. No better than having a cup of tea right now while reading this amzaing stuff!

Oh yes, I still miss late night tea (have yet to figure out better than that) that I used to have on the streets of "the city of joy".

In this case, T finds itself at the worst place which does not justify its true nature! Alas!

ambulisamma said...

Even if the tea is best,i could not probably appreciate bcoz i can never drink one.

Ramesh said...

@Vishal - Wow - TTTT is a bit like RamMmm !! Ah the late night chai in the city of joy - Priceless experience.

@ambulisamma - Really ?? Coffee post one of these days !

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