A Letter from Tea to Coffee

By Emily Poole


Dear coffee,


If we are going to continue, shot after shot, battling on the front line for our place in the homes of Tea & Coffee drinkers, we shall have to make one thing crystal clear: You may be the apple of the American eye but you will never conquer English prestige. I was sceptical to begin with but they certainly are appreciating you. Commercialised to the max, whoring yourself out in Starbucks and Costa in those cheap polystyrene mugs. You’re a disgrace to what you’re worth. Lost your value you have.


Whereas I… I have been all around the world. Presented in the finest bone china cups, I continue to be a luxury for the higher classes. With the marriage of King Charles II to the Portuguese princess Catherine, imports of my kind began in the 1660s. A symbol of royalty I was. Pah! You may have shops specifically for you and rendevous’ dedicated to your indulgence, but where is your dignity? Surely it’s far more sophisticated to gather at one’s home for a light cuppa.


From my early creation in China, my sweet scent was medicinal gold. My herbal range brings the elimination of antioxidants, even recently proven to lower cholesterol. Beat that you drugged up sleep depriver! I am still the English nation’s number one favourite beverage. Lose the mumbo jumbo about all your perks for heaven’s sake. A life-saver for early mornings? I think not. More than four cups of you a day can lead to premature death. So put that in your brew and stir it.


And don’t go saying, ‘Oh but Tea, I am essential for happiness! Caffeine makes them merry’. Oh I know. I know that over time all these supposed ‘pick me ups’ you claim to provide are causing an increased risk of anxiety and depression. And don’t go claiming that I also contain caffine, because 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proves the miniscule amount of caffeine in my cup contains the natural protein, theanine, which wonderfully counteracts those unhealthy side effects. Yeah! You Brew, are completely alone in your detrimental ways.


So please, pull the plug on these petty lies and look at the facts. You give people stinky breath, blacken their pearly whites (the poor mugs) and force them to come back for the next fix because you burden them which such foul headaches. No perks. Nothing.


Most of my devoted consumers are drinking way too much of you! They should be ingluging in my many perks. It is proven that my exquisite Jasmine tea allows you to see better, my black tea can aid the reduction of stress levels, as well as the classic white tea making the average Joe look younger by the second. Which is why, my fierce rival, I am in absolute awe of the fact that many people would choose your bitter tasting palette, over my soothing drops of sheer delight. Utter nonsense.


Your origins in Ancient Egypt have nothing on mine. I continually flourish in the oriental cuisine market and have generously presented a vast variety in herbal refreshments. Tea production in China, historically, was a laborious process, conducted in distant and poorly accessible regions. You hear that Mr Americano? I am a rareity that God Almighty himself preserved in nature for the most illustrious of us. One does not broaden the useage of such opulence. You can brag all you want about having the treasured ‘coffee table’ dedicated to you. But coffee, as a superior order, I command you to take the back seat in this relationship. For it is me you should bow to.


I shall be keeping an eye on you matey, you’re costing my beloved consumers an arm and a leg as they attempt to source any kind of delectable version of yourself. Introduce them to the taste of my medicine for a change, give it a shot old chap, one’s calorie-free liquid goodness is bound to blow your existence out of the water sooner or later. You’ll see.


So at Afternoon Tea next week, please do try and keep your officious nose out of my business. You’re one of a kind I’ll admit, we may be acquaintances if need be, but realistically, you’re just not my cup of tea.


Your sincerely,


Tea


Photo credit: Paola Ardizzoni and Emilio Pereda, © El Deseo

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