Scotland: Tea for the Tea Lover

This may sound pretentious of me but during my recent trip to Scotland I really appreciated how I could walk in to a coffee shop in Scotland, ask for a cup of tea, and get a cup that was good and strong with no fussing about. (Unfortunately in Seattle if you go to coffee shop and ask for tea, they first of all can’t quite believe you actually want tea, and then they need to know which flavor or type of tea, as if there’s no way you could actually want plain old black tea that isn’t “chai” or something like that. Then if you are lucky they give you a tea bag that is sufficiently filled with tea leaves to deeply steep the amount of hot water they give, but if you’re not lucky, you get someone who thinks they are doing you a favor by giving you a venti sized cup of hot water with a tea bag that wouldn’t even flavor a 6 oz cup sufficiently. But enough about Seattle.)

So in Scotland I’d get my pot of tea and a cup, and then they’d give me this little pitcher of milk which I’d pass off to my child to drink, since I don’t seem to know anyone over the age of 40 who isn’t lactose intolerant, and I’m still confused why anyone would ruin good tea with milk. In some places, tea meant a huge freaking pot, and they assumption that my husband, daughter and I were all going to have at least two cups each, which wasn’t going to happen but I was fine with hogging the majority of the tea for myself.

Then there was this amazing hotel in Aberdeen where the lobby had more or less 24 hours (as far as I could tell) constant supply of hot water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and shortbread (as well as a secret, hidden bar where you could pour as much wine and whisky and beer (on the honor system) as you desired).

Amazing spread at Skene House Whitehall.

Amazing spread at Skene House Whitehall.

I found at least two cathedrals in Edinburgh with cafes in them. My fondness for cathedrals and churches (and perhaps even Christianity, for that matter) has gone up a notch as a result of experiencing caffeination within their walls.

Tea at St. John's Cathedral

Tea at St. John’s Cathedral

If you haven’t had PG Tips brand tea, you might not know that this is some seriously strong tea. One regular bag easily makes 4 cups, even though the side of the box says one bag is for 8 oz. of water. I guess that’s for 8 oz of water plus however much milk you’d need to make it not shrivel the inside of your mouth.

I adore PG Tips, so at Poundland I got a huge box of PG Tips for £1. Now I’ve written about PG Tips before, so I was excited to see this “one cup” variety.

Two different PG Tips?

Two different PG Tips?

So I compared a cup made from each type and the “one cup” variety is still mighty strong. There are slightly less tea leaves in the bag (guesstimation measure by feel, as neither bag registers even 1 g on my postal scale) but still. Love this tea.


One thought on “Scotland: Tea for the Tea Lover

  1. Tea in Australia tasted like Scottish tea (not PG)… If which, for the life of me I can’t think if the name. I loved getting afternoon tea. Coffee is great, but I need my daily tea as well.

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