Tag Archives: tea


I’ve been working in an office since April.
Shortly after I started, I was commenting to somebody about how I didn’t think much to the Fairtrade teabags that our office buys.
What an evil and ungrateful bastard I must sound.
They’re just a bit bland. I’m not anti-Fairtrade obviously, but Sainsbury’s English Breakfast Fairtrade teabags are so much nicer in my opinion.

Aforementioned person told me that they don’t like the Fairtrade teabags either.
“So that’s why I drink these ones”, and with that, he opened a cupboard, reached in, and pulled out a PG Tips Pyramid bag.

I assumed from that point on, that the teabags in that cupboard were for the use of anybody. Right up until the point when this happened:

The empty box

It turns out I’ve been drinking someone else’s tea. Worse, the message was signed off by my boss. Oops.
In my defence, I had noticed we were running low, and so hadn’t used the last 2-3 teabags, assuming somebody had forgotten to replenish them.

I tweeted the above picture and admitted it was me.
Then my friend @coffeebucks suggested that as my boss had used a closed question, I might like to just add “yes” to the end. This seemed like an excellent idea at the time.

The empty box, much improved

As the day went on, I started to feel marginally guilty.
At least one person thought I was responsible. This was most likely caused by the fact that I had been quite obviously taking teabags from the cupboard. In front of them. For months.
I overheard conversations in our open-plan office along the lines of:
Colleague 1: “I can’t believe some robbing bastard has been taking his teabags.”
Colleague 2: “They’re even put away in the cupboard. Everybody knows that stuff in the cupboard are people’s own things.”
Colleague 1: “Well if I catch anyone nicking my teabags…. <list of violent acts>”
I thought it would be funny to interrupt this conversation, and ask colleague 1 which teabags are his. Partly for fun, and partly so I don’t end up using anything else that belongs to somebody. He described the clearly communal ones as his, and several people laughed.

Throughout the day, I came up with an idea that was quite brilliant. On reflection, it’s not nearly as funny as I thought it was at the time. It’s pretty stupid really.

I left work at the end of the day, and rather than go home, I went to the supermarket round the corner. I bought a replacement box of teabags of the same brand, and exactly the same shape and size as the box that was now empty. How nice of me?

For my own amusement, I then emptied all but about five of the teabags from the box, into a carrier bag, and returned to the office via a backstreet method, parking in another company’s car park. Colleague 1 and colleague 2 were leaving at that point, and they took ages doing so.

Like a bad actor playing the part of a cop in a bad TV movie, I sat in my car on my mock stakeout, and chose my moment until they were both out of sight of me and our office, then snuck back into the office, into the kitchen, and put the nearly-empty new box back in the cupboard.

My hope was that in the morning, my boss (who had left already before I did) would arrive in the office, open the cupboard and be delighted that someone had replaced his teabags. Then, imagine his disappointment as he opened the box and discovered this:

New box - still practically empty

What a bastard I am.

But it doesn’t stop there. The following day, I would take in two sets of additional teabags, one of which would be hidden about my person.
Every time I go to make a cup of tea, instead of taking any out, I put 4-5 back in. He’ll know someone is doing it, but won’t know who. Which might be fun?

The flaw in this plan is that IF he knows there are no teabags then WHY would he open the cupboard, see the box, open it, and discover it nearly empty? I would just have to take a punt that for some reason, he would.

The next morning, I went in to continue this plan, to find he had replaced the box of teabags himself. However, he hadn’t opened them, having seen that some kind soul had replaced the box they used, with a nearly empty box.

Over the course of the next few days, I kept this up. Adding teabags instead of taking any away.
By Friday, I was a bit bored of this game. I had no idea whether he had even registered how many teabags were in there, or was amused, bemused, angry or what. So I returned all the teabags to the box from whence they came.

This was a bit of a problem, because although 160 teabags came out of the box, 160 would not go back in (even allowing for the ones he had drank during the week). See:

OK - too many teabags now

First day the following week, I happened to go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea (from my own stash of teabags), at the same time my boss was in there, just about to make himself one.
He opens the cupboard, looks, laughs.

Him: “I think someone’s making a point – do you know anything about that?”
Me: “No?”
Him: “When I was away, someone was using my teabags. I wrote a message on a box asking if anyone knew anything about that….” (you know the rest)
Him: “Now it’s got to this point. There’s more and more in there each day.”
Me: “Well I think they’ll struggle – there’s no more room left in there!”
(and I also put all the rest I had back in on Friday..though now I know he’s noticed I’m tempted to buy another box and carry on.)
No, I didn’t.

Tea-Roulette and Jacket Potatoes pt2

In my day-job in IT, I had a scheduled call-out this morning in an unusual place. It’s a company staffed almost exclusively by Chinese girls.
When I arrived, I was asked to wait for a moment or so as the person I had come to see (a man), was not available yet. I was given a seat in reception and offered a drink of tea or coffee. I accepted the tea politely, and the receptionist disappeared off to get it for me.

Only after I asked, and she had disappeared (although she was still visible through a doorway, from my chair), I realised I hadn’t told her if I wanted milk or sugar or what. I don’t know why, but I decided not to mention it at this point. I would just wait and see what she brought me.
This could have been risky. It could have been earl grey, green tea, apple tea, or any number of strange other variants.

After a few mins waiting, and me watching her cross the doorway back and forth as if she were looking for something, she arrived back with my tea and a smile. She presented the tea to me in a strange round glass with no handles – much like the empty Nutella jar you can wash out and use again. It was passed to me in a very oriental way as well – much like you might pass someone a bowl of soup – held at the sides with both hands, and slight bowing of the head.

I took it from her in the same way, then relaxed into more of an English way of drinking from it – one handed, occasional slurping noises, etc.
Anyway it wasn’t bad. A bit too much milk perhaps but it was definitely tea, drinkable, and may have had a sugar added perhaps. While I don’t have sugar at home, I often prefer it at work as a lot of people are so bad at making tea it wouldn’t be drinkable without it.

Dinner tonight was jacket potatoes. I thought I’d have another go after the other night.
The remaining pre-packed potatoes are 3 days past their date, but I don’t see what can go off that quick as they’re only potatoes, so decided to take my chances.
I realised I wasn’t onto a great start after I put them in the oven and stood chatting to some of my housemates for a while, only to suddenly remember I hadn’t made the holes in them like you’re meant to.

I removed the potatoes from the oven one at a time with oven gloves on, and prodded holes in them, then went and sat at my computer. Another mistake ahoy. I’d been sat there a while when I wondered how much longer my dinner was going to take. It’s at that point I realised I wasn’t really sure when I put them in the oven.
Through a series of guesstimates, questioning how long one of my housemates had been sat in a particular chair, and trying to work out what time a tv show I didn’t know the name of, that I hadn’t really been watching, finished, and how that related to when I saw it, and when I went back to the kitchen to put the oven on – I removed them after what may have been anything from 1.25 to 2 hours.
Beans and cheese added again.

They are a lot better than a few days back when I first tried them. Cooked entirely inside, and I ate some of the skin as it was so superbly cooked.
That’s quite annoying, as now I don’t know what I did differently, and I can’t really work out an optimum time based on tonight’s, given that I’ve no idea how long they were in there.

It has proved I can cook them to a good standard though – even if I’m not sure how I did it.