Your heart sinks as the post arrives. Firstly, it doesn’t contain the mammoth order of tea supplies that you were praying for to power you through the SAS bootcamp that is your upcoming week at work (bloody Yodel delivery drivers…an illiterate koala would do their job better). Secondly, there is an ominous looking letter from South Yorkshire Police. Yep, the ACTUAL Feds. In an official brown envelope of doom. The kind of envelope that inspires dread, anger and an uncontrollable need to shake your fists at squirrels to vent your frustration…or indeed any other woodland animal found in suburban areas (students most likely). You tear open the letter of misfortune, expecting it to burst open like a howler from Harry Potter.
‘At 5:55am on 12 September, you failed to stop at a red light by 0.0000000000009 of a second, you dirty, criminal piece of filth. You can either pay a £65, be given 3 points and never sleep at night again because you are an awful human being, a blot on human society and are a felon on a par with a serial killer. OR, you can pay £85, sit in a room full of other miscreants who cannot believe that they have been caught doing this when their next door neighbour is growing a rainforest like marijuana plantation completely unhindered, patronised by two middle aged trainers who look like they should be the ones locked up for the content of their computer internet history, AND be made to hate yourself for every tiny mistake you have ever made from the cradle to today.’ This is exactly what the letter says…there or thereabouts, give or take a few words.
Oh shit. If you choose Option A, then your carefully crafted identity of ‘Ms Goody Tea Shoes’ would be shattered to pieces, likely to plunge you into a downward spiral of self loathing, prostitution and worse…coffee drinking. BUT, Option B would mean an unbearable afternoon spent with Rotherham’s finest specimens of society, in a room that only has a heat setting of ‘uncomfortably tropical’ and – the worst part – be without a decent brew for AT LEAST FOUR hours. FOUR WHOLE HOURS. A fate worse than being on the bottom bunk in a cell with a schizophrenic, gender confused inmate called ‘Big Mamma’, who has the sturdy frame of the scary lady quizmaster on The Chase.
A serious dilemma. Whilst the thought of taking the points, changing your name to ‘Helluva Bottom Carter’ and shaking your teapots and strainer about on West Street is a very real consideration for 10 minutes post letter opening, you man up. You are going to have to do it. You will endure a tea bag brew and take one for the tea-m. BUT if you are going to do this, you want to be in charge of your own destiny, your own downfall, your own last supper.
You are brave. You are bold. You are…bloody weird – you take your own tea bags to the four hour session of being made to feel worse than Hitler for genocide, brainwashing, and accidentally eating a ham sandwich at a vegan convention.
This was the situation that I faced when trying Cosy’s Earl Grey Tea Bag for the first time. I felt dirty, ashamed and like I needed to scrub myself clean. Not for my criminal offence (which you can blame Ms PG Pricktard for as she asked for a lift to the station at an ungodly hour without making me a decent brew first). But, for my teabagging actions. It contravened every single one of my brew mantras, morals and raison d’etre for life.
However, if I was going to lower myself to any tea bag, it would be a Cosy Tea bag. Cosy Tea make organic teas, that are fair trade and are biodegradable. So this wasn’t any old tea bag. It was a tea bag with a soul. I almost felt better about my tea and traffic misdeameanour knowing my brew had a conscience the size of Ghandi’s. Also, Cosy share knitting patterns on their website; how could cute old lady knitters promote anything bad?! I plumped for Cosy’s Earl Grey – a black tea with bergamot – as I have had quite a few loose leaf versions so could compare it confidently and I would look like a boss in front of Rotherham’s high society, laughing in the face of the gullible Yorkshire Tea Yobs who fall for the slogan ‘Let’s have a proper brew’. (Or more likely, look like a sickeningly middle class twat who couldn’t even lower herself to the liquor of the common folk).
I can’t believe I am about to admit this. On the very public forum of the Internet. International scoop right here. I liked this tea bag. You want me to say it a little louder? Do I have to?! Seriously? *Sighs* alright then.
I SORT OF, QUITE LIKED THIS TEA BAG, AND MAY GO AS FAR AS TO CONTEMPLATE HAVING IT AGAIN, EVEN IN FULL VIEW OF OTHER PEOPLE. Get over it. I feel a bit like Bill Clinton when he assured everybody that he hadn’t put his tea infuser inside Monica Lewinsky’s cavernous naughty leaf caddy.
Whether it was the pressure of being made to rote learn the traffic light sequence whilst strapped to a chair, smeared in duck fat and having delegates throw their driving licenses at me or not, the Cosy Earl Grey was a respectable brew. It made me reconsider a few lifestyle choices, the prejudice and bag-phobia I have levelled at the humble leaf sack thus far. As soon as I pulled a sachet out of the very cute Cosy packaging (it has its own little tea cosy hat – adorable!), I knew this tea bag was going to cause me existential problems. The earthy smell of strong black tea and the citrusey aroma of the bergamot oil was so powerful, that one of Rotherham’s finest on the next table asked if he could have a segment of my freshly peeled imaginary orange (genuinely not a euphemism…I would have refused though even if it was – he looked like a dishevelled Chris Tarrant with no teeth). After brewing for four minutes in a much needed break from the self-esteem crushing preaching of Dave and Ian…or John and Keith…or Colin and Trevor *insert generic man name here*, that made me never wish to get behind the wheel of a car again, I was treated to the best teabagging experience of my adult life. With 25 other disobedient drivers as voyeurs to the whole thing.
The flavours were bright, distinct and full. I could taste the smokiness of the black tea and the fresh, fruity-sweet high notes of the bergamot oil. Normally, teabag brews taste like what I imagine Eric Clapton would sound like if he played the ‘Layla’ solo wearing Mickey Mouse hands; flat and muted. Yet, this Cosy bag was comparable to a loose leaf in terms of the quali-tea of flavour that it delivered. Not quite the same as loose leaf – like Eric Clapton playing ‘Wonderful Tonight’ wearing skin tight condoms on his fingers (we have all played the ‘condom on finger’ game…haven’t we?!) – but a solid taste experience.
So, I left my four hours of police ‘driver rehabilitation’ training with two new pieces of enlightenment. One, be afraid – VERY afraid – of the ambiguous yet alluring amber traffic light, that means both STOP and GO in a limited set of circumstances, and only on a Tuesday if you are wearing a hat. And two, a little Cosy teabagging once in a while never hurt anyone. Just at weekends. On the sly, when the missus isn’t watching. In other words, if you need the convenience of a tea bag with the taste of a premium loose leaf tea, then look no further than a Cosy brew – the Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and Bob Geldof of the brew sack brigade.
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