Tea for you and me

Join me on my epic quest to find the best tea ever

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National Express East Coast train to Newcastle

National Express East Coast train from London Kings Cross to Newcastle

Tea and DairyStix on the train to Newcastle

Tea and DairyStix on the train to Newcastle

I wasn’t planning on taking a photo of this tea, or blogging about it, mainly because I get frowned at when I am by myself and start taking photos of beverages. The milk that came with this tea made me change my plans. Dairystix are sachets of milk. This seems like a good plan to me as it must surely take less plastic to make than those insane mini plastic pots. I found them easy to open and they made me smile at the novelty value (you can see why people frown at me: I smile at milk).

However, some people on the train found them very annoying and one lady got up and wandered the carriage asking for scissors. A lady a few rows down lent her some and they proceeded with their coffee happily.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? PG Tips teabag.
Milk jug? Dairystix!
Price? £1.30.
Cake? No.
Go again? If I need tea on a National Express East Coast train.

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West Cornwall Pasty Co., Reading Train Station

Unit 1, Reading Station, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1LZ.

Tea at West Cornwall Pasty Co., Reading Station

Tea at West Cornwall Pasty Co., Reading Station

I wasn’t planning on having tea at the train station, my brother just wanted some food before getting his train home. He got a pasty and while he was queuing I noticed that a lady sitting down had a tea pot. A tea pot in a train station! I was impressed.

The West Cornwall Pasty Co. has a black logo and so it’s teapot, cup and saucer was a fashionable black. Rock on.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? Teabag.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.50, I think.
Cake? No.
Go again? If I have to wait for a train, though if going to get on a train I’d stick to AMT Coffee as they have bigger takeaway cups and better teabags.

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Bruxelles Midi train station cafe

Two teas from a cafe in Bruxelles Midi train station

Two teas from a cafe in Bruxelles Midi train station

I have to admit I can’t remember the name of this cafe in Brussels train station. I do apologise. If you want to go, it’s the only cafe/bar beyond the passport check points if you are heading for the Eurostar train.

The tea here was much needed and there was no queue to get it, it was a standard cup of tea. I wouldn’t have bothered to blog about it if it hadn’t been for the way the barman arranged my tray. It’s symmetrical and precise and shows care and attention I appreciate when dealing with tea.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? A tea bag.
Milk jug? No, little pots of milk.
Price? 4 something euros for two teas.
Cake? No, but we did get a tiny biscuit.
Go again? If I was in Bruxelles Midi beyond passport control.

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ICE train to Cologne

This has to be the most exciting tea blog entry yet – a cup of tea on board an ICE train somewhere between Brussels and Cologne. I hadn’t had a cup of tea all day, even though I’d got up at 4.30am. I was planning on getting one once we got through the passport control at St Pancras but no such luck. Even if the British can’t do trains that leave and arrive when they’re meant to, you would hope we could provide tea, but no. After passport control there was a sea of families and seating and only a WHSmith or a Cafe Nero. It took me ages to queue up for water (Cafe Nero being too long a queue) and I figured I’d just get tea on the Eurostar. Oh no. The queue for the buffet car on the Eurostar (according to the length of time our noisy neighbours took to get tea) was an hour. An hour!

On the ICE though we had a trolley come round to serve you at your seat. I heard tea offered and I was looking forward to it. If there was ever a cup of tea that was anticipated, it was this one.

It was okay. It wasn’t a cup of tea that would normally make it onto this blog as it was green tea, but I’m bending the rules and allowing it in because I so wanted it to be black tea with milk!

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? A tea bag, but a large high quality tea bag with big leaves inside rather than the usual mulch. Green tea with lemon and mango.
Milk jug? No, no milk with green tea.
Price? 2.70 euros.
Cake? Nope.
Go again? No, it was a very expensive cup of tea.

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Cross Country Trains buffet car, train to Reading

Tea and other free stuff from the Cross Country trains buffet car

Tea and other free stuff from the Cross Country Trains buffet car

On my way home from Sheffield I was travelling first class as all the cheaper advance fares had sold out and I was looking forward to my cup of free tea. On the weekends you need to go to the buffet car to get your complimentary beverage but apparently during the week it’s table service. First class travellers in Cross Country Trains also get more free stuff than just free tea and as it was a long journey the lady in the buffet car offered me one of everything and I accepted (purely for research purposes, you understand). I held on tight to my brown paper bag of goodies and made my way back through the train to my seat to see what I had.

The tea was much better than I had expected (that’ll be the fairtrade Clipper teabags again) and the complimentary biscuits were much appreciated. I was also given a packet of nuts, crisps and a bottle of water.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? No, but at least the teabags were Clipper.
Milk jug? No, it was those stupid little pots again.
Price? Complimentary.
Cake? No, but I did get biscuits.
Go again? Yes.

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AMT Coffee, Reading Station

My cup of AMT Coffee tea

My cup of AMT Coffee tea

Station Approach, Reading, RG1 1LZ

Saturday 15th November was a good day for tea. There was lots of it, in many different places, and it was all very nice drinkable tea.

The first cup of tea (not the literally the first, just the first I paid for) was at 6.50am at Reading station. AMT Coffee have a number of little booth thingys around Reading Station and I headed to the one in the main concourse as it was the only one open that early in the morning. There are other places to buy tea in the station, but believe me when I tell you that AMT Coffee sell the best tea. It’s teabags, but they are Fairtrade Clipper teabags which also happen to be my teabag of choice.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? No, but it is fresh milk.
Price? £1.30.
Cake? Muffins, danish pastries and pretzels.
Go again? Any time I need tea in a train station.