What is cea? It is that weird combination of coffee and tea that you get in certain places when you ask for tea. It seems to be particularly prevalent in America, where tea is very much the poor relation to coffee (look at all the tea that was wasted when it was chucked in to Boston harbour – no respect for tea!)

It also happens in hotels, at conferences and various other places. This morning (hence this post) it has happened again on a train to London. It really is an odd flavour, just a brown liquid that has no more than a passing resemblance to tea. It is caused by tea being served from a pot that has previously contained coffee. It is tainted tea.

So, hot beverage purveyors, if you can’t make fresh drinks for your customers, keep your pots for tea and coffee separate. Treat them like you treat your chopping boards for meat and vegetables. Never the twain shall meet!

Here endeth this public service announcement.

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