Ah, go on! JOE's 6-point tribute to a nice cup of tea
Did you scald the cup?
These are the unbreakable rules of tea-making.
1) ALWAYS scald the cup
Once, back in college, I made a cup of tea for a particularly robust and terrifying housemate because a) I was scared of him and b) he had access to a secret stash of chocolate Hob Nobs that I could never find.
He appeared at the kitchen door, took one sip, and gave me what would later become known as the Roy Keane death stare.
"Did you scald the cup?" he asked.
...and that was all he needed. He poured the cup's contents down the sink, told me to "make it again," lit a cigarillo and disappeared into the fog of the sitting room.
ALWAYS SCALD THE CUP. To this day, we haven't the faintest clue why, but if you want those HobNobs you'd better f**king comply.
2) One cup of tea = four cups of wee
The trick here, same as when you're out on the beer, is not to break that seal.
The longer you hold off at the start, the less time you'll spend pausing the latest episode of
Fair City Game of Thrones while fighting the urge to empty that bladder out again, and again, and again.
JOE consulted biologist Dr. Swan Ronson to discuss the reasoning behind this phenomenon. "Why does one cup of tea lead to a urinatory value four times that volume?" we asked him, quite reasonably.
"How about you piss off and do some real work?" he responded.
3) Overmilking in the JOE office is not something you come back from
Weak tea is a curse upon you, upon me, upon every single one of us and we don't... we can't... we just don't bloody get it.
If you want a nice glass of milk, go for it. Lovely with a curry or just before bed.
However, scuppering a lovely cup of scald by merely showing the tea bag to some disgusting mixture of milk and tepid water, then throwing in three spoonfuls of sugar...
Why, just, WHY???
An overly milky tea is one masochistic step away from letting Christian Grey use you as a footstool.
4) Crisps and tea together are a no-no
Barry's Tea and Tayto crisps are as Irish as Dougal Maguire playing a bodhrán wrapped in a tricolour while skulling a pint of Guinness in Dingle, but they don't mix.
Tea and crisps just don't mix.
Perfect on their own, and we can just about get behind the idea of tea with a crisp sandwich as the bread provides a soakage buffer, but as exclusive partners?
5) The only cooked meal that goes with a cup of tea is...
...obvious, isn't it? A good fry is perfect with a cup of tea. Sausages, rashers, black pudding, white pudding, beans, optional hash browns and a fried egg makes for the dinner of champions but has to have a scalding hot brew by its side.
An associate of JOE's used to insist on a cup of a milky, sugary tea with his curry chips and chickenballs back in the day. We were horrified but he wouldn't be put off, just kept slurping his way through his spicy, ricey, chewy takeaway with a brew in hand.
Well, he died.
We just made him up out of thin air, granted, but he died. Let that be a lesson to you all.
Stick to the fry-ups. Tea is not for pizza either.
6) So, what is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea?
I have a theory... stay with me... that if you bite off the ends of a Twirl and use what's left as a straw, you will know true love for this first time in your life. You will leave your wife, husband, lover, whatever, and just shack up with a lifetime's supply of Cadbury's finest and 10,000 teabags.
But that's just me.
Main image: Stephanie Levy