Monday, January 21, 2008

Tea post

I know it’s meant to be about writing, but I think it’s kind of crucial that there has to be the occasional tea monologue (or is that monoblog?)

I was getting a bit anxious last week because I refilled the pot in which I keep my PG Tips and I noticed that the box was nearly empty … My palms got a bit clammy and whenever I took a teabag out of the pot I hyperventilated.

Over recent weeks a couple of people here have huffed and puffed at me, thrown their arms up in irritation at my OCTD (Obsessive Compulsive Teabag Disorder) and say ‘you can buy PG Tips here; I’ve seen them.’ Every time I’m in a shop, I have a look and I don’t see any… So last week I went off to Central Foodhall – Bangkok’s version of Harrods, maybe?

And, guess what I found? PG Tips. A box of 4o teabags: 398 Thai Baht.

That, for any of you who don’t instantly know the Thailand Baht to pounds Sterling exchange rate, is £6.53 for a box of teabags! 40 teabags; that’s 16p per teabag. On (no, they don’t deliver to Bangkok) the same box is 79p – just under 2p per teabag. I could only cope with this trauma by sitting down with a cup of tea (brewed for a minimum of 4 minutes, just enough skimmed milk).

I’m slightly mystified as to how this price is justified.

Anyway, Husband was in the UK on business, so I sent off a swift email, requesting some PG Tips, and began the task of eking out my remaining supplies.

Yesterday, after a week in the UK, Husband returned to Bangkok and it was so lovely to see the teabags him.


Pacha said...

Oh! I so need a cuppa right now. I do the same. Tea isn't the same here. I get friends/parents to bring me tea bags from the UK. They all think I am mad but it makes all the difference. (And so far haven't found PG Tips over here but I bet they would cost double what it costs in Thailand - they take advantage of those of us with OCTD methinks! They know we would pay any price for them if things get tough...)

liz fenwick said...

Oh, by their shape I can tell they will have extra flavour from being pressed up against his dirty laundry in his suitcase :-)

SpiralSkies said...

Tea's one of those things that has to be 'just right.

When I eventually escape to Frogland, Tetleys Extra Strong will be carted over by the case.

But, ugh, Liz's comment made me giggle. I thought she was so nice!


Lane said...

Nice hubby!

Now just don't go wanting the monkey on the PG Tips homepage (yes I clicked on your link!). I dread to think how much he'd cost:-)

Leigh said...

Ha ha ha! (re.last line)

PG Tips? Brewed for >4mins? Skimmed milk?


I keep a tin of 'liquid-silage bags' in for Jane; but [whispers] I'm a bit of a Earl Grey fan myself (3mins max).

Carol and Chris said...

I read this post and then was absolutely desperate for a cuppa!! Your an evil woman!!

C x

Jon M said...

Real tea...essential for general well-being! Some of these jonny foreigner types put condensed milk in it y'know!

laurie said...


i bet they grow the tea in china (near where you are now), ship it to the UK for the lovely green and white packaging, and then ship it back to you halfway around the world.

that's still not that much $$$. drink up and enjoy!

(i drink green tea. and i won't tell you how many $$$ it costs. it's ridiculous.)

JJ said...

Pacha, I just don't want to try and find or get used to a different tea. I like PG Tips. I want to drink that and as long as I don't have to pay £6 ish for a pack of 40 I'm okay with that!

Ooooh, Liz, a special flavour all of their own. Thank you for that thought.

Jen, absolutely. My first batch lasted me a good year!

Lane, no I won't go wanting that monkey... however, I did want a cup of tea after he taunted me with the idea.

Leigh, Earl Grey is okay, but as an alternative. It won't do instead of builder's tea. I don't want poncey tea, okay? Any tea with pretentions just won't be right.

Carol, the way you drink tea? Pah, you mean you wanted hot milky water?

Jon, in Thailand they do that with coffee too, and then add lots of sugar. YUK.

Oh Laurie, husband drinks lots of green tea, and sadly has developed a taste for Long jin (Dragonwell) - purported to be one of the top three green teas in the world, so you don't need to tell me HOW MUCH such tea costs. That's why lovely husband is willing to cart 480 teabags back for me from the UK. We can't afford both our tea habits! Me, with green tea, I'm happy with Oolong from North Thailand.


Caroline said...

Perhaps you could try and get your blog sponsored by PG Tips? I think it's worth an email ... or go on ...

I could dare you (seeing as I am really 9 years old)


Angie said...

OMG, JJ, I have the same tea obsession! (And I prepare it the exact same way, down to the skimmed milk!) Ever since I studied in England, I've been addicted to PG Tips, but they're hard to find here too. I hoard them whenever I find them in stores, and if I'm really desperate, I buy them for an outrageous price at the local British Food store (along with outrageously priced sweets you can't find elsewhere). Yet somehow, that steaming cup of tea is just SO worth it!