Strong English Breakfast Tea

Strong English Breakfast Tea has to be one of the best brews available. A dark, coppery colour (unlike some of the pale, anaemic teas some like to sip) and a rich, full-bodied flavour, the blend’s before-noon association was popularised by Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Ironically, it was first named in New York by a British tea merchant who wished to give his blend an Old World feel at a time when Europian fashions largely influenced America, unlike today.

It is said that this tea is wonderfully suited to that other staple of British cuisine, the full English breakfast. In reality, few of us Englishmen can be bothered to fry bacon, egg and mushrooms each morning, and it tends to be a weekend tradition or a hotel treat when someone else does the washing up. Yet a nice cup of tea with a cooked breakfast is most appropriate. Similarly, I like a cup of tea with that other native food offering, fish & chips. For reasons which are not altogether clear, these two meals require a brew to wash them down, whereas other dishes make do with water, wine or juice. Some things just go together.

Some time ago, I was asked in an online survey whether I was pastor of a ‘Word church' or a ‘Spirit church’. What it meant was ‘are you evangelical or charismatic?' but its cack-handed author worded it badly. The Bible is God’s word and was breathed by His Spirit. That same Holy Spirit continues to reveal and apply God’s written word to our minds and hearts. They who think they have the Spirit and can bypass, circumvent or sideline the Bible are following their own hearts, or worse. I can enjoy a fry-up without tea, and I can drink pop with my chips, but I can never separate God’s Word from God’s Spirit.

The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. 2 Samuel 23:2