As with the other more poncey areas of America, Philadelphia is getting into tea. But there are several institutional barriers that they are going to have to contend with:

  • No-one here owns an electric kettle. I know! So they either boil their water on the hob or they use a “water heater”. The latter does indeed do what it says on the can, but as any tea aficionado knows, the water needs to actually be boling when it hits the tea.
  • The teabags here are mostly shite. Surprisingly the “Liptons” brand is still alive and well here, but the tea they produce is startlingly weak.
  • You can get ordinary British tea here like PG and Tetley, but who wants that ? Even if you did want it, you wouldn’t find a place that serves it with proper boiling water.
  • Getting any sort of proper Assam, Darjeeling or even Ceylon Tea is really, really hard. Twinings have a presence over here, but they call themselves “Twinings of London” and have “London” in a wanky copper plate type font. They also don’t sell proper tea here – it’s all flavoured crap with poncy names!

The happy news is that good tea is available but for a premium. But it really is good! A colleague in my last job gave me some tea as a leaving present that was not only genuinely from Darjeeling, but it was your pukka, first-flush, S.F.T.G.F.O.P. tea, that I never thought I would ever encounter. Lovely.

On a totally different topic, DD-WRT really does appear to be the dogs bollocks! Even on a crappy VxWorks Linksys V8 WRT54G router it does the business. We have our VoIP utterly QoS’d and I’m feeling quite happy about that. If that sounds like Latin to you then be grateful you have a life.

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