“Coffee is for winners, go-getters, tea-ignorers, lunch-cancellers, early-risers, guilt-ridden strivers, money obsessives and status-driven spiritually empty lunatics. It is an enervating force. We should resist it and embrace tea, the ancient drink of poets, philosophers and meditators.”
– Tom Hodgkinson, How to be Idle
Alongside my work, I mechanic in a bike shop, where we drink more tea than you can imagine, and it’s power is clear. Every mechanic knows this; every metal workshop has a teapot. It’s a kind of shared ritual, the boiling of the kettle, the quiet prayer against jerky milk hands that can spoil a cuppa at the last moment, carrying a half dozen mugs back to the workbenches in a oner.
Tea is for the calm in the first steady moments of opening up the workshop. Tea is for reassurance when your tap snaps in the threads. Tea is for that moments pause to chat and breathe. Tea is for steadiness as you get weary late in the day.
Sometimes, I reward myself with a cuppa when I’ve been sanding fillets for too long, or I’ve chugged my way through an epic batch run. Other times tea is like a hug from a friend when shit’s just hit the fan and you can’t be fucked to go back and re-do something, but you know you’ve got to. Drinking that last sip, spirit fortified, you step back to the bench…
My racks and stems are built with chromoly, brass, and tea.