in pursuit of the perfect cuppa

Welcome to the new Weekly Guest Blogger series.  

Ciara BallintyneTonight’s guest blogger is Ciara Ballintyne. For more about Ciara, click on her photo to visit her website.


In the spirit of klutziness, with which I won this guest post spot (although I prefer to call it a ‘run of extraordinary bad luck’), I thought I would share one of my more priceless klutzy moments.

I am a tea-drinker. A very particular tea-drinker. This is often regarded strangely, although I’m not sure why. I know a number of very fastidious coffee-drinkers, including my husband, for whom no cup of coffee is good enough unless he has hand-made it himself with the espresso machine. This is what I get for marrying a man who used to run a café.

But I am of fine British stock, and therefore I drink tea, in the fine traditions of my ancestors. And it must be made ‘just-so’, with the correct amount of milk and sugar, in the correct cup.

Yes, you heard right. In the correct cup.

I have a cup in which I must make my morning tea. Every day. It belonged to my mother, because of course this was the cup I used for my morning tea every day as I grew up, and it had to come with me when I moved out. In fact, my cat broke that cup. I now possess three members of the surviving five cups of that six cup set, pilfered from my parents because my life would come to an end if I did not have that cup for my breakfast tea. I have brought all three of them to my mother-in-law’s house, where we currently live with strictly rationed kitchen space, because I need those cups. I can survive with other cups throughout the day, but my morning cuppa must be made in that cup. It’s my wake-up call. 

I also have a Milo cup. Or rather, I don’t really care what cup my Milo is made in, as long as it’s not my tea cup, and it’s a mug. I prefer my Loony Tunes Pepe Le Pew Pisces mug for this, but any mug will do. Really. I’m not that fussy. With Milo, anyway.

My father is not so finely tuned to these nuances, and about ten years ago he commenced making tea in my Milo cup. Seeing the cups sitting on the bench, while the tea brewed in the pot, and my father nowhere in sight, I put my Milo cup back in the cupboard and retrieved the appropriate tea cup.

On his return, Dad says ‘Where’s your cup gone?’

‘This is my tea cup,’ says I, pointing at the cup I had placed on the bench. ‘This…’ and I yanked open the cupboard door and seized the Milo cup, ‘is my…’

Milk flew into the air.

‘Milo cup,’ I finished, milk dripping down my freshly washed hair to the sound of my parents’ hysterical laughter. I didn’t realise Dad had already poured milk in preparation for the tea.

Needless to say I check cups these days before I put them back in the cupboard…


I hope everyone will join me in giving thanks to Ciara for a fun blog, and if anyone knows where I can find “Milo” here in the states, please let me know!

Until the next time…I’ll be looking for next week’s guest blogger.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on September 2, 2011 .