Dressage, Hairy Chests and Bog Water Tea

Anyone who has ever been Dressage training will know that your body can really suffer from these sessions. You’ll never be fit enough and tea is the only solution for the phenomenal fatigue that follows 45min of physical torture that you voluntarily sign up for, and pay good money for!

Following a grueling training session RedHills Stud a while back, every inch of me was exhausted. I had been a good girl and rehydrated with lots of water. However, I still needed refreshment in the form of a proper Irish, bog water tea. Desperate, with a dry throat and an uneaten packet of biscuits on my passenger seat, I needed a cuppa.

The problem though when you’re towing a horse box is not necessarily the diva inside, but nipping into the shops becomes a logistical nightmare. So my only option was to visit Costa Coffee in Tesco Newbridge. Parking as far as possible from civilisation I walked the arduous journey through the Tesco’s carpark (if you have seen the way Irish people 20 minutes or more outside the pale drive, believe me it was arduous and terrifying). Into Costa coffee for my cuppa, I was parched and those biscuits were beckoning.

I ordered my tea from the underwhelmingly excited barista, well I did order a tea in a place where ‘coffee’ is a key element of the brand name. TEAlighted I poured in the bainne, a dash of siúcra and my tae was foirfe (milk, sugar, tea, perfect). Back to my land yacht and trailer, I negotiated the Tescos carpark around all the drivers who were raised in opposite land where you never look the right way, if they decide to look at all.

Finally I was plodding along the motorway minding my own business, which to other drivers means, I left the house with my horse box purely to evoke rage. I picked up my tea and at the first sip, whoosh, a sudden flashback of why I NEVER buy tea in Costa coffee. Lemony, anaemic tea… English tea! This Darjeeling, Earl Grey flavour of piddly tea is fine for those with a ‘Stiff upper lip’. However, for those from a country where we like our whiskey strong, our men hard, and our women even harder, this kind of flaccid tea is just not good enough. Our weather alone requires bog water tea, we need to stand the spoon up in it, tea that a mouse can trod across is our lifeblood, (next to Guinness of course), it sustains us and stains our tea pots.

So Costa, I know you are of English origin and tea for you is for the afternoon, in fine china and indoors, but our tea is for battered mugs, hardy turf cutting and a cure for a hangover. We need it strong and we have many fine brands of tea that are up to the job such as RobertRobertsCoffee (I’ll ignore ‘coffee’ in the name) Lyons Tea. I implore you to take our love of ‘builders brew’ seriously and combine you enormous cups with a brew that can genuinely satisfy and put hairs on the chests of our Irish men, women and children.


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