TEA!!!! A Description & History
Tea is one of many nasty, bitter “punishment beverages” that the nasty, bitter British people regularly inflict upon themselves, while strenuously insisting they “enjoy” it, if that’s the right word for it. Tea is commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, a common latrine shrub native to Asia. Tea can be “enjoyed” (shudder) both hot and cold or even up your nose. Tea leaves are sometimes encased in porous "bags," making it easier to dispose of the leaves after “steeping” - we know this because we totally saw them reference this fact in the Doctor Who episodes The Invasion of Time and The Lodger. Tea is often flavored with milk (a bodily secretion), sugar (dried plant juice) and lemon (freshly-squeezed acidic plant juice), no wonder people love this stuff!
When tea is not served with a meal, it is often served with biscuits and jam, something we learned from the episode The Power of Kroll, so at least that wasn’t a complete waste of time. Tea is goddamn prominent in British culture and often drank for “comfort” from the enduring pain of being lower class than the royal family (who never touch the stuff).
People in Asia have been drinking tea for the last few thousand years and see where it got them? Trying their damnedest to forget their last few thousand years of history, which also describes British culture to a T, if you'll forgive the pun. Tea later came to the West via Portuguese priests and pirates who introduced to it their backwards nation during the 16th century. Drinking tea became fashionable among Britons during the 17th century, who introduced the plant to their plantations in India to bypass a Chinese monopoly. Still later, the Chinese traded tea to the British who in turn traded opium to the Chinese. At least the Chinese were able to break their opium addiction. Winner: China.
While tea is a human creation, it is also enjoyed by aliens as well. Turlough for instance expressed a fondness for tea, or as he called it, "that brown liquid" during the episode The Awakening. Wait a minute, wha? “That brown liquid,” - really? Fucking hell is JNT’s era the most nonsensical ever; it was an embarrassing time to be a fan. Ok Mister Totally Stupid JNT, you tell me this, goddamn you: how the hell does Turlough forget the name for “tea,” a very small word made up of one fucking syllable and one shitting consonant? How does Turlough successfully hide his being an alien and pass as a human British Earthling schoolboy in The Bloody UK without remembering the one goddamn syllable name for tea, something that must be mentioned around him something like every fucking 30 seconds because he’s in goddamn England? How? Jesus fucking Christ… after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world not counting Coca-Cola or alcoholic beverages.
Many people over many years have written many often contradictory steps to follow for how to brew tea perfectly, but all for naught - no matter what recommendations you follow, the end result is always a cup of nearly non-potable filthy brown muck.
Tea has unsurprisingly been mentioned on Doctor Who more times than you can bloody count mate (in fact, William Hartnell alone once repeated the word for seven minutes while trying to remember his next line during The Space Museum), but I’m going to skip trying to be comprehensive here and shoot for the more revealing instances.
During his time with UNIT, the Third Doctor (Who took his tea with milk and four sugars in Invasion of the Dinosaurs) drank a lot of tea; any story without UNIT however had at least one scene of him knocking a fucking tea cup out of someone’s hand. He even once allowed the tea lady in his lab, which was off limits to anyone except The Brigadier and his staff during Terror of the Autons, striking a blow for women’s rights! The Doctor also profited scientifically from his fondness of tea during The Time Monster when Sergeant Benton offered him a cup of tea, which helped jog his memory that the leaves inside the beverage were the linchpin necessary to finish construction of a functional "time flow analog." No one understood how that part of the script worked, but whatever. The Third Doctor took his tea with milk and four sugars in Invasion of the Dinosaurs and stirred it with his massive wang during The Three Doctors.
When Professor Litefoot in The Talons of Weng-Chiang tried to teach Leela the etiquette of tea, the Fourth Doctor told her that the only thing she really needed to know was how to knife an adversary because that was awesome. The Fourth Doctor asked Romana I during the episode The Ribos Operation if she knew how to make tea. As she admitted that she didn't know what it was, he claimed that the Time Lords no longer taught anything useful.
The Blond Doctor in the episode The Awakening once described tea to a bored one-shot character as "a noxious infusion of oriental leaves containing a high percentage of toxic acid". The guy told the Doc it sounded vile (which is one hundred percent true), to which the Doctor replied, "Personally, I rather like it,” which might also explain why liked Adric.
Rose, her mother Jackie and Mickey often bickered over tea like a bunch of chavs during their episodes, imagine that! The Ninth Doctor took his tea with two sugars in The Unquiet Dead, while the Sixth Doctor took his with six (ha ha, get it?) and several servings of pie. Sometime before his ninth incarnation, the Doctor also claimed he helped push boxes of tea into the harbor at the Boston Tea Party. Chances are this didn’t help the taste.
Daleks, posing as man-made machines in Victory of the Daleks, had a variety of duties including serving tea, ha ha! Oh what a cheeky monkey that Gatiss is! Word has it they made tea even worse than most British do.
Healing Properties Of Tea
It has been theorized that the near-constant intake of tea is responsible for the wide-spread dental deformities across the British Isles known as “English Smile Syndrome”, but this claim has yet to be studied in depth and relies upon anecdotal evidence. Despite that, tea is considered a healing substance by the mentally unbalanced. According to the Tenth Doctor in The Christmas Invasion, the free radicals and tannin in tea made it ideal for "healing the synapses" when the vapour from a spilled flask of tea helped him recover from his recent regeneration, making one wonder if the Doctor isn’t half-human but half-British. The Eleventh Doctor also used a large amount of very strong tea (or nothing at all, if you check out the teapot) to save the life of Craig Owens in The Lodger. Craig had gotten sick after licking the ceiling in his flat that had been altered by the time ship upstairs; the Doctor claimed that it "reversed the enzyme degay,' something else Craig needed help with.
Really Pointless Trivia
Doctor Who was once upon a time broadcast during what was once considered the ideal “teatime” in Britain, which was considered to be at 5:16pm exactly during most of 1963.
Incredibly, Undoubtedly, Unquestionably, Genuinely Pointful Trivia
Nilso liked tea.