Quotations, sayings and aphorisms about food & beverages, eating & drinking and pleasures of the table

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Tea and Food Quotes

“Polly, put the kettle on, we'll all have tea.”
Charles Dickens, 'Barnaby Rudge' (1841)


“A woman is like a tea bag -- only in hot water do you realize how strong she really is.”
Nancy Reagan


“The fool in a hurry drinks his tea with the fork.”
Charlie Chan  (Earl Derr Biggers)

“Stands the church clock at ten to three?  And is there honey still for tea?”
Rupert Brooke, English poet (1887-1915)

“Tea is an affront to lunch and an insult to dinner.”
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)


“I always fear that creation will expire before teatime.”
Sydney Smith (English writer and Anglican clergyman)

“Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? - how did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.”
Sydney Smith, English writer  (1771-1845)

“We haven't had any tea for a week....The bottom is out of the Universe.”
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)


“Coffee isn't my cup of tea.”
Samuel Goldwyn, American film producer.(1879-1974)

“I turned on the pillow with a little moan, and at this juncture Jeeves entered with the vital oolong. I clutched at it like a drowning man at a straw hat.”
P.G. Wodehouse, 'Right Ho, Jeeves' (1934)

“Tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally coarse in their nervous sensibilities,...will always be the favoured beverage of the intellectual.”
Thomas de Quincey, 'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater' (1821)

“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
Henry James, 'The Portrait of a Lady’ (1881)

"Is there no Latin word for Tea? Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have let the vulgar stuff alone."
'On Nothing, On Tea' (1908)
Hilaire Belloc, British author (1870-1953)


"Our trouble is that we drink too much tea. I see in this the slow revenge of the Orient, which has diverted the Yellow River down our throats."
J. B. Priestley, British author (1894-1984)
Observer (London, 15 May 1949)


"The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-94)
‘Over The Teacups’, Ch. 1 (1891)

    "There was an old man who forgot,
    That his tea was excessively hot;
    When they said 'Let it cool' -
           He answered 'You fool!
    I shall pour it back into the pot.'"

    Edward Lear, English artist, writer; known for his 'literary nonsense' & limericks  (1812-1888)


William Cobbett thought that good beer was infinitely preferable to tea:
"The drink, which has come to supple the place of beer, has, in general, been tea. It is notorious, that tea has no useful strength in it; that it, besides being good for nothing, has badness in it, because it is well-known to produce want of sleep in many cases, and in all cases, to shake and weaken the nerves."
William Cobbett, 'Cottage Economy' (1821)


"Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea."
Henry Fielding, 18th century novelist


"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; if this is tea, please bring me some coffee."
Abraham Lincoln


“Soup is cuisine's kindest course.  It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o'clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.”
Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)


Wine is the drink of the gods, milk the drink of babes, tea the drink of women, and water the drink of beasts."
John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895)


“There would have to be bread, some rich, whole-grain bread and zwieback, and perhaps on a long, narrow dish some pale Westphalian ham laced with strips of white fat like an evening sky with bands of clouds. There would be some tea ready to be drunk, yellowish golden tea in glasses with silver saucers, giving off a faint fragrance.”
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)


“It is true, says Liebeg, that thousands have lived without a knowledge of tea and coffee; and daily experience teaches us that, under certain circumstances, they may be dispensed with without disadvantage to the merely animal functions, but it is an error, certainly, to conclude from this that they may be altogether dispensed with in reference to their effects; and It is a question whether, if we had no tea and no coffee, the popular instinct would not seek for and discover the means of replacing them.”
Isabella Beeton (1861)


“Why do they always put mud into coffee on board steamers?   Why does the tea generally taste of boiled boots?”
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)


“Ecstasy is a glass of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth.”
Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)


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