This is arguably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written.
So a bit of backstory… Over the past few weeks I have been working at a supermarket. As with any public facing job, you meet a few weirdos (I learnt this from my years in bar work). However it’s not just the customers who are batshit.
Last week I met a new colleague. He was wearing a red gilet and looked not dissimilar to Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future… If he was played by Danny Devito. I‘ll call this man Frank from now on, referring to Devito’s character in it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as they are pretty much the same person. Now Frank (like Devito) is vertically challenged, and rather sensitive about the issue: when I made a comment that neither us nor the customer could reach a box of Frosties from the top shelf (for said customer), he insisted that he could reach and that he was not short.
Now I get it, I was teased at school for being a short arse, but there’s being self-conscious and being delusional… Gotta love yourself and move on.
Anyway, one day Frank and I were unpacking a delivery, I was looking for the boxes of 240 tea bags. I made a comment along the lines of, “I wonder how long it would take to get through that many tea bags”. He then told me he got through 587 tea bags last month. I nodded in interest, not realising that equates to nearly 19 cups a day. He then went on, “yeah I got so bored I stared counting them… 14 teas some days… And they’re pint sized.”
14 pint sized teas. I could not stop thinking about it for hours, days even. Is it even possible to drink that much? Bearing in mind the average man should only drink about 3.5 pints of water per day… But then again, he is no average man. TBH, he was almost certainly chatting shit: the maths didn’t add up, he’s quite delusional, plus during an 8 hour shift, he had no more than 2 cups.
But the idea was in my head… 14 pints of tea…
I mean it equates to less than one tea per hour in a full waking day… It’s a lot, but maybe it’s an achievable amount… I realised there was only one way to find out: I had to test the theory. So I set a date for the experiment and made sure I had enough tea bags.
The Big Question
Is it possible to consume 14 pints of tea in one day?
I already have a caffeine addiction, so the caffeine shouldn’t be too much of a problem: it’s the same as having around 7 cans of monster, according to my research, therefore my heart should be alright.
I like to have 1 and a half sugars in a regular sized cuppa, so around 2 sugars per pint of tea. If I drank all 14 pints, that would equate to 28 teaspoons of sugar, which is the equivalent to 3 cans of coke. As I know loads of people who could knock them back, this should be fine for me. I mean, it’s not great for the body, but all in the name of science or journalism or whatever.
In addition to this, 1 tea per hour is very manageable.
The above reasons have led me to my hypothesis that I will complete the 14 pints.
Tea numbers 1-3: The experiment started around half 8 this morning with a cup of tea served in a pint glass. Of course the glass was way too hot, and I had to switch to my only big mug. By tea number 3, I had downsized to a regular mug, as I didn’t have the capability to wash up every hour. I accidentally chucked 2 teabags in so it was quite strong. Does this count as an extra tea?
Tea number 4 was a GOOD cup, purchased at coffee shop counter on my daily walk. Tastes like Lipton but I can’t be sure. I left the teabag in so it was another strong one. Very surprised the shop was still open amidst the lockdown.
Tea number 5 was a turning point for me. It’s 12.30pm at the time of writing this and I am just over a third of the way through. I am feeling extremely jittery from the caffeine (not helped by the fact I left the teabag in yet again), and have the shakes a little. My boyfriend thinks I’ll give up by cup number 8, but I refuse to be defeated.
My body’s reaction to the caffeine brings back fond memories of my first double shot cappuccino aged 17. I worked in a coffee shop, and was terrified of the caffeine kick. Now it takes 5 teas to get to the same level… Interesting observation.
Tea number 6 was a dirty cup of tea. It was incredibly weak as I’m still feeling a jittery- pretty much hot water and oatmilk. I love a strong cup, but my caffeine levels were concerning… I’ve been switching between writing 3 blog posts in this cocaine-like state, along with 2 chapters of my book. Focus on one thing? How about FIVE????
I should also note that I’m feeling very full, and have a sore tummy. I also have a headache, which could be due to all the teas, or could be my lockdown headache rearing it’s delightful head. I’ve also started checking my pulse after each tea just in case.
The challenge is starting to take a toll on me. I’m going to have to take a small break
Tea number 7: It’s 4pm and I am half way there. This cuppa is actually somewhat enjoyable. I am peeing quite a lot still, so I hope I won’t be too devoid of electrolytes when this is over.
Tea number 8-9: I took it too far and got confused. I’m a mess. The tea has gone to my head.
Tea number 10: I’m back on track but it is 9pm and my bedtime is fast approaching. I never ended up lugging my arse to Sainsburys for decaf tea. Some would say it’s not an essential reason to leave the house anyway, so it’s probably for the best.
Tea number 11: It’s 10pm and my boyfriend is quite annoyed that I am keeping him up. He doesn’t understand science clearly. I don’t have much time left on my Tiktok either… I should have planned this better.
Tea number 12: It’s 11pm. I have had 12 cups. Only about 3 were pint sized. I am signing off for the night.
So, is it possible to drink 14 pints of tea in one day?
The breaks I took from tea, could have been used to drink more, however, the caffeine was not having a great effect on me, and in fact I still could not sleep until 2am. I am writing this from the perspective of the next day with a tea-hangover- I feel like I’ve been on a three day bender. I am not allowing myself to consume any caffeine today.
So maybe Frank can do it: some men can sink 14 pints of ale, so why not? But unfortunately, I cannot.
If you would like a reduced video form, here is my tiktok overview of the day:
Thanks for reading this ridiculous piece of writing!