Would you like a cup of tea?   Leave a comment

It seems such a simple question.

Is it reasonable to assume offering somebody a cup of tea also implicitly includes the offer of a cup of coffee, if they’d prefer?
But how could they know you have coffee if you don’t offer it? Maybe they think you’ve run out, or that you don’t drink coffee.
Unless they can see the coffee on the worktop. But then what if they just think you’re being rude – that they’re not worth a cup of coffee, but you feel obliged to offer a cup of tea as an expected social nicety? Tea’s cheaper, per mug, than coffee is. Maybe they just think you’re being miserly.

And even if you assume they did want tea, when asked how they’d like it “white, one sugar” isn’t really adequate instruction. Weak, medium, strong? How white? Heaped or flat teaspoon of sugar? Maybe there are accepted defaults of which I’m unaware. Happily, lacking a teapot, that option’s out. Of course, if they’re particular about tea that may upset them, but in that case you’d hope for more precision.

I suppose it’s just one of the minefields you have to navigate when you have unknown people visiting. If it happened more frequently maybe I should have Beverage Specification Sheets printed up to avoid confusion.

Hopefully any offer of biscuits will be more straightforward.


Posted 18 May 2011 by Colthor in Diary

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