As John Key's coffee shop date with John Banks in Epsom draws nearer, only one question is on newspaper editors' minds; what is the ideal hot beverage for the two Johns to sit down with? I caught up with Emeritus Professor of Tea Service Dr Ted Cosy at Victoria University to find out the most appropriate herbal blend for the historic meeting.
"First off, coffee is not an option," said Professor Ted. "John Banks is on record as hating short blacks, and both men are wary of flat whites during photo ops, as the risk of milk moustaches is quite high. Thirdly, the caffeine levels could throw them off message in front of the cameras. Their PR won't allow that."
"John Banks is known to be very selective about his tea," Cosy said. "Black tea is not an option for obvious reasons. Banks also finds Ceylon tea distasteful. He is a well-known long-time opponent of Flowery Orange Pekoe, although he said that in recent times, his disgust has lessened to merely throwing up in his mouth on rare occasions, like George HW Bush."
"It is anticipated that beverages will be served with a large plate of dead rats to share between Banks and Key, so they should be looking for a tea that will disguise the food's flavours, not accent them. Earl Grey is a contender. Its dishwater base note would neatly overwhelm the dead rats," advised Ted. "Almost but not quite."
"No, the obvious perfect tea for John Banks and John Key is St John's Wort."