How do you smash a world record? Know the rules. Plan well in advance. Have a dedicated team. Train hard. And be sure you’re being streamed live online during the event!
On July 4th, Gavin Sheppard and Debbie Kay of Devonshire Tea were on Good Morning Devon, a BBC radio program, to announce that his team of 12 dedicated tea steepers were in training to go for the world record in number of cups of tea made in one hour. August 19th was the big day for the attempt to break the previous record of 491 cups made in one hour by Alex Loughin and his team of 12, including semi-celebrity Olly Murs.
Training for such a momentous event isn’t quite the same as training for something trivial and meaningless like say, oh, the Olympics! (Laps in the pool, shotputting ’til your arms break off — that sort of thing.) No, this is much more strenuous. You’ve heard the saying “too many cooks spoil the broth.” Imagine 12 people trying to steep tea. Training and organization are definite musts. From the sounds of the voices on the radio program on July 4th when they announced this event, it was pretty tricky for the show’s host, Matt Woodley, and Gavin to make four cups in a minute (they needed to make nine in a minute to beat the record).
It sort of reminded me of when hubby and I prepared our first Thanksgiving dinner for some family members. His father was watching our jumbling around in the kitchen and chuckled quite a lot. I would reach for the masher to turn those boiled spuds into mush while hubby was going for the baster to keep the turkey from becoming a cinder, and I’d end up with the baster while he ended up with the masher — oops!
The key to such a record-setting attempt is the training. Who boils the water? Who preps the teapots? Who pours? Who serves to the thirsty crowd waiting to buy a cuppa? Plus, you need to keep the process going so that you have tea steeping while water is boiling while people are drinking. Sort of a tea roundabout. Add into this the fact that Guinness has a long list of regulations they have to follow to make the results official and you have to admire Gavin, Debbie, and the rest of the team’s determination to continue.
So, how did they do? The final tally was 725 cups of delicious Devonshire Tea made in one hour! They also generated a lot of money from the sale of those cups of tea for The BBC Radio Devon Air Ambulance Appeal and Children’s Hospice South West.
Our congratulations to Gavin, Debbie, Antony Jinman (Polar Explorer and tea lover) who poured the record-breaking cup (#492), and the entire “D-Team” for their gallant efforts! [Note: The official standing of this record has yet to be verified by Guinness World Records.]
The letter from the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, UK, confirming the cup count and his attendance:
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