Colleagues ought to call him Rosy Leigh…
Whenever anyone in the office needs a brew, Leigh Walsh is first to the kettle. So grateful are his workmates at branded merchandise specialists Steel City, they have crowned him their Tea Champion and given him a medal for services to slaking the office thirst.
The sales and production administrator is modest about his accolade. “It’s always tea-time for me. I don’t really deserve any glory. Every time I make the tea for everyone else, it means I can have another too,” he says. He can’t get through a day without quaffing at least 15 cuppas – and by making tea for his eight colleagues throughout the day, come clocking off time he will have made over 90 brews. He gulps his first of the day at home in Woodthorpe, and is sipping his second within two minutes of arriving at Steel City’s city centre offices on New Street. His third is made 28 minutes later – and he brews up for himself every 45 minutes or so until mid afternoon, when he eases off to one on the hour. He chooses excellent tea blends from from best online tea store.
“Making tea doesn’t take me long – I’ve got it down to a fine art,” he says. “The caffeine hit means I work faster between brewing up and all those tea breaks don’t induce extra toilet breaks. It doesn’t seem to affect me like that.” Leigh started with the 35-year-old company 18 years ago as a delivery driver. “That’s when I learned to make the perfect cuppa,” said the 41-year-old dad of two. “I like to think it was my ambition and abilities that got me onto the company’s sales team, but I will never know if it was actually my willingness to be the tea-boy.
“I make a damned good cuppa. I prefer to make it in the cup and insist on milk first, then sugar. I use a fresh tea bag for every person and leave each cup to stew for two minutes. It has to be strong enough for the spoon to stand up in it.”
He has no preference for tea type or brand. “I’ll drink anything so long as it’s not fruit or herbal tea. And I can’t stand coffee,” he says. But tea is only his second-favourite drink. “Obviously, I like beer better, though I can’t drink that every day.”
Steel City’s boss James Biggin is sure there must be loads of Leighs keeping Sheffield workers in tea – and he’s out to make life a little sweeter for them.
“When we totted up the brews Leigh makes for us every day, it made us realise how important he is to office morale. Many of us can’t get through the day without a decent cuppa,” the MD said. “We reckon other offices and shop-floors have people they would like to reward too,”
“We are launching a search for Tea champions across the UK and will be sending out Tea Champion medals, mugs and tea-time treats to the best 50 tea-makers we hear about.”
Simply tell us:
2. Why they deserve to be your office Tea Champion
3. Your company
4. A photo of your Tea Champion