I’m not sure Orwell has it right, though: not only is sugar a distraction, if not a destructor of the taste of tea as he rightly claims, but he goes on to make an even bigger pig’s ass of it by using milk!
Dairy products and tea don’t mix very happily. Milk can work wonders with some coffees in the right proportions, but all tea that I have ever tasted (and I did spend a few weeks on a tea plantation in the Nilgiris during my early youth) comes off better straight – much as whisky is supposed to do, though I did like that better on the rocks or with Crabbie’s as in Whisky Mac. (Unfortunately, such delights are now as much in the realm of the impossible as is a bottle of plonk; medical rationing, I’m afraid.) Never mind milk: the wrong sort of water can screw it up: try using chlorinated water which is sometimes all folks can get: it makes tea taste like a bathroom cleaner. Not that I have indulged, of course, but you get the picture.
Even the friggin’ coffee is meant to be restricted to a single, daily cup, but I tend to play fast and loose with that, claiming that I comply with the postprandial walking requirements each day and, in that manner, burn it off along with much of everything else that enters my system. Sounds convincing to me. As it was advice offered on leaving hospital, I suppose it was meant for the immediate future, and that advice dates from some years ago now and nobody has mentioned it since… you see the power of positive thinking?