Skip to main content

Ask RPS: what's your favourite biscuit, and what are the caffeine habits of RPS?

Caff and PolygonClassicist Ask RPS

An image of the words Ask RPS on an off-white background
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Ask RPS returns for another installment today, this time focusing on some of our daily food and drink habits. Technically, I have mashed two supporter questions into one for this post, as to me they seemed inherently linked, because what is the point of tea/coffee if not to also have a nice biscuit and a sit down at the same time?

With that in mind, today's questions come courtesy of caff, who asked: What is your favourite biscuit? and PolygonClassicist, who asked: What are the caffeine habits of the RPS staff? (along with the extra sub-question clarifications of: when do we like to have our coffee, espresso, tea, soda and/or energy drinks? How do we like to consume them? And how much caffeine do we all consume on a daily basis?) Come and find out how we all get through the day (in a, err, not at all dark way) below!

A cat girl, werewolf and a banshee chat in a cafe in Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Toge Productions

Alice Bee: My biscuit habits have evolved since moving to Ireland, a nation that has really put thought into biscuits. We have all the standard biscuits here (chocolate chip cookies, digestives, custard creams, and so on) but Ireland is doing some amazing things with marshmallow variants. So I really enjoy a Kimberley (two soft ginger biscuits sandwiching marshmallow, and the more chocolatey variant the Chocolate Dream, although I am less a fan of the Mikado. But for dipping in tea, it's probably still a humble chocolate bourbon cream. It has an ergonomic dipping shape, balanced flavour and has good structural integrity when damp.

My caffeine habits are limited exclusively to tea, which I drink near-constantly (English Breakfast with a splash of milk). I have favourite mugs, and my preferred blend is Yorkshire Gold, although in Ireland I drink Barry's tea - the choice is, apparently, very important. I had a cappuccino accidentally the last time I got a haircut, because it was in a sort of fancy salon and the receptionist asked if I wanted tea or coffee, and I said 'a cuppa-tea would be lovely' and he heard 'cappuccino' and then I was too embarrassed to say he'd misheard because it takes so long to make one, so I just drank a scalding hot cappuccino and vibrated for the rest of the afternoon.

James: Classic chocolate Digestive for me. Historically, my caffeine intake has come almost entirely through cool, crisp Diet Cokes, of which I'd drink four or five cans per day at my peak. I'm cutting back now (for wanting-to-live reasons), though I'm still allowed one per day, which I tend to have with breakfast. Just to keep a little of the original unhingedness going, y'know?

Some ambient raindrops to make you feel nice and cosy with the warm cuppa you're not doubt about to drink while reading this post about cuppas and excellent biscuits...Watch on YouTube

Ollie: My caffeine levels have fluctuated wildly over the past ten years. In college and university, I lived on first Mountain Dew, and then the superior Monster Ripper energy drinks. I reckon if I had one of those now, I'd have a heart attack. Nowadays I only have fully caffeinated coffee when I know it's gonna be a Big Day. I mostly subsist on a couple mugs a day of decaf instant coffee, sweetened by either marzipan or cinnamon syrups.

Oh, and my favourite biscuit is obviously German lebkuchen, in the lead-up to Christmas, with a glass of mulled wine. And don't come back here saying it's a cake, not a biscuit. I don't bloody care. Lebkuchen is the only correct answer.

Jeremy: Favourite biscuit: Honestly, I'm not sure yet! Since I've just moved to the UK I am still experiencing all the best biscuits that this land has to offer. Thus far, I like custard creams, Jammie Dodgers, and pretty much anything with chocolate. I have also discovered biscuit-flavoured Yorkshire Tea, which to some perhaps sounds obscene but I love it.

Caffeine habits: Usually in the morning I'll have one cup of coffee and in the afternoon a cup of tea (often the aforementioned biscuit brew). Sometimes when I want to be a dangerous rebel, I'll switch it up and have my tea in the AM and my coffee in the PM. I try not to drink more caffeine than that, as I had a nasty experience in university when I got addicted to energy drinks and ended up with multiple cavities from too much Red Bull and Monster...

FBI agents drink coffee in Alan Wake 2
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Epic Games Publishing

Katharine: Like Alice Bee, I'm an exclusive tea drinker, because coffee is just yucky and tastes like charred regret to me. I've never been able to stomach it, though I will admit my distaste for coffee in general is probably at least partly fuelled by repeat childhood traumas of mistakenly ordering coffee ice cream on holiday thinking it was chocolate, and always ending up disappointed and sad at my own stupidity. That said, I also never really drank tea before going to university, so maybe one day my palette will finally mature into one that accepts coffee as a drinkable liquid... You never know!

As for a preferred blend, I usually stick with English Breakfast with a dash of milk if I'm ordering out, and drink a combination of Miles West Country tea during the week at home, and the superior Brew Tea Co's English Breakfast (or Assam) teabags at the weekends as a little treat (and always with the teabag left in, because I like it strong). I do also keep an emergency box of Earl Grey in the cupboard for when we occasionally run out of milk. Generally, I drink about 4-5 cups a day. Two before lunch, and two or three in the afternoon. I used to drink almost double that about ten years ago when I still worked in an office, then I started getting headaches at the weekend when my tea intake fell dramatically, so I gradually cut back to the level I'm at now. As for biscuits, there is only one true answer for this, and it isn't lebkuchen, Ollie, it's McVitie's Milk Chocolate Hobnobs.

Edwin: I have a terrible passion for wagon wheels. I'm vegan, so I have to get specially made boutique ones from artisanal fairs that cost £10 a wheel, and as my partner often says, nobody should have to watch a grown man cry over some fake marshmallow. My favourite coffee is Too Much Coffee, and specifically Too Much Oatmilk Latte, which is not only the most boring of the hipster coffees, but also incredibly expensive round these parts. When I can't face spending £4 on some glorified non-dairy froth, I'll make a jug of Aldi coffee at the start of the day and stick it repeatedly in the microwave, all the way to dinnertime.

Preparing to brew coffee in a Coffee Talk screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Toge Productions

Kiera: Chocolate Hobnobs for the win (Ed: yes, Kiera, YES), maybe a Viennese Whirl if I'm feeling a little fancy. Basically, anything chocolatey that can be dunked into a cuppa. My caffeine habits are somewhat shameful. A coffee in the morning and sporadic cups of tea during the day every time I get the craving, right up until bedtime. I'm partial to a Monster from time to time, but mostly just during D&D sessions when I need the extra push to keep myself awake and my character alive.

Alice0: Honestly, how embarrassing to seek to reduce the entire medium of biscuits to one single "favourite biscuit." I'll tell you that the biscuit I buy most of is the 'Snowy Enrobed' Oreos covered in white chocolate (regular Oreos are disgusting), both despite and because of their scarcity. Were they not limited to Christmastime, I would still gannet the odd pack but with distinctly less desperation. In terms of a daily crunch, I'm always happy to find Hobnobs or Garibaldis in a biscuit tin - especially because I know I'll get the fly biscuits all to myself. But for a 50-mile bike ride, I'll stuff my jersey pocket with fig rolls. And homebaked shortbread? Bloody hell. "Favourite biscuit?" Educate yourself, reader dear.

As for caffeine, I mostly drink coffee. 5-7 cups, black as midnight on a moonless night, between 7am and 2pm. Coffee is my household luxury so I buy nice fresh beans from local Edinburgh roasters Mr Eion (they're not roasters; they're nice), I have nice handmade mugs, and I splashed out on a kettle with temperature controls. While I do sometimes think about fancy coffee machines, I brew using an Aeropress because it makes a good clean cup of coffee and I find catharsis in the simple process. Did you know that the amount of pressure required to filter a cup of Aeropress coffee at the optimal pace is equivalent to an adult human placing their hands over the plunger then resting their weary head on top while releasing a low groan? 25 seconds later, you have a lighter burden and a hot cup of coffee.

Read this next