Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How To Make A Cup Of Tea

Before the British declare war for such sacrilegious treatment of our favourite beverage, I thought it necessary to provide a short instruction on the ancient art of tea making. It has come to my attention that many Americans believe that all tea should be made with ice. English readers, this may shock you.
For those still living in the dark ages a saucepan or a small bowl over a campfire will suffice, but cold water straight from the tap will not. * Boil a kettle full of water.
You can always water it down afterwards. However, make sure you read the packet beforehand and if in doubt make it too strong rather than too weak. Different brands of tea require different amounts of tea leaves for required strengths, but in general it should be one teaspoon for each person drinking and one for the pot. Empty the water out, then place tea leaves into the pot (these can be placed within a tea ball if you have one).

* Pour a little hot water into the teapot (preferably china rather than novelty) to warm it.
Merely leave to brew for between three to five minutes - any shorter and you will not get the flavour, any longer and it will stew. Do not drop the pot or stick it in the microwave. Do not add ice cubes or sugar. * Pour boiling water into the teapot.
It is also an offence to use milk in certain brands of tea, so do remember to check whether your chosen variety is better served with milk or lemon. This is an offence on a line with spitting into the pot, which should also be avoided. Never, ever add it afterwards.

* If you are using milk, pour it (from a china milk jug) into the matching china tea cups first.
* If you had not used a tea ball, you will have to strain the tea before pouring it into the china cups. A tea strainer is similar to a small sieve and does the job easily.
Until the invasion. Wonder out loud if this was really what the Boston Tea Party was all about, then dismiss it as paranoia and get on with your sweet iced-tea drinking lives. Sit back, relax, put on fake British accents and wave your pinkie around wildly, mocking pretentious Englishwomen who do not believe Americans can make tea. * Add sugar as required and stir with your solid silver teaspoons.
Andrea drinks tea, and a lot of it. She actually quite likes Americans, but that doesn't stop her disapproving of their beverage choices.
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