Saturday, February 10, 2007

The issue of tea

It's been said that Britain and the USA are two nations divided by a common language. A second, and far more important, source of division is tea. Trying to get a decent cup of tea in the USA is practically impossible.

There is one (1) thing about making tea that you ought to know.


I've lost count of the number of times I've been served a cup of hot (or even lukewarm) water and a teabag. This combination will not make anybody happy. The flavour ( and the caffeine! Yay caffeine!) of tea will not dissolve well if the water isn't really hot when you brew the tea. Not boiling the water will not give you tea, much as not baking the dough will not give you bread.

Kettles are not that pricey. Your kitchen must have some way to boil water. Please, please, use it.

The temperature issue is also why you should warm a teapot before brewing tea in it- just pour in a little boiling water, swill it around and pour it out once the pot is hot.

Ironically, one of the few decent cups of tea I've been served in the USA came from an espresso stand. A teabag or some leaf tea in an espresso machine brews just as well as coffee does (Mmm, espresso!). Just don't use the same brew basket for tea and coffee. And let's not make tea in a drip coffee machine, mmmkay?

All the above applies to ordinary black (fermented) tea. I'm told that green tea should be brewed with water at 80 degrees Celsius. Personally I don't work to that degree of precision, but then I don't drink much green tea, so no harm done.

As for herbal tea, let us note that it is drunk only by Marxists.

Because proper tea is theft.

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