Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How to Make Tea

All Americans, please listen closely. Particularly if you own a restaurant, or are employed by the restaurant industry in any capacity. Not that I will be visiting you with any greater frequency, but it is absolutely absurd that when I do, I cannot obtain a decent pot of tea for love or money.

1. Acquire china tea pot.

2. Acquire decent tea--Jackson's of Picadilly, Fortnum & Mason's, and Yorkshire Gold are the preferred varieties, but Lipton will do.

3. Acquire tea balls and tea strainers.

4. Acquire a kettle.

5. Fill the kettle with filtered, purified water, or spring water, or water that in other respects is lacking in chemical or sedimentary adulteration.

6. Bring the kettle to a boil. You will know that it is boiling when steam issues forth in gusts, not little trickles. If the kettle has a whistle, it will be whistling ferociously.

7. Warm the china tea pot with boiling water. That is, add some water, swirl it around, empty the tea pot.

8. Keep the kettle boiling.

9. Add tea to the teapot--one teaspoon for each tea drinker, and one for the pot.

10. Add boiling water to the teapot, on top of the tea. Cover teapot with a cozy and let it steep for at least 5 minutes.

11. Serve in china teacups with half-and-half on the side. Pour through a tea strainer. Sugar optional.

You will notice, in the above instructions, that there is nothing at all about tea bags, aluminum single-serving pitcher thingies with tepid water in them, slices of lemon, or artificial sweeteners. Nor is there anything about skim milk, non-dairy creamer, powder, or styrofoam.

So stop being complete idiots. Stop offering Pretty Lady a smorgasboard of colorful envelopes, next to an empty cup and the abovementioned tepid alumium pitcher. When the water is no longer boiling, it is Already Too Late for a cup of genuine tea. The tea bags, at that point, are a mere mockery.

Pretty Lady has been wanting to get that off her chest for a long, long time. Now she must go lie down.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This has been my cry in the wilderness for decades. The key point of the directions being "Pour the boiling water over the tea". I have, in fact, stormed into a restaurant kitchen grabbed the tea off the shelf (Lipton's) and and read *the directions on the package*! to the person who had mucked my tea. How can people consistantly muck this up when the package has the correct instructions? The last straw was when my tea was mucked up by *British Airways*! I have since given up and switched to coffee when I am out.