Last year I read a book whose main character frequently made a cup of tea while deep in thought. As the woman1 mulled over her circumstances, her internal monologue would be interlaced with descriptions of how she chose a variety of tea, retrieved a mug, turned on the faucet, filled her mug, put the mug in the microwave and "zapped it" till it was "hot" and then plunked in the tea bag. IN THE MUG. THE MUG WITH "HOT" MICROWAVED WATER!?
At least 10 times in the course of this 250 page novel (whose name now eludes me, thank heavens) the woman made tea in this manner. Every single time, I would grit my teeth and think, "Do people really do this? Are there people in the world who don't know that you should use a kettle and a teapot to brew up a cup of tea? If the answer is yes, I hope to hell I never wind up in their house and watch them make me a cup of tea in the microwave because my head will explode."
So for the benefit of those who are new to tea drinking, or whose ancestors are not from tea-producing nations or the British Commonwealth, or who haven't had my mother as a customer in their restaurant, here's how to brew a pot of tea for me:
1. Fill the kettle, and put it on the stove and bring it to a boil.
2. Scald the teapot and your mug(s) with some of the boiling hot water. Dump out the water in the teapot.
3. Put your teabag(s) in the teapot. Use one teabag per cup of water. If using loose tea, use 1 teaspoon per cup.
4. Pour the boiling hot water into the teapot.
5. Put a cozy on the teapot.
6. Wait five minutes while it brews.
7. Retrieve the teabag(s), throw it away.
8. Dump out the water you've used to temper your mug(s).
9. Decant the tea into the mug(s). If you are only serving several mugs, fill the first one halfway (this tea will be the weakest bit of the batch). Then fill the other mugs. Return to the initial cup and fill it the rest of the way (this tea will be the stronger).
10. If you are having black tea, you can add milk, cream, sugar or honey. If you are having a green or herbal variety you may add a miserly amount of honey.
As I'm writing this post I'm sipping a properly brewed mug of Spicy Chocolate Rooibos. It's one of two delicious teas (the other is The Earl's Garden) I bought yesterday at the David's Tea shop in Big City:
I'm very impressed that Big City is supporting a tea shop. Sure the ratio is one tea shop to 12 pawn shops, to 38 tattoo parlours, but it's progress. And it's just another reason for me to force Mr Wrath to go to the mall in Big City.
Anyone else a fan of David's Tea? What do you suggest I buy next time? I was so overwhelmed yesterday I had a tough time making up my mind. I'm happy with both choices (the Rooiboos is nice and smooth, chocolatey and light). The online description for Honeybush Lemon Ginger sounds a lot like a Tazo tea blend I use to buy at Starbucks, before they reinvented/ruined that line last year.
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1 -- possibly relevant descriptors: white, middle class, American, lawyer, in her 30s, single.