05 May 2011

Tea Time

Good tea takes a little time. I don't mean to grow it, though that does take time.
Then there's the picking of leaves and the processing of them quickly so they dry properly and don't turn to dust in transit . . .

But I'm referring to the time it takes to prepare a good cup of tea.

First you put the water on to boil.
This may be in an electric kettle or on the stove. Regionally, there are different names for each of those appliances. Some call it a jug and a hob. I don't care as long as the water boils.

Then you must wait.
You can look out the window or assemble the rest of the paraphernalia.
You'll need a spoon, tea leaves, a cup . . . possibly milk, sugar or lemon, depending on the type of tea and your personal preferences. Pour hot water into the pot to warm it, and then drain that water out. Add the tea leaves to the pot.

Let the tea steep.
When the water has boiled, you pour it over tea leaves in the hotted pot.

Then you must wait.
You do not stir the leaves or agitate the pot. That only changes the chemical process and releases tannins that may embitter the brew. Just wait.

Stephen Twining told me personally that you should wait 3 minutes.
He said, one minute was just for colour. Two minutes was for flavour. Three minutes gives you all the anti-oxidant benefits of the tea. I believe him and think it worth the wait. We were talking about black tea, mind you, so pay attention if you have other teas in your chest. Twinings

Sit down.
Next, you sit down with a good book, a letter from a friend, or with a good view spreading out in front of you. You pour the tea in to your old tea cup and sigh.

Then you must wait.
Well, if you did boil the water and assemble everything properly, the tea will be too hot to drink. No sense in scalding your taste buds after you've done everything so nicely in preparing the tea!

See, drinking tea is a philosophy, a way of life, a ritual worth the time and effort.

Come over! I'll make you a cup.


Cheryl said...

I'll be right over! You KNOW you don't need to ask me twice if you're inviting me to tea at your place.

Dilmah, please.

Woven and Spun said...

I second the Dilmah! I'll be over too. Not sure when, just keep the kettle ready!