Day Twenty Three: a cup of tea


There’s not much in life that can’t be eased by a good old fashioned British cuppa. The only real argument caused by a cup of tea, however, would be over how to make the perfect cup. According to the rules are simple;

1. Run the tap a little so the water is nicely aerated. Use water that has boiled just once – any more than that and the level of oxygen in the water is reduced and your tea can taste a bit ‘flat’.

2. Pour freshly boiled water directly onto your teabag in a mug. This way the tea infuses better than adding the teabag to water.

3. Leave to brew for 4-5 minutes according to taste.

4. Remove the teabag with a spoon giving it just one gentle squeeze.

So now you know.

There’s also the debate about whether the milk goes in first or last. Friendships have been broken by the differing opinions on this hot topic. Wars have been fought (possibly). Personally I like to put the milk in first but that could very well be due to the fact that I take my tea so weak that it has been referred to as ‘insipid’. I have friends (you know who you are) who will stew their teabag for so long the spoon practically stands up by itself, whereas I prefer to subtly wave my teabag at my milky hot water on it’s way past to the bin. Whichever way you choose to do your brew though, most would agree on the fact that it’s damn good. As someone who always feels a little uncomfortable in times of great stress and/or confrontation, I find it useful to have “Anyone for a cuppa?” in my back pocket if things get particularly hairy.

Tea is offered to those thought to be suffering from shock, and is often given after labour. Surely this is all the proof one needs that this beverage has untold magic and medicinal qualities to it. I’ve lost count of how many times I have sat curled up in a chair, under a blanket, with a good book or a trashy magazine and a steaming cup of tea, and it never fails to calm me down or relax me. In the words of C. S. Lewis, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”. What a wise chap.


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