Gertrude’s Diary #63 – Tea

Gertrude's Diary

Loadedog has asked me to share with readers my recipe for a decent cup of tea.” I’m only too happy to oblige, believing that the committment, discipline and attention to detail required for tea can serve as an example for wise living that can be carried into the rest of our lives.” Also; I like tea.” Tea is yummy.

Firstly: buying tea.” Don’t buy those horrible, dusty sweepings that are called tea bags.” Buy tea leaves.” And don’t buy any old brand.” Those English people with their Royal Warrant make good tea, but it’s also expensive and pretentious.” It’s okay to splash out on the occasional box of Lapsang Souchong if you’re that way inclined, I suppose.”Look for”a good sized leaf; if there are tea leaves floating on top of your tea after you have followed the steps below, then you are probably buying the wrong brand.” Store the tea in an air-tight container.” Really.” Otherwise you may as well just suck on a tea bag with a mouthful of luke-warm water.

Get a teapot.” Look for one that will pour smoothly and not dribble everywhere.” Go ahead and make the shop assistants scurry to the back room for some water and a cup to test it out.” If you’re inclined to be clumsy, get a metal one.” You may want to also get hold of a tea-strainer, although if you don’t have one you’ll quickly get used to straining the last few sips of tea through your teeth.” A mouthful of tea leaves is an effective teacher.

Put the kettle on to boil.” Canberra water is okay.” Purer water will release the flavour from the tea more effectively, but let’s not get silly about it.

While the kettle is boiling, heat the teapot.” You can do this by swirling some very hot water around the inside of the pot.” This is a very important process in tea preparation, used to acclimatize the tea-leaves to the fact that they will shortly be covered in boiling water.” Or something.

Add the tea.” The rule is: one for each person and one for the pot.” If your teapot makes 3 good sized mugs of tea, put in 4 spoons of tea.” What the hell.” Rules”are for breaking.” Put in however much you like.” Make it so strong it strips your teeth.

There is some debate over whether the water should be poured on the tea just before it boils, or just as it boils.” Water boiled repeatedly or for too long loses oxygen and its use will result in an inferior cup of tea.” Whatever.” Go on and pour the boiling water on the tea already.

Wait.” Trim your fingernails, or water your houseplants or read some stupid blog for a couple of minutes.” You might want to put a little tea cosy around your tea pot if the weather is cool.” They look sooooo cute!

Milk, sugar, lemon etc.:” Work it out for yourself.” Apparently, in polite circles,”one doesn’t add the milk first.” Under no circumstances should you allow yourself to be drawn into any argument concerning methods of tea preparation.” It will make the tea taste bitter.

Drink the tea.” Ahhhh.”

4 Responses to “Gertrude’s Diary #63 – Tea”

  1. Aren’t you supposed to spin the pot a few times at some stage?

  2. And I don’t mean adding tobacky to your j

  3. Even though I suspect you suggested this topic just so you could use that rather dubious joke, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and treat your question seriously.

    Pot-spinning is a tea making improvisation that often appears just after the waiting and directly before the pouring stage. However, as I have already pointed out, I will not be drawn into a debate on the necessity for this practice.

  4. Apparently the ideal temperature for drawing tea is 76c. Boiling water actually destroys a significant amount of flavour.

    It’s true because Brian Ritchie said so and he owns a boutique tea store for fun and superior tea somewhere in Milwaukee.

    But despite knowing this, I am still happy with a mere bag of Dilmah.