Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Cup of Tea

The business of making tea can be, and sometimes is, irksome and unsavoury.  Here at home, I have the beatific delight of a partner who understands how to make a fabulous tea.  And, should there ever be an occasion, she also knows how to brew a sturdy cup of coffee.  I think after 8 years of marriage, we have understood the tea-making world, and had enough exposure to the swill that passes as coffee, that we know a good spot of tea, or a good cup 'o' joe when we have one.  Almost invariably, my wife and I make the perfect green or peppermint tea.  And the odd time that coffee comes about, we have mastered the necessary proficiencies to dazzle our taste-buds to satisfaction.

Critic and Author, Christopher Hitchens
So why all this talk about tea?  Because I just finished reading a witty, and very personable reflection on How to Make a Decent Cup of Tea by Christopher Hitchens, one of my literary heroes.  His unabashed insistence that the tea-bag be present when the boiling water is poured into the cup, and not added afterward, is 100% correct.  It isn't ice fishing: you're not trying to plunge something into the water to pull it out again.  It is tea: you are trying to extract the nutritive properties from the dried leaves by a process of infusion.  Frankly, the dunkin' tea-bag method is woefully egregious.  Mr. Hitchens, in an effort to save the ignorant from themselves, has linked to George Orwell's brief essay A Nice Cup of Tea.  It is a shining example of a man who understood how to get the most from a cup.

Enjoy your reading and, most of all, thank you to Christopher Hitchens, enjoy your tea!

3 comments:

Imogen Skye said...

That teapot is GORGEOUS! Wow.

I like your article and admire Hitchens, but I'm afraid, to my visually oriented brain, both have been upstaged by that swirling, charcoal delight of beauty and function that would have evoked from William Morris, L.C. Tiffany and me, a collective of austere drooling, were they still alive to see it.

:)I guess I drool alone.

Kane Augustus said...

Agreed! It is a rather exceptional piece of ornamentation, isn't it? And the best part about it is that it is fully functional, too. Which, I'm sure, is what Morris and Tiffany considered the best kind of art: beautiful and practical.

You drool alongside me. :)

Skeptigirl said...

I enjoy tea as well and have had teas from all over the world and know all the rules associated but the tea I make at home is a bit of a hit and miss thing. I think that is because I lack the "engineering brain" and tend to not be all that exact with things. My brain says, well, I THINK I put the bag in well....I don't know when. Then I agonize over weather it has been long enough and should I take it out yet. It can get quite stressful.