A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A storm in a teacup...

A friend of mine insists on making tea the old fashioned way.


-Boils the kettle once

-Pours some boiling water into the teapot

-Tops up the kettle and boils it again

-Places the teabags into the emptied pot

-Pours the boiled water over the teabags

-Places a tea cosy over the teapot

-Wait for a certain amount of time before serving the tea...

According to him, I do it the "heathen way" because I don't come from a tea-loving country. Hah!

Little does he know that I was weaned on mint tea...

Moi, on the other hand...

-Boil the kettle

-Place a teabag into my mug

-Pour the boiled water over the bag

-Add the milk

-Stir until I get the right colour (This tells me it is exactly how I like it.)

-Squeeze and discard the bag...

Last week he challenged me to try the two methods side by side just to see his was the best.

I did and I was happier with mine. His son and wife agreed.

He moaned that I had used one of his better Yorkshire teabags. I honestly think I have shattered one of his long-held traditions but am sure that he will never give up his ritual. How can an ignorant camel herd know better!

How do you make your cuppa?

Any other rituals?

The drawing shows what I may have looked like at 21...


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Blogger Akelamalu said...

I make mine like you, apart from I put the milk in after squeezing the life out of the teabag - I like my tea STRONG!

I was just going to ask is that a picture of you! :)

14/5/07 9:18 AM  
Blogger Edvard Moonke said...

my method is identical to yours. I think the definitive method has been written about by george orwell in one of his famous essays. read it here.

14/5/07 9:47 AM  
Blogger Edvard Moonke said...

ah link doesn't work. here it is again without trying to be clever:


14/5/07 9:48 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Squeezing the life out of the teabag! I love that, Akelamalu.
The picture is what I would've dreamed to have looked like when I was 21.

Great minds, eh, Marcos.
I shall print that 1946 essay for my friend. He will surely feel vindicated!

14/5/07 10:16 AM  
Blogger giggles said...

The stronger the tea the better....I'm never consistent! Sometimes it’s your way (bag squeezer), on rare occasion it’s his way save the tea cosy! Besides I prefer coffee, Costco starbucks beans, coffeemate and sweet'n low….for no particular reason. Very unhealthy that way….but I love it! Anything else just won’t do….no dysentery coffee either!!

14/5/07 10:28 AM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

I think you probably did look like that when you were 21, and now just more distinguished! ;)

14/5/07 11:06 AM  
Blogger Queenie said...

Its not a ritual, its the correct way. I have a collection of tea-pots, these are in sizes, tea for one , tea for two,and tea for a cricket team. I love pouring tea from the pot, My only problem is milk first or last???

14/5/07 11:38 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

while the kettle is boiling I put the teapot, (or my earthenware mug w/ it's own infuser) in the microwave, half full of water. by the time the water is boiling the teapot is hot; I dump out the water, place the tea in the pot (infuser), pour the boiling water over and cover.

Then I start something else and forget it, remembering only when it's gone way too strong.

14/5/07 11:54 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

I don't have a kettle. Boil the water in the microwave, plop a teabag in it and I'm done. I drink it.

14/5/07 12:50 PM  
Blogger SpanishGoth said...

Same method as you Cream my friend and my preferred method is to smile nicely at my girlfriend who then asks if I would like a cup of tea - easy peasy....

14/5/07 2:45 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

hello again, cream! had to go back and read all the entries since i was last here (05may) i agree re the memes, i was tagged and did the same one, but didn't send it on....love your art and your words!
be wll, sugar

(yes, my faorite cuppa would have to be coffee...but when i do take tea, it's boil water, drop earl grey tea bag in to favorite mug, pour boiling water and watch it turn the right color, squeeze the teabag and there it is!)

14/5/07 2:59 PM  
Blogger la bellina mammina said...

I put my tea bag in a mug and pour hot water from the hot water dispenser - no milk, no sugar.

If I have guests though, I love using tea leaves. Then the whole tea set comes out - and I love this too!

14/5/07 3:25 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

-Giggles, I too prefer coffee but my first drink of the day has to be tea.

-Akelamalu, yes I am more extinguished these days… :o(

-Queenie, if you hadn’t had at least one teapot, I would have been surprised. But to keep up the royal tradition, the milk has to be last.

-Hayden, you are funny! I thought your method would be very elaborate. But forgetting about it….Hahaha!

14/5/07 3:59 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

-Mary, what? No kettle! Easy-peasy!

-Goth, I thought it would be. Most men make their tea that way. According to Radio Five. But it tastes better if a butterfly makes it.

-Welcome back, Savannah. Glad you’ve joined my winning tea-making club. Thanks for your words.

-Hey, Bella, you’re another woman who makes her tea like us guys.
But yes, you’re right, for guests, it has to be the best tea set!

14/5/07 4:00 PM  
Blogger fathorse said...

We're big on tea in our house - tea pot, tea cosy, twinings tea leaves, tea strainer. Milk definately goes into the mug before the tea, however. And the tea should be STRONG!

14/5/07 4:30 PM  
Blogger Merisi said...

Since when is giving a hot water bath to a tea bag (!!!!) the old-fashioned way to brew great tea???? (Btw, my mom pours boiling water over fresh lemon mint leaves to make her mint tea.) -
Guess I am terribly out of date, am I? :-)

14/5/07 4:50 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Sounds like Fathorse has got the right idea!

Merisi, you are right there. We are all saying tea BAGS but tea leaves are the ideal way.
Old fashioned? You??!!!??? Never!

14/5/07 5:07 PM  
Blogger Lippy said...

I do it the same as you too- but on the whole I prefer coffee, just not coffee bags which are vile!

14/5/07 8:26 PM  
Blogger Hayden said...

I love the rhythms of cooking, but not necessarily ritual, which too often means extra steps.

But - tea leaves. they're cheaper and I'm cheap, LOL! Tea bags are only for work.

that said, I do sometimes pay extravagant amounts for the "right" leaves.....my current fav is Jasmine Downy Pearls....I set the timer when I make that so I don't absently mindedly ruin it!

that said, now I'm craving some, so I'll run and fix a pot!

14/5/07 8:57 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Lippy, I too prefer coffee like a nice creamy espresso but my first drink of the day has to be tea.

Hayden, I really believe that if you want to feel good you have to follow your own ritual and that's the main thing! The rest is just theatre...

14/5/07 11:46 PM  
Blogger Merisi said...

get over to Vienna, and not only will I give you a personal demonstration of apple strudel cookery (yes, I can do it, and as large as Demel's *grin*), I will also brew a big pot of tea, Harrowgate's Earl Grey or Darjeeling or Assam, whatever you wish for (I must admit, once upon a time a used Harrowgate's teabags, and they were pretty good, too).
Have a wonderful day,
(Oh yes, the Demel's demonstration, I'll make sure you can see that one too!).

15/5/07 6:22 AM  
Blogger kj said...

cream, really nice drawing. i like seeing your artwork.

i'm glad you won the contest of the teabags. it might come in handy in your next job interview..


15/5/07 7:02 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Merisi, this sounds like a tea break from heaven! If only I could.

Thanks, KJ. That's a good idea! If the interviewee makes his or her tea in the same fashion, they're hired.

15/5/07 10:06 AM  
Blogger Drama Queen said...

Teapot for two and cup if its just for me. . .

15/5/07 10:18 AM  
Blogger dip-dop-crabtree said...

Le thé à la menthe est la boisson par excellence des pays du Maghreb farao

L'orsqu'on reçoit ses hôtes pour le repas, la coutume veut qu'on termine par le fameux thé à la menthe. Cependant, on peut le boire à tout moment de la journée, accompagné parfois de quelques pignons et de petits gâteux.
Sa préparation comme la façon de le servir sont asser ritualisés.
Ainsi, pour faire mousser la boisson, on a coutume de soulever haut la théièr.
Pour la recette du thé à la menthe, il faut utiliser du sucre en morceaux car sa cristalisation atténue l'amertume du thé et lui donne une saveur douce.
D'ailleurs, selon les régions du Maghreb, on l'aime plus ou moin sucré : à Fès (au Maroc) par exemple, on le sucre peu, tandis qu'à Alger ou à Tunis, on le préfère très sucré.

Ingrédients :

Une botte de menthe fraîche
1 c. à café de thé vert
100 à 125g de sucre en morceau
75cl à 1l d'eau

Préparation :

Mettre de l'eau à bouillir dans une théière, jeter l'eau et mettre le thé vert dedans. Jeter à nouveau cette eau mais conserver les feuilles de thé. Le fait de jeter l'eau d'infusion plusieurs fois sert à réduire l'amertume du thé vert. Faire bouillir 75cl à 1l d'eau et y ajouter un bouquet de menthe fraîche et le sucrer. Laisser infuser quelques minutes, filter puis servir dans une théière orientale!!

personne ne parle du petit doigt levé lors de l'absorption ???

15/5/07 11:25 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Drama Queen, so you always have two cupfuls...

15/5/07 11:46 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Oui, Dip-dop, en Algérie on préfère le thé à la menthe très sucré.
Je le sers dans un de mes restos mais sans sucre car les Anglais n'ont pas l'habitude des boissons trop sucrées.
Le petit doigt levé, ben on laisse ça aux gens sophistiqués....

15/5/07 12:10 PM  
Blogger Dizzy said...

Been away galavanting.

Me, I use peppermint tea bags, and leave the bag in until I am finished!

I sometimes have normal tea too, just a tea bag in a mug, add water and milk. If I am making for more than two people I like to make a pot, but again I use tea bags. I usually do warm the pot as it keeps the tea hotter for longer just in case you want a second cup.

Our Letty does is right, she uses tea leaves and a teapot every time. She even has a beautiful home made tea cosy.

15/5/07 2:31 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Welcome back, Dizzy.
When I make a quick mint tea, I used a normal teabag but add fresh mint leaves to the teapot.

I hope Lettie is ok.

15/5/07 4:32 PM  
Blogger mutleythedog said...

.... tea leaves and a strainer and a slug of scotch - when out camping its perfect ....

15/5/07 7:19 PM  
Blogger anna said...

No teabags for me, just loose leaves. I always make my tea in a teapot, but don't own any tea cozies. Oh, and no milk in my tea, please... I prefer my tea black (is that expression only applicable with coffee?).

16/5/07 2:53 AM  
Blogger homo escapeons said...

Sometimes I put the teabags in the coffee maker...I add a scoop of sugar and a ton of creram so it doesn't really matter..it has to be strong tea and it has to be Red Rose orange pekenese or whatever it is.

17/5/07 6:11 AM  
Blogger Elaib said...

Ongoing dispute on average teamaking chez moi. I am a teabag, then milk to hit perfect colour and consistency, the blessed Honety demands the teabag to be removed before the milk goes in. This of course leaves rthe final result far too hit and miss.
When feeling posh then maybe some tippy assam (leaves) boiling water, pot, quick swill empty leaves in, and leave for four to five minutes. Then either milk, or if the milk is curdling, a slice of lemon. The leaves should, after use, go on the roses.

22/5/07 8:27 AM  

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