Friday, May 22, 2015

Etiquette for Properly Making Tea

Tea is an extremely delicate article!


A CUP OF TEA

How To Make It Properly, and How to Spoil It ...  from The London Telegraph, 1889



"It seems a simple thing enough; yet of the millions who use this refreshing and agreeable beverage a very small proportion understand bow to prepare it. But if not properly made, tea is deprived of a great deal of its value, and sometimes rendered absolutely injurious. The water to be used should boil, and it should be poured on the tea immediately it boils; if allowed to overboil the peculiar property of boiling water which acts upon tea evaporates and eventually disappears. Tea should not be a decoction, but an infusion. If allowed to stew, it becomes little better than a decoction of tannic acid. Tea that is overdrawn is hurtful to the nerves and to the digestion. As to the precise number of minutes which should be devoted to the process of drawing, some people will say five minutes, some seven, some will perhaps go as far as ten, but our experience is in favor of six; this suffices to bring out the flavor, quality and strength.
        
The replenishing of the teapot with fresh hot water is very objectionable.
Just as much tea as is wanted should be made — no more. Make fresh tea as often as it is required. The replenishing of the teapot with fresh hot water is very objectionable. As the thorough heating of the receptacle is of the first importance, the teapot should be made thoroughly hot before the tea is put into it. The earthenware teapot is preferred to all others by many connoisseurs, and it is superfluous to say that whatever utensil is used for this purpose should be immaculately clean.
                                    
Reading the tea leaves, do you see a better cup of tea in your future?
Tea is an extremely delicate article. Its susceptibility to the odors of commodities near it is a source of danger and deterioration, as it readily takes up the smell of coffee, cocoa, spices, cheese, bacon, or other articles of pronounced odor. The complaints sometimes made about tea would probably not arise if always kept in places free from such contagion. Tea should be stored in a warm, dry place; unnecessary exposure to the air should be avoided. Even when securely packed in the leaden chests in which it arrives in England, the change from the glowing lights of Eastern skies to the damp and humid atmosphere of this climate deprives tea of much of its beautiful fragrance. 
        
No burnt hands! No lifting the pot! No aching arms! No soiled clothes! It turns the drudgery of pouring a cup of tea into a pleasure! How fragile were American women? ~ An American made self-pouring tea pot from 1888
Tea of much better quality than is generally dispensed at our railway stations and refreshment rooms can be bought at 2s per' pound. A pound of tea would make 128 cups. This is "considerably less than a farthing per cup. You may well ask why is it that we should be still charged 4d and 6d "for a little hot milk and water slightly flavored with undesirable tannin."



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