Monday, February 2, 2009

Making Tea

Allow two teaspoonfuls of tea to one large cupful of boiling water. Scald the teapot, put in the tea, pour on about a cupful of boiling water, set it on the fire in a warm place, where it will not boil, but keep very hot, to almost boiling; let it steep or "draw" ten or twelve minutes. Now fill up with as much boiling water as is required. Send hot to the table. It is better to use a china or porcelain teapot, but if you do use metal let it be tin, new, bright and clean; never use it when the tin is worn off and the iron exposed. If you do you are drinking tea-ate of iron.

To make tea to perfection, boiling water must be poured on the leaves directly it boils. Water which has been boiling more than five minutes, or which has previously boiled, should on no account be used. If the water does not boil, or if it be allowed to overboil, the leaves of the tea will be only half-opened and the tea itself will be quite spoiled. The water should be allowed to remain on the leaves from ten to fifteen minutes.

A Chinese being interviewed for the Cook says: Drink your tea plain. Don't add milk or sugar. Tea-brokers and tea-tasters never do; epicures never do; the Chinese never do. Milk contains fibrin, albumen or some other stuff, and the tea a delicate amount of tannin. Mixing the two makes the liquid turbid. This turbidity, if I remember the cyclopædia aright, is tannate of fibrin, or leather. People who put milk in tea are therefore drinking boots and shoes in mild disguise.

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