How do you like your tea? This is a simple enough question you may think at first glance. I take mine white with no sugar. But that doesn’t actually answer the question. I asked, “How do you like your tea?”
Now that is much more of a complex question. Tea making varies considerably between makers. There are, of course, different brands of teas to choose from or even different flavours.
To be clear, I’m talking about bog-standard tea here, builders’ tea, nothing fancy. And it doesn’t really matter what brand, it’s how you make it.
I do love my tea. Especially the first cup of the day. I have to have one before I do anything else. If I can have two, even better. Then I can get on with my daily routine.
I don’t understand how it’s possible to not like tea. Coffee, with its numerous bars and fangled new machines, seems to be the hot drink of choice these days. How anyone can spend around £10.00 on a coffee is beyond me, but I digress.
By the way, is it wrong that when someone says that they prefer coffee, I tend to be slightly suspicious of or even disappointed in them? It reminds me of whether you ask if they’re a dog or a cat person.
Anyway moving swiftly on without further ado, let’s discuss tea making.
To me, there is little worse than a weak tea with too much milk. The thought of it even makes me feel queasy. I fear being handed a massive mug of an insipid, tasteless, liquid which I will have to rapidly consume before gagging. At least when it’s milky, it’s cold enough to neck quickly without scorching my throat I suppose.
I could obviously tell my host that I couldn’t drink it. That though seems incredibly rude. I would rather suffer and be polite.
As I’ve got older my taste has definitely changed. I now like my tea strong, but certainly not stewed. The liquid should not be too transparent or pale in colour. I like a dash of milk, just to turn the shade to a lovely tan.
The receptacle from which I drink is also important. It should be thin, not thick and the vessel must be white, at least on the inside. It should too be on the small side rather than large.
I have to admit that I do like a teapot. Although using one seems like a bit of a faff during the week so I tend to save the experience as a weekend treat.
I am also a fan of the cup and saucer but this too feels like it should be saved for a weekend.
Controversially, I prefer the milk in last, more so if you’re brewing a teabag in a mug. Milk in first will cool the water so a tea bag won’t brew satisfactorily. Secondly, you’re committed to the amount of milk in the tea when adding first. Once you have the milk and water in, you cannot turn back.
Making sure the liquid is the right colour before adding milk will ensure that the tea is of the correct strength. Finally, just a dash of milk is all that is needed.
Then I can go ahead and relax with my perfect cup of tea.
That is how I like mine. What about you, how do you like your tea?