When the life was simple and unhurried, making a good tea was an art form. Every small step in the tea making process was like good choreography, well timed and well measured, until the brew was in the cup. It needed knowledge, experience, practice and even intuition in the delicate art of steeping. But as we moved on, the life gathered speed. The ubiquitous tea bags made it’s appearance to help us hurry through our tea. Dip, dip, dip …and it is ready, as if the enjoyment of tea is secondary and the liquid must be gulped down to speed us on our way to work.
Wanna make a good cup of tea ? Visit the numerous tea dedicated web sites that will tell you not only the exact temperature at which the water should be boiled, the plus and minus of using bottled water and the exact quantity of tea leaves to be used. Tomes and endless articles will continue to fuel the endless debate by splitting hair about tea making.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let us not torture the tea and the tea drinker, once and for all.
The ancient Chinese knew that a true warrior like tea shows his strength in hot water. How hot they knew not, they never bothered a thermometer or any gadget to measure the right Ph value of the water. They were not necessary. The ends justified the means and that was the pure enjoyment minus sugar, minus milk.. They kept it simple.
A simple look at the tea leaves, a few trial and error and they knew what was good and how to bring out the best of the tea leaves they had from the season’s harvest. The same holds true even today.
What you need is a simple kettle or anything to boil some water. Boil it to whatever temperature it boils. Pour a little of it in a ceramic teapot and the tea cups to make them warm to welcome more. Now pour the water it in the warm tea pot, add tea leaves by tea spoonfuls. You see tea spoons are made for that.
Leave it there, let the tea leaves open up in the comfortable warm embrace of the water. Let it color the water, to the shade of your choice. If the tea leaves are good, very soon your olfactory senses will awaken, to tell you that it is ready. Pour some in a waiting warm cup, taste it, swirl it around your mouth and you will know if it is ready for more. Add milk, sugar, honey or whatever takes your fancy. If it helps in elevating your mood, close your eyes, sip slowly to enjoy the sensuous tickling of the taste buds and you will feel the divine presence of life’s small mercies.
Dismiss whatever the tea guidelines tell you about steeping, as inane. If not, go back to your tea bags. Dip, dip, dip…..and it is ready and you are a man or woman, in hurry and pleasures of tea are not for you.