Monday, January 03, 2011

A Nice Cup of Tea

Over in the USA Christopher Hitchens is complaining about the difficulty of finding a nice cup of tea. It's good to see the Hitch drinking tea. He discusses George Orwell's 11 golden rules for a nice cup of tea. Here are the tenth and eleventh rules:

# Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.

# Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.

Some people would answer that they don't like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.
Go on, have a nice cup of tea.

[Hat tip: Norm]


Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Am having one right now thank you!

James700 said...

Isn't the reason for water first followed by milk,so the boiled water brings the full flavour fourth from the bag, in the cup. Or has he already brewed the tea in the pot ?

Rob said...

In India tea is usually served up (e.g. on trains) with milk and sugar already added, which is a shock to the system if like meyou normally take neither.