This way of making tea involves boiling the kettle twice, and a few extra steps. But sometimes the more effort you put into something, the more you appreciate it.
1. Choose the best quality tea
Dad showed me how to make tea when he bought me my first teapot. The key to making good tea is to choose high-grade loose leaf tea. The bigger the pieces in the blend, the higher the quality. This is mango tea, which Dad always had in the house when I was a child. When I open the canister, the mango scent always brings back memories for me. Nowadays when I make this tea for him he always says, “This is nice tea! Where did you get it?”
I buy this tea from my local food market. By weight it’s a little expensive, but it lasts me for months as I only have it in the afternoons.
2. Preheat the teapot and cups
If you preheat the pot and cups the tea will stay hot longer, so you can enjoy a second cup from the pot. Pour boiling water into them and let them stand while you re-boil the kettle.
3. Put a small amount of tea in the pot.
I only use a small amount of tea, less than a spoonful. Good tea is made from the whole leaf, and a small amount will still make a strong brew. If you take milk, I think it’s best to add that
first. [Update: I’ve just heard on good authority that it’s best to add the milk last to prevent scalding it]
My Dad always pours off the first 20mL or so of tea before filling the cups, but he told me he doesn’t know why he does this. It’s just the done thing.
4. Pour your tea, and enjoy it.
Sitting down to a cup of tea is one of life’s pleasures. Sharing one with someone you love is another.
My Dad isn’t materialistic, but with the things he does buy, he always chooses the best quality. Not just with tea, but coffee, cheese and wine. He loves conversation, and has considered opinions on many things: politics, architecture, art. He lives a rich life because he chooses the best, but this doesn’t always have to cost a lot if you buy carefully.
He didn’t just teach me how to make tea. He taught me how to live well.
What did your parents teach you?