George Orwell, the famous English critic, writer and essayist, loved a cup of tea as much as any of us. First published in the Evening Standard in 1946, he writes about the correct way to make tea and on reading his list, I have to agree with him. In his essay ‘A Nice Cup of Tea’, he is pretty adamant about the only proper way to make tea.
- Use only Indian or Ceylon tea leaves
- Always make tea in a teapot, not an urn
- The pot should be warmed up first with hot water
- The tea should be strong
- Tea loose in the pot, not a teabag
- Use rolling boiling water
- Stir or shake the pot
- Cylindrical cup
- Non-creamy milk
- Tea in the cup before milk
- No sugar
Now the milk debate. Milk first or last is an old discussion. My idea is to leave it to the person to decide their own particular tea habits, no matter how bizarre. When is the optimum time to add the milk? Milk may have been added first, back in the day to avoid breaking delicate fine china cups when pouring in boiling water. My idea is to add milk to tea in a cup first, if you are making proper tea using a teapot but if making tea with a tea bag then most definitely add the milk at the end.
I think I would have enjoyed a cuppa with George as I agree on almost every point of his tea list. He certainly liked strong, not too milky tea with no sugar and that is the perfect cup of tea.
One aspect all tea drinkers agree upon is that Tea is a must when you’re working. It enlivens the brain to improve the clarity of thought, uplifts the spirit and creates solace and inspiration. It is a must first thing in the morning and when returning home from anywhere at all. Tea is obligatory when guests arrive, either invited or impromptu. One cannot enjoy breakfast without tea and it goes without saying that a catch up with friends in a cafe, a pot of tea to share is vital. A solitary day with a book, a day out on a picnic or one filled with friends over for lunch tea is essential. Other famous writers who love tea –
All content Di Baker 2020
Images Wikimedia, Art Gallery of NSW, Unsplash