Tuesday, September 07, 2004

a nice cuppa

i went into china town yesterday, the place where you can get
everything, except Chinese food, to look for some more chinese ink and
perhaps a proper ink stone.. the stores have everything pilled in upon
everything else.. and in the searching I found some tins of loose
tea..(a few of us oldies may even remember the anti-deluvian days
before tea bags).. Earl Grey.. and I also found a handsome silver
(plate) tea pot to go with it.. the amazing thing is that no one here
knew how to make tea..

the secret to brewing good tea, and this even applies to tea bags, is
to use boiling water... not something that boiled 2 minutes ago.. that
is why the english warm up the pot first with a little boiling water…
left the water returned to the boil while you add the tea to the pot…
one spoon for each person and one for the pot… then pour in the
BOILING water into the pot… simplie really..

in australia the bush tradition for tea is over an open fire boiling
the water in a billy, pretty much the same size and shape as a gallon
paint tin… as the water boiled you add the tea leaves… boild for a
further minute of so… then carefully grab the handle of the billy and
swing it along at arms length.. and swing it with your arm fully
extended in big arcs.. the controversy among australians is how many
times… I am among the majority… I just do it three times… this
elaborate whirling just settles the tea leaves so the stay on the
bottom of the billy and don't all pour out into your cup.

so we had a bit of a camp fie down on the beach last night and had
billy tea as the sunset.. life can be so hard in paradise.

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