How I Like My Tea

(Whilst sipping a too-hot cup near a full-length window in the winter light that's left at 5:30 p.m.)

Note to self: print, laminate, and keep this post in box labeled "If I remember to play Lotto then happen to win and decide to hire an unobtrusive assistant via a screening process that is probably illegal, but I like to think the government couldn't make me hire someone who hated dogs or does their ampersands like a backwards-3."

I like my tea as follows:

  • In a double-walled glass mug or cup. I've come to hate not getting to see my tea from every angle - it just lacks a certain Wonka-ness that I look for in food/drink experiences that expect me to navigate our dollhouse kitchen. I'm currently using these.
  • Brewed in a glass pot and poured from there. No tea bags, no infusers. We will make a full pot and we will drink a full pot: this is our creed. (The tea-fiendish mouse in my pocket agrees.) This is my teapot.
  • I do not use a tea cozy. I dislike moisture and yarn being anywhere near each other.
  • The tea itself should be black in the subcategory of "nearly a cup of cocoa, really". At the moment I'm sipping the SPECIAL EDITION (pearl clutch!) "Caramel Brownie" from T2. This replaces my usual favourite, "Creamy Choc Chai". (Honourable Mention: whatever the milk chocolate tea is from the Margaret River Chocolate Company.) "Caramel Brownie" contains black tea, cocoa husks, chocolate drops, carob, caramel pieces, and "flavouring".
  • But before the tea is poured, at the bottom of my cup should be two, maybe three, splashes of milk. It has to go in first because that's how it was served the first time I had hot tea that tasted like YUM. (In London, on the Thames, with my mother, age 16.) I often screw up and put in a little too much milk, but better to sip away a centimetre and top up with pure tea than to go in un-milky.
  • Sugar is important. (Funny, since I prefer unsweetened iced tea.) Mike thinks I put a "shitload" of sugar into my steamy tea cup. ("That's why it tastes so good," he says. Well, DUH.) Actually, the preferred amount of sugar is so much that not only won't I disclose it here, but I'm going to start buying sugar cubes to make the whole process look a little more dainty and hopefully less embarrassing than ladling it in from the sugar canister.
  • The tea must be savoured. I'm never going to drink it in the car. (Unless a chocolate chai frappe counts.) It doesn't go with movies or television. Books, yes. Magazines, yes. Board game instructions, maybe. Student essays, no. Anywhere at work, no.
  • In a perfect world, there are madeleines or little sandwiches or plain old "bickies" alongside my tea, but in my flawed existence, those objects do not last in the pantry until the next tea time, or they require Effort to create or acquire, and boiling water and having in-code milk in our home is really about my limit. This is where the personal assistant is going to come in very handy. I should develop some opinions on tea trolleys in anticipation of that happy day.

Speaking of happy days, I almost never drink tea because sleep is my ancient enemy, leaving me one day of the week when it's safe to get a little reckless with caffeine.

That day is today, Friday, the last day of Week 5, Term 3. Twenty-five weeks of the school year behind us, fifteen left to go. But, for the first time in my teaching career, I'm not really counting. Whoa.

(Now, before anyone smacks my beatific face, not yet tallying up 15x5(-holidays and staff days) could be stemming from the fact that this term has been overrun with film studies and computer lab projects, which won't last much longer - but let's not think Monday thoughts!)

21 August 2015 |