The appreciation of tea or what makes a good cuppa

 

I’m participating in a little tea appreciation club. So far, the member count is two; my eldest daughter, Cheyne, and myself. The plan is to make a pot of tea, pour it into proper tea cups, sip a little and then talk about the tea and anything else that crops up in the conversation.

Cheyne has cajoled some exotic sounding samples from the sales person at T2 and prepared a “starter” script. There are two issues I have with the plan.

One: I’m anosmic, which affects my ability to detect flavours (let alone talk about them). I do have a sense of taste, but it is limited. My contribution to a conversation on tea is, therefore, not going to be a major one. However, I do drink tea so I will give it a go.

Two: Of course, we’re not only talking about the tea. That’s just an ice-breaker (so to speak). We’ll discuss current affairs as well. Not a problem, we talk all the time on a great many topics. My concern here is that I tend to clam up when other people are listening or when someone starts recording (I’m a writer not a speaker).

A really good cup of tea is relaxing and energising at the same time. It’s a tradition that goes back centuries and is now part of our culture (Australian/British). Had a shock? A cuppa will fix that. Out of bed early and need to wake up? Sounds like cup of tea time to me. Had a long day and need to relax? No worries, love, I’ll just put the kettle on… The answer to nearly everything can be found in a lovely cup of tea brewed how you like it.

My favourite teacup

My favourite teacup

I prefer hot, strong, herbal and no milk or sweetening. Peppermint is my favourite. It has enough power to make my taste buds take notice without being bitter like black or green tea can be.

Cheyne will go for either peppermint (strong) or green tea (weak). My other daughters like peppermint only. One has weak but hot. The other has strong but half cold. My husband likes ordinary tea with milk.

So what makes a good cuppa? Freshly boiled water, your tea leaf of choice and context.

How is a reserved person who can’t really tell much about what she’s drinking going to get through this?

By putting the kettle on…

 

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