How to make tea: (as taught to thirteen-year-old me by my best friend’s Scottish mother)
Step 1. Take a bag filled with twigs, leaves, and powder, and put it in a mug.
Step 2. Boil water in a kettle on the stove.
Step 3. Pour boiled water into the mug. Let the bag steep for a few minutes.
Step 4. Take out the bag and save it for next time; it will still be good.
Step 5. Add one ice-cube to cool the tea down for consumption.
If the bitter earthiness of the unadulterated tea doesn’t make you feel stronger, you just need more of it.
How to make tea: (as taught to sixteen-year-old me by me)
• Brown/Unflavored tea is evil. Don’t trust it. Raspberry or other fruit flavored tea only.
Step 1. Use a mug that mom just washed, put in a tea bag, and then fill the mug with water from the tap.
Step 2. Put the mug into the microwave for one minute and twenty-five seconds exactly.
Step 3. Remove mug from microwave. Throw away the sodden bag while dripping tea all over the counter.
Step 4. Dump at least half of the sugar bowl into the lukewarm tea. Don’t stir.
Consume this tea and enjoy as you get enormously sugar high, but pretend it’s the caffeine, despite the fact that the raspberry tea is decaf.
How to make tea: (as taught to twenty-year-old me by all five of my considerably more world-weary roommates)
• Fruit and herbal teas (especially raspberry) are for sissies and unsophisticated slobs.
• PG Tipps is the only kind of English Breakfast tea you can trust. All other ‘bagged’ teas are inferior.
• Loose-leaf teas, while confusing and expensive, are the ultimate in luxury. Chai tea is also acceptable.
• Sugar is optional, but milk is absolutely not; only heathens drink tea without milk.
Step 1. Take out your favorite mug – only use your favorite mug, or else the tea will be subpar and ordinary.
Step 2. Boil water in an electric kettle for the full British effect of ‘real’ tea.
Step 3. Place a tea bag or a defuser filled with loose-leaf tea, which never closes properly, into the mug. Pour in boiled water, making sure to leave enough room for milk.
Step 4. Steep for three minutes or until you’ve finished writing the last page of your essay.
Step 5. Remove bag or defuser. Dispose of bag, but save leaves in defuser for next time.
Step 6. Add one to one and a half spoonfuls of sugar.
Step 7. Pour in enough milk so the tea is considerably lighter than when you started.
Turn on a BBC show or alternative folk music. Drink tea while talking with friends or reading your latest class assigned text.
How to make tea: (as taught to twenty-two-year-old me by my twenty-three-year-old friend)
• Breakfast tea is preferable due to its high caffeine content. But anything that you can steep will work in a pinch.
• Loose-leaf tea is for special occasions only; you are not made of money.
Step 1. Use whichever mug is still clean. If no clean mugs are left, rinse out one from the sink.
Step 2. Pick up nearest type of tea and place it in the mug.
Step 3. Kettle, electric kettle, very hot tap – whatever is the source of the hottest water, use it to fill your mug almost to the top; some room for milk may be desirable, if you remembered to pick up milk from the store after work.
Step 4. Steep for four or five minutes to get the tea as caffeinated as possible while still leaving it drinkable.
Step 5. Throw bag away carefully, so you don’t have to clean the floors or counters until later.
Step 6. Stir in two or three spoonfuls of sugar; however much you need.
Step 7. Pour in a splash of milk; generally as much as you can before the mug overflows.
Collapse into a comfy chair, wrap yourself up in your favorite blanket, and let your mind go blank as you sip your tea. Responsibility and real life can wait for an hour or so.
How to make tea: (as I make it currently)
However I want. There’s no right or wrong way. Every person will take their tea differently, because every person is different. Each day brings its own challenges, its own triumphs; nothing is for certain.
Nothing, of course, except for the fact that a cup of tea, well-made or otherwise, will always make things at least a little bit better.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.