My name is Elaine and I suffer from Tepidophobia ... Yah it totally exists!
It happened yesterday except ... Picture this ...
I was running from school drop off to an appointment and was hanging for a cuppatea. I drove to the local McDonalds (I know, I know, ridiculous) and went through drive through. I went straight to the window as no one knows what I am ordering through the intercom thingy and I end up roaring "TEA" 50 times.
I asked for tea, English Breakfast, yes Im Irish but I like a drop of English Breakfast so I do ...
I arrive at the window for collection and I am re-directed to the waiting bay. For a cuppatea. For a cuppatea. Really. Within a couple of minutes, a young man arrives with my tea. For some reason I thought I would check my cuppatea and there it was. Dishwater. This is what you call a cuppatea when the tea bag is dropped in for 20 seconds or so and a huge dollop of milk is added. My good god. I could have cried. So I begin the drive through again and pull up to ask for another tea bag. More strange looks but the tea bag is handed over. Did I enjoy the tea. No. Well it wasn't too bad but nothing like my own or my friend's cuppatea. Actually it's her husband that seems to be make the best cuppa around.
So I thought I'd share with you how to make "The Tea" for when the visitors arrive.
1. Buy good tea. Stop grabbing whatever tea from a shelf in your local woolies that may or may not be on special and ensure it is a good quality tea. Go for bagged tea to make life easier. My favourite everyday tea at the moment and this may surprise you. Organic Black Tea from Aldi. Also love Twinnings Irish Breakfast or English Breakfast. Surprise surprise!
2. Always make "The Tea" in a pot and/or a china cup. Tea needs to be hot and with small little ones running around sometimes "The Tea" might be sitting around for a period of time. China cups keep "The Tea" hotter for longer. Cold tea is unacceptable.
3. Once the kettle is boiled, pour a small amount of boiling water into the teapot or cup. Give it a swirl to heat the cup or teapot up and throw it out. Then pop the tea bags into the cup or teapot and pour the boiling water. Ensure you do not overfill the teapot. If you are making tea for one, then add only enough for one cup and a half cups. Serve to the table straight away.
4. You don't have to spend big but a milk jug and sugar bowl is always nice.
5. Always place tea far away from little ones. I know its an obvious thing to say but you never know if a little visiting hand might grab a cup of tea. Frightening.
6. Serve tea with a yummy cake or biscuits. It's a must if I'm popping over!
With all the above in mind, I have to remind of the DO NOTS!
1. Do NOT rush the tea making. STOP taking the tea bag out of the cup within 30 seconds! Please people. This can cause serious upset.
2. Do NOT share a tea bag between two cups of tea. This is unacceptable and may cause the tea drinker to collapse. Isn't that right Uncle Jimmy?!?
3. Do NOT top up a cold pot of tea!!! My good god!
4. Do NOT boil a tea pot to heat up the tea. The tea tastes awful.
5. Do not pour the milk into the tea for the tea drinker unless instructed. Too much milk will ruin "The Tea"!
6. Do not use, a used spoon for a fresh cuppatea. A tea drinking guest who prefers no sugar will taste the sugar! Not joking.
So there you have it, "The Perfect Tea"!