Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I think I'm going to be in trouble

Not because of packing. Not because of logistics. Not even because I haven't seen the inside of this dreamily-fantastic-too-good-to-be-true-house-that-I-don't-yet-know-is-mine-but-I'm selling-my-furniture-like-it-is-and-hoping-they'll-soon-tell-me-one-way-or-the-other.

I don't know how to make a good pot of tea.

Sure, I can make a cup of tea with a bag. I love tea. I drink tea regularly. I even make iced tea with lots of bags (and no sugar...leave that sugary tea to you Southern drinkers).

But with the loose tea leaves? The proper way?

Blech. Barf.

I'm screwed.

I'm moving to England and I don't know how to make tea. OK, so a couple years ago I watched a cheesetastic reality show called American Princess where they took the most retarded, backwards, socially inept girls they could find from all over America, brought them to England and had them compete to become the next American Princess - with nothing less than Paul Burrell, Princess Diana's former (tell all) butler as a head judge. And I laughed when they couldn't make a cup of tea. Of course it was all so formal, swishing the pot with hot water, put the right tea leaves in, strain it out, hold it with your pinky while you wear the proper dress and keep your knees together, etc. But come on. It was tea.

But I that was before I tried it.

So my bright idea today was to do a little practicing at what life in England would be like so I decided to make a pot of tea. With loose leaves. I almost never use loose leaves and definitely not in a pot. Not so successful. The lovely organic Earl Grey tea that my sister sent me from Sweden turned into a sour mess with a big mush of tea leaves at the bottom and was undrinkable. The pomegranate green tea I got at the pirate festival was drinkable but pretty weak and still ended up a big mush of tea leaves at the bottom and you needed to floss your teeth after drinking the tea. And, on last resort, the pot of tea made with Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast tea bags? It was bitter. Tannins galore. I needed heavy cream to help that one, not the rice milk in my fridge that curdled into little bits when it hit the mug.

Oh man. I need help.

Or maybe I'll just spike everybody's tea with whiskey and we'll all be happy.


  1. When it doubut, add whiskey! Though based on your future geography, try adding scotch.

    Honestly, try adding Captain Morgan Private Stock to a cup of Lipton standard tea. It is quite the tasty alternative to honey.

  2. I have loose tea in the house and use it for ice tea. I take about a quarter cup, wrap it in an 8-inch square of cheescloth, tie it with a string (just like an aromatic when you make stock), throw it into a pot of boiling water and take the water off the heat, let the tea steep for 20 minutes, take the cheesecloth out and toss it, let the tea coo for another hour, then pour it into a pitcher and put it in the fridge to chill. Not sure if that helps you, but it is possible for an ignorant American to make good tea with no training or special equipment.

  3. Correction -- I let the tea "cool." Sometimes I also let it coo, but generally, just let it cool.

  4. While I'm certainly sympathetic to your plight (to the point that I'm contemplating a trip to youtube for possible video tutorials (tea-torials? No, definitely not), I have to say that the thing that really inspired me to comment was this. You got pomegranate tea at a pirate festival? How very piratey! Shiver me timbers if this don't be a soothing mug of pomegranatey goodness, arr!!!