English readers, this may shock you. It has come to my attention that many Americans believe that all tea should be made with ice. Before the British declare war for such sacrilegious treatment of our favourite beverage, I thought it necessary to provide a short instruction on the ancient art of tea making.
* Boil a kettle full of water. For those still living in the dark ages a saucepan or a small bowl over a campfire will suffice, but cold water straight from the tap will not.
* Pour a little hot water into the teapot (preferably china rather than novelty) to warm it. Empty the water out, then place tea leaves into the pot (these can be placed within a tea ball if you have one). Different brands of tea require different amounts of tea leaves for required strengths, but in general it should be one teaspoon for each person drinking and one for the pot. However, make sure you read the packet beforehand and if in doubt make it too strong rather than too weak. You can always water it down afterwards.
* Pour boiling water into the teapot. Do not add ice cubes or sugar. Do not drop the pot or stick it in the microwave. Merely leave to brew for between three to five minutes - any shorter and you will not get the flavour, any longer and it will stew.
* If you are using milk, pour it (from a china milk jug) into the matching china tea cups first. Never, ever add it afterwards. This is an offence on a line with spitting into the pot, which should also be avoided. It is also an offence to use milk in certain brands of tea, so do remember to check whether your chosen variety is better served with milk or lemon.
* If you had not used a tea ball, you will have to strain the tea before pouring it into the china cups. A tea strainer is similar to a small sieve and does the job easily.
* Add sugar as required and stir with your solid silver teaspoons. Sit back, relax, put on fake British accents and wave your pinkie around wildly, mocking pretentious Englishwomen who do not believe Americans can make tea. Wonder out loud if this was really what the Boston Tea Party was all about, then dismiss it as paranoia and get on with your sweet iced-tea drinking lives. Until the invasion.
Andrea drinks tea, and a lot of it. She actually quite likes Americans, but that doesn't stop her disapproving of their beverage choices.
Andrea is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Poetry .