We all like what we like and when it comes to tea, as with so many other things in life, there really is no one way that is right for everyone. While some people wouldn’t dream of drinking a cup of tea if they don’t know the year of harvest, the garden in which the leaves were grown and the blood type of the person who harvested the leaves, there are plenty of people who can get by quite nicely with a cheap tea bag, a splash of milk and a dash of sugar.
In any sphere of human endeavor in which there are different grades of products, there is likely to be a tendency toward snobbery toward those who prefer a “lesser” grade of this product or who do not prepare it “properly”. Which is a somewhat roundabout way of saying that, yes Virginia, there are tea snobs. No names needed. You know who you are.
For a few more thoughts on tea snobbery, check out this article from a tea seller who ultimately concludes that “some will become connoisseurs, but many will very happily continue to drink inexpensive flavored teas. There’s no reason we can’t delight both groups!”
If you’re keen to find out the “correct” way to make tea, well, good luck with that. For starters, though, you could turn to a recent opinion piece in Slate that’s been making something of a splash lately. The author, the political commentator, Christopher Hitchens, may not have hit upon a method for making tea that will work for everyone and his advice is rather geared toward the British way of doing things, but he makes a few good points nonetheless.
Among these, the difficulty of finding a decently prepared cup of tea nearly anywhere in the public space in our own United States of America. A great point, this one, but some of Hitchens’ other advice (“needs the water to be boiling when it hits the tea”) seems geared mostly to that old standby – black tea in loose or tea bag form. Consequently, this sort of thing may do more harm than good when applied to more delicate teas such as green.
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