Tea Dilemma — The Awkward Bit

English Breakfast Tea
English Breakfast Tea

It can happen — that tea dilemma — and usually does when you least expect it. You go to pour a cuppa from the teapot, anticipating that flow of fragrant, delicious tea to fill your cup, but … agh! you barely get enough for a good swallow or two. That’s the “awkward bit” leftover from a wonderful full pot of tasty tea.

Now what do you do? Well, that depends…

If this is your last bit from the breakfast potful and all you want is just that one last cuppa before diving into your day, making another full pot that will grow cold seems like overkill. Yet, that tea is one to be enjoyed by the potful — a luscious blend of black teas from Sri Lanka, India, Africa, or China, or maybe some nice oolong or a flavored favorite like Earl Grey. But if you make that potful, you’re going to end up with lots of extra tea that will sit in the pot (what a waste!) or that you have to gulp quickly (caffeine overload!).

If this is the last few ounces from that afternoon tea break potful but your point of tea satiation has not been reached, you could steep up that second potful and invite some friends to share it. An extended tea break —  like you needed an excuse!

One of the issues with an “awkward bit” of leftover tea is that you aren’t quite sure how much milk and sweetener to add to such a small amount (assuming you are inclined to such additions). If you’re like hubby and me, you have it down to a science. We know just how much milk and sweetener to use for the tea type and the cup size. Assam gets this much in our 12-ounce mugs, while Keemun and Yunnan get that much. Even our Darjeeling blends can stand a “touch of the moo juice” — but just a touch.

Another puzzle is the question of whether you can reheat this “awkward bit” of tea or not. I say “yes” and showed some techniques in a previous article, but plenty of other tea dedicatees say an emphatic “no,” especially if such reheating were to involve the ubiquitous microwave. Some teas improve their flavor once their molecules have slowed that frantic dance that brings them heat, so stirring them back up again into that frenzy is not needed.

Whatever you decision at this point in your tea time, along with that last bit of tea you can gobble up the last scone while no one is looking. Enjoy!

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One thought on “Tea Dilemma — The Awkward Bit

  1. LOL! I really enjoyed this article! There are two solutions: 1) steep up a smaller potful — this is why we have teapots of multiple sizes (2-, 4-, and 6-cup), gaiwans, and a permanent filter that fits most mugs in our collection; or 2) pour the leftover from the second potful into a jar or jug, put it in the ‘fridge, and you’ll have some good iced tea. But *definitely* make that second potful!

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