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A Few of My (Least) Favorite Tea Mishaps

When we’re making tea sometimes things can go wrong. Fortunately, the stakes that come with these mishaps are not so high as if we were on an Alaskan fishing boat or a bomb disposal team. But they can be kind of a pain even so. So, without any further ado, here are some of my least favorite tea mishaps. Some of them might look familiar.

The one thing worth crying over!
The one thing worth crying over!

Crying Over Spilt Tea
This one’s not too surprising and its hardly unique to that beverage we call tea. But with tea (as with coffee, I reckon), there’s another dimension to spilling. Not only can you spill the finished tea in liquid form, but you can also scatter a pile of those pesky little loose tea leaves all around the kitchen.

Forget About It
Of the mishaps listed here this the most frequent and probably the most aggravating, because I really only have myself to blame. In fact, the last batch of tea I made as I was starting to write this fell into this category. I drink a lot of black tea and steep it for about two minutes. This is less than most recommendations you’ll see for black tea, but it works for me and I use a timer to make sure I get it right. Which works great – when I remember to push the button to start the timer. Or if, when the timer goes off, I don’t switch it off and go on about my business, proceeding to forget all about the tea.

Malfunction at the Tea Strainer Junction
You might not have encountered this one, unless you use one of those gravity type tea strainers that you sit on top of your cup when you’re finished steeping, which allows the tea to filter out through the bottom and used leaves to stay put.

I haven’t worked out the mechanics of this one but my theory is that sometimes a stray tea leaf gets stuck in the mechanism. So while the tea is steeping it is also leaking out the bottom of the strainer. If you’re lucky it leaks at a slow rate and you notice it before any harm is done. Other scenarios don’t work out quite so well – but that’s why we have mops.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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