A Brief Guide to Brewing One’s Tea


For too long have I borne sad witness to the folly of a coffee maker brewing a cup of tea. This isn’t some slap-dash, hasty, get it done fast kind of job; this is an art form. It takes time, precision, and patience. So don’t screw it up.

Start off with a decent brand. My favourite is Twinning’s. Loose leaf is good if you have the time and the inclination, but a bag can be equally delightful. I’m awfully partial to a spot of Lapsang Souchong, but for this example, I’ll give the instructions applicable to a bag of simple, traditional, breakfast tea.

1. Boil the water; preferably in a kettle, on a stove, or over a large, but responsibly controlled, tribal bonfire.

2. Pour the, by now boiling hot, water into an empty mug, cup, glass, or shoe.

3. Gently place the bag into the water after pouring it into the desired receptacle. If you do it before, it can be somewhat traumatic for the bag (all that splashing and sploshing), and we mustn’t have that.

4. Allow the tea bag to optimistically acclimate himself to his new surroundings. This process should be left to unfold over a course of 5 minutes or so. Perhaps in the interim you could smoke a cigarette and try speaking French.

5. Firmly wring the bag out by lifting it over the water level and pressing it against the side of the mug, cup, glass, or shoe with your tea spoon.

6. Deposit the bag in the correct refuse disposal area, and not on the kitchen counter, folks.

7. If one fancies sugar in their tea, now would be the time to implement this notion. Stir until it is fully dissolved, and the entirety of the liquid content of your beverage vessel, whichever one you have chosen, is crystal clear in its auburny deliciousness.

8. If you feel so inclined, this is surely the ideal opportunity to add some milk. Just a touch, however. Over milked tea is a travesty, and it makes you look like a weak person, afraid to take risks in life.

9. While waiting for the temperature of the tea to decrease to a level of comfortable drinkability, may I suggest either the dunking of biscuits, or the contemplation of some of the weightier aspects of human philosophy. If one chooses the biscuit dunking option, I would advise you to shy away from anything too crumbly, as it sullies the last sips of tea with mushy debris. My personal choice for a dunker is a chocolate bourbon. Also, be aware of the rate at which a biscuit becomes structurally compromised when immersed in the tea. Any tea-to-biscuit contact lasting over 5 seconds is tempting fate, showing off, and generally reckless.

10. The dénouement. Your tea is made, your biscuits have been dunked, and your ponderings as to the meaning of life have reached a satisfactory conclusion. You may now drink your tea. Jolly well done.