28 February 2005

trying to make the perfect cup of tea...

There's a long tradition of tea drinking in my family, paticularly on my mother's side. Personally, I've always been more of a coffee person and can often been seen salivating around fresh coffee and inhaling the tantilising aroma so deep it would seem my lungs would explode, but this does not mean that I do not partake. Often, I find myself in a situation where tea is the be-all and end-all and to not comply would be seen as a mortal sin. Other times, people just don't have any coffee. Now, I know exactly how I like my coffee. exactly. To the point that when it is bang on I enter a state of blissful nivana, and when it is just off my universe collapses, But I've never reached that equilibrium when it comes to Tea.

Tea drinking in britain is kinda sacred, you know? And alot of people are rather paticular about how they take it. My Mum, for example, is one of the most picky drinkers of tea I have ever met. The mug has to be large. To this add one tea bag and a miniscule amount of semi-skimmed milk. boil kettle, add water, then leave for what seems like a eternity to stew brew throughly, then serve. Now, I've been making tea for my mother for many a year and if you don't get it just right then she will complain, often to the point of making you go and do it again.

My mum is the queen of the nursing home scene. A nurse/matron/training/managerial type and she is so so so good at her job. A recent trend of the british nursing home industry has been the importing of trained nurses from places such as africa and india. It has been my mother's job (amongst an assorted and exaustive list of others) to train these people up to the british standards laid out by governing bodies and the such. Most of these nurses send the majority of their wage packets back home to their familes, and occasionally return home for visits. When they come back they often bring my mum gifts. She has a table full of beautiful handcrafted ornaments from around the world. One time, one of the indian nurses brought back some loose tea for her.

This morning I drag my carcus out of bed to find that there is only enough instant coffee for one mug. Now, coming back to what my biggest fan said about me being a junkie, I guess I have to concede that coffee (well, essentially caffiene) is another thing I'm hooked on. I am never fully conscious untill I've had at least two, preferably three, cups of coffee. After that, I am capable of pretty much anything.

So, I have my mug of coffee, working out in my head whether or not I can be bothered to throw some clothes on and try and communicate with the local shop keeper using a series of half-asleep gutteral grunts and whining noises, or whether to just have some tea.

So, tea it is then.

Not just any tea though. Oh no, I ain't gonna just settle for PG tips. I want proper tea! Indian Tea! Using a tea egg!

So I experiment. First I fill the strainer way up to the top, have it in a large mug, and end up with what is essentially a weak mug of tea. Then I half fill it and huzzah! the tea is stronger! Rejoice! Getting closer to my perfect cup of tea.

And that's what I did this morning. I also had a shower, but that was much less interesting.

Side Note: just because the taste is weak doesn't mean it doesn't have as much caffiene in it, and with fresh tea leaves you can be guaranteed quite alot of caffiene. Right now I'm vibrating in and out of the visable spectrum.

Futher Side Note: Sorry about the half-arsed nature of this post. I got half way through it when I started thinking to myself "Why the fuck am I writing so much about me making tea when I really need to go and get ready for uni?". I got about halfway through it and then started rushing for the end. Sorry. :P