George Orwell's 1946 essay A Nice Cup of Tea is a rationing-era masterpiece of beverage geekery. Orwell sets out 11 iron-clad principles of tea-brewing (four of which he considers ""acutely controversial"), including an injunction against teabags or "other devices to imprison the tea" ("one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect"). My British wife thoroughly approved of this 65-year-old wisdom, and she should know.

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