Orwellian tea injunctions

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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  1. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.

    hear, hear. I'm not the connoisseur Orwell is, though. Nor British. I put my milk in first and violate all the other rules in the most plebian manner, but the sugar thing is true of both tea and coffee. Don't get me started on all these craft beers with fruit and what-have-you.

    EDIT: ugh. i'm not a copycat, I was ninja'd

  2. Interesting, I shall have to try this.

    Up until now, I've been using the Proudhon method, which involves shoplifting the tea from the local Bourgeoisie. Because apparently, proper tea is theft.

  3. dhuff says:

    Love it, except for the "no sugar" rule. Sorry purists, but strong tea with whole milk + one teaspoon of sugar in a big mug is what does it for me.

  4. Of course, if you're a green tea drinker, these rules don't apply. 160 to 170 degrees F is infinitely preferable to boiling - you'd scorch the poor tender little leaves.

  5. The best tea is made by indentured servants. You can test the quality of the tea by taking a sip. If it's of poor quality, immediately spit it into the face of whichever plebe made it. Then have the scoundrel soundly beaten for their impudence. Then have another minion make another cup of tea. Hopefully this one will be better, but if it's not, repeat the process.

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