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Fascism in the Afternoon

It is well-known in my circle that I am, at the very least, a tea snob.

I was raised with George Orwell's treatise "A Nice Cup of Tea" (Evening Standard, 12 January 1946) firmly memorized, although my family has tended to go him one better on his last two points. He maintains that the milk should be poured into the tea, not the other way around, but that no true tea lover should take sugar. In our family we have always maintained that milk or lemon in tea is every bit as scandalous as sugar. If you like tea, drink tea. If you want lemon and milk, have them instead.

I cannot understand, though, why Americans (and I don't necessarily count myself among them, having been raised by people who aren't from here) don't understand tea. They are haphazard in its preparation and uneducated in its consumption. On the other hand, they are willing to spend astronomical amounts not only on actual coffee beans, but on equipment with which to brew them, etc. I actually read about a guy who modified his espresso machine with the sort of temperature stabilizer used in semiconductor manufacture.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2003 10:56 am (UTC)
You have to go back east, or to cold places, to understand how Americans regard tea.

My grandmother (from Boston) is very precise with her tea-- never heat the water in a metal pot-- ceramic only-- and never bring it to an actual boil.

If you go South, they are very precise in their brewing of iced tea and can detail the differences between iced tea and sun tea, and why one is better than the other.
Jun. 26th, 2003 01:37 pm (UTC)
How Can That Be?
If you never bring the water to a boil, how do you get the best flavor from the tea leaves? Water should be boiling when it touches black tea leaves, and just shy of boiling when it touches green tea leaves.

I'm still working on my little Fascist mustache.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )