Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Poodle Pot of Tea

"Just tea for two,
and two for tea..." 

Seriously Adorable Movie Trailer
Tea for Two (1950)

Anna Maria Stanhope, Duchess of Bedford, deserves some serious applause. Without her we would never know the delicious and delightful pleasure that is afternoon tea.

Back in the day, society gals would only eat two meals a day; one in the morning, and then one at 8 or 9 in the evening! Ugh! No wonder they needed fainting couches!

I'm soooo hungry!
The 7th Duchess of Bedford wasn't having any of that. She felt hungry and she did something about it. As befits a true poodle, she had her servants bring tea and a snack to her boudoir. Friends were invited to enjoy this delectable repast with her, and the idea grew in popularity. The smart set soon joined in, and it became acceptable to serve tea in the drawing room.

Tea in the parlor anyone?
After a winter filled with sunshine, the past few days have been substantially cooler. Chilly, grey days and the end of Downton, *sob*, have me longing for the warmth of a proper pot of tea.

Yes, proper. Nothing compares to a pot of tea done right; and nothing compares to the bitterness of a pot done wrong.

But how do you brew a proper pot, you wonder?

Follow this anglophile's advice, and you'll soon be sipping a PERFECT cup of tea.

Step One: Fill your kettle with cold water. The oxygenated water will help bring out the flavor of the tea.

Step Two: Put the kettle on the stove and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, fill your porcelain teapot with hot water, and let it warm up.

Step Three: Right before the kettle water boils, empty the waiting teapot and dry it. Add one heaping teaspoon of tea leaves, or one tea bag, per serving, and one more for the pot. I'm a big fan of tea bags (see Procrastinator Rules to Live By #135). I always seem to forget to buy loose leaf, and tea bags are so convenient!

If you use loose leaf don't forget to strain the tea!
Step Four: Just as the water begins to boil, pour over the tea leaves and let steep 3-5 minutes. Do not let the water over-boil! You will lose that precious oxygen.

Don't let the kettle sing too long!
Step Five: While the tea is steeping, prepare your accompanying accoutrements. Milk and sugar for the tea, and yummy refreshments to nibble on.

Step Six: Commence the great controversy! Do you add milk before you pour the tea, or after you pour? I prefer after, so that I can better judge the amount I'll need.

Add milk before...
or after! It's up to you!
Step Seven: One lump or two? Sugar cubes go in, and with a stir, your tea is ready.

Mmmmm.... time for a cozy cuppa.

Tea for one, in the boudoir please!
Is it ladylike to dunk?

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  1. I just made a cup of Roobis chocolate tea with milk and a couple of tiny teaspoons of sugar the way you described. It was delicious!

    1. Chocolate tea?! Why have I never heard of this?? Yum! ;-)

  2. Love, love, love your blog. I am your newest follower!!!! It's so nice to meet you.

    1. It is so nice to meet YOU! I love your blog!! I think your button was the first one I put on my sidebar. Your adorable blog has inspired me in so many ways. I wish I could sew and quilt and create beautiful crafts like you! Thank you for following! And thank you for your amazing blog!!~CoriLynn xoxo

  3. I'm a big tea fan, as I recently gave up caffeine and I'm starving my way through a diet. Decaf English Breakfast tea gets me through the hard times. I guess it would defeat the purpose if I added a plate of cookies. Bummer. I'll have to live through you for now.

    1. I gave up caffeine after a stint working at a coffee bar. It gets better, I promise! And the cookies... well, I live in a house only with boys, which means somehow junk food always appears. Delicious, but unfortunate for me and my waistline! ;-)