She’s not angry. She’s just disappointed. Wonders how we are even friends in fact.
Last night, on the grand finale night of Broadchurch, I declared/confessed whichever way you want to look at it, that I’ve never watched Broadchurch. It was a revelation that disappointed my best friend Sam. And so, as I try hard to redeem myself and have downloaded the first series on catch up (I’m now two episodes in…and hooked) it got me to thinking. There’s only one other thing that I can think of that Sam would probably change about me. It’s not my ability to think before I speak, hell no. She likes to be as surprised as everyone else when it comes to me opening my mouth. Nor is it the way I attempt to dance, you’ve never seen the imaginary hula hoop dance that she’s created to fine art. The one thing she would change without a shadow of a doubt is the way I make tea. Or rather, can’t make tea.
Once upon a time, I made Sam a cup of tea. She looked at it. Then looked again. Looked at me and back to the tea.
“Is this tea or coffee”
“Oh. Ok. Umm. How do I put this? Well, uh, do you mind if I don’t drink it!”
And there it was. The look of disappointed on her face. The look of a woman who has known me for years and years and has finally had to confess she hates my tea.
I like to think I’ve come a long since then. Gone are the days when I use coffee mate instead of milk (yes, yes I did just say that) and now, thanks to my window cleaner who is a retired dairy farmer, I now swear by Cravendale Milk. I always used to go for normal supermarket milk completely oblivious to how watered down it was. I was told to switch milk just once and I’d never go back, so I did.
And that brings me to the most important question in the art of tea brewing.
Milk in before or after the water?
The photograph above is my answer. I’m a milk in first kinda gal. I know that’s going to upset some people and I’m sorry. Actually no I’m not. I’m not sorry at all. I’m a proud milk in firsterer.
I could be totally wrong here but I disagree when people tell me the order of which you make the tea is imperative to the quality of the brew. Now that’s partially true, but for me, a big asset is the tea itself. I’ve tried so many different brands and back to the single parent days of struggling and making every penny stretch as far as possible, I even tried supermarkets own label teabags. That’s when I learnt pretty quickly that it didn’t matter if I brought cheap beans and low cost cornflakes, never, ever make cut backs when it comes to the brand of tea bag. And so, I quote that infamous slogan “I drink Yorkshire Tea nowadays”
Obviously it’s no good trying to brew a cup of tea in a shit arse mug. If you follow me on Instagram already, you’ll know I have this thing for cups and mugs. I love the oversized tea cups in quirky designs, it’s rare I can go into town and not buy one and on the occasion I can’t find any I like, it ruins the whole shopping trip. Most people I know have a preference as to which cup or mug they will use, personally, I prefer a thicker ceramic oversized cup. I know it sounds silly but if I know I’m drinking from a pretty cup then my tea seems to taste nicer.
So we’ve established that the cup is key, the milk goes in first and the teabag has a northern accent but what about brewing time?
Everyone is different. Take my brother for example, he dunks his bag (if he wasn’t my brother I’d have said it sounded like a metaphor) a couple of times and takes it out so the tea looks like Eskimo piss. Or we have Paul, the polar (see what I did there) opposite who leaves his bag to brew for about 5 minutes, the tea is so strong, the spoon stands up by itself. I much prefer to brew mine for about a minute, I don’t leave it to settle, I just stir until it’s a nice peachy tan colour, nor do I squeeze the tea bag after, that’ll make it stronger and I’m not into strong tea. Add a nice teaspoon of sugar (23685 granules to be exact) and you have my perfect brew.
I realise I have a long way to go and I’m still not quite there yet but, I’m hoping that my bestie is a little less disappointed and reads the content of this post with a sense of pride in me, for I am on the way to achieving great things. Even if she won’t drink it.
So now all that’s left to ask is this, what’s your favourite dunker?