Lazy Tea-Making and Other Lapses

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

When I was growing up we all drank a lot of tea. What my British friends might call builder’s tea. Strong tea is kind of a Maritime thing. And it’s definitely a thing in my family. We drank big mugs of very black, very strong tea. In my case heavily sugared. We drank tea with breakfast, after every meal, sometimes in the evening with a “lunch.” And always when we visited friends or family. I remember my mum or my grandmother remarking that they’d dropped by so and so’s house and “hadn’t even been offered a cup of tea.” For shame. “Dropping by” was also something Maritimers did. For a chat and hopefully for a cup of tea. I still put the kettle on if someone drops in at our house, but it’s not very common here. Back home the dropping by and subsequent tea drinking still rages unabated. Ha.

Enjoying a cup of tea on Boxing Day 1973.
Drinking tea at home. Boxing Day 1973. I was seventeen.

My mum’s friend Tish who lives down the road always drops in to see Mum on Sundays. She makes the tea herself now since my mum is not very mobile. She pokes her head in the door, says hello, proceeds directly to the sink, fills the kettle, and sits in the rocking chair to chat with my mum until the kettle boils. Then after the tea has steeped, she pours them both a cup, and they settle in for a lengthy talk. Same drill when my niece Tammy comes. Hello, fill the kettle, make the tea, then pour, and sit down for a chat.

I like my tea fresh, strong, and sweet. And made with loose tea leaves, like my grandmother Sullivan always drank. But boiled tea is an anathema. And boiling water in the pot is worse. Boiling water in the pot is lazy tea-making.

My step-father was a lazy tea-maker. When I was young and he came into the house for a mid-morning break, a cup of tea, and a homemade doughnut, he’d just add more water to the breakfast tea, toss in another couple of tea bags, and put it back on the woodstove to boil. I know! His tea was lethal and we all learned to avoid it. Except for Hubby. We still laugh about the summer I brought Hubby home for the first time. “Have a cup of tea, Stuart?” Lloyd would ask. He’d always partake. And it wasn’t until we were back in Ottawa that he realized why he’d been so hyper, and couldn’t sleep for the whole visit. Ha.

On the phone a couple of weeks later, Mum and I laughed about Hubby’s learning experience. And she asked if I’d told Hubby about Lloyd and the pot full of tea bags. When my mother and Lloyd were “dating,” every Sunday, Lloyd would drive down to Marysville and bring my mum and me up to the farm for the day. We would visit, Mum would make dinner, and then Lloyd would drive us home. Mum has never forgotten her first encounter with Lloyd’s tea-making. He used a huge aluminum, straight-sided coffee pot as his tea pot. And when Mum was about to make tea that first Sunday, she could hardly lift the tea pot from the stove. When she dumped it, she found twenty teabags in the bottom. Twenty! We counted. My step-father had many wonderful skills. But tea-making was not one of them.

I was thinking of Lloyd and his tea-making as I reboiled the kettle late this morning, added a few more grounds to my breakfast tea, and topped up the water in the pot. Lazy, I know. But at least I didn’t boil the water in the pot.

I’ve been lapsing in all kinds of other ways lately too. Lingering too long with my morning tea on the deck. Reading with my lunch and then “accidentally” slipping into a nap on the sofa in the sun room. It’s the long months of being mostly at home, I guess. I’ve settled into a rhythm that will be very hard to shake myself out of, I think.

My exercise regime hasn’t lapsed, though. If anything it has ramped up. I’ve started walking with a friend again. Just one friend. We have’t resumed the group walking. We are careful to social distance when we walk, each sticking to our own side of the trail. The first day we walked it felt sooo good. Not the exercise part, the yakking in person part. We laughed that when I texted her the night before to ask if she was interested in a “socially distanced” walk, she replied in the affirmative before I’d even time to put the phone down. We usually turn at a particular part of the trail, and when we walked yesterday, we overshot that by goodness knows how far. At one point, I looked around and said, “Where the heck are we?” We’d been so intent on our conversation that we’d no idea where we were.

Reading hasn’t lapsed either. Although I am more impatient with books that take a bit of perseverance. I’m currently powering through The Runner, the fifth book in Peter May’s China Series. Hubby and I ration these books, so that we don’t finish the series too quickly. For those days when I’m a bit down, I’ve been reading the O. Douglas books recommended by Katherine a few posts ago. The Day of Small Things and The Proper Place. They were lovely, just as she said they would be. Very gentle, a bit dated, and sweet without being saccharine.

I’m also currently reading Margaret Drabble’s 2016 novel The Dark Flood Rises. I haven’t read Margaret Drabble in a while. She is one of my favourite writers. The Dark Flood Rises was drawn to my attention by a Slightly Foxed podcast in which Drabble was the guest. Of course this particular book is about aging; Drabble always writes about characters who are her own age. It is a bit dark by times, but I’d forgotten just how much I love Drabble’s style. Her style alone could make me carry on. If you want to hear Margaret Drabble and one of the SF editors speak about the book you can check out the podcast here.

What a treat those Slightly Foxed podcasts are, especially during the pandemic. The editors are also publishing a weekly e-mail newsletter with their isolation diaries. I’m always excited to see it in my in-box. I immediately put the kettle on and make a pot of tea.

Then I sit back down again to enjoy my read with my mug of freshly brewed, strong, black, sweetened tea. Strong, but not boiled. Never boiled.

I do love a good cup of tea, properly made, and properly steeped. When Hubby and I were in the UK in 2005, I enthused about the pots of tea we were served at breakfast. Regular pots. Not dinky little pots with the bag on the side. We even had one memorable fish and chip meal in Whitby, in Yorkshire, where the fish and chips were served with a plate of buttered bread and a big pot of tea. Very good tea, I might add.

But lately, I’ve been wondering if tea-making in the UK has changed. At least on television and in movies, I’ve noticed that Brits are making tea in their cups. I even saw one show a while ago where the host asked if the guest wanted tea, put the kettle on, and then popped a tea bag into each mug. What’s with that? That’s kind of tea heresy as far as I’m concerned. And very lazy tea-making too. 🙂

Lazy tea-making aside, I’m still very fond of the Brits. But I’ll bet Barbara Pym never made tea in her cup.

What have you been up to lately, my friends? Are you a lazy tea-maker? Or are you lapsing in other ways that you can share with us? Go ahead. We won’t judge.

P.S. My friend Frances has a blog dedicated wholly to her reading. She’s been reading a lot more than I have. There are lots of good book suggestions in her latest post. You can check them out here.

P.P.S. The book links in my post (but not in Frances’ post) are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will make a commission at no extra cost to you.

From the archives

fashion

Black and White Reboot: Classic or Boring?

I admit, when in doubt about what to wear, I fall back on my old …

fashion

My Fall Travel Wardrobe

Planning, choosing, and packing my travel wardrobe for four weeks in the Balkans.

fashion

Time to Style Our Hard to Style Pieces

Maybe it’s time to play around with styling those hard to style pieces in our closet. Now that we have so much more … time.

Email delivery

Would you like to have new stories automatically delivered to your inbox? When a new story appears on the website, we’ll send the story right to your inbox. 

* indicates required

60 thoughts on “Lazy Tea-Making and Other Lapses”

  1. Always interesting to read your thoughts, Sue. In our household, we each like different strengths and varieties of tea. Personally, as an everyday beverage, I really enjoy my Twinings Earl Grey leaf tea made in a large cup with boiling water and drunk without milk or sugar. Bliss and it probably only works in the cup because I drink it black. In the past few years for some reason, the smell of coffee almost makes me feel nauseous.

    1. I’ve never been an Earl Grey fan; it’s not strong enough for me. But I have begun to enjoy certain herbal teas in the last few years. With honey and lemon.

  2. Sue, I absolutely love your blog. I’m a retired English teacher/high school librarian, and I love your posts about books; one of my most beloved books is O. Douglas’s Penny Plain. I also love clothes, so your style posts thrill me too, but I just HAD to comment today about tea. I can tell you where my love of tea started. Visiting Nannie (my maternal grandmother who was a World War I war bride), we were always given tea, always carefully made and drunk from tiny bone china teacups just used for her grandchildren (lots of milk but no sugar). I actually still have one of those cups with its saucer. When Mom was in the hospital having our younger sister, Candace, my twin sister, Christine, and I stayed with Nannie. Our Uncle Nigel and Aunt Helen lived just up the street, and we would visit Aunt Helen who was home with Tim, a baby at the time. She would make us tea too. Possibly Mom taught us to make tea properly — I honestly don’t remember learning to make it. I do remember my Aunt Iris (a World War II war bride) yelling at me because I had not properly “hotted the pot”! I must have been 10 at the time. “Tea is expensive,” she said. I like coffee too, and definitely am a coffee snob, but I really could not live without tea! Thanks so much for another great post.

  3. Oh, how I enjoyed reading this tonight. Luc and I were gifted a tea pot from Grammy one year at Christmas. I remember chuckling when I flipped open the lid and found a recipe card inside “A good cup of tea”. I still have that recipe card in my cherished recipe book. What I wouldn’t give to sit at that table in the old farmhouse and have a good cup of tea. That photo is amazing…funny to think that Grammy would have been about the age I am now when it was taken. xoxo

    1. So glad you commented, Tam. I never know if family read my blog or not. The old kitchen table at Mum’s saw a lot of cups of tea drunk around it, eh? And a lot of doughnuts eaten. Ha xo

  4. I am a bit of a tea tart in that I switch between proper tea making and lazy brewing. Just had a cup that was properly made in my teapot but will mostly use a teabag in a cup for subsequent cuppas today. Builders, of course. And the pure joy of proper fish and chips in a restaurant with the bread and butter and the pot of tea. Coffee would be quite out of place. When I was a child we had a wall mounted gadget that dispensed tea when you gave it a push. I have no idea why my parents bought it since just using a tea spoon was fine. Modern, I suppose.

    1. If I am eating in a restaurant I love a coffee after a meal. But that’s because I never make coffee at home, and when I do it’s never any good. Plus I have to add a ton of cream to it. Not good for the waistline. But at home in the past few years it’s always loose tea.

  5. I will admit that during the week when I am at work (well, when work was still open) I make tea in the cup a lot, because it’s a bit faster. But otherwise, we have what my mother always called “the right kind of tea.”
    Having said that, I thank the Lord every day I don’t make tea like this woman! I saw this on Twitter, and the person who posted it said, “This is an act of war.” Almost!
    https://www.tiktok.com/@jchelle36/video/6835600438771846406?fbclid=IwAR3L3wjmGmUePLG6MVDq1GJ17Pphgft8peNOSZFRdQYHOnigSaFvEuQktwY

    1. I made tea in my cup at work too. Easier and faster, you’re right.
      P.S. Hilarious that the woman goes on Tik Tok to show her tea-making skill… not!!!

  6. My hubby started drinking tea as a toddler at his grandmother’s place. I’m guessing it was watered down, but one never knows. Her pot was always on, and had bags added as various neighbours and relatives dropped by. I learned from her to add extra bags. My own visitors remark especially how good the tea is, after the first pot. ❤️ Hubby drinks a huge pot of tea every evening. Sometimes I get a cup of it myself. 😂

  7. Some of our “kids” moved to Toronto for his job, and they have become big tea drinkers. When they visit, they carry along their loose tea and strainers, boil the water in a lovely pricey kettle they gifted me years back, and drink their tea. I’m a morning coffee drinker, so they know they need their own tea and equipment, although they once made due with some English breakfast tea bags I had on hand (horrors!). 🙂

    1. I have loose tea and strainers that I leave at my mum’s. She uses tea bags, as we always did growing up. But sometimes she says that I should make us a pot of my “special” tea.

  8. My tea-making has been positively slovenly by comparison! Turn on the electric kettle, then pour boiling water into individual mugs with teabags-gasp! And I used to just heat the water in the microwave…I love how tea is the universal healer of all wounds in English culture, and evidently Canadian as well. We in the US are so coffee-obsessed- wonder if it has anything to do with all the tea we dumped in that harbor in Boston? Love your posts as always❤️❤️.

    1. I remember the first time I was ever in the southern states, when I asked for tea, they would ask “hot tea?” I realized that “tea” to them was iced tea.

  9. Wendy in York

    As you probably remember , no tea for me . Max is the same fortunately . I must be the worst tea maker in Yorkshire too as our visitors never drink much of what I give them . Max says it’s because the tea bags are years old ( no they’re not ) . My first weekend job at 14 was serving Fish & Chips with tea , bread & butter at a local cafe . I wasn’t allowed to make the tea . I did the tea stall at a local charity day once but they took me off it – too many complaints . I’m not a great deal better with coffee . I much prefer instant . Max does the ground stuff . I’m not bad at pouring wine 😉

  10. 20 tea bags! The spoon must have stood up by itself in the cup.
    According to my British mother, only foreigners drank something other than tea. Of course, my Dad was an American and drank coffee–hence, the foreigner. Since I grew up in the UK (1950s/early60s), making/drinking tea was a day-long ritual at our house and at my relative’s houses. Like in your house, the first thing one did when visiting was put on the kettle. Most everyone had a large tea tray and would bring all the accouterments to the sitting room (kitchens were tiny) for a chinwag. The tray included: (pre-heated) pot of tea still steeping, silver leaf strainer, milk jug (unless you were my Aunt Peg who insisted on putting milk in each cup before pouring), sugar cubes, tongs, tiny teaspoons and best china cups. If more tea was needed, more leaves were added to the teapot along with more boiling water.
    My own children grew up having tea with my mother (Nanny), not only in the morning, but at 4 o’clock in afternoon, too. When they were very young, she used to heat the milk and make them milky teas (1/2 and 1/2). Continuing this tradition with my grandchildren.
    The UK is the only place where I will order tea when out. Even just taking a break at John Lewis’ (upstairs cafe) in London, one can get a lovely pot of tea. Piping hot. No damn lukewarm water and ghastly Lipton bags as served in the US. But, must admit, like Annie, these days I’m a bit of a tea tart. I make my four-five teas a day in a large stainless steel insulated container (see comment on piping hot) with my builder’s tea bag and milk. Only occasionally use tea leaves to make a pot of tea in one of my Brown Bettys.

    1. I remember having tea and cake at Fortnum and Mason’s when I was in London for the first time in 2000. So lovely. I still have the little tin in which I bought tea to bring home.

  11. I have had a few periods in my life when I would make tea by pouring boiling water over a teabag in a mug, but those have been rare. Even in my office on campus, I had a tea-kettle, teapot, loose tea, strainer. . . . I think my Dad was so strict about how to make a decent cup of tea because he’d left home (Middlesbrough, Yorkshire) at 15, impatient to serve during the was. At sea on and off for a decade (Merchant Marines ) until he met my mom and settled to build a family far from his parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc, I think the routines of tea meant much more than a hot beverage to him. He insisted on water drawn fresh from the tap (ideally, run a bit beforehand), then the pot scalded before the tea was added and still-at-a-rolling-boil water poured in. He was happy enough using tea bags, as long as they were a good strong variety (I prefer loose tea, mostly Murchies, mostly black, and I don’t add sugar but do add milk, as my parents and grandparents did).
    My dad never drank his as sweet as my Middlesbrough cousins did — I remember my shock and amusement watching one of them spoon four scoops of sugar into the cup my grandma poured him, when I visited her at 14. . . .
    Funny that most of my siblings have switched over the years to coffee in the morning, but to me that would somehow feel like a betrayal to my dad, even though he’s been gone 20 years next month. . . .
    A sweet post this morning, Sue. Thank you! (and thanks for mentioning my Reading Blog — I definitely do some lapsing there, I should say, and it has skewed toward mostly sharing my handwritten Reading Journal pages these last few years, but at least I do have a record there of what I’ve read for those times when my memory lapses (ooh, that one happens too regularly!). . . .

    1. We grew up on King Cole tea, from Barbour’s a New Brusnwick company. No one in our family drank anything else. And when I was home in the summer, Hubby and I would buy huge restaurant size boxes of it. Then they changed what they’d been doing for generations, and the tea was really bad. We tried all kinds of other tea but I didn’t like any of it. I was happy to discover David’s tea, and finally enjoy my tea again.

  12. Same here in Alberta about the visiting. But we drink coffee. The journalists even use the line, “What are people talking about in the coffee shops or rural Alberta?” And they mean coffee.
    I have some ancient tea bags in the pantry in case a visitor wants that stuff, but I never touch it unless I am sick.

  13. Hi Sue 😊 Great post, although like Wendy I’m not a lover of tea! No idea why, as I enjoy the majority of food and drinks. I remember trying tea as a child and thinking “yuk” , I don’t like the smell either, although I can just about cope when soaking dried fruit in tea to make a Cold Tea Loaf. My mum always said that I made a great pot of tea … always loose leaves, always Yorkshire Tea! 😃 She loved her tea as did my nana and my mum in law. The only time I remember my husband having tea, incidentally, was with fish and chips in Whitby! We both love a great cup of coffee!
    As much as my nana loved tea , I have happy memories of drinking milky, morning coffee with her in pastel coloured mugs! Guess it’d be called a latte now.
    If only we’d appreciated how slim and great we looked in our teens! Memories of eating pretty much anything and having protruding hip bones and a concave stomach! 😂
    I hope Stu had a great trip and that the weather was kind to him. I imagine you enjoyed relaxing and reading mixed with the occasional feeling of concern for him. I love that he still gets so much pleasure from hiking , canoeing and fishing out in the Canadian Wilderness.
    Rosie xxx

    1. I couldn’t wait to out on some weight when I was a teenager! Stu had a good time canoeing. Thanks for asking, Rosie. After the first day I didn’t worry about him at all.

  14. I’m an avid tea drinker too, but I do admit to being lazy and making it the mug unless I have company or hubby wants a cup which happens very rarely. This post brought back wonderful memories of my dear friend, Marion, who introduced me to Maritime tea. She was from Cape Breton. We were both young moms living far from our families, so we became “family” to one another and our daily walks together with our children almost always ended with a cup of very strong tea at her house.

  15. Love this post. I can remember my very first cup of tea. I was at my grandparents and my great-grandmother (who lived with them) asked my mother if I could have tea after the meal. “Oh no, my mother replied. She’s only five!” When I objected and said I could, GG splashed about half an ounce of tea into my glass of milk (I still remember the glass was thick and transparent green), just enough to colour it beige . . . and I’ve been a tea aficionado ever since. When I travel I take my own Red Rose tea bags with me in a ZipLok baggie, particularly in the U.S. where the tea is crap and they don’t know it should come in a pot not a cup. Thanks to the internet, I’ve ordered Yorkshire tea from the U.K. until I discovered it at my local grocery store. I start and end the day with mugs of tea and like you would never dream of not offering a guest a cup of tea as soon as they walk in the door. Last week I safely distanced with several girlfriends in my back yard for tea and a gab. Bliss!!! Thanks, Sue.

    1. I take a stash of tea when we travel in Canada. I saw Yorkshire tea in our grocery store here in Ottawa the year we came home from the UK, and we drank it for quite a while. It’s nice and strong. 🙂

  16. Ahhh…tea! But it must be properly brewed in a teapot that has been prewarmed with hot water from the kettle…and then you must begin with fresh cold water which is heated almost to the boiling point, poured over tea leaves and allowed to steep a proper amount of time all the while keeping nice and hot under a tea cozy. My grandmother and both parents were born and raised in England and there was never a tea bag in our home in Canada….still love a great cup of tea served with a digestive biscuit or a Cadbury chocolate finger! A most warming and social beverage meant to be savoured whether alone or with family and friends.

  17. Amen to your tea making choice – tea leaves only! Real tea lovers are as picky (or more) than coffee drinkers. Once you’ve had the good stuff, why go back to a tea bag? Thanks for the book recommendations, too!

  18. I looked up “The Proper Place” through the link here. I think anyone using the link will go for the Kindle version!
    Kindle $0.99

    Hardcover $948.05
    3 Used from $45.72
    1 New from $948.05

    I see this kind of price sometimes (usually one or two hundred dollars, though), and wonder what in the world is going on. Do they think someone would actually pay that? It makes me wonder if the new book exists.

    As to tea: I have a friend who is originally from Australia (we’re in southern California now), and she regales us with tales of proper table manners and proper tea! We do potlucks, and once the theme was “tea party” with finger sandwiches. We try not to use the word “napkin” because of her association with nappies. We are quilters, and she made a quilt with lots of teacups on it, and the words “Have a cuppa”. It’s not just UK and Canada. Ha.

    1. I think is has long been out of print, Rebecca. Except in electronic form. Those may be collectors’ prices. The Aussies love their tea. When we were there and on a day-long outing to the Great Barrier Reef, I was thrilled that the boat served mid-morning and mid-afternoon tea. Hubby was more interested in the fish. Ha.

    2. Greyladies Books (.co.uk) reprinted a number of O Douglas novels in solidly assembled trade paper. Not cheap, but not $99! I sometimes wonder how many of those online prices are auto-set to be just-above whatever the lowest price is. Used copies are sporadically available at reasonable prices. Having stalked (i.e. repeatedly searched), then one must pounce and purchase!

  19. First and foremost a tea drinker, I enjoy coffe, but if I had to choose, tea would win.
    Until I left the UK, it was always made in a pot with tea leaves. After that I’m afraid I lapsed, but at least the tea bags are good quality, not the tasteless Lipton ones available here. My Greek husband is a tea convert, here people drink black tea if they are sick, and cannot understand the’ tea with milk’ habit at all.
    I also remember thinking it was a disgusting drink when I was a child ! But having once acquired the habit, that was it.
    Your post has made me re-think the bag versus loose issue , and since an order for a new stash of tea bags is coming up, I think I’ll order some of the proper stuff and get the teapot out ! Another very interesting post, and the comments !

    1. The cost of loose tea seemed a bit much to me at first, and I rationed it for my afternoon drink only. Then I began to drift into using loose more and more. Now I’m hooked.

  20. I am glad the O Douglas novels have pleased, Sue. (And I have now ‘met’ — via your comments — another O Douglas fan.) Thank you for sharing your tea stories — past and present. I myself am partial to strong tea. I make a pot, keep it well cosied for warmth, and drink it all on my own. (Honestly, it’s only a 6 cup pot, which is fewer counted out in mugs!) If the pot’s for more than just me, then of course I top it up with both hot water and another tea bag. (I know: for shame — tea bags!). Living near summer-muggy Washington DC, hot tea is less appealing this time of the year, but I’ve found Earl Grey — properly (strongly) brewed then iced is quite refreshing.

    1. I know… I was pleased to see that someone else had read her books as well. When we had that spell of very hot weather a couple of weeks ago, I experimented with mixing some of my black tea with fruit tea and some cinnamon chai to make iced tea. It was pretty good.

  21. I am a tea drinker, I like coffee, but somehow tea is just so much more satisfying to me. I am afraid I am a lazy tea maker, mostly using tea bags. I do make pots of tea each day and use my large collection of tea pots. I was in heaven last October when we visited England. I have to ask – what do you mean by boiled tea? And, one should not use boiling water when making tea? I knew that about green tea, but it applies to black tea as well? Love this post!

    1. By boiled tea, I meant that my step-father used to add water, and tea bags and then put the pot on the stove so that the whole mixture boiled. It was sooo strong you wouldn’t sleep for a week. And actually, Hubby didn’t, until he learned to avoid it. Ha. My David’s black tea tin says to use water at 90° C. But I ways boil the water and pour it over the leaves as soon as possible.

  22. Hi Sue,

    You really brought back wonderful memories with this post. I am from Nova Scotia and very well acquainted with tea, drop in visits and ‘bed lunches’. My Husband and I enjoy both tea and coffee but are “lazy” tea drinkers. We share a bag and pour from the kettle. However, when family would visit we made tea in a proper tea pot. Some family members liked their tea in a mug and others believed the only way to enjoy tea was in a china cup. We happily catered to all!

    We have lived in Ontario for years now and would agree that drop in visits are more of a Maritime thing.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane Sue!
    Glenda xo

    1. You’re welcome, Glenda. I love tea in a china cup too, and when I was nine went through a stage where I insisted drinking my tea from one of Mum’s china cups and saucers.

  23. Interesting, enjoyable blog.. tea, parents, books, relatable memories unite us all around the world. However, my memories and skill revolve around Coffee rather than tea, but the same processes apply. 🙂 Thank you for your writing. Pat

  24. Although I loved every bit of this column, my favorite was you walking with your friend while physically distancing. Me, too! After 37 years of walking with my pal at 6 a.m. every weekday morning and then obeying the “stay at home” order, we finally are able to start our “therapy” all over again at six feet apart…so happy.

  25. Tea was the staple drink when I was growing up but we were a mixed household. Dad drank tea but Mum prefered coffee and couldn’t make a decent cup of tea to save her life. Close friends took to making it themselves when they visited. Tea was made in a Robur Perfect Teapot (a silver teapot with an infuser insert) which you would “buy” by sending the company a certain number of Robur tea packet tops and almost everyone we knew used one. Teabags didn’t seem to catch on much here in Australia until the late 1970s. I still make tea in a pot for breakfast, a mix of Darjeeling and Orange pekoe is my current favourite. Husband, although he grew up in tea drinking Malta, prefers coffee.
    Drop in visiting was also a feature of my country childhood and friends would come to the unlocked back door and call ooohooh, a penetratrating sound like a birdcall to let you know they were there.
    Lilibet

    1. I’ve started mixing my teas to my own taste. Nothing sophisicated, but maybe adding a bit of cinnamon chai, or a little fruity tea to my regular black tea. I wonder if other Aussies will read your comment about that teapot, and remember their own when they were young. Thanks for sharing.

  26. As a foreigner :-), I drink espresso, strong and black, sometimes with whipped cream. Though, I love tea as well, tea with scones and clotted cream is one of my favorite meals, especially when in GB.
    I’ve read Gill Hornby’s Miss Austen lately and liked it quite a lot
    New mistery writers, for me, were Lucy Foley (The Hunting Party) and Lesley Kara ( The Rumour)
    This comment is pretty basic- my phone is dead (with everything in it) and the new (very new) one mostly does as it wants -when I check many typos, it usually decides to delete everything. It has a teeny tiny keyboard, as well. So far, I’m here but will comment rarely- until I decide what to do with my all of my devices
    Dottoressa

    1. Oh yes, I do remember my coffee in Croatia. It was wonderful everywhere. Even at the gas station café we stopped at on our way to Zagreb. I’m going to look for those books, Dottoressa. Thanks so much for the suggestions. Hope you are well and enjoying the spring. xo

  27. I grew up in a tea drinking houshold – quite unusual in Germany in the 1950s and 60s. My parents always made their tea according to all the rules: pre-heating the pot, boiling water, loose tea leaves, and that is the way I still do it . I started drinking my tea with sugar and milk, but over time I dropped first one, then the other. I cannot really tell why. Today I prefer my personal blend of four parts Darjeeling and one part Earl Grey. I make a pot for breakfast, have a couple of mugs, and what is left over is transferred to a thermos and consumed in the following hours. When I am out I always order coffee, because if you ask for tea, they generally give you a glass of lukewarm water and a tea bag.

    1. Oh, I’m with you on not ordering tea when I’m out. Partly because I make dreadful coffee and good restaurant coffee is a treat. And mostly because tea is usually not worth drinking in a restaurant. Except in places which serve high tea and make a pot with tea leaves…. and serve the scones to go with it. 🙂

  28. Tea leaves provide a better quality of tea. I always joke that tea bags contain the sweepings from the floor! But quite apart from that, teabags cannot be recycled: most use a plastic-based glue to seal them. My tea leaves (Darjeeling for breakfast, Earl Grey in the afternoon and black Lapsang when the weather is really hot),are either poured onto the garden or compost heap – easy recycling! In lockdown here in the UK it’s been cheering to receive packages and tins of tea leaves regularly.
    Elizabeth

  29. OK, I’m obviously doing it all wrong. I make my tea in my cup!! Could you show me the teapot you recommend? So you boil the water in one device ( which I dropped and broke yesterday) then you pour the water into the teapot. Then you let it seep. I do add milk first and then the water. I don’t add sugar. But I must have milk. I do love Lapsang souchong but have been drinking Paris Tea by Harney and Sons. I used to have an aluminum teapot that my British friend recommended, but I don’t like the idea of drinking out of aluminum. So I’d love your suggestion. Photos please of all your devices. In fact why don’t you make a video of how you make tea. Oh, and I can’t wait to read the books you recomended.

    1. I use a china teapot, one I bought at David’s Tea, where I purchase my tea. It has a built-in strainer for leaves. And I just boil my water in our electric kettle. I love Lapsang Suchong as well.. as a treat… with lemon and sugar. I find that tea made in my cup gets too strong before it’s steeped. And if you don’t let it steep for 4-5 minutes it is pretty tasteless.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *