On Tea

I have loved tea ever since I got that wonderful farm animal tea set at some point during my childhood. I remember the little cow cups, and the little sheep cups, and the fact that the teapot was a barn. I loved adding sugar and milk. I felt very sophisticated, sipping tea out of a pig. No, seriously. I did. I relished the afternoons where we would pull the set down from its home in the top of cupboard.

 

I am still a tea drinker. To be honest, I prefer it to coffee. I find tea to be a simple pleasure, perfect and incredibly hard to ruin.

Of course, incredibly hard to ruin means that there’s still a shot for doing it – and the combination of loose leaf tea with chunks of bark in it and this plastic tea-strainer have managed to do exactly that.

The Barry family Christmas gift exchange this year offered us a variety of choices. There were numbers drawn, and gifts chosen at random from a pile in the center. You could steal someone else’s gift or take a wrapped one from the pile. I ended up with tea and a tea strainer. I was so excited! Tea! Strainer – for all of the tea that I’ve consumed during my life, I’m surprised that I’ve never taken the plunge into loose-leaf tea. (To be honest, they make teabags for a reason…)

So I brought it to work the other day and began attempting to make tea. I scooped the tea leaves (and chunks of bark and other bits of forest) into the blue plastic spoon-ish contraption meant to strain my tea. Then I tried to slide the screen enclosure around the scooped tea leaves (and chunks of bark and other bits of forest). This led to piles of tea leaves (and chunks of bark and other bits of forest) all over my desk. It also led to a tea strainer that had more tea outside than in. So I plunged the strainer into my mug. Ugh. All of the tea that had somehow become attached to the exterior of the strainer was now floating in my water. I was imagining smelting gold (too much Gold Rush, can you tell?) and having to skim the bits of rock off the top.

The other unfortunate part was the pile of tea that made it look like I was rolling blunts at my desk. Luckily, no one walked in during the fiasco that was trying to steep tea sans teabag.

In conclusion, I will be trying this again, although I think I’ll do it in the kitchen next time rather than at my desk. I’m still pulling tea out of my papers.

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