My friend Terri wants a cup of hot, properly brewed tea.
The Brits, with whom she is obviously so fascinated have turned tea into a ritual, but for southerners it is like a good, cheap wine. In fact, ice tea has been called the house wine of the south.
But how is tea “properly” brewed? Doesn’t that just sound like some British “dowager” lecturing us?
But they have it all wrong. They say all teas become bitter if brewed for more than six minutes, but they don’t know the secret ingredient.
And no, it’s not sugar, although sweet tea (no lemon, thank you) is a southern staple. At my home you can feel it coursing through your veins it’s so sweet.
But the secret ingredient is a pinch of baking soda, which neutralizes the acidity. I actually brew tea for 14 minutes, so it is strong but not bitter. British tea is not so bad, because they usually start with expensive tea. But Yankee tea tastes like bad water it’s so weak.
Stronger and longer works whether it’s served hot or cold, but cold is better of course.
Anglophiles like Terri are so uppity about their tea. But they just don’t take it seriously enough.
Tea is not a ritual.
It is a religion.