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Another Tea Musing

Yeah, I love tea

I finally got my Lapsang Souchong today. After weeks of either not having the money, or just plain forgetting, I finally remembered. I can’t remember what triggered my remembering, but I’m glad I did.

It is one of my favourite teas, definitely up there with chai. Lapsang is a Chinese black tea, grown in Mount Wuyi in China. It doesn’t really differ much from other black teas, but the big difference is the preparation. It is roasted in the usual way and then dried by smoking it. The makers put it on a bed of bamboo, which is normal, but then comes the smoking part. It is the pine wood, which is bunt and allowed to smoulder underneath the tea leaves, which gives it the distinct smoky flavour and scent.

Yes, it is an acquired taste and, at first, I really didn’t like it. That’s because I wasn’t brewing it properly. As you may have realised, each tea takes a different time and method to brew. The method is just about the same, but the time is what really sets it apart. You see, if you brew Lapsang too long, you will end up with an overpowering lump of smoky water, which has a mere hint of tea taste. To combat this, I find that brewing it for no longer than three minutes is adequate. Sweetened with just a tiny amount of brown sugar, it is actually really yummy.

I find that brown sugar is better for tea than white sugar, though if I must use white sugar, it has to be castor sugar, or in America, I do believe it is called confectioner’s sugar. It is really just a finer version of granulated sugar and, if you don’t have any, or can’t find any, you can make it yourself, by putting some granulated sugar in a blender and whizzing it up for a few seconds. No more than that, though, or you’ll end up with icing sugar and icing sugar just ain’t that good in drinks.

I don’t normally drink tea with sugar, actually, but I find that some teas, particularly Lapsang and chai require just a tiny amount to bring out the flavour. It seems that smoky and spicy flavours work well with a little sweetness in the mix. After all, can you imagine a ginger cake without any sugar? No, neither can I.

I usually buy cakes on Friday. It’s my way of congratulating the family for having made it through another week. It’s also a nice way to show my gratitude for them putting up with me and giving something back to the house.

Apparently, I can be a bit annoying to live with. I wouldn’t know, I live with myself every day. I was recently told (and someone keeps telling me) that I’m rather cocky. Well, I don’t care. It is actually a self defence mechanism and also a way to make myself feel better. Yes, it is a weird coping mechanism, but if I don’t tell myself I’m better than I actually am, I’ll go the other way and start self deprecating.

I used to self deprecate all the time. I still do, at times. I’ll tell myself that I’m no good at writing, or I’m crap at fixing stuff. It is another coping mechanism. I find if I tell myself that I’m not good, I’ll up my game. I do tend to be on the more pessimistic side. What’s that phrase? “Hope for the best, but expect the worst?” Something like that. Yeah, I do that.

I think it’s a healthy way to be, as long as you don’t be like that all the time. I could be wrong though. I frequently am. See, there I go, self deprecating again. Silly me!

My father is making tea now. I bloody hate his tea. He doesn’t take the time to dunk the tea bag properly, puts far too much milk in and just generally doesn’t give a stuff. I blame it on him being a coffee drinker. I’ve never met a coffee drinker who can make a good ciup of tea, and the reverse also holds true.

I think to be a tea drinker, you have to be patient. Patience is a true virtue when it comes to making tea. I’ve spoken about this in another tea oriented musing before and in a poem. As you may have guessed, I am a lover of tea.

My gran used to call myself and my mum “tea Jennies”. I’d say that was pretty damned accurate. We love our tea and I can’t see myself ever drinking coffee full time. Yes, I could aquire a taste for it, but nothing soothes and relaxes like a nice cup of tea.

It warms you on a cool day and cools you on a warm day. This actually has been scientifically proven. It messes with your core temperature, I forget the exact science surrounding it. Let me go and check. Ah, yes, I knew it was something like that. You see, by making you hotter, it actually sends a signal to the brain, telling you to sweat. The more you sweat, the cooler you get, but it does also alter your core temperature, which not only controls how hot or cold you feel, but keeps you alive. I’m sure you know that if your core temperature drops about three or four degrees, you can die of hypothermia. Same for if you get too hot, whatever the medical term for this is.

If any of this is incorrect, I’m sorry, but I always say: Try something before you dismiss it. Especially the tea drinking on a warm day. It may just save you.

Thanks for reading
Andrew =^.^=
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