[3. A Nice Cup of Tea]
Orwell, G. (1968) As I Please 1943-1945. The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell III. Edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World. Pp. 40-42.Eleven ‘golden’ rules:
1. Indian or Ceylonese. ‘One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it (Chinese)’.
2. Made in small quantities: a teapot. The teapot must be china or earthenware, then pewter, then silver or Britannia-ware, then enamel.
3. Warm teapot beforehand. Better by placing it on the hoba than ‘swilling it out with hot water’.
4. Tea should be strong. Six heaped teaspoons for a quart pot.
5. Put loose tea straight into the pot. No matter swallowing a few tea-leaves.
6. Bring the teapot to the kettle... as water must be actually boiling. ‘...only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that this makes any difference’.
7. After making the tea, styr or, alternatively (better) shake and let leaves settle.
8. Drink out of a breakfast cup (cylindrical): holds more quantity and keeps heat longer.
9. Pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea.
10. The most controversial issue: pour tea into the cup first as ‘by putting the tea in first and then stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk’.
11. Without sugar unless drinking it in the Russian style. ‘Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again’. ‘It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one’s ration the twenty good, strong cups that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.
Evening Standard, 12 January 1946
'Por cortesía de Salvador Alcántara Peláez'