on making tea

L. made tea for me yesterday. Now, let me preface that with saying I only drink tea when I’m sick, homesick, or there’s nothing else on the menu that I want. (And then it has to be some kind of green tea. Black teas? Rooibos? Not my thing.) So it’s a rare occasion, and I suspect that if I went home and asked for tea, my family would stare at me in shock.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that L. tried to make tea for me yesterday, but he grew up Mormon and doesn’t actually know how to make tea. Case in point, his kitchen is incredibly well-stocked. Need a crockpot? Rice cooker? (Cup)cake pans? Waffle iron? Salad spinner? Cast iron skillets? We’ve got you covered. Kettle? Not so much.

So I grabbed the saucepan to boil water in, and fetched tea bags from the cupboard, and tied one around the handle of the cup, and steeped it for the right amount of time, while L. watched quite attentively. And it just got me thinking: tea was such fixture when I was growing up. The kettle was on multiple times a day, when visitors came you asked whether they’d like coffee or tea, and every day at 8PM, the pot was filled and everyone came down for a cup (or a glass of orange juice for people like me, who don’t actually like the stuff). The cookies that went along with tea time, though, those I liked, and thus I learned to make tea for the others.

This social ritual doesn’t work as well in Utah, for obvious reasons. And sometimes I miss it. I don’t think this post really has a point, except that apparently making tea is a little more existential than it looks. And now L. knows how to do it, too.


3 thoughts on “on making tea

  1. Feisty Harriet says:

    I didn’t learn how to make tea until well in to my 20’s, and I didn’t really appreciate it until I discovered that regardless of how much honey or sugar or milk you put in chamomile tea it still tastes like weeds…therefore, it is to be avoided at all costs.

    Also, L.’s reason for making you tea in the first place sounds very Sheldon-like. Haha!


  2. Elske says:

    yes on the shock. Was very surprised to see you being happy to have bought a kettle! And planning to buy tea in Holland.
    I’m still thrown off by the asking about a drink thing. Even at social gatherings or parties (thanksgiving, in the most recent case), no one is offered a drink! Reminds me of how confused I was arriving in Holland and learning that accepting a drink when offered is not related to being thirsty. You just say yes.

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