16 January 2011

Loose Women and Life Enhancement

Ah, the prospect of those contextual ads still mesmerises me.

Whisper it softly (out of their earshot).  Today's blog is entitled "loose tea and life enhancement." Not as snappy, perhaps, but this way you get a blog about something interesting with the added possibility of a racy ad or two. Also, it occurs to me, I might get a wider audience from people searching for non-writing related entertainment.

So? Loose tea? Life enhancing?

You can still buy loose tea in most supermarkets. I didn't used to, not for many years. The easy option of one teabag per cup, quick and easy, held me in thrall until very recently. I have escaped and I really need to tell you how good this feels.

In some far off places, like China, the making of tea has long been considered a process involving careful ritual and deep contemplation. They may well have the right idea.

Here are my top five reasons for making tea thoughtfully.

1. Loose tea is much nicer than teabag tea. Teabag tea is ground up floor sweepings mixed with brown mud (I hope it's mud) designed to produce instantaneous results. Loose tea comes in lots of different varieties, it can be powerful, smooth, fragrant, gentle, subtle and lots of other adjectives, sometimes all of them at the same time.

2. Loose tea has to be brewed in a teapot. It takes time. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. While the tea is brewing there is an opportunity to reflect, to do other things. Allowing tea to brew can keep you away from the TV for a few extra seconds. This is valuable.

3. A teapot will provide several cups of extremely high quality from one spoonful of tea and one kettle of water. Using a tea cosy will keep the tea warm and drinkable for an hour or so. This saves tea, water, electricity, money, time, effort, and provides a market for Vicki, my son's wife, who sells the very best quality tea cosies on eBay. I expect a contextual ad to pop up and tell you exactly where, but, if not, I'll let you know.

4. Using a teapot means that you will have the opportunity to put the milk in the cup before the tea. This is important. You have to take my word for this, after all I am a chemist so I outrank you in matters like this. Using a teabag means the milk goes in afterwards, which is bad. It heats the milk up too quickly. When you add tea to milk it gets heated in a more gentle manner. This improves the taste. It really does.

5.  Making tea is a reflection of life. If you want it to be quick, tasteless and shoddy then fine. It's your life after all.