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There must be something in the water that people are using to make tea… After I posted about George Orwell’s 11 golden rules for making the perfect cup of tea, The Guardian’s posted about How to make perfect tea without teabags.

I have never understood why so many of us think it’s a real hassle to make proper tea, but happily use a cafetiere for coffee. You get better flavour when you allow the leaves room to unfurl as they infuse. No chemicals, no waste and it’s really not complicated.

It’s a pretty good point, actually. When we go for a Chinese meal and get Chinese tea, we think nothing of having a few tea leaves pour into our cups. Usually they sink to the bottom or, if one does happen to find its way into the mouth, it’s no big deal to take it out and leave it on the side. If it’s that big a deal to have tea leaves floating around, I suppose you could always use a strainer, although George Orwell wouldn’t approve.

I used to have a teapot that was an older version of the Bodum Assam tea press. It had a central reservation that was in essence a leaky cafetiere. You put the tea leaves into a colander-type thing, poured water into the pot, let the leaves infuse and then pushed the plunger down when it had brewed enough. It was ok although in the end, I think it was probably too much hassle when brewing up for just one person. Also, I felt like restricting the tea leaves to the centre of the pot kind of lost the point of having loose leaf tea.

I’m convinced the tea bag makes more of a difference than you might realise. When it comes to green tea, my preference is for the Clipper brand which uses unbleached bags. There’s a noticeable difference in taste and mouthfeel compared to the Twinings green tea bags. In a funny way, the Clipper green tea tastes coarser and less refined but that’s a good thing for me, because I want my tea to really taste of tea. The Twinings stuff just seems bland by comparison.

Post title lyrics taken from Cream – Strange Brew