A Nice Cup of Tea by George Orwell, Saturday Essay, Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.
I have been busy making house shall we say, and in the spare moments between being loved and living serenely, I have been rediscovering the making of things for family and the love of things just for reading. I was doing something mundane: looking for the British term for ‘heavy cream’ for a recipe (seems to be ‘whipping cream’ from what I gather) when I ran across George Orwell and his golden rules for making a nice cup of tea. He likes his tea strong and he feels strongly regarding it:
Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.
Disappointingly, I’m a one-teaspoon type girl, but there is one matter on which George and I agree, and it may be the most important matter of all: milk last. Milk is always last.