Surreal Saturday: Making A Cuppa

This video isn’t surreal but it’s a good day to introduce you to Geriatric1927.  As his name implies he’s a senior citizen born in 1927.  One day he was given a webcam and decided to make a video to encourage other seniors to do the same.  What happened is he turned into a YouTube sensation telling anecdotes from his colorful past and dispensing advice to his almost 56,000 subscribers.  He’s made over 300 videos and counting.

Recently he posted (being a Brit) about making the perfect cup of tea.  As an American and a sad Lipton teabag drinker, I found this video informative.   What do you tea drinkers out there think?  Did he get it right?



28 thoughts on “Surreal Saturday: Making A Cuppa

  1. As an experience tea drinker, I take umbrage with this dear gentleman’s claim that “A teapot can be really anything …”
    Take heed … next to useless is a CHOCOLATE teapot.

  2. What a sweet guy! You realize the two minutes to do a mundane task is an excuse for the nine minutes of story and is totally me in about thirty years…

  3. I love this guy! What a sweet old gentleman, with such lovely stories and memories. So cute that he wore a tie to make a Youtube vid.

  4. That was a delightful video! Thank you for introducing me to this grand gentleman. 🙂 He is absolutely right about warming the teapot first. My mother taught me to do this and it really does make a difference. Tea brewed in a pot is always more tasty than done any other way, although I will admit to cheating and making it in the microwave when I am alone and impatient. That is why I prefer to drink tea with company as I would never serve microwaved tea to a guest! As for the teacup, my sister and I enjoy bringing out our fancy cups when we get together. I like his choice of Breakfast tea which I would prefer, when given a choice. Although I do admit to using teabags. I recently learned that Breakfast tea has the most caffeine (which is very necessary to me)!

    • I’d not heard of heating the teapot first, so that was an education. Also learned how strong the tea should be – a golden brown. Before I had no clue. Was amazed he didn’t have a tea strainer. I’ve never had the occasion to serve tea because my non-fandom brit oriented friends all drink coffee.

      Glad you enjoyed the video. 🙂

  5. beengizzled, 😀 choccy pot indeed! I was taught to make tea as the lovely geriatric describes. A Brown Betty pot is good. But, don’t like coffee, so first thing in the morning (after feeding animals), is to throw four English or Irish tea bags into a thermos (with boiling water), and drink from a MUG! Yeesh!! (Hopeless causes, some of us – English mum would have a fit).

      • Teapot: Depends on the kind of tea you’re making. First 3-4 brews of the morning? I’m up for bog standard builder’s tea brewed in my Grandma’s metal teapot. Later on, I’m all about the porcelain.

        My Dad always taught me that you only rinse – NEVER scrub – a teapot, so you don’t lose the “strength” of the brew; my Mum always insisted on scrubbing because it’s “not nice not to”.

        In a pinch, a bag in a mug is better than no cup at all.

        Microwaving tea, though, is a Deadly Sin. American Spouse did that early on in the marriage, and after my sister and I did our Edvard Munch ‘Scream’ faces and stopped breathing for a bit from sheer horror, he never did it again. Bless him.

        Bags or leaves: Yes. Loose leaf is definitely nicer, though, whatever the grade or blend.

        Strainers: I have several, including a couple of my grandmother’s. She always used strainers, except when reading the leaves, which was a HUGE deal.

        Mugs or china cups: Yes. More luxurious and lovely to have nice china; though more reassuringly comforting in times of crisis to have a whacking great mug of the stuff. And my first 3-4 mugs of the day are always in the big chipped green mug my Dad nabs when he’s here and my Mum wants me to throw away because “it’s not nice”.

        Milk: Some teas are just much better without. But tea with milk? I’m with the Royal Society of Chemistry here, and always put the milk (or non-dairy alternative of your choice – soya or rice, for preference) in first.

        I think you can probably tell all that’s important about my life from the push-me-pull-you of the tea-making arguments between my parents, who love each other dearly despite disagreeing on every aspect of the process bar “milk in first”.

        • Whew, didn’t realize tea making was such a fine science. I confess to the sins of microwaving tea, scrubbing the teapot, brewing waaay too strong, and pouring milk in last. Now I know better I won’t shock any Brit guests I may have. Thanks for the link! 🙂

          BTW, how much tea do you drink daily???

          • For me, coffee is the daily drink, and tea is a special occasion item — either when I’m Germany visiting, or hosting guests, and can get out the porcelain and do the whole thing. Because I’m not making it constantly I can afford to be picky.

            My ex had very exact opinions about these things which he passed to me. Filtered water as soft as possible, must be heated to a strong, rolling boil, loose leaves, steeped exactly 3 minutes by timer, strained, put in porcelain pot that’s been warmed with hot water first, no warmer under the pot (tea cozy acceptable — but at the rate his family drank tea it wasn’t really necessary).

            • Gotcha. Feel like taking notes on all this.

              BTW can you explain what the gentleman meant “boiled” water and “boiling” water?

              • I think just that if you don’t warm the pot, the second you put the boiling water into the pot, it stops boiling because the temperature drop is so severe (and then it becomes “boiled” instead of “boiling”). This temperature drop interferes with the steeping process.

                My ex’s solution to this problem (something a a fair number of Germans do, if my experiences are any indication) was not to steep in the pot. You boil the water, but steep the loose leaves in a very heavy, sturdy, thick-walled ceramic pitcher which you have warmed in the way the man describes warming the tea pot. The thickness of the pitcher helps to keep the heat in while steeping. Then you strain the tea into the pot. This also keeps the inside of the pot a little nicer looking because all of the steeping is really going on elsewhere. And the pitcher is only rinsed, never washed.

                • That sounds eminently sensible. It also sounds very like the way my Grandma and her fearless tea warriors (aka the church tea ladies) approached brewing up for an entire congregation.

          • It depends how much you like tea! I’ll drink tea any old way. There are only 2 things about the way some people make it that bugs me. The first is the worst — the one’s who don’t brew it long enough! As my mother always said, that’s like drinking dishwater! I’d rather have it brewed forever and even have drunk it cold the next day, than to ever drink weak tea! Why bother!
            The other thing is that the water (which should be at the boiling point) must be poured onto the tea (whether loose or in a bag).
            Bringing someone a bag to dip into some hotish water is only acceptable in desperation. Like I said, I will drink tea any way, because I love it. But the tea dipping thing is really not proper!

            • Before the video, I never knew how long to brew it so the tea was either too weak or too strong. Today I followed everybody’s general directions and made a nice cuppa (albeit with Bigelow Breakfast tea bags). Warmed the pot and everything. Have to say it did make a difference. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

          • How much tea every day? Well, I don’t take caffeine in any form after noon, so nowhere near as much as everyone else. I’m up at before 7am, so by 9am I’ve usually had 2-4 very large mugs’ worth… in US measuring cups, about 6-12 cups. I usually then have another 1-3 mugs by lunchtime, so about 3-9 cups more. Then it’s on to decaf or herbal teas or water for the rest of the day. So, 9-21 US measuring cups, depending on how tired and thirsty I am (though sometimes my body just shouts for water, and I do comply). If we have a Big Flapping Crisis, all bets are off, though.

            That’s more than I thought, to be honest.

            American Spouse asked me after we’d been married a few months to please stop offering him “a cup of tea every few minutes”, and he was flabbergasted by how much tea got drunk on an average day by my family. It’s OK – he got better! 😉

            • That’s a lot of tea! There’s a joke that in crisis, the first think Brits do is to offer tea. Then I was told it wasn’t a joke really. I suppose the US consumes the same amount in coffee.

              • It really, really isn’t a joke. Hot, sweet tea is brilliant for shock, and very centring. Tea is generally calming and soothing.

                We drink a lot of coffee as a nation – have ever since the stuff first made its way into Europe. Still, even with coffee and pop (soda) and various other alternatives, it’s tea that soothes the savage breast. Music comes in a close second. As my Grandma used to say, “If a nice cup of tea and a sing-song got us through two world wars, it’ll get us through this.”

  6. I don’t think you should make tea in a metal teapot. I also prefer Darjeeling. However, it seems that the act of being finicky about preparing tea is an inherent piece of the tea drinker’s personality 🙂

    • No metal pot? That’s a good idea, shouldn’t get a metallic taste. I do have a little teapot but no strainer and no loose leaves. Need to remedy that. 🙂

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