228. Connoisseur of fine tea


Eduard was a connoisseur of fine tea. And he had a terrible laugh.

“I know a good tea when I sip one,” said Eduard to his friend, Esperanza. “Haw! Haw! Haw!”

In fact, Eduard drank only the one brand of tea. “I drink only Buckinghamshire Tea. It’s more expensive but it’s worth every leaf. It’s a strong tea, but it doesn’t go tart as it ages in the teapot. Haw! Haw! Haw!”

It was not impossible to construe that, when it came to tea, Eduard was a yawn. “Haw! Haw! Haw! Teabags! Good lord! Who would ever use teabags but peasants? And to make it in a cup and not in a teapot? Egad! Haw! Haw! Haw! And not serve it in bone china cups! With a saucer!”

Esperanza had invited Eduard around to her place for afternoon tea. It was sort of a date without being a date. It was too casual for a date; let’s just call it a cup of tea. She had promised to serve Buckinghamshire Tea. “It’s not just the taste, it’s the texture! It’s the aftertaste! Tea is like a fine wine! Haw! Haw! Haw!”

Esperanza served the tea. “It’s a ritual. Serving tea is an ancient rite. Of course, if one’s having sugar (spare the thought), one should use sugar cubes, with a pair of tongs. Silver preferably.”

“You see,” spouted Eduard, “how different it is? It’s all a question of quality: finest hand-picked buds, whole tea leaves; the time of year and growing conditions; when all these factors are taken into account, the tea retains its flavours and characteristics. Haw! Haw! Haw!”

I know (Dear Reader) that you already suspect that Esperanza served ordinary supermarket tea using ordinary supermarket teabags. You would be quite wrong. She purchased and used loose-leaf Buckinghamshire Tea specially. But she decided, during this occasion, that Eduard was a boring old fart.

Train of thought: Chew chew the fat chat

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