My office at work is right near the kitchen. I sometimes hear people grabbing a bag of chips or conversing with their fellow workers. While sitting at my desk the other day, I overheard one man ask another man “How do you make a cup of tea?” His question was then answered with the question “You’ve never made tea before?” - to which he replied “No.” I did not meet this man, but here is the conversation we had in the kitchen at work.
ME: I’m sorry. Did I just hear you say that you’ve never made a cup of tea and you don’t know how to do it?
TEA: I did say that.
ME: How is that humanly possible? Let’s accept the absurd notion that you have never actually made a cup of tea before. Perhaps you are insanely wealthy and servants with posh English accents have brought you everything you’ve ever wanted. But surely you’ve seen someone make tea before. Or at least you’ve read about it.
TEA: Ummmm… no. Can’t say that I have. Why is that so shocking?
ME: Oh I don’t know. Billions of Chinese drink it. The Indians. The British. It’s only one of the most popular beverages in the known universe – hot or otherwise.
TEA: I’m more of a cream soda guy myself.
ME: Cream soda? Cream soda is your “go to drink”? Cream soda is no one’s “go to drink.”
TEA: I love the stuff. Can’t get enough of it. I drink it cold. I drink it room temperature. I drink it hot in the morning with a lingonberry scone. Delicious. In fact, I make my own cream soda in my garage.
ME: So you can make an incredibly complicated beverage like cream soda, but not a humble cup of tea. You know, tea might be one of the simplest beverages you can make. Obviously, it’s incredibly difficult to make the perfect cup of tea. You have to balance the temperature with the steeping time and the potency of the leaves. But for your purposes it boils down to pouring some hot water into a mug and inserting a tea bag. Not exactly rocket science or brain surgery or something else really complicated and difficult that requires years of study.
TEA: Not sure I followed all that. Do you have a book or a manual I can consult? You know what, I bet I can find a tutorial video on youtube.
ME: You’re screwing with me right.
TEA: Hey you seem like a smart guy. Do you know how make toast?
ME: Enjoy your cream soda.