If you’ve ever been out with Kevin O’Brien and seen him order a cup of tea, you’ll recall his explicit instructions to the server that the tea be served with actual boiling water.
I’d always thought this habit a bit neurotic on Kevin’s part, but after having had an opportunity in Europe to regularly be served tea made this way, I now understand completely.
Tea made with boiling water — as opposed to merely “hot” water that’s been sitting around all day on top of a Bunn-o-matic is simply much, much better tea.
And so I apologize to Kevin for thinking him neurotic, and encourage one and all to request the boiled.
As a side note, I wonder if it’s actually possible to make good tea any more now that many of us have switch to the “auto shut-off” kettles.
As another side note, I’ve suddenly realized that when I ordered “chá com leite” in Portugal this was most often being interpreted as “I’d like some tea, and I’d like some milk.” As a result I was served a pot of tea and a pitcher of hot milk. And paying for both. Mind you tea made with boiling water to which hot milk is then added is absolutely fantastic, and worth the price. But the question remains: how does one order “tea with a little milk” in Portugal.