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Food   209

takes a long time to understand the behaviour of a new teapot, and so forth; and, lastly, that good tea cannot be made except with boiling water. Now, this latter assertion is assuredly untrue, because, if tea be actually boiled in water, an emetic and partly poisonous drink is the certain result. I had a tin lid made to my teapot, a short tube passed through the lid, and in the tube was a cork, through a hole in which a thermometer was fitted, that enabled me to learn the temperature of the water in the . teapot, at each moment. Thus provided, I continued to make my tea as usual, and to note down what I observed. In the first place, after warming the teapot in the ordinary way, the fresh boiling water that was poured into it, sank invariably to under 200° Fahr. It was usually 180°, so great was the amount of heat abstracted by the teapot. I also found that my teapot-it was a crockery one-allowed the water within it to cool down at the rate of about 2° per minute. When the pot was filled afresh, of course the temperature of its contents rose afresh, and by the addition of water two or three times repeated, I obtained a perfect mastery over the temperature of the pot, within reasonable limits. Now, after numerous days in which I made tea according to my usual method, but measuring strictly the quantity of leaves, and recording the times and the temperature, and noting the character of tea produced ; then, taking as my type of excellence, tea that was full bodied, full tasted, and in no way bitter or flat, I found that this was only produced when the water in the teapot had remained between 180° and 190° Fahr., and had stood eight minutes on the leaves. It was only necessary for me to add water once to the tea, to ensure this temperature. Bitterness was the certain result of greater heat or of longer standing, and flatness was the result of colder water. If the tea did not stand for so long a time as eight minutes, it was not ripe ; it was not full bodied enough. The palate becomes far less fastidious about the quality of the second cup. Other people may like tea of a different character from that which I do myself ; but, be that as it may, all people can, I maintain, ensure uniformity of good tea, such as they best like, by attending to the principle of making it,-that is to say, to time, and quantities, and temperature, There is no other mystery in the teapot.