Tea has a stimulating and grateful effect when not taken in excess, and promotes digestion.
The Creoles use almost exclusively the Black and Green Tea mixed, preferring the flavor always of the Hyson, Oolong, Bohea, Gunpowder of Heno. Like coffee, Tea should never be boiled. It should always be made from fresh boiling water, and never in any but an earthen or agate teapot. Tea made in earthen tea urns requires longer to draw than if made in bright metal pots. Tea should never be suffered to stand long, as it acquires an unpleasant taste and loses its delightful aroma and fragrance.
The spout of the teapot should always be closed by a cover, secured by a chain, to prevent the escape of the aroma, and the urn itself should be closed at the top with a tightly-fitting cover.
To make good Tea, first see that the teapot is perfectly clean. Then pour boiling water into it, and let it stand for five minutes, so that the metal or earthen urn may become thoroughly heated. Then throw out this water, and drain the urn well. Allow a Teaspoonful of Tea for each cup of boiling water, or, if you desire stronger Tea, allow two teaspoonfuls. Put this Tea into the hot pot, and pour over one pint of boiling water, if you wish to make a quart, or, according to the quantity desired, one-half a cup of water to each cup. Let this solution draw for five minutes in front, not on top, of the stove or range, as Tea that has the least indication of boiling is condemned by the best ethics of Creole Cookery. After five minutes add the other pint of water, or water in proportion to the number of cups desired, allowing a half cup more for each person. Serve at once, very hot.
In serving the Tea, put the cream or milk and sugar into the cups. The milk should be cold and unboiled, as the boiled milk destroys the flavor of the Tea. Cream is far preferable to milk. Have the Tea very hot, and pour over the milk, allowing two teaspoonfuls or four of milk to each person, or suiting individual tastes.
Always have a pitcher of very hot water at hand when about to serve the Tea. Pour a little into each cup to warm it, and then empty before putting in the milk and Tea. Pour the Tea through a strainer, so as to avoid the possibility of leaves or dregs passing into the cup.
The Tea leaves that have been infused in an earthen teapot may be used again, as all the aroma has not been extracted by the first infusion. Tea brewed in a metal pot must never be used a second time, as by standing it absorbs the acid of the tin. Indeed, metal teapots are condemned by the best Creole housekeepers.