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Christopher Hitchens explains how to make a decent cup of tea. He’s got it exactly right, too. Last year we learned how to make good tea using the loose leaf and a strainer, and we’ve been tinkering with the procedure all this time, and it’s true: tea is finicky. You get huge variations in flavor with minor little changes in how you make it.

We’re currently setting up an automatic tea maker in the evening so we can just flip a switch in the morning and get a perfect pot every time. It automates what Hitchens describes: it heats the water to boiling, pours it directly on the leaf in an infusion chamber, and times it just right. It works really well.

Usually, during the day, I just heat water the old fashioned way in a tea kettle on the stove and pour the boiling water through a strainer in a cup. In fact, I think I’ll go do that right now…