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Using A Cafetiere As A Tea Pot

Updated on November 4, 2007
This is the thingy I'm talking about.
This is the thingy I'm talking about.

Sometimes, you have to make the best with whatever is on hand. Once, when I was homeless and camped in the woods of South West England to survive, I did not have a tea pit (gasp!) But I did have access to a piece of equipment that I had found and scrubbed in hot water and dish soap - a cafeteire (also known as a French press or coffee press).

Being a complete stranger to the alien symbols of the Coffee Nation, I did not at first recognize the handy little doo-dad I had found. But I soon saw it's like in a shop and saw it was called a "coffee plunger". It has a very simple but effective design - a container with a metal pole in the center, around which is a mental plunger. You can put in loose ground coffee - or herbs, or loose tea, in my case - and not have to worry about loose bits and pieces winding up in your mug.

At the time, there were a lot of wild herbs and blackberry bushes where I camped. Although I was given boxes of black tea from the local homeless shelter, I still needed herbal tea not only for the health benefits, but also to give me something constructive to do. (When you're homeless, you still need a schedule, or you get very depressed).

So, What Do You Do?

At first, things are a bit fiddly until you get used to how to fit everything together. With practice, you'll pick up on it pretty quickly. First, you gather your ingredients for herbal or whatever tea and a clean cafeteire. You have to take the plunger piece off. Sometimes, this means taking the pole out, too. It's slightly different for each cafeteire. But whatever you have to do, the goal is to get the tea ingredients UNDER the plunger.

Put all of your ingredients in. This could include loose tea, chopped pieces of fruit, a shake of dried spices or a handful per cup of loosely chopped fresh herbs. You then fill with boiling hot water. You let it brew for ten minutes. (This is especially important if you are using fresh herbs - ten minutes will be enough time to kill all nasties that might be on the herbs).

Get your mug ready. After the tea is brewed, plush down the plunger. Then pour yourself a cup. Sweeten to taste. Lean back and go "Ahh!"

A cafeteire is especially convenient for making herbal teas or chai rather than using tea bags. They come in a variety of sizes and materials. But whatever tea pot you use, let your creativity go and enjoy your creations!

The most unusual tea pot I've ever seen.

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