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Unformatted text preview: 25 Reading 35-1 dust, and then packed in little bags whose paper often imparts taste and whose contents only produce an infusion with coarse strength and lots of color. Subtle tea is as far from the bag as is a bottle of plonk from a chteau-bottled claret. It requires 5 to 7 minutes for infusion, the correct leaf for the local water, and a certain degree of ceremony. Apart from any other factor, tea requires freshly drawn water for each brew: Unlike coffee, tea absorbs oxygen, and therefore cannot be made with water from a simmering kettle. As a quick, nonalcoholic f x such a product can never compete, in convenience terms, with alternatives. So tea must necessarily lose the battle for convenience, on the grounds of speed and time. There re- mains the question of quality, and this can only be guaranteed if the tea drinker also closely supervises the brew itself. There is 1 other point to be made. In 1840 no native Indian ever drank tea, except as a Europeanized foible. Today two-thirds of Indian production, the greatest in the world, is consumed domestically. The Indian governments interest lies in cheap, widely available, and not very interesting tea for its people at...
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- Summer '10