This article is from a series entitled: Things ye cannae bate wae a big stick
Fae tha han o a low country lad
‘Noo they taak aboot’ the mysterious far east, by which I mean Japan ‘no’ Ballyhalbert, and their time honoured rituals. But let me tell you after watching ‘yin o’ them Japanese ‘tay’ ceremonies on the television, I came to the conclusion that an Ulster man would ‘dee ‘o drooth’ before the cup ever reached his ‘mooth’. Whoever said ‘Thur's mony's a slip twixt cup and lip’ never had to wait ‘twarthry oor’s’ sitting on their hunkers.
All ‘thon’ rigmaroll did get me thinking however, ‘wae micth nae hae’ the cushions and kimonos but the Ulster-Scots ‘hae a quare tay’ ceremony of their own with a whole set ‘o’ wur ain’ paraphernalia.
Firstly whether your using a designer kettle or an ‘oul’ blacked can, you need to have the water ‘plumpin’. Plumpin water cannot really be achieved with a modern kettle. ‘If yer no a wee bit feart o’ gettin japped wae a drap o scaldin watter, its no plumpin’. Next place the tay into the pot, for the sake o brevity I’m not getting into the whole loose verse bags debate in this article, just don’t forget, ‘yin fir tha pot’. ‘Noo teem tha watter iver tha tap an lee it tae stew’.
Once the brew has reached its desired density its time to ask the other drinkers if they would like to receive third degree burns, or at least that what it sounds like to those not familiar with the concept of ‘taakin a wee drap in thur han’.
Lastly we must consider the milk, ‘I niver boather’ with sugar. ‘Ma mither a tould mae I wus sweet enugh’. The quantity of the milk falls basically into three categories: a wee toaty taste, a brave taste or nane. Of course there are those who’ tak a drap o cowl watter’. But what ‘iver wae ye tak it’, enjoy ‘yer tay’!
Until next time’ ‘Lang may yer lum reek an yer spicket dribble’.
PS. After submitting this article I realised that I had failed to address the ancient ritual o slooterin' fae a saucer, a weel thurs a next time.