Posts tagged #1880s

Tea Chronicles Pt.14 - Jerome K. Jerome

Three Men in a Boat

Three Men in a Boat

One of my favorite Victorian novels would have to be "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome. Jerome was a great comedic writer, his prose are still laugh out loud funny. The book follows Jerome and his two friends, to say nothing of the dog, as they take a boat trip out of London on the Thames. One of my favorite parts outlines their approach to making tea, this is a top-tip still relevant today.

We put the kettle on to boil, up in the nose of the boat, and went down to the stern and pretended to take no notice of it, but set to work to get the other things out.

That is the only way to get a kettle to boil up the river. If it sees that you are waiting for it and are anxious, it will never even sing. You have to go away and begin your meal, as if you were not going to have any tea at all. You must not even look round at it. Then you will soon hear it sputtering away, mad to be made into tea.

It is a good plan, too, if you are in a great hurry, to talk very loudly to each other about how you don’t need any tea, and are not going to have any. You get near the kettle, so that it can overhear you, and then you shout out,“I don’t want any tea; do you, George?” to which George shouts back, “Oh, no, I don’t like tea; we’ll have lemonade instead—tea’s so indigestible.” Upon which the kettle boils over, and puts the stove out.

We adopted this harmless bit of trickery, and the result was that, by the time everything else was ready, the tea was waiting.

Posted on September 24, 2015 and filed under Tea.

Friedrich Nietzsche on walking

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche

A wonderful quote by  Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher and composer. Written in 1888 and taken from "Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer"

Only thoughts reached by walking have value
— Friedrich Nietzsche - Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer, 1888

Wisdom from the wise, I couldn't agree more or have said it better.

Posted on December 3, 2013 and filed under Quote.

Tea Chronicles Pt. 5 – Nessmuk



Nessmuck was the pen name of George W. Sears, born in Massachusetts in 1821 he became recognised as a contributor to "Forest and Stream" magazine where he helped popularize canoeing, canoe camping and the use of ultralight single person canoes. Not a large man he kept his kit to the bare minimum advising his reader to "Go light; the lighter the better, so that you have the simplest material for health, comfort and enjoyment.” He was also one of America's first conservationists, he actively protested against the Pennsylvania's lumber companies for their destruction of the pine forests.

In 1881 Sears authored the indispensable "Woodcraft and Camping" and it is in here that we find about his respect for tea.

Often, when too utterly tiered and beaten for further travel, I have often tried coffee, whisky or brandy, and a long experience convinces me that there is nothing so restful and refreshing as green tea. To make it as it should be made, bring the water to a high boil, and let it continue to boil for a further minute. Set it off the fire and it will cease boiling; put in a handful of tea, and it will simmer for a few minutes, when it will be ready for use. Buy the best green tea you can find, and use it freely on a hard tramp. Black, or Oolong tea, is excellent in camp. It should be put in the pot with cold water and brought to the boiling point.
— Nessmuk - Woodcraft and Camping, 1881

There are some great sites about  Sears and "Woodcraft and Camping" is still in print and available on amazon. You can find masses of information about his life here including transcripts of his "Forest and Stream" letters and also an excellent more detailed biography here.

Posted on February 21, 2012 and filed under Tea.