australian Tea



In the interior of Australia all the men drink tea. They drink it

all day long, and in quantities and at a strength that would seem

to be poisonous. On Sunday morning the tea-maker starts with a

clean pot and a clean record. The pot is hung over the fire with a

sufficiency of water in it for the day's brew, and when this has

boiled he pours into it enough of the fragrant herb to produce a

deep, coffee-colored liquid.



On Monday, without removing yesterday's tea-leaves, he repeats

the process; on Tuesday da capo and on Wednesday da capo, and

so on through the week. Toward the close of it the great

pot is filled with an acrid mash of tea-leaves, out of which

the liquor is squeezed by the pressure of a tin cup.



By this time the tea is of the color of rusty iron, incredibly bitter

and disagreeable to the uneducated palate. The native calls it

real good old post and rails, the simile being obviously drawn

from a stiff and dangerous jump, and regards it as having been

brought to perfection.





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