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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