March 02, 2008

A short chapter about tea

Tea service at Samovar, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco

An excerpt from the chapter, "A short chapter about tea," in The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series.
The tea regime eat the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was, by any standard, a liberal one. There was no official slot for the first cup of tea, but it was nonetheless almost always brewed at the same time, which suggested that it had a de jure slot in the day....The turning on of the kettle had become part of the ritual of opening the office for the day, alongside the moving of the client's chair away from the corner where it was placed at night and its positioning back into the middle of the floor, where it faced Mma Ramotswe's desk, ready for use....After this there was a brief exchange of information between Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi....Once these snippets had been shared, the electric kettle would be boiling and the first, unofficial cup of tea would be served. Official tea came two hours later, at ten o'clock. It was Mma Makutsi's responsibility to fill the kettle with water, which she did from the tap just outside the door that led to the garage. The sight of her holding the kettle under the tap was a signal to Mr Polopetsi that tea was about five minutes away, and he would then walk over tho the sink on the other side of the workshop and begin to wash his hands free of grease. This, in turn, would be a signal to Mr J.L.B. Maketoni to reach a decision on whether he would carry on with whatever he was doing, and have tea later, or whether he was at a point in the mechanical operation to set his tools to one side and take a break.


  1. Excellent posting!
    I loved this blog.
    good weekend.

  2. David - glad you enjoy the blog. What type(s) of tea do you drink?


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