This is how N and I drink tea. And by tea, I mean real tea made out of lovingly and carefully steeped leaves of delightful goodness. I still buy an odd box of tea bags for myself but to offer them to N is akin to giving me borscht from a can.
N makes the tea, obviously. The few times I suggested that I make it, he looked like he was about to break into an “unsex me here” routine, so I desisted. He makes it, pours himself a cup, and drinks it. Then I pour a bit, add a large amount of hot water until it looks yellowish instead of very dark brown, add sugar, add lemon, mix it all together, and then drink. The first time N saw this, he whispered hoarsely, “Is that how you do it in Ukraine?” It’s been 15 years, and he’s still not completely over the difference in my definition of tea.
And speaking of tea, the only thing – quite literally the only one – that I miss from the USSR was the tea that was served on Soviet trains. It came in thick faceted glassware inside steel cupholders. And it was accompanied by little packages of two hard-pressed squares of sugar.
Everything else sucked but that tea I kind of do miss.