Once upon a time there was a gentleman who after a long successful career retired to a countryside mansion to enjoy the rest of his years in relative comfort.
He had many friends and countless hobbies to fill his days. What he most excelled in however, was the collection and preparation of tea. He’d delighted in this particular beverage ever since it was first introduced to him by a learned, highly esteemed professor that he was fortunate enough to befriend. Over the years he’d accumulated a vast knowledge about the many varieties of tea and the many ways of preparing it, using his extensive collection of the rarest teapots and cups.
It was a rare privilege indeed to be invited to one of his Tea gatherings that were always conducted with such pomp and ceremony.
Once, a supposedly learned, affluent relative was travelling from the Provinces to the City and called on him to pay his respects. At the end of a lavish feast, the host and guest both retired to the Tea-room where the relative was served the choicest tea steeped in precious spring water.
The relative enjoyed the tea so much that he repeatedly, after each sip, grunted, “Excellent!”
Delighted that his relative must appreciate the finer things, the host eagerly inquired, “Are you referring to the tea or choice of spring water.”
The last thing he expected was this explanation, “It’s the hotness of the tea which I like the best.”