For most people, it is as simple as putting a teabag into a mug of hot water.
But for the Duchess of York, making a cup of tea is an art form that is so complicated that it warrants its own book.
Sarah Ferguson plans to tell readers about the secrets of the perfect brew in a 128-page tome which will be released next year.
But its publishers are promising it will not be all serious, saying that it will reflect her trademark ‘whimsy’ and have a flavour of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.
Over 12 chapters, readers will learn how to ‘set the perfect table, throw a tea party, brew and serve the perfect cup of tea’.
Other questions which will apparently be answered include whether or not the milk should go in before or after the teabag is taken out.
The Duchess is also likely to weigh in on the teabag versus loose leaf debate – and have the final say over the proper spoon etiquette.
Some readers may be surprised that such a straightforward matter as making a cup of tea deserves an entire book.
But the simple nature of a task did not stop Pippa Middleton including rather obvious pearls of wisdom in her book on party planning, such as how it was best to gaze at the stars at night rather than during the day.
Tea And Gratitude With The Duchess will feature Sarah’s signature sense of humour, according to the catalogue listing by American publishers Abrams.
It enthuses that the work will be a ‘gorgeous topsy-turvy tea book that channels the Mad Hatter and the March Hare from The Adventures Of Alice In Wonderland’.
Each of the 12 chapters will represent a month of the year which will be matched up with a different tea, flower and colour.
The catalogue listing describes how the book will ‘share fascinating tea history, teach readers how to host like Royalty, and share the ancient rituals of tea (the brewing, the serving, the drinking) that lend themselves to moments of gratitude’.
Readers are to learn ‘tips and tricks from the epitome of royalty’ and the book will have ‘elegant recipes’ for tea drinkers to learn themselves. The listing says: ‘The act of drinking tea is a form of meditation, a way of taking time, and a reminder to be grateful. The book will be peppered with inspirational anecdotes.’
There is even home-grown wisdom from the Duchess’s mother, Susan Barrantes, who says: ‘When problems seem too large and the solutions are not coming, sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit and reflect.’
Fortuitously, the book will give the Duchess another chance to sell her own line of teas, which come in a variety of flavours including Duchess Strawberries & Cream, Colonial Chai and Rhubarb Fool.
It will also explain how drinking tea has helped the Duchess, who has also penned a string of diet books including Dieting With The Duchess, keep her weight down and lead a healthier life.
This is not the Duchess’s first publishing venture involving tea. In 2008, her book Tea For Ruby was launched, about a little girl who is invited to have tea with the Queen.
But the Duchess may have higher ambitions for her latest work.
The catalogue listing mentions ‘motion picture and TV rights’, suggesting she would be keen to take her tea-making skills to Hollywood – should it come calling.
Abrams declined to comment and no spokesman for the Duchess was available to comment.
Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE