Steampunks love tea, but more than tea, we love the idea of tea-time, an oasis during which we might sip stimulating boiled plant-leaves and eat things that are like cookies but fancier, and like cake but smaller, and like toast but called something cooler, such as “scones”. It is my goal to show you how to enjoy an absolutely perfect afternoon tea.
- Become a Steampunk Mad Scientist and study villainy assiduously. This is not, strictly speaking, essential, but it will aid deeply in the other bits. Also, it’s significantly more fun than pretty much any other major, most particularly Organic Chemistry.
- Hatch a deeply villainous plot. This is where your skills from #1 come into play, particularly the Mad Science. If your assistant doesn’t pause at least once to say, “No! No! This is against all laws of Man and Nature!”, you’re probably doing it wrong. Don’t be discouraged. You’re just undercaffeinated.
- Become fabulously wealthy. This is why we suggest you not just study villainy, but study it terribly well. Otherwise, you run into the challenges of villainy gone awry: infamy, jailtime, and being stuck in a dead-end job perpetually asking the toffs, “‘ere now, Guv’nor, do you want crisps with that?”
- Purchase the finest tea place in the land. Pro tip: Yes, being evil and powerful, you could make any tea place “the best” by obliterating all the others, but you will quickly find that you have ended up with “the best tea place which still exists” instead of “the best one you could possibly find”. There’s a tremendous difference; one of the two tends to burn the toast.
- Gently inform the serving staff that they are to serve you the finest tea one can possibly have, or they will spend the next thousand years guessing which part of their oddly immortal bodies you will next feed to your crocodile. When they point out that (a) this is gross, and (b) your crocodile won’t live that long, apologize profusely, and simply explain that you could really do with a good cuppa, and if they help you out, you won’t destroy everything they love.
- Enjoy your tea. I’m sure you will. Pro tip: Everything tastes better when you’re evil.
Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks). He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.