tradition for making tea. A billy was a tin can of suitable size for the
occasion, from large jam tin up. A wire handle was attached to the top,
fencing wire mostly. A fire was lit from the best material available, dry
sticks and grass worked well. The billy containing the needed amount of
water was sat on the fire, or suspended over it by the handle and a
framework of green sticks.
When the water boiled the correct amount of tea
leaves were tossed in and brought back to the boil until the desired
strength was attained. When ready the billy was removed carefully, and
swung around in a circular motion for a minute maybe, that caused the tea
leaves to settle to the bottom. This brew was then poured carefully into
each man's mug, so as to leave the tea on the bottom of the billy. Sugar
was added to taste and some liked milk if available, which wasn't often in
Korea. Mostly it was drunk when very hot and was quite refreshing and
When a large billy was being prepared, the call went out.
"Brew up." and the mob gathered for a social chin wag and cigarette.
In Oz way back in time when folks could
still light a fire, the usual thing was to toss in a gumleaf for extra
flavour. They were hard to come by in the queer country.