Step 1: The best comes last
Have you caught yourself pounding down a bowl of cereal when all you really want is that sweet, delicious milk at the end? Why not have exactly what you want, and hot too!
Step 2: Grow up
As you may have surmised, we will be making hot, cereal tea, thus eliminating superfluous food consumption and capturing the imagination of youngsters worldwide. Now, any two-bit hack can flavor some milk with cereal and then ditch the cereal. That is not our style. We are refining that process: lending an air of dignity to an otherwise childish act. In proper, tea-bag-in-tea-cup format, our tasty cereal beverage is as appropriate around the office as it is around the house.
Above are a few things you will need. If we are alike, you are grateful for the excuse to purchase a mini stapler. Diminutive tools are like normal tools, but cuter and more portable — Ben Cowden can tell you all about it. Additionally, a coffee grinder or blender is useful but not necessary.
Step 3: Disassemble the tea bag
Prior to settling on Lipton, I searched around for empty, DIY tea bags. I bought some for cheap in Chinatown, and the saleswoman promoted them as "dye and chemical free". Not for long, I thought. But, since they were difficult to locate and lack the classic aesthetic we require, I decided against them.
It's time to grab those pliers (or your fingernails will probably do just fine) and unseal the bag. In doing this, pay attention to how the bag is folded and how the string is anchored by the staples. It's not rocket science, but I didn't pay attention my first time around and had to open another bag for hints. Empty the tea, ditch the staples, ditch the paper handle, and save the string.
Step 4: Pulverize the goods and fill the tea bag
As I mentioned, crushing the cereal by hand should be just fine. You can get a pretty satisfying crush with just your mitts if you leave the cereal in its bag, but be sure to poke an air hole in the bag first. (I'll explain how I learned that over a couple drinks.) I borrowed this fancy grinder/blender thing from my lady. She uses it to make hippy-dippy smoothies in the morning, so I'm happy to be exposing it to a different facet of the human experience.
I made a paper funnel to help getting the cereal powder into the tea bag. Your instincts will find you packing that bag to the brim with sugary goodness. Don't do it. Cereal is full of crazy processed flours and who-knows-whats. These things will expand as they soak up milk. If you fill the bag too much, it will become stretched drum tight around a compacted wad of gluten-bound carcinogens, and prevent milk from accessing the flavored diabetes we desire.
Step 5: Reassembly
Now you can staple up your cereal tea bag and cut out a new handle to finish the job. In the meantime, start simmering some milk. (Don't forget to stir). If you use the microwave, I won't judge. I simmered a cup for the photo and then microwaved my next cup. In truth, the microwave felt like a more appropriate instrument for this project, though I can't imagine why.
Step 6: Rebranding complete
At some point along the way, I realized the logical last step in commodification is the mini cereal box tea bag dispenser. (So cute! Why didn't I pose it next to the mini stapler?)
Step 7: Hot damn!
It's time for you to take a moment and enjoy that pipin' hot and delicious cup of milk!