back to article El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

As regular readers know, we at the SPB are tireless in our pursuit of culinary excellence, and many of you share our penchant for gourmet grub, including the pinnacle of pork perfection that is the bacon sarnie. Last year, you responded magnificently to our invitation to submit nominations for the ultimate sliced-pig-in-bread …


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  1. ukgnome

    Weak high quality tea, no milk and no sugar is the future.

    I used to be a strong, milk and 3 type of guy and only stumbled upon the joy of pure unadulterated tea on a visit to a foreign country. I was doing well with my pathetic attempt to speak their language until I needed to ask for milk and sugar. Now, it was only stubbornness that prevented me from asking in English, they would of understood perfectly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Strong tea with no sugar is for people who enjoy tea.

      If you have to make it weak or add sugar you might as well drink Horlicks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        If the infusion with tea is light (rather than very dark) you can discern real flavour and really distinguish the subtlety of the brew if you do not add milk I too used to drink good quality tea with milk and saw the light when I went abroad (and no milk was on offer).

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Weak high quality tea, no milk and no sugar is the future.

      Actually I think you'll find it's the past. Stuffing milk and / or sugar into it is a fairly modern thing in the history of tea.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Weak high quality tea, no milk and no sugar is the future

      You need putting out of your misery. Weak tea? You might as well drink washing up water.

  2. mhoulden

    1. Warm the pot

    2. Put one spoonful of tea in for each person plus one for the pot,

    3. Throw away

    4. Get some coffee instead

    (My normal work brew is Hot Lava Java made in a cafetiere. White, no sugar. From coffee shops I tend to prefer flat whites)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Coffee for the commoners. Tea for the gentry.

    2. dogged

      I normally drink coffee. Tea is maybe a once-per-month thing.

      On the other hand, my gran used to make leaf tea in a teapot when I was a child. Somehow, the whole kitchen smelled of it.

      At some point, I'm going to have to make some, if only for that smell.

      (misty nostalgia icon, please).

    3. Goldmember


      A serious bone of contention for British IT staff, this. The 'IT' half suggests coffee, but the Britishness obviously is tea. In most places I've worked, there have been some 'ambidextrous' (seriously confused, I call them) types who like both in equal measure. For me, it's coffee all the way. Strong, with a splash of milk and no sugar. At home it's Columbian roast from the coffee maker with the bacon sarnie, but at work it's the standard industrial-sized tubs of Nescafe, as it's free.

      1. Goldmember

        Re: Ooh...

        *Colombian. Obviously haven't had enough of the Java today.

        1. Bumpy Cat

          Re: Ooh...

          Coffee until noon, then tea till bedtime!

    4. Martin Budden Silver badge

      1. Warm the pot

      2. Put one spoonful of tea in for each person plus one for the pot,

      3. Throw away

      4. Get some beer instead

      Seriously, beer!

  3. John Robson Silver badge

    Tea needs tea in it

    It should be warm, and (if available) it should have a splash of milk.

    Sugar is an abomination unto Nuggan.

    I often find that my tea is darker in colour than many peoples coffee (also an abomination unto Nuggan)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tea needs tea in it

      Indeed ...

      "Brew what thou wilt, an that be the whole of the Law"

      -- Aleister "ShalI I be Mother?" Crowley

  4. Robin


    Gravity and time are the key. Standard tea is fine (except budget own-brand pish).

    1. Pour the boiling water from higher up so it all bubble up nicely.

    2. Swish it three times with the spoon

    3. Leave it for three minutes

    4. Put milk in if you want. I do.

    Also, if we're getting technical we should really discuss Pantone numbers!

  5. Semaj

    Yorkshire tea bags (1 per cup) in (hot water rinsed) tea pot

    Small amount of full fat milk (yes, just like Han shooting; the milk goes in first)

    Let it brew strong (or agitate it)


    1 tea spoon of Billingtons golden granulated sugar (or non to taste)

    1. Richard Taylor 2
      Thumb Up

      just can't take

      the full fat milk. Yorkshire Gold with skimmed is heaven

  6. Anonymous Coward

    It's a very personal thing...

    ...But my own preference is Earl Grey left to stew until it's almost cold. No milk or sugar. Great in a hot climate.

    1. William Towle
      Thumb Up

      Re: It's a very personal thing...

      "It's a very personal thing...

      ...But my own preference is Earl Grey left to stew until it's almost cold. No milk or sugar. Great in a hot climate."

      I wouldn't leave Earl Grey to go cold deliberately, but it definitely benefits from not being rank when left.

      I also wouldn't add milk or sugar to any other tea as a general rule - it seems to me that the desire to do so stems either from inappropriate selection (I've normally got two or three varieties on the go at any time) or poor preparation.

  7. Ketlan


    Why have you got a picture of a cup of weak cat's piss in the article?

    1. David Pollard

      Re: WTF?

      Probably a consequence of toxoplasmosis.

  8. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    I'm very much a mash-a-bag-in-a-cup-to-get-it-fairly-strong-and-add-a-splash-of-milk kind of guy, and would never contemplate sugar in a normal cuppa, but there cases where I'll allow sugar near my beverage...

    Arabic style tea with a fair bit of sugar - it's a different drink altogether to the British cuppa

    The faitigue-defying nectar that is cofftea (mug of boiling water + 2 teabags, stew to oblivion and add 2 or 3 spoonfuls of good instant coffee...add milk or, ideally, powdered creamer like CoffeeMate). 2 or 3 spoonfuls of sugar are essential for a brew like this.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: options


      You sick, sick man.

      1. alexlittle

        Re: options

        coffee and tea isn't actually that bad... if you have the right tea and right coffee.... needs to be chai tea and proper expresso... very popular in (the 'home' of coffee) Ethiopia - they call it "chai spris"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: options

      add 2 or 3 spoonfuls of good instant coffee

      There is no such thing.

    3. turnip handler

      Re: options

      "cofftea" I've always called it a nice cup of toffee...good to hear others enjoying the beverage.

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: options


      Infidel! Shame on you!

      As chief cook and bottle-washer of the Tea Taleban, I urge all right thinking persons to shun this individual, a corrupter of the morals of society with his capitalist running-dog abomination. Cofftea! I spit upon this vile perversion. May the great teapot in the sky pour boiling water upon him until he's really sorry!

      I used to get this from the vending machine at work. The spout of the machine was lowered into the cup, so the tea ended up coffee flavoured, or worse, sometimes cuppa-soup flavoured! Hence I decided to drink only the 'mocha' (hot choccy and coffee thing). That was supposed to taste like that, so as long as you didn't go straight after someone who'd had soup, you got the taste you were expecting.

      1. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge

        @I ain't Spartacus

        True Cofftea is not merely coffee-flavoured tea or coffee-flavoured's a beverage all of it's own, and needs to be brewed/concocted as such to be truly appreciated.

        My worst vending machine incident was when I accidentally got a 50:50 mix of hot chocolate and chicken soup. Truly vile....although I was several sips in before I realised my mistake, such was the dire nature of "normal" drinks from that machine

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: @I ain't Spartacus

          Mostly Harmless,

          People complain about low wages, off-shoring, poor management, and a little bit of harmless torture. And yet workplace vending machines are allowed to continue in this state! Clearly revolution is the only answer.

          The psychological damage done to you by that chocolate chicken soup is profound, as has caused you to countenance this cofftea abomination. It'll probably require years of therapy to cure you. What's worse is that we've grown to accept this awfulness as a normal part of the working life. Hence you taking a while to realise that your chocolate was worse than the normal level of awful.

          If, however, we lynched a few facilities managers we would have drinkable coffee, tea and chocolate in offices throughout the land in no time flat. Productivity would increase, the country would rise out of its slump and into the kind of levels of economic growth to make China jealous. Then we'd have sufficient spare tax income to properly fund our armed forces and could use them productively, to impose acceptable global standards of tea availability at gunpoint. It's the only language Johnny-Foreigner understands!

      2. ukgnome

        Re: @Mostly_Harmless

        Arabic style tea with a fair bit of sugar - yes, i see that as a great thing in hot climates, many Egyptians have tried to convince me to buy some dumb alabaster tut over several syrupy teas. Not my tea of choice, but great when been conned to buy a statue that you never ever wanted.

        Cofftea - you sick sick puppy!

      3. Andy Fletcher

        Re: options

        Cofftea? That's nothing. My mother made herself a coffee round our place once and noted that she thought our milk was off. We were a little surprised because:

        1. Our milk certainly wasn't off and

        2. As far as we knew we'd run out of coffee the day before

        Quick jaunt into the kitchen to dicover the jar she'd got the coffee from was made by a company called "Bisto". Haha.

      4. Nogbad1958

        Re: options

        You swine... I've been trying to forget drinking 'Tea' like this for years, I thought I had, then read this.

        Good grief the taste of Tea and Minestrone Yeucck!

        Totally off main topic, does anyone else find that Tea tastes disgusting when they have a cold but Coffee doesn't

    5. AJ MacLeod

      Re: options

      In a state of dazed exhaustion the other week I went to make myself a rare cup of coffee ("decent" coffee but reserved only for emergency use). It was only when I started drinking it that I realised something was wrong... I'd gone and put tea leaves into the cafetiere! The taste was truly sickening, I still haven't quite got over it yet. Every time I go to make a pot of tea now (Yorkshire or Co-Op 99 loose naturally) I have to double check I have the right tin, in case an even worse mix-up occur...

    6. Super Fast Jellyfish

      Re: options

      That sounds like it was the United Nations of drinks...

  9. The Serpent

    A former colleague once told me how his Dad (formerly of the Royal Army Medical Corps) and his mates made tea. Take one billy can, lay 12 tea bags in bottom of can and fill almost to top with water. Boil for 20 minutes. Pour in 1 tin of condensed milk. Serve.

    1. Richard 81

      NAAFI break

      I believe that's commonly referred to as NAAFI tea.

      My granddad used to tell my dad the same thing. He was in the navy.

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime
        Thumb Up

        Re: NAAFI break aka Tea NATO

        More often prepared in a Norgie container,

        It's 50% milk and has been stewed so long it's still a dark orange in colour.

        Also contains enough sugar to make a dentist cry.

        - but it is hot and wet and that's all that really matters in the middle of somewhere like Otterburn ranges (which is always cold and wet).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NAAFI break

        Tea bags? I remember it, in the middle of a cold and windy Salisbury Plain, on army exercises with cadets and also a "sea day" with the RN: spoon large amounts of loose, strong tea into a large container of boiling water, stir and leave to brew/simmer for a longish time. Add condensed milk and sugar to the tea maker's taste. Always tasted good, even if now I drink it pure, black, unsweetened.

        Actually, in HK, a favourite with Chinese colleagues on boats was Twinings loose tea with condensed milk, usually the sweetened kind.

  10. Ketlan
    Thumb Up

    Whoops. Forgot mine.

    Loose Red Label tea (teabags are for girlies). Very little skimmed milk, no sugar, strong as hell. And in a bloody big mug (in my case with a picture of Dennis the Menace on it). I'm so damned butch - but then I do live oop North.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think the standards are...

    BSI 6008 and ISO equivalent ISO 1839. Lovely thing, standards. So many to choose from.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assam only

    Forget your blended teas (I love the adverts that give the impression tea is somehow grown in Yorkshire) - just go for the one that adds the flavour* in the first place - pure Assam.

    Tea-bag is fine.

    Boiling water - couple of minutes

    Milk and sugar to taste (not too much milk though - but preferably full leaded if the missus lets you)

    Always nice after something hot and peppery (like a bacon sarnie with HP and pepper)....mmmnnn

    *I know that officially tea has no taste and is all aroma - but we intepret it as taste/flavour so I'm sticking with using the term.

    1. Victor Ludorum
      Thumb Up

      Re: Assam only

      Assam FTW!

      Sainsbury's own label bags are surprisingly good, and excellent value. And they're Fairtrade certified too!


      1. Thomas 4

        Re: Assam only

        My perfect tea is also Assam:

        0) Get a large mug and I do mean a large mug. I like my tea delicious and in gargantuan quantities. Tea cups are for folks that want to sample different blends of tea, rather than brewing a drink. Besides, Assam is the way to go. Samples are unnecessary.

        1) Boil a kettle and make sure the water is *actually* boiling, not lukewarm.

        2) Add *two* bags of Twining's Assam tea to the mug. The double bag ensures a rich strong flavour permeates all through the water but more importantly does so *rapidly*, so that you don't lose heat while waiting for the flavour to build in strength.

        3) Add the boiling water to the mug. Ensure space for a small amount of milk.

        4) Add one or two teaspoons of sugar depending on the gargantuan-ness of the mug.

        5) Stir the tea bags in a circular motion at first and once the water starts to darken, then squeeze the tea bags with the spoon, probably no longer than about 30/45 seconds worth of stirring.

        6) Remove the bags and add the milk. Ideal colour should be a slightly-pale tan. If it's starting to look even remotely white, you've screwed up.

        7) Sit at desk and enjoy. Feel free to make contented slurping sounds if it will irritate the asshole working next to you.

        Pro tip: Never, ever add the milk before the boiling water. If you do this, it causes the tea leaves in the bag to clump together and you lose most of the flavour. Don't ask me why it does this, it just does.

        1. AJ MacLeod

          Re: Assam only

          Pro tip - don't use teabags or sugar and the clumping won't happen anyway! And milk is definitely best added first, you just need to learn how much to add for your particular tea and brewing duration. Agree on the still-boiling water though.

        2. Merlinski

          Re: Assam only

          Why don't you warm the cup first? Tea needs really hot water to infuse properly!

          People warm the teapot, so why not the cup? Essential as it also removes whatever evil contaminants left behind by the dishwasher's rinse aid.

          And then you only need one tea bag, which you can leave to stew for several minutes before mashing.

          And just a dash of milk to soften the bitterness.

          End result should be a deep tan.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Assam only

      Yep, gotta agree with Assam, my tea of choice with just semi-skimmed (!) milk and no sugar.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Assam only

        Amazingly people still don't realise that Assam is what they like..

        "I like English Breakfast better than other blends" = So you mean you like Assam then.

        "I prefer a nice strong tea rather than the weak ones" = So you mean you like Assam then.

        "I don't mind which of the blends (PG, Tetley, Yorks. etc) they are all much better than the fancy ones like Early Grey" = So you mean you like Assam then.

        At the end of the day, the tea that makes the blends taste like TEA is...Assam. So why not just drink that.

        Let the flame war begin :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Assam only

          Although Assam is the king of tea and should always be the one to go for - if you can't get it (i.e. live somewhere outside the UK and India) then Ceylon would be my second suggestion. Not as good as Assam but OK.

    3. Lone Gunman

      Re: Assam only

      @AC 13.35

      You do know that they grow tea very succesfully in Cornwall on the Tegothnan estate? So those adverts aren't quite as misleading as you think.

      Love English Breakfast tea, although I also like the Afternoon blend too. Preference is Fortnum & Mason and should be loose leaf, can't tell you how they brew it though as I only drink it when visiting the store.

    4. Helena Handcart

      Re: Assam only

      Assam indeed! My future ex partner got me on to Assam when we first met, and I realised why I was rarely satisfied with my tea up until then. Now my tea recipe is 1 tea bag in the cup, pour on boiling water, agitate the water without mashing the bag, leave for 5 minutes or so, carefully remove bag squeezing it once to reduce drippage, add a reasonable splash of full fat.

      A friend once went to her grandparents' house and offerered to make a cuppa for her grandad. "How do you like your tea grampy?" she asked. "I don't know, ask your gran" was his reply.

  13. Cratig
    Thumb Up


    1 x boiling water (enough to fill cup (saves electricity not boiling a full kettle!)

    1 x PG Tips / Tetleys in the cup (What ever's on offer at <<insert your supermarket here>>

    1 x TSP fresh skimmed milk


    Turn kettle on

    Place tea bag into cup

    Once water is boiled, pour water into cup. Allow to mash (Yes, yes, brew etc) for about 4 mins until you cannot see the bottom of the cup

    Add a splash of milk (with teabag still in)

    Wait a further minute or so, stiring for the last 20 seconds.

    The using a spoon, drag and squeeze the bag up the side of the cup.

    Sit down and enjoy.

    PS - The 3 blighters can wait for their cereal whilst I go through this ritual every morning!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward




      Turn kettle on

      Place tea bag into cup

      Once water is boiled, pour water into cup. Allow to mash (Yes, yes, brew etc) for about 4 mins until you cannot see the bottom of the cup

      Add a splash of milk (with teabag still in)

      Wait a further minute or so, stiring for the last 20 seconds.

      The using a spoon, drag and squeeze the bag up the side of the cup.

      Sit down and enjoy and last 5 mins of your break.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Down to 12 mugs a day

    From frequency of consumption tea bag is easier now, though I used to do loose+ceramic tea pot when I was younger and could be bothered.

    Currently have settled on Twinings 'Everyday' having tried most standard retail brands.

    Must be at least a 1/2 pint mug for me.

    Water just on the boil (when the kettle starts to bubble but before it clicks).

    3 mins on the timer.

    Sorry, no milk.

    No sugar either, I get that fix from the associated biscuits/doughnuts etc (though never dunked).

    Drunk before it goes from hot to just warm.

  15. Pooka

    Coffee. Preferably thick enough to stand the spoon up in, and strong enough to desolve the spoon in the process.

    No milk, just a couple of sugars....

  16. El Presidente

    It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

    Full fat milk but not too much because the lactose takes away the bite of the tannin.

    And it has to be in a mug unless it's cha or otherwise ceremonial; high, cream etc.

    But I'd really rather have a triple espresso.

    1. Andy ORourke

      Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

      Plus, you should use the same mug throughout the day without washing, the last cup of the day should be in a cup that has been thoroughly stained a bright orange colour :-)

      1. El Presidente
        Thumb Up

        Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

        Until, after many months, you are forced to leave half a dish washing tablet in the mug overnight to remove the build up of tea scale which has reduced the volumetric capacity of said mug to the point of unusability.

        Spoken like a true Yokshuman.

        1. Lone Gunman

          Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

          Denture tablets work much better than dishwasher tablets. No idea why though and no I don't have dentures!

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch

          Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

          Until, after many months, you are forced to leave half a dish washing tablet in the mug overnight to remove the build up of tea scale which has reduced the volumetric capacity of said mug to the point of unusability

          Rinse the cup out in water, so that there's a dribble of water in it. Pour in some table salt and rub it over the tea stains. No need for a storm (or chemical warfare) in a teacup.

  17. John Tserkezis

    No, no, you've got it all wrong.

    Tea needs to be strong. When you bring it up for a sip it grabs you around the throat and chokes you strong.

    I use a mixture of Madura (a low caff black tea available in Oz, though I don't care about the low caff thing), and a mixture of assorted teas and infusions from my local tea place. They all smell yummy.

    I use honey. Never raw sugar. You can't even pretend to be serious about tea if you use raw sugar.

    I have more cold soy milk than seems normal for the amount of tea for three reasons. One, it smooths it out, secondly it cools it down, and lastly, milk gives me phlem. I can't stand hot fluids and foods, they just burn my tongue and I can't taste anything for the next few days - really annoying.

    Being as lazy as I am, I sort-of-brew-it with one of those strainer thingies that hangs in the mug for a while.

    I used to put a lot more effort into it, but I eventually realised that I just don't care enough to do it "properly".

    1. El Presidente

      Re: No, no, you've got it all wrong.

      Yes you have: Madura ... yummy ... honey ... soy milk ...

      This is about tea. Proper tea so unless you're a Yorkshireman or an Englishman (AKA a failed Yorkshireman) you've no business here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No, no, you've got it all wrong.

        Hate to break it to you; but in NZ I used to get wonderful, strong, thick tea and, in the bakeries, a lot hotter than they dare to serve it in England nowadays. Melbourne does a decent job too. In poor old England, too many places are going American or Continental and just putting water, from some long-off-the-boil urn over cheap and nasty teabag or, even worse, serving a cup of hottish water and the teabag, in a paper envelope, separately. Unbelievable.

        In the USA, one motel tried to make me tea by adding water to a tea bag, FROM a KITCHEN TAP!!!! I mean, I know most Americans are of Spanish or German or Italian descent; but surely there must be a few English immigrants to educate them.

        1. El Presidente

          Re: No, no, you've got it all wrong.

          @ Anonymous Coward

          You made yourself sound like a fail in your first post (jt?). Now you just look like a fool.

          1. John Tserkezis

            Re: No, no, you've got it all wrong.

            @@ Anonymous Coward

            @ El Presidente: You made yourself sound like a fail in your first post (jt?). Now you just look like a fool.

            No, that wasn't me. I don't post as AC, mainly because I'm already a certified fool, and don't need to hide the fact just to show it. If that makes sense. Of course not. So there, I've made my point then...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It depends on the blend of tea. Sorry Lester, there is no black or white with the art of tea.

    A nice early grey would not take too kindly to having milk added. It is not bitter and doesn't require sugar.

    A cup of brand tea (e.g. Tetley/PG/etc..) must have milk added. This is bitter, so if you prefer bitter to sweet, you don't add sugar, else a small amount of sugar minimises the bitterness.

    Of course you can't escape those heathens who must have more milk than tea and 3+ sugars, blurg!

    Coffee drinkers are like the rats on the underground. Common, expendable, of no worth.

    1. Nogbad1958

      My sister used to drink Earl Grey with milk. I've always felt a bit sorry for her! Mind you I don't like it much without, but with half a spoon of honey it's OK. Personally I wouldn't drink any perfumed Teas with milk, however judging by all the comments in this thread so far Tea is like politics or sex. We'll never all agree on what is best but we know what we like!

  19. wowfood
    IT Angle


    For me it's a bag of darjeeling in a large pot. Let it brew for a few minutes and enjoy the first cup of mild tea. Then the next two when it's cooled slightly have the full flavour.

    Additionally no milk in mine, never much cared for cow juice in tea. 2 spoons of sugar though.

    Tend to drink it in the smaller cups, more elegant that way. I'm tempted to try it with a squeeze of honey, any opinions?

  20. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Where I used to live ..

    .. we referred to black tea as "British Rail" :)

    Personally, I like my tea black, and not so strong it can be used to tan leather, and *hot*. One sugar.

    However, when I'm working from home I swear by Lavazza coffee, brewed on the stove in the traditional aluminium Italian moka pot. The one I have has space for a full mug worth of strong coffee - tea is for the evening :).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where I used to live ..

      "tea is for the evening"

      Sir, you are insane.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Where I used to live ..

        Sir, you are insane.

        Of course. Would I otherwise post here? :)

        Given that I've only got one bottle left of the First Edition 2008 Balvenie single malt, and given that was the last of the batch I restrict my enjoyment of that for very special occasions - so tea it is.

        BTW, a friend of mine who spent most of his early years in the colonies refers to my preferred strength of tea as "merely passing the bag over the cup"..

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Where I used to live ..

          I'll forgive your slur on tea of being an evening drink due to your love of the Balvenie. Tea is clearly a drink for all the time, and as often as possible. Then again, perhaps I could say the same about whisky...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Green Tea (Or White tea, or Gunpowder tea), brewed for a short 3 mins; no more.

    No milk or sugar.

    Large packet of plain choc digestives. Two packets if drinking in company.

    Jasmine tea is OK, as is Hibiscus, but fruit teas are only fit for cleaning the drains with.

  22. Captain Hogwash

    Green is the colour

    Maybe with jasmine sometimes. Loose if you have time to relax, bags at work or when you're in a hurry. Water just off the boil. Brew for 2-5 minutes depending on current needs. No milk. No sugar. No substitutes. No messing.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rules 1 to 6 - How not to get crap tea.

    1. Whichever way you like your tea, never let somebody who doesn't drink tea themselves make you a cup - it will be crap.

    2. Never buy tea from one of the 'coffee shops' - it will be crap

    3. Always take tea-bags and a travel kettle on holiday - as invariably you will get warm water with 'liptons yellow label' - which is crap.

    4. Never use condensed milk, it is crap (unless you are drinking a-la locals, such as massala chai in India, where it is to be expected)

    5. Never scrub your tea cup clean - you need to build up the amount of crap in the cup

    6. Never drink rose/berry/blah-blah tea - they are NOT tea and, you guessed it, they are all crap.

    1. Chris Miller
      Thumb Up

      Re: Rules 1 to 6 - How not to get crap tea.

      Rule 7: Never make tea from teabags - they're filled with the leftovers from making 'real' leaf tea and it will be crap. (Teabags are OK to take with you if you're away from home and there's nothing else.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rules 1 to 6 - How not to get crap tea.

      I would dispute Rule 1, after 15 years my wife (non-tea or coffee drinker) makes a more than passable brew, albeit with bags.

      Lord knows what I'd get if I let her use loose leaf tea!!

      Now where did I leave those rich tea?

  24. AndrueC Silver badge

    Moderately strong tea, milk in afterwards (I work with someone who sometimes puts the milk in along with the tea bag while waiting for the kettle to boil). Oh and at our office f'gawd's sake use the water from the filter jug. The water out of the tap tastes fine for drinking cold but boil it up and you get a nasty soapy taste :(

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Moderately strong tea, milk in afterwards

      Actually, it depends. I prefer loose leaf tea to tea bags (*), but I drink more bagged tea due to the convenience. Anyway, if you make a proper brew(**) you need to scald the pot, put in the leaves and then put in the boiling water. If you've faffed around for too long between starting and pouring in the water, boil it up again then put it in the pot. It needs to be boiling(**). Then put it on a hot stove for about 4-5 minutes. For this type of tea, you absolutely need to put the milk in the cups first, otherwise you scald the milk. You might not believe this, but do a blind taste test and I think you'll be able to tell the difference.

      For bags, you also need boiling hot water to begin with (and you may also wish to scald the cup first so it stays hotter, but it's not necessary), but from that point on you just leave it to brew by itself for a couple of minutes. Personally, I give it a stir (usually by grabbing the back with my fingers and swirling it around, but you can be fancy and use a spoon) and remove the bag before adding the milk, but the other variations of this aren't wrong. The only thing I'd insist on is if you have to use a sweetener, then it has to be honey. Even then, sweetener is really only something you want after some kind of shock or a day's hard labour, in which case it's acceptable :)

      * Barry's Tea is de rigeur; it's a blend, but mainly based on Assam (also called Breakfast Tea by many)

      ** Actually there are many "proper brews", but I'm talking about black (fermented) leaf tea here. That's not to say that things like green/gunpowder/matcha tea (which don't take kindly to boiling water at all), Oolong or even (horror of horrors) mugi cha (which actually isn't a "tea" at all) aren't all worthy beverages in their own right.

      *** Incidentally, this is why it's hard to make a decent cup of black leaf tea at altitude since the boiling point is reduced. Green (unfermented) tea is much better there.

  25. jai

    my favourite tea

    best tea i've ever had is at my grandparent's house (this might be biased slightly by childhood memories of cups of tea and my Nanna's home made chocolate cake or lemon cake etc, but regardless).

    i recently found out that they buy loose tea, English Breakfast and Earl Grey. And then, in an ancient square tin, my grandfather blends the two together, one part Earl Grey to 3 parts English Breakfast.

    they live miles away, and after the long drive to see them, that cuppa tea is the most curative and restorative drink ever (again, an opinion perhaps influenced because of it's close association in my mind with my nanna's home baking).

  26. Kevin Johnston

    Sorry but

    I have to agree with the coffee drinkers here, tea just doesn't cut it for me...

    Should be as nature intended too...burn the beans, crush them, put them in hot water (Not boiling as that brings out bitter oils) then throw away the crushed beans and drink the water

    Repeat at least 10 times a day with a 1/2 pint mug or scale up to suit for smaller flagons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry but

      This is no place for coffee drinkers. Let them go to perdition for the nasty foreigners and traitors they surely are.

  27. Richard 81

    1. Mug

    2. Tea, normal English (e.g. Yorkshire) brewed strong as death

    3. Milk, skimmed or semi-skimmed, just a spot

    No sugar. That's for coffee, and even then it should be brown.

    Earl Grey is perfumed rubbish. If it absolutely must be drunk, it should never be with milk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Richard 81 - Earl Grey is perfumed rubbish.

      You're far too polite.

      Let's cut to the chase and sod all that PC crap, Earl Grey is for pooftas. It's not proper tea. It's "perfumed" for godssake. Would you eat a "perfumed" bacon sarnie flavoured with a hint of bergamot orange? I think not. Then why adulterate a good honest cuppa.

  28. Ed 13

    Why do marxists drink only herbal tea?

    Because property is theft! :-)

  29. frank ly

    I refuse to take part in this

    "For the love of all that's holy don't get sidetracked into the perfect biscuit to accompany the perfect cuppa."

    Separation of the twin sacrements is a heathen act.

    1. wowfood

      Re: I refuse to take part in this

      But still we should probably follow the rules


      Additionally, we need bacon and a cup of tea as images. In place of both I shall be using beer, and just pretending it's tea served in a pint glass.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I refuse to take part in this

      Jaffa cakes are best.


      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        On second thoughts

        I can't remember if the Jaffa Cake is a biccie or a cake now, but my opinion has also begun to change on this recently. High quality chocolate covered ginger biscuits are exceptionally yummy with tea, but they seem to be about £2 for 8. Ouch!

        1. Dcope
          Thumb Up

          Re: On second thoughts

          Dark choc Digestives that is all

          1. cosymart
            Thumb Up

            Re: On second thoughts

            Chocolate malted milk biscuits are surprisingly divine!

            1. Captain Hogwash

              Re: On second thoughts


              1. Thomas 4

                Re: On second thoughts

                Rich tea, or one of those Millie's Cookies that are the size of a dustbin lid with chocolate chips like bricks.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Regional variant

    Tea drinking is still alive an well in the colonies, albeit not as you know it.

  31. TheNSB

    The ramsay way

    Scottish Blend. IN.


    DON'T F*** ABOUT. Give it a fu***ing chance. WAIT

    Take out the bag. DON'T SQUEEZE IT YOU MUPPET.

    One sugar. IN. STIR.

    Milk. POUR. From height. THREE BUBBLES MINIMUM.



    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: The ramsay way

      Should that last line not be

      F***IN ENJOY!!!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The ramsay way

        I just caught two back-to-back episodes of "Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course". Oh. My. Gawd/ess. What a fucking train wreck. I used to think he was a loud-mouthed bully, and a pedestrian (at best) cook. After watching those two episodes, I can't honestly say he's even that good ... Further proof that England is where good ingredients go to die.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    saying this as an engl ish man, my preference is black coffee, but proper coffee, not the American muck

    , however if it must be tea, then $tea brand, dash of milk, 2 sugars and so strong you can stand the spoon up in it.

  33. Magister

    Location, location, location

    The real problem here is that the water used will affect the taste of the tea.

    Different parts of the country have different water sources; they will pass through chalk, limestone, granite, clay etc. etc. This changes the quality of the water. You can use the same tea in two different locations and you will get two completely different tastes. This is why many of the brands are more popular in one area rather than another.

    For example, living in East Scotland, the only tea worth drinking was Tetley - but the same tea blend in the South West tastes truly vile. The only thing worth having there is PG Tips; but that will produce a very indifferent brew north of the border.

    Anyway: hot, in a mug, 1 sugar, splash of milk. Don't rinse, repeat!

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Location, location, location

      Different parts of the country have different water sources; they will pass through chalk, limestone, granite, clay...

      ..landfill sites, rusty pipes, incontinent sheep.

  34. TeeCee Gold badge

    Bacon sandwich tea.

    I'll take Yorkshire tea by preference, but any decent blended tea in a pinch, brewed in a pot, milk, no sugar thanks. And none of this cobblers about number of bags / spoonfuls being dependant on the number of people, it's the size of the pot that's important here. Mine takes four, regardless of how much of it I end up drinking.

    I'm also partial to other teas, both with and without milk depending on type, but not as an accompaniment to a bacon butty as that would be sacreligious.

    And will the yank trolls trying to push coffee as anything other than a necessary adjunct to code generation please sod off. Coffee is like cough syrup. It does the job it's supposed to, but you can't help being aware that someone's made a real effort with the flavour to put you off drinking it in quantity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bacon sandwich tea.

      Yanks do not drink coffee. Never worked out what it is they are drinking. Definitely not coffee. They can not even get the names right. Italians know this: they have ultra-week, bad "coffee", watered down, called, "Americano" (as opposed to "Lungo" for the usual large cup of coffee).

      Anyway, tea is the only true, hot drink, especially after a long, cold, mountain walk , when the cheapest transport caff with the largest mug and the greasiest bacon sandwich is pure heaven.

  35. Irongut

    Tea should be strong and milky. FULL FAT MILK ONLY! None of this hemi demi semi skimmed shite. Sugar to taste, for me half a teaspoon.

    As for choice of tea bags, in recent years I've decided that the standard Tetley, PG Tips or Scottish Blend just isn't good enough for me any more. I prefer Organic Fair Trade, various brands are decent including Tesco's own brand.

    I make too many cups in a day to mess around with tea leaves.

  36. Robert E A Harvey


    I drink Earl Grey without milk or sugar.

    My contribution is thus barred.

  37. J P

    I've tried American coffee, and 'swilling' is definitely the appropriate verb. On my first encounter with a filling station coffee machine, I took in the range of syrups, flavourings and other contaminants on offer via the half dozen or so nozzles ranged along the 8' wide monster and thought to myself "Why on earth would anyone want to add all that to a perfectly good cup of coffee?"

    Sadly , the answer became apparent all too soon. No-one in their right mind would want to add them to a perfectly good cup of coffee... but adding them to what came out of the coffee machine would have made, well, more sense than drinking it neat. But not quite as much sense as not drinking it at all, which was the option I took for most of the rest of the trip.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      It's foolish to suggest that simply because an ingredient is good, it couldn't be improved with other EQUALLY GOOD good ingredients.

    2. Identity

      I must defend American coffee drinkers

      (Some of them, anyway...) Commercial American coffee is often (usually?) crap, whether it's the weak, old brews found in gas stations and offices everywhere or the burnt, overpriced stuff they sell at ubiquitous Starbucks. Please note: there are plenty of artisanal roasters, and ordinary folk with proper prep equipment. (drip or press pot for preference).

      Beware of that big brush you're painting us with!

      1. J P

        Re: I must defend American coffee drinkers

        To be fair, Identity, the worst drink I had between Newark & Vancouver (via Tennessee, Arizona and 19 other States) was actually in Canada. At breakfast, a German crew (we were on a historic car rally) asked me to confirm whether the brown stuff in the mugs was tea or coffee. I thought they were joking, until I tasted it. I honestly could not tell whether it was badly stewed tea or poorly made coffee; there were hints of both.

        Catching up with an ex-pat friend later that day, who happened to live about 200 yards off our route, she enlightened me as to the problem. Commercial eateries have a tendency to run both beverages through the same machine, without rinsing between batches. (To make up for it, she gave me a cup of her jealously hoarded imported tea; best cuppa I had on the whole trip).

        Hopefully one day I'll get to rerun the route & visit some of the proper coffee joints - and take a little more time to enjoy the scenery...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: I must defend American coffee drinkers

          To be fair, I've never had a good cup of coffee in Blighty. And I've spent a total of 10 years there. The crap you lot call coffee is worse than the worst of the commercial coffee houses here in the US (I'm squinting at YOU Starbucks, Dunkin' Doughnuts & Peet's). The biggest problem seems to be the same as the swill they call "coffee" in Italy ... you use boiling water. Proper water for coffee should be at about 195F ... So I happily drink tea when across the pond. Strong, Yorkshire style, splash of whole milk, no sugar. (The only beverages that I drink containing sugar need to be fermented before they are drinkable.)

          THAT said, it's true that most Americans have absolutely zero idea what coffee or tea actually taste like. The pre-roasted, pre-ground, canned (tinned to you Brits) crap is bad enough ... but the institutional varietal (restaraunt/fast-so-called-"food") is even worse. And don't even get me started on the awfulness of "instant" so-called coffee substitute. Vending machine so-called coffee is just plain evil, and offering it should be a hanging offense.

          I personally roast my coffee daily (Cone filter (usually), hand poured 195F water, no more than 3 16oz mugs at a time. I drink it black, no sugar), and my Wife drinks the tea my sister sends her from Yorkshire (whole milk, quarter teaspoon of light Agave syrup in 16oz mug). It took a while, but I finally learned that putting a couple of largish marble-sized lumps of limestone in the tea kettle eventually made the water chemistry right for the tea. The trick is to let the scale build up, and try to always leave a cup or so of freshly boiled water in the bottom of the kettle :-)

          Beer, because neither the wife, nor I drink caffeinated drink after noon.

          1. Thomas 4

            Re: I must defend American coffee drinkers

            I went to stay with an American friend a few months back and she made me a coffee. It was divine. She uses a locally grown bean and goes to all the extra lengths of grinding it herself, using filter papers and the net result is like drinking dark silk. <3

            Of course, when I got back to Blightly and had Costa Coffee from my local shop it tasted like poison. So essentially she ruined coffee for me. =(

  38. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    What? No-one has so far mentioned...

    Lapsang Souchong - prince of teas?

    Half a teaspoon of leaves in the mug, add *boiling* water, no milk, no sugar, relax in smoky goodness.

    Gunpowder teas are acceptable; green teas or even Earl Grey in a pinch - all with no milk or sugar, thank you, but don't even mention fruit 'teas', 'tisanes' or any other of this modern rubbish. If it's not built out of camelia sinensis it's not proper tea. (I shan't repeat the ethical Marxist joke.)

  39. This post has been deleted by its author

  40. Mayhem

    Ideal tea?

    Obtain large mug (chip not required).

    One teabag. Gumboot brand.

    Couple of tablespoons sugar.

    Fill with water to near top.

    Generous dollop of real whole milk, none of this skim rubbish.


    Leave to cool a while.


  41. Alan 6

    Take one mug, one Yorkshire Tea bag. Add teabag to mug and pour on boiling water.

    Leave to stand for a minute or so, remove bag, add splash of milk.

    Whilst at work though I've taken to drinking Roiboos tea without milk, as we have no fridge for milk in the office. It takes a little getting used to, but is very enjoyable when you get the taste for it

    1. Smallbrainfield
      Thumb Up

      I like Roiboos tea.

      It tastes fucking awful with milk.

    2. Barry Penge

      Roiboos / Red Bush

      Be careful with that stuff. Apart from the vile stench, too much of it can give you flourosis.

  42. Dave 62

    Jackson's tea bags make a fantastic cuppa, whereas Tetley, PG and the ilk are either milky or stewed, Jackson's make a strong cuppa with out going tart. One sugar (white for tea), full fat milk. This is a proper bloke's cuppa. Drunk from a large mug with a handle you can fit four fat fingers through, not some tiddly little bone china thing. Pouring from a height makes little difference and leaving it to brew never works for me, I find a good thorough stirring is what's needed. Bergamot and tea do not mix.

    It's also good if the glaze inside your cup has been eroded by years of spoon collisions, exposing the porous core of the ceramic. Like the patina on an old frying pan, it adds to the flavour.

    mm.. patina

    While we're on coffee I think some of you are confusing "American" with the modern American interpretation of Espresso style coffee which is sometimes.. well, often, complete swill, although I had a coffee from a Krispy Kreme in the Bullring (Birmingham) a few weeks back and surprisingly it did taste of coffee!

    It was still bitter though. A far cry from the fine smooth blend from the sadly now defunct Deliziosa of Nottingham but anyway.. er.. Americans have not always drunk espresso style, not too long ago they favoured filter/drip coffee and even further back.. idk they made it in saucepans and stuff (I read it in a book :3)

    1. Dave 62

      Well anyway, if you've never tried Jackson's tea bags I strongly recommend them. Though I've only ever seen them in Sainsburys

  43. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    My versions

    Basic work version:

    1. Take one wire-mesh tea-strainer spoon, and insert one good teaspoon of Keemun Black tea (Twinings Prince of Wales at a pinch).

    2. Nuke water in big mug in industrial-strength microwave oven until it really boils

    3. Add tea-strainer spoon.

    4. Infuse as long as desired, or alternatively forget about it whilst coding and drink arbitrarily strong

    4b) add milk and sugar if you must

    Keemun black tea is very dark by nature, and never turns bitter, so forgetting to remove the tea only makes it stronger, but never renders it undrinkable.

    On the road version:

    replace tea strainer egg by Twinings Prince of Wales tea bags

    Working in region with hard water:

    Replace Keemun Black by good quality Assam and keep infusion time down. Assam takes hard water better than most

  44. JDX Gold badge

    Has nobody mentioned water?

    Tea made from hard water is just foul.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Has nobody mentioned water?

      It is important! I am very fortunate to have just about the best water possible coming out of the tap.

  45. A K Stiles

    The pot's the thing!

    Warm the pot with almost boiling water, so you can barely hold on to the sides, empty the water out just as the kettle comes to the boil for making the tea (fresh water, not second boiled).

    Add n serving (bag / teaspoon of loose) per person, plus a serving, to the pot and pour on enough boiling water for the number of mugs/cups you are intending to pour, then put the cosy on the pot. Now leave it to mash (don't force it!) for 3-7 minutes.

    Milk of choice, in quantity of choice, in the bottom of the mug then fill with tea (stops the milk scalding and tasting weird that way around).

    If forced, allow others to add their preferred quantity of sugar (bleuch!) and enjoy.

    Or when in the office, bag in mug, boiling water on bag, nip for a wee to let the tea brew (yes, washed my hands, thanks!), remove bag from mug, add splash of skimmed milk, just enough to make it cloudy, then find desk and consider code. Repeat at regular intervals throughout the day, whenever faced with an intractable problem, or when you've just solved an intractable problem.

    Key to proper tea is to never, ever, WASH the brewing vessel - that's where the taste is!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The pot's the thing!

      This post is mostly correct, although once the cosy is on the pot it needs to be left for 7-9 minutes. Less than 7 isn't worth it, more than 9 isn't so good, but should still be drunk so as not to waste good tea.

  46. Test Man

    No matter what anyone says, tea is made by putting in tea bag, then putting in hot (NOT boiling) water over the top, stirring and squeezing tea bag according to how strong you want your tea, removing tea bag THEN pouring in milk according to taste. All in that order.

    If you do it in a different order (like putting in milk before water), then you're doing it 100% wrong.

    So there!

    1. Smallbrainfield

      This sounds suspiciously like trolling.

      Are you a merkin? Water should be boiling for Proper Tea.

  47. hi_robb

    Don't you all know...

    That estate agents do the best cuppas?

    they do proper tea...

    /stage left

  48. Anonymous Coward

    What a strange idea....

    Why would anyone want to drink boiled, fermented leaves with juice from a cow????

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: What a strange idea....

      "I've got an answer to why the human drinks dried leaves covered in boiling water. It's because he's an ignorant monkey who doesn't know any better! Share and enjoy!"

    2. mhoulden

      Re: What a strange idea....

      I grew up in Hebden Bridge in the 1980s so I got to experience some of the alternatives to tea, coffee and milk. Herbal concoctions (can't really call them teas, and "tisanes" just sounds pretentious) may smell OK but without about half a ton of sugar they don't taste of anything. As for Barleycup, just say no.

  49. Smallbrainfield
    Thumb Up

    PG tips, strong, milk no sugar if you please.

    Earl grey, with a bit of milk if I'm feeling posh. No milk if I'm pretending to be a Starfleet captain.

    Strong cup of Lapsang Souchong if I want to clear the office.

  50. Poor Coco
    Thumb Up

    The best tea is COFFEE

    Specifically, medium-roast Kenya AA, coarsely hand-ground, made in a French press which was preheated with boiling water before the grounds are added. During the brewing process, the bubbles can be periodically pressed through the mesh to maintain a rich grounds-water interface. As the brew proceeds, warm the cup (sorry, that should read, “great big mug”) with hot water.

    Drain the warming water from the mug; then 10% coffee cream and Demerara brown sugar are added. The brewed coffee is slowly added, so as not to scald the cream.

    In case you can’t find medium-roast Kenya AA — for some reason, they insist on dark-roasting it here in Montreal, which is both preposterous and sacrilegious — and you have as much money as Mitt Romney, then by all means use Jamaican Blue Mountain. It tastes pretty much the same, at only 12 times the price.

    One day I would like to try civet-cat-processed coffee. I once heard it described as “gutsy”.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The best tea is COFFEE

      Tried the civit cat stuff ... its over priced and over rated.

      Can we please leave coffee for another thread. Tea is complicated enough in its own right.

      1. Poor Coco
        Thumb Down

        Re: The best tea is COFFEE

        Says the brave, anonymous commentard…

  51. nsld

    Sunday Morning Favourite

    Take one large ceramic tea pot

    Boil kettle and half fill, warm and discard

    Refill and boil kettle

    Add 2 English Breakfast tea bags and 1 roobois/red bush

    Pour water from a reasonable height

    Stand for three minutes with a cosy on the pot.

    Serve with milk to taste

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like my Coffee Strong and Black with milk and sugar.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @AC 14:49

      Black coffee with milk? Neat trick. Please elaborate.

  53. brassedoff


    Northern Tea Merchants small leaf assam

    Failing that, Yorkshire Gold tea bags

    Splash of milk, definitely no sugar.

  54. ian 22
    Big Brother

    Tea heresy

    No doubt Orwell would march me to room 101 straight away for this:

    1. Place 1 bag of Yorkshire Gold and 1 tea spoon of Indian Chai in the strainer from a broken glass Bodum tea pot.

    2. Put the charged strainer into a large ceramic mug.

    3. Pour boiling water into the mug until within 1cm of the top.

    4. Wait 3 minutes exactly.

    5. Withdraw and save the still charged strainer.

    6. Add two teaspoons of honey and two tablespoons of full fat milk.

    7. Stir until honey and milk are evenly dispersed throughout the fluid column.

    8. Enjoy.

    9. WHILE tea .NOT. WEAK GOTO 2

    Pardon the GOTO, but I have been using this procedure since before GOTO was considered harmful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tea heresy

      Insanity - you should only put a very strong espresso in a chai

  55. The Alpha Klutz

    Call me conventional

    But I'll take mine without any horsemeat in it.

  56. Tanuki
    Thumb Up

    "Milk-in-First" implementation deemed harmful.

    Surely, somewhere there's an RFC that covers all this.

    If not - WHY NOT? I seem to recall a paper having been authored by N. Mitford on the utter wrongness of the Milk-in-First protocol-implementation.

    [My personal infusional-preference is Earl Grey - brewed in and subsequently sipped from, bone-china teaware. As everyone knows, tea should be taken unpolluted by either milk or sugar].

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Milk-in-First" implementation deemed harmful.

      Milk in first is a old old holdover.

      Before proper china, our pottery was not up to containing boiling water. So you had to put the milk in first otherwise the bottom dropped out of your pot.

      1. Fihart

        Re: "Milk-in-First" implementation deemed harmful.

        Another theory is that milk in first avoids curdling slightly iffy milk.

  57. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Cup or Mug?

    Mug for me, and don't get me started on hot tea in glass glasses

    Though I will admit it is entertaining to watch someone pick up said glass and take three steps before realising they are melting their fingers to the glass, can't decide whether to turn back or go on, won't drop it so have to grit their teeth while pretending they are not suffering excruciating agony and looking like they are having a stroke or heart attack.

  58. Piloti
    Thumb Up

    Tea.. !!

    Betty's [only available in York, Harrogate, Northallerton or Ilkely] Earl Grey. Bags.

    Black [no milk!]

    No sugar.

    1 minute in the mug and out.


    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Tea.. !!

      That's "Bettys", you hooligan.

      The place to take a girl on a Saturday afternoon after the pictures back when I was getting me Os & As in Harrogate (mid-late 1970s-ish). The coffee was crap, but they could sure brew a nice cuppa! The other accouterments (scones, cakes, biscuits ("cookies" to my fellow Yanks), etc. were really nice, too.

      1. Piloti
        Thumb Up

        Re: Tea.. !!

        "" That's "Bettys", you hooligan. ""

        Yes, you are quite right. My most humble apologies! And it is still the place to take a woman. Not on a first date, but certianly after the second!!

  59. Putters

    Really Bad Tea

    As a Scots friend of mine preferred her tea ...

    Take 1 mug.

    Fill 2/3 with boiling water.

    Add 1/3 cup milk.

    Add 3 sugars

    Take teabag and dunk in watery milk ONCE. DO NOT STIR. DO NOT SQUEEZE TEABAG. JUST DUNK.

    Attempt to claim resulting sickly sweet, slightly beige, transulcent mixture is a Cup of Tea

    1. ukgnome

      Re: Really Bad Tea

      I had a chef in my pub that drank tea this way - he refered to it as babby tea

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really Bad Tea

        That sounds remarkably like the "drink" my wife got once in northern Portugal after asking for tea with like (or cha con leite I think).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really Bad Tea @ukgnome

        Where did this chef come from? From my part of the world bab means shit which is what that abomination sounds like. However if he did hail from the same corner of our beloved isle then he wouldn't be drinking it in the first place or at least not admitting to it in public.

  60. Sir Sham Cad

    Purpose of the tea

    It should be noted that, throughout the course of a day the job of a cup of tea varies, from ohmygodwakemeupNOW tea through to five minutes relaxing with a biccy while The Archers is on.

    In this specific case the job of the tea in question is to wash down an A90 Behemoth and so the careful selection and preparation of ingredients must be formulated accordingly.

    Your palate will be full of the delicate, exhalted flavours of grease, salt, more grease and brown sauce. The tea must complement these flavours and not cause gustatory dissonance. To whit:

    1) Take the first mug that comes to hand.

    2) get a box of those "one-per-cup" red label teabags. Put two in mug.

    3) boil whatever water comes out of the tap and pour into mug almost to the top.

    4) using a teaspoon, handle end of a tablespoon or fork or whatever first comes to hand, stir, crush, bash and mash the hell out of the teabags.

    5) continue until the tea is the colour of satan's dark, ebon heart.

    6) remove teabags.

    7) replace volume of removed teabags with milk. From cows. Colour of bottletop is irrelevant, it's a cup of tea not a fashion accessory, get over yourself.

    8) add up to two sugars. Or don't, you won't taste it over the bacon butty anyway.

    9) Finish Him!

  61. Scarborough Dave
    Thumb Up

    Put it in the pot - Stew for 10 minutes!

    Then next time someone else will make the teat for you - Job sorted!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Put it in the pot - Stew for 10 minutes!

      I once put washing up liquid in a colleague's coffee. He always left the mug of coffee granules by the sink while the kettle boiled. May have been the highlight of my career.

  62. envmod

    man's cup of tea

    strong, spot of milk + 2 sugars. drinking anything else is for girls.

  63. Andrew Moore


    Loose tea (a darjeeling/assam mix) in a cafetierre. Boiling water, steep for 6 minutes, press and pour.

  64. Identity

    Obviously, I'm in the minority

    Of course, as a Yankee (true New England variety), I can be forgiven (or accused), but...

    Tea is, in some ways, like wine. No one would dare say that any particular vintage is THE perfect wine — it's a matter of what you like and what suits the occasion.

    Therefore, I drink a variety of teas with a variety of methods. In any event, I always prefer my tea strong and without additives. If I really want to get into it, I prefer loose African tea (Kenyan or Tanzanian, for preference), in a warmed pot, 1 tsp/cup plus one for the pot (unless I'm using my 1.5 cup pot — then two will do). Water should be on the brink of boiling, but not rolling, as boiling deoxygenates the water (though that's a moot point). Steep four minutes.

    If I don't have the time or inclination, I'll use a bag in a mug and have even microwaved the water. Steep four minutes. Among the bag teas I favor: Tetley's British Blend, Twining's Lady Grey, Bigelow's Constant Comment (this last is good with brandy, if you're feeling poorly...)

  65. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Perfect Tea

    I'm becoming disturbingly effete in my old age. I started off as a milk and one sugar man (well boy at first). Then the sugar got dumped, and the milk got less and less. I suddenly realised that if I could taste the milk I wasn't liking it, so the obvious solution was to go black no sugar. Easier as well. Although I now don't get through enough milk, and have to keep having custard or throwing it away. The tea got a little weaker, as I dumped the milk.

    Weirdly I now find that the taste of sugar or milk in tea makes me feel slightly sick. Even though I still have a little milk in my coffee and I'm not averse to eating a sugar cube. That must be some weird psychological effect.

    The difference between tea bag and pot is mainly consistency. I never seem to be able to get the tea tasting even remotely the same each time with a tea bag, whereas there's less random chance when you use a pot and loose tea. Or even a pot and bags. So long as the bags haven't been filled with the sweepings from the floor, it's possible to get a reasonable cuppa, just not as easy. So loose leaves and a strainer. It's actually less effort if you consider the next point:

    The other big advantage of a teapot is that it's easier to get your tea in the correct dosage i.e. 2 mugs. The first one is weaker, but hotter and starts the process of relaxation. But the full satisfaction is gained only by drinking the second, now cooler and stronger cup, faster. That's the one that deals with the thirst, and tastes the best. Also the pauses between sips while the first one cools allow for perfect biscuit/cake appreciation. Whereas the 2nd cup can be drunk while working on a task, or concentrating on some reading.

    Delivery system is also important. Cups aren't big enough, and saucers are ridiculous. So a mug it has to be. But it must be thin. So porcelain or even glass is best. That way you can have the size of a mug, but have the tea cool down enough to drink faster.

    I now prefer something with less tannin, so Yorkshire is horrible without milk. At the other extreme you have Lipton yellow label, that you always seem to get on the continent. I'm not sure what it is, but Arthur Dent might recognise it, as a brown liquid that tastes not quite entirely unlike tea.

  66. Schultz

    First rule of enjoying tea...

    drink it, don't talk about it. Anything else leads to merciless, never-ending conflict.

    Make mine dark, with just a sip of milk.

  67. Schultz

    How to enjoy your tea

    (1) Start the boiler

    (2) Read a climate change / no change article on El Reg (gets your blood pressure high enough to get up again)

    (3) Pour hot water over tea / tea bag

    (4) Post an 85 word comment about the (lack of) science on climate change

    (5) Remove tea / tea bag and add a little milk

    (6) Read the rest of El Reg, sip your tea, and relax

  68. Mr_Pitiful

    I had the misfortune

    To visit a tea plantation in Sri Lanka

    I nearly prchased a kilo of the stuff to bring home

    Luckily, I tried a cup before purchasing, and it was terrible

    Even the processing plant stank, but I thought, well that must be the process!

    How wrong can one be!

  69. Stumpy

    Marks & Spencer Extra Strong teabags for me. Steeped in boiling water for between 1min30 and 2mins with a splash of skimmed milk.


  70. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

    Not a connoisseur

    ... Far from it, as you shall see, but the only way I have found I enjoy tea is strong, with a generous amount of lemon juice and two sugars (Not iced tea, but hot tea with lemon)

    For some reason, the taste of tea with milk makes me think of dirty socks... It's not that it *tastes* like socks (at least not exactly), but I have that strange association in my mind, and accordingly, find the tea with milk repulsive

  71. Bunglebear

    Kenyan brews

    Tea over coffee every time, its so much more civilised.

    I like a Kenyan assam brew myself, milk and two sugars, with ginger nuts to dunk. This adds a touch of ginger to the tea and makes it wonderfully sharp.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


  73. Fihart

    Teabags vs Loose Tea

    Time was when Loose was the boss. But apparently sliding quality of Sainsbury's Red Label (used to be quite tasty and aromatic -- and cheap) and advances in Teabag Technology seem to have levelled the playing field.

  74. Kath_Brentford

    Twinings English Breakfast Tea

    One per person and one per pot which means three spoonfuls for a morning brew.

    Warm the pot if can be bothered but it doesn't change the taste of tea, just the temperature.

    A small splash of milk in the mug before pouring in tea which must have had time to mash.

    Drink hot.

    Then for the rest of the day I drink fancy Chinese loose leaf teas from the Canton Tea Company with multiple colours, infusions, origins etc. but I need a proper strong mug of tea for breakfast.

  75. TRT Silver badge

    My tea

    Every day tea

    (1) Mug with either some obscure IT reference on it, or stolen from Garfunkel's. Unwashed to allow the patina to build.

    (2) Tetley Extra Strong, 1 bag.

    (3) Try and grab some boiling water from the work's kettle before it's stolen.

    (4) Try and grab some 1% (orange top) milk which is mine before it all gets stolen even though it is f***ing close to water which should put anybody off stealing it in the first place.

    (5) Squeeze the bag and drink strong and hot.

    Pot tea

    (1) Warmed pot.

    (2) One heaped teaspoon per cup with one for the pot of a ceylon/assam leaf blend.

    (3) Pour boiling water from a great height into the pot to froth the tea.

    (4) Show the pot the pictures.

    (5) Cold milk into fine china cups, about 5% by volume.

    (6) Pour tea through strainer.

    Best tea in the world

    (1) Throw a scoop of tea leaves into the stoker's pot with water drawn off from the cylinder cock drain valve. Stir with a spanner.

    (2) Leave on the hotplate next to the firebox for about six miles.

    (3) Tie a rope onto the handle and spin furiously around out of the cab between stations to centrifuge down the leaves.

    (4) Pour the supernatant into two enamel mugs, each with a generous splash of unpasteurized milk. Use a coal hammer to knock a lump off the sugarloaf kept wrapped in brown parcel paper and drop in mug.

    (5) Hand one mug to the driver and enjoy, ignoring the oil slick on the top, as that's what gives it the flavour.

  76. Herby

    Real programmers...

    Don't drink tea, they drink COFFEE. Nice strong COFFEE. None of this milk or cream stuff.

    That's why god invented COFFEE cups.

    General rule: COFFEE in code out.

    Simple task: Find some tea in Seattle. Good luck with that! Of course one reason we here in the USA drink COFFEE is that a few years ago we dumped all the tea into Boston Harbor.

    Just make sure that the COFFEE isn't computer animated, I'm told it is "dreadful".

    1. Piloti

      Re: Real programmers...

      Harbour has a "U" in it..........

      So wrong twice.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Piloti (was: Re: Real programmers...)

        Harbo(u)r has a "u" in it in British English, true. But "Boston Harbor" is a place name, with no "u" in it, regardless of where the writer lives. Unless you call the River Avon "the River Afon", of course ;-)

  77. Lone Gunman
    Thumb Up

    Fancy a cuppa?

    The perfect tea for bacon butties has to be Builders Tea from the same greasy spoon that you got the bacon buttie from - strong enough to stand the spoon up in, hot and with a splash of milk (presumably full fat). If making at home - then Yorkshire Tea (other similar blends work well too), bag in mug, pour in boiling water, mash bag till water goes a dark black, splash of milk (skimmed at our house).

    I do however like going to Fortnum's to take tea as they make it beautifully. Loose leaf Afternoon blend served in a warmed silver pot big enough for 4-5 cups. Leave tea to brew for about 5 minutes, splash of milk in the cup, pour tea through silver strainer. Absolute nectar of the gods.

  78. Sgt_Oddball

    on foriegn travels..

    I can highly recommend BOH gold blend available either loose or in individual foil wrapped bags from the common highlands of Malaysia . However don't drink the stuff where the plantation is, the local water makes it taste foul, wait until back in gods county (yorkshire for the southernly inclined) where most local waters have limestone dissolved in which lends a sweetness otherwise lacking.

    same applies to yorkshire tea, wonderful in the country tastes crap everywhere else (a childhood with the parents caravaning lends onhand experience to to this fact) . I would also assume this applies in reverse to several teas which is probably why I can't abide earl gray.

    (beer because I miss my old job where tea was a soft option and drinking at work wasn't frowned upon)

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have a beer

    or two

  80. Seanmon

    No, No, No No.

    As a man who used to run a cafe:

    First, you need a teapot. Decent tea can't be made in a cup. Second, you need a teacosy for that pot. Your Gran didn't get to be that old without learning a few things y'know.

    The correct ratio is 3 teabags to 750ml of water - i.e approx 1 per mug. Many teabags are acceptable - Nambarrie for me, however Yorkshire, 99, co-op own brand or, in a pinch, Scottish blend are OK. The only thing that's not really acceptable is Tetley's.

    The water should be poured into the (warmed!) pot at boiling point, so a little splashes out onto your hands. Anything worth having requires a little sacrifice. Also, the pot should contain the very dregs of the last brew - a useful technique here is to drain the pot, then squeeze the dregs out of the discarded teabags back in.

    Leave it for at least 5 minutes - this is where that teacosy comes in. In the meantime, fill your mug with boiling water to get it nice and hot. Discard before serving, obviously.

    The tea should be poured onto the veriest dribble of milk - I define the amount as "slightly more than no point." (QI moment - the reason for the British tradition of "milk in first" is because the delicate china cups they had back then would shatter if you poured the hot tea in first.)

    This is for teabags. As for loose tea - an Indian colleague of mine once brought me back a paper bag of tea leaves that made the weakest, palest looking tea imaginable. I piled more and more in until it was a decent colour and basically gave off gamma rays for a week.

    Please excuse any mispelings in this post, because I'm drinking red wine.

  81. Fink-Nottle
    Thumb Up

    Genetic testing shows ...

    Morrison's own brand loose Chai with a drop of milk is guaranteed < 10% horse-piss !!!

    1. Nogbad1958

      Re: Genetic testing shows ...

      That's what adds that delicate flavour, I tried Morrisons savers (I know I'm a tightwad!) they were the sweepings from Shergar's stable. As a tightwad I seldom throw anything away, so I used the rest of the pack to light a fire with in the morning. I swear it took me hours to get the disgusting taste out of my mouth. (No sniggering at the back there!)

  82. Colin 4


    In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

    A cup ' COLD tea.

    Without milk or sugar.

    OR tea!

    In a filthy, cracked cup.

    We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

    The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

  83. Dom 3

    Oi Lester!

    Can you get Real Milk in your neck of the woods? When I lived near Barcelona, the local supermarkets would have more varieties of UHT milk than bottles of fresh... I was shocked to find that many of my compatriots had gone native and would use UHT with their tea.

  84. Mark York 3 Silver badge

    Like George Orwell

    My personal preference is for bog-standard PG Tips, in bags, medium strong, dash of milk, sugar ratio in proportion to the size of the mug.

    Alas as PG is darned expensive in Canada Ex-Pat Shops & Typhoo non existent. It has to be Tetley (Sub-heading Orange Pekoa), from most stores like Wally-World*, Shoppers Drug Mart, London drugs & Canadian Superstores\No Frills.

    For Nostalgia my nans Co-op 99 tea.

    Method Teapot

    Boil kettle.

    Warm Pot with boiling water.

    Reboil kettle for 20 secs while emptying used water, add 1 teabag per person + 1 for the pot.

    Add fresh boiling water, give it a bit of a stir & then stand.

    Milk in cup, pour from teapot (sugar may be added either before or after pouring).

    Ideally consumed with a Devon cream tea (yes we can actually manage those in Alberta).

    Method Cup

    Boil kettle.

    Warm cup with boiling water.

    Reboil kettle for 20 secs while emptying used water, add 1 teabag to the mug (currently a TARDIS shaped one).

    Add fresh boiling water, give it a bit of a stir & then stand.

    Add milk.

    Ideally consumed with toast & marmite!

  85. C. P. Cosgrove
    Thumb Up

    Army issue anyone ?

    From choice, I drink coffee, but that is not a widely available option in the British Army.

    From the graceless days of my youth, coming in off stag at 0300, cold, wet, miserable, somewhere in Germany to find a haybox of 3 hour old tea which has been stewing, complete with tinned milk and sugar, but it's hot, it's wet, and it was delicious !

    I have no idea what brand or variety of tea came up in Army compo rations, nor was it ever brewed with any great style or distinction, but it was a life saver.

    Now, if only it had been served with a nice bacon sarnie with a dollop of brown sauce . . .

    Chris Cosgrove

  86. heyrick Silver badge

    Don't care so long as it deserves to be called tea

    I live/work in France. When you see the insipid rubbish that passes for tea, you'll appreciate the British tea bag all the more.

    For me, my personal preference is: mug, Tetley, hot water, a little milk, and of course two sugars. When it looks like a cup of coffee, it is strong enough...

  87. bag o' spanners

    Black, no sugar, teabag stewing in the mug. Unleaded.

  88. bag o' spanners

    I lived in France for a while. Those Lipton's teabags on a string with noncy individual packets are an abomination. Made infinitely worse by the fact that it takes at least five to turn the water brown.

    If you're going herbal, you might as well drink matte. It's the Peruvian cocaine of herbal teas.

  89. 404

    Import stickers

    On PG Tips shipping boxes I order from Amazon (2-240ct. boxes @$29 delivered to Tennessee***) and Twinnings Earl Grey -> if good enough for Capt. Picard, it's good enough for me :)

    Generally one cup of coffee in morning then dark PG Tips the rest of the day - good when gaming too, good cold with ice.








    *** I saw what ya'll said about Tennessee folks in another very recent story.... large brush you have.

    1. Piloti
      Thumb Up

      Re: Import stickers

      A Tennessee man with a sense of humour...!

      Good man.

  90. Rukario
    Big Brother

    Empty pot.

    Rinse out.

    Warm the pot, always.

    Rinse out.

    Now, one for me, one for thee, one for the pot, one for luck.

    Boiling water.

    Switch off.

    Let stand for one moment.

    Pour the milk.

    Cup, saucer, spoon.


    Pour, should be just about nice.

    (Big Brother icon because Number 6 is always being watched.)

  91. Irony Deficient

    Everything I know about tea …

    … came from the song T.U.S.A. on the Masters of Reality album Sunrise on the Sufferbus.

    (Me, I’ll stick to swilling my Coffea arabica, which leaves more Camellia sinensis for you lot.)

  92. dotdan

    Forget ye not your vessel

    The mug or cup makes a difference. A fine bone china Dunoon Nevis mug[1] is my vessel of choice. No cheap chunky lipped mug.

    Boil kettle, rinse out/warm the mug, then fill one half of some tea ball tongs[2] with Assam leaf tea. Take it as strong with as little milk as you can. Sugar is for the intellectually inferior.

    [1] - / [2]

  93. Corinne

    Took you long enough Lester!

    I asked for this one months ago....

    My father was VERY fussy about his tea. Had to be loose leaf, 50/50 Tukvana Darjeeling and Lyons red label. Total of 1 spoon (proper "tea caddy" type spoon, none of those tea spoon things) of blend per person.

    Warm old fashioned brown pot & add tea. Cover with cosy and leave for 5-6 mins (depending on who was partaking of the nectar).

    Add preferred amount of milk to mugs & any sugar required by the partaker, making sure that each person got THEIR mug - none of this matching sets of mugs rubbish, we all had individual mugs.

    Pour through a strainer into the mugs in order - those who like weaker tea first, and if necessary give the tea a quick stir in the pot for those who like it stronger.

    It was permissable to "freshen" the pot once without making completely fresh, but no more than that.

    Tea bags were banned in the house, even when we had the workmen in doing new windows & central heating. He would even insist on tea this way when camping, though due to the potential for breakages he'd use a stainless steel pot.

    At home I'm too lazy for this & will use tea bags, but have to be decent quality (Yorkshire preferably), bag & 1 small sugar in the mug then boiling water, then a fair amount of milk. Very gently stir until tea reaches the required hue and remove bag without squeezing hard - sugar in first makes the tea brew quicker without the tangy tannin taste you get from hard squeezing of the bag.

    When I'm out strong builders tea with extra sugar to go with a greasy spoon type meal, and never NEVER anything pretending to bve tea from a vending machine!

    1. Hungry Sean

      Re: Took you long enough Lester!

      Think I'm with your father on this-- I'm seriously surprised at the number of reg readers who think teabags are acceptable except when there isn't an alternative (e.g. at an American restaurant where tea generally shows up as a bag of liptons and some tepid to hot water). Do they also consume instant coffee, or (blech) coffee bags? And what's with making an entire pot of tea from teabags? Once you've got the pot there's no excuse.

      For me, it's got to be:

      brown betty, warmed with boiling water

      loose leaf tea (Scottish Breakfast, or Darjeeling or Ceylon for the afternoon, never never Earl Grey)

      cover leaves in boiling water and let sit in cozy for a few minutes

      this opens the leaves and distributes the flavor better

      fill to top with boiling water and let steep a few minutes more

      For best results, use a dutch tea cozy (they look like little suitcases and keep your tea deliciously hot for hours).

      Personally, I like my tea like most other things, straight up, no bullshit. But I accept milk, honey, or sugar as legitimate additions. Lemon however is plain wrong.

  94. WylieCoyoteUK

    who makes it

    Yorkshire tea served medium strong, milk no sugar, in bed on Sunday morning.

    But, and this is the important part-made by somebody else.

  95. John D Salt

    Lapsang Souchong, dammit

    Neil Barnes is correct. Lapsang Souchong is my normal brew, made in a proper Brown Betty. I am also fond of the occasional Earl Grey or Oolong, but Lapsang Souchong is the ideal coding fluid.

    Even when slumming it with Twining's English Breakfast or PG Tips, on no account should the decoction be adulterated by foul additives such as refined sucrose or mammary fluids. That stuff has been in cows, I tell you! COWS!

    All the best,


    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Lapsang Souchong, dammit

      Dried leaves [yes]

      Boiling water [yes]

      Juice squirted out of a cow [NO]

  96. Merlinski

    Warm the cup!

    All your hard work is undone by not warming the cup first!

    (Also has the advantage of removing contaminants left by last user.)

    1. Boil kettle.

    2. Warm cup with boiling water, pour away.

    3. Re-boil kettle.

    4. Pour still boiling water onto Twinings Everyday or English Breakfast tea bag in warmed cup.

    5. Poke tea bag several times to ensure leaves within nicely soaked, inverting teabag several times to encourage infusion.

    6. Leave for 3 minutes.

    7. Mash tea bag to extract as much flavour as possible.

    8. Remove teabag, add sugar to taste and no more than one teaspoon of skimmed milk.

    9. Allow to cool to approximately 60 degrees C

    10. Ignore comments from girls about colour of tea.

    11. Slurp.

    (And never never never boil the water in the cup in the microwave. Adding a teabag to such a cup just makes a mess.)

  97. Minophis

    I think this explains my feelings about tea

    Cup of Brown Joy by MC Elemental

    The worlds only rap song about tea by an englishman in shorts and a pith helmet

  98. Bottle_Cap

    just a teabag

    and hot water here. well stewed!

  99. Anonymous Coward

    The Future CUPPA for all Britts

    u go a 100 ml, that's .1 liters, (I believe .2 pint) of milk in a cup of apprx. 165 ml. Put for 124 seconds in a microwave at 650 Watt. Cook approx 100 ml. water to the boil. Take a filter holder, put paper filter and 4 teaspoons full of grinded coffee in it. Stir 3 teaspoons of sugar into the cup with hot milk (after the PING, so u gotta peek before u poke). Stir firmly with teaspoon untill foaming. Place filter holder w/ paperfilter filled with grinded coffee on top of the cup with the foamy, sweet, hot milk. Pour on the hot water. Do any/everything necessary to prevent getting things dirty. Enjoy your cuppa.

  100. Sam Adams the Dog

    As in all else, Orwell is correct.

    When my master was a grad student in chemistry in the '70s, his advisor once asked him which is better: adding tea to milk or milk to tea. He had no idea. The advisor said, "You should always add milk to tea, because then the tea will heat the milk up immediately and if the milk is just beginning to go bad, the proteins will denature and curdle. You will know it right away. If you add tea to milk, this may not happen and you could unwittingly wind up with a sour cup of tea." So the Royal Whoever They Are are in the unenviable position of being wrong for the right reason. And Orwell is of course sound on the subjects of strength and sugar. Let us drink to him -- tea, or something stronger.

  101. Esskay

    Coffee for staying awake at work, tea for relaxing at home

    Coffee is always a "work" beverage for me - one in the morning to wake up (or, if I've slept in, one at lunch instead) and when I get home I'll relax with a cuppa. Usually teabags (english breakfast, steeped for a while to get a decent bit of flavour) and a dash of milk (enough make it opaque, whilst keeping the temperature at scalding). Sugar depends on how buggered I am, usually half a teaspoon, or none. Almost always needs a biscuit though, scotch finger or milk coffee (milk coffee has to be eaten quick though, they fall apart easily - and fishing them out with a teaspoon is impossible - once it's in there, its gone) or a cream bikkie if there's one in the jar. Teabags are simply out of laziness rather than a preference - If I've got time I'd rather tea leaves, but it's usually a "with friends" type thing. Can't be fucked if I'm the only one drinking.

    I'll probably get destroyed for this, but as a kid I loved early grey with milk and 1 sugar - a taste I've grown used to (and I've been assured, it does take getting used to) It's a perversion I've tried to get over but still have one every now and then if I know no-one will be around in the house to see it.

    1. Esskay

      Re: Coffee for staying awake at work, tea for relaxing at home

      Almost forgot to mention - If the temperature drops below "too hot to drink more than one mouthful at a time" at any point, it's finished. Cold/warm tea is a form of torture.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Coffee for staying awake at work, tea for relaxing at home

      I'm not convinced there's actually a need at all for coffee. Smells wonderful, tastes revolting. Even my Brazilian wife - and I have it on good authority that there's a million tons of the stuff in Brazil - won't touch it.

  102. TRT Silver badge

    However you make it...

    it's not a technician's tea until it's been stirred with a screwdriver.

  103. Brian T

    Tea isn't proper tea....

    ...unless you drop a reasonable shot of whiskey in it. At least in a wintry Holland :)

    Kids, don't try this with your mother's wimpy tea. It has to be proper strong technical tea. With sugar and milk.

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