Exhibits A through Z of why I love the Reg
We're one step closer today to defining just what constitutes the ultimate cuppa as our reader poll results show a definite leaning towards broadly classic tea-brewing methodology. Mug with our Vulture logo For those of you who missed the last installment of our probe into the perfect cha experience - presumably because you …
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I was invited to officiate my brother's wedding in Kent, England. As an American, I wasn't quite sure what the wedding customs were, but the English mother of the bride (MOTB) definitely had things under control. My comments on the scriptures, aimed to help us all understand about God's hope for the new couple was to be limited, she said, to the time it takes to brew tea. Being a coffee drinker, I hadn't the slightest idea; but she told me, about five minutes.
Upon finishing my delivery at the church blessing, I looked to the MOTB, and asked, 'is it tea?' She nodded, 'just right.'
Is that the yellow one?
Have just got some as my stock of Jackson's has run out (sniff) and since moving haven't been arsed to find a shop that sells it. Gotta say it's not bad.
I'm dubious on brewing time, I find a good stir and short brew is usually right, mainly because I'm impatient, it's inconsistent though, sometimes turns out really milky and gets the bag left in but I seem to have a personal temporal distortion field so who knows how long it's really been brewing.
I find this is heavily dependent on the type of tea bag. Basically the posher the tea bag the more time it takes.
Tetley can be made in under a minute with a bit of judicious stirring and squeezing (what was consensus on squeezing the bag?!?), whereas Whole Earth Organic Earl Grey takes a good 5 minutes for a proper flavour to develop.
Complex business, eh.
It tastes of aluminium. I had no idea there was a bandwagon or that I was somehow 'cool'. Also, I didn't specify pigs or any other type of animal. I simply used an expression that to most people would indicate that I thought it unfit for human consumption if not actually harmful.
>>Let's be honest: If you're drinking less than half a dozen, then you don't really have any grounds for lecturing us pros on how we should be doing it.
On that logic I can't know anything about whisky unless I drink at least a half dozen drams a day? Or about sex unless I do it six times a day?
as Eadon would say, LOGIC FAIL
"On that logic I can't know anything about whisky unless I drink at least a half dozen drams a day? Or about sex unless I do it six times a day?"
It's more like not being able to drive competently if you've only ever driven 20 miles a week. Or telling Tony Hawk how to skate because you go skating at the weekend sometimes.
I am simply enormously reticent to take 'tea lessons' from those who merely dabble, or over-ceremonalise a fairly simple process.
"as Eadon would say, LOGIC FAIL"
I don't think quoting Eadon strengthens any argument!
I *LIKE* Tetley. My friend posts over bags of the stuff.
Of the big three - Typhoo tastes "red" to me. Like fruity, almost. I'd I wanted that, I'd buy one of those poncey blends with rosehips (and no actual tea). PG isn't bad, but I feel the taste is harsher than Tetley.
Otherwise - mug, bag, milk, sugar.
Oh, and the question of milk in first is only an issue if the tea was brewed elsewhere, like in a teapot. If you are brewing in the mug, milk first is retarded - the water is boiling for a reason...
I think brewing time is more a function of specific surface area, so the more finely-chopped tea ('dust' or 'sweepings') will need far less time than pukka brands. Same is true of ground (not instant) coffee. The finer it is the less time you leave it in contact with the water. (E.g. espresso is much finer than cafetière or percolator grounds.)
"whereas Whole Earth Organic Earl Grey takes a good 5 minutes for a proper flavour to develop."
That sounds like you want a fragrant tea and something with a bit of body as well. Usually the scented ones don't take too well being left that long.
Investigate real specialty teas or mix your own instead?
It's a theoretical Nirvana that is divorced from the pressures of the modern office, I fear.
At 10-15 Mugs of tea per day*, I think my boss might start objecting to that amount of time spent standing around next to the kettle.
My tea is lucky to get a single minute, during which it is frantically swirled around and squeezed against the side of the mug.
*Let's be honest: If you're drinking less than half a dozen, then you don't really have any grounds for lecturing us pros on how we should be doing it...
When Morrisons took over Safeway, the head man of Morrisons (a Yorkshireman) demanded that all stores should stock Yorkshire Tea. Over 2 years later some of the Scottish stores still had the original pallet of Yorkshire Tea they had delivered after the edict, where as they were going through a pallet of other brands per week.
As I understand it the water in Yorkshire is very hard and Yorkshire Tea works well with hard water, where as the Scottish water is generally very soft and Yorkshire Tea made with soft water tastes terrible.
"As I understand it the water in Yorkshire is very hard and Yorkshire Tea works well with hard water, where as the Scottish water is generally very soft and Yorkshire Tea made with soft water tastes terrible."
That would perhaps be disproved by the fact that they make a different tea for hard water.
True. I have to filter the water here because it has so much bloody chalk in it (Rhine filtration method) that you just get a cup of scum if you don't. PG is my preferred - nice notes of Assam but not as strong as others and I much prefer using a pot for optimal taste. Don't have a fancy pot just steel with a wooden handle that's done about 50 years service. Metal pots don't really need warming but need tea cosies. Avoid "tea lights" at all costs which are the devil's work designed to sour the blessed beverage.
For Lester's test - a good strong cuppa goes great with a bacon sandwich on a cold. You might also want to see what goes well with your favourite biscuit - Rich Tea for me, I won't let Digestives in the house - or cucumber sandwiches if you're expecting company.
"Tea should always be brewed in a pot not a mug. You might as well serve in a styrofoam cup while at it if brewing in the mug. This is a (primarily) British website so I am very dissapointed in you all, bunch of heathens the lot of you."
That's a nice ideological theory for amateurs and part-timers to spout on about, much like armchair generals might pick apart the campaigns of hardened veterans, with an mind obsessed with theoretical strategy, rather than the realities and practicalities of combat/tea-drinking.
Some of us drink dozens of mugs of the stuff each day in order to survive the workplace without killing anyone. We have neither the time nor tea-pots to pander to such luxuries.
We need our fuel, like M1 Abrams need JP-8.
Absolutely right. Teapots are hardly expensive items - you can probably get a dented aluminium one in the Oxfam shop for 50p (wash before using). And you can recoup that 50p by making n cups at a time using only n-1 bags (assuming you have friends or colleagues). The teabag of choice is Fortnum and Mason's Orange Pekoe so you'll want to economise on them.
In this antipodian part of the world, the only ones seem to be Dilmah brand, made of plastic, and are fine until you move them, when the string pulls a hole in the bag, or the vertices rip, filling the cup with leaves (or what passes for tea leaves in a bag).
It wouldn't be so bad, if only they didn't cost upwards of $2 for the cup.
There are loads of pics of bacon sarnies all over the place today - something about them being bad for you (I thought this came out years back) BUT these pics of bacon sarnies make me salivate while a background taste of tea brews in my mind as well.
Wrong container (though it's been known) but I'll raise a mug to you.
1 inch of ginger, chopped fine
1/3rd cinnamon stick
2 cardamon pods
6 black pepper corns
Crush them all up in a pestle & mortar
Add mixture to 1/2 mug water, 1 mug of semi skimmed milk, 2 sugars and 1/2 teaspoon of loose indian tea
Heat until the milky tea starts to boil over, then lower the heat to a simmer. Repeat 4 times
Drink, and wait for an English batting collapse
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India and China mostly - well a grown up cup of tea will include a few seeds of cardamom or a few grains of cinnamon to enhance flavour. Cinnamon in particular adds to the chill-out factor. Add either of these while brewing the tea and then filter them out when pouring.
Tea needs to be a golden honey colour - none of this bag mashing malarkey. Then you may add whatever other things you need.
If you must put milk in it then only full fat milk will do. I simply don't want to hear about green or red top milk. If it doesn't have a silver top then it's not milk. (or blue top for you supermarket buyers)
And by Jove, only silver spoon granulated sugar if you require sweetness.
Semi-skimmed milk first, any form of "builder's tea" (Tetley/PG), about 10 seconds of brewing, though the water must be actually boiling hot from a proper kettle, not from one of those hot water machines that only produces tepid warm water.
If it's American tea (even if branded Tetley/PG), then double the number of tea bags and up brewing time to several minutes.
I think you gentlemen refer to "American Extruded Cheese Product[TM]" and "American Extruded Chocolate Product[TM]".
Neither bear any resemblance to cheese - which should never ever be anywhere near plastic wrapping - nor chocolate, which should be dark as the gates of hell and bitter as the recriminations that led you there...
"Brewing time: 3-4 minutes".
Way too long. If you're using a regular tea bag (such as PT, Tetley or my fav Twinings Everyday) and BOILING water (a must), it only needs about 30 secs, maybe less. 3 or 4 mins we stew it.
To me the most critical component in this is the water temperature. It should be at boiling or very near boiling. Warm water just won't brew the tea properly and will make it smell.
Now I drink organic earl grey teabags, with 3 sucralose tabs and no milk. It has to be boiling properly, in one of my favourite mugs, and needs stirring and squeezing for a few minutes.
But I now only have about 1/3 of my kidneys left.
Previously I used to drink 'proper' filter coffee, with 2 spoons of demerara and full fat milk.
At my grandmothers house we always used to wake up to weak black tea with a slice of lemon...
Well I'm glad to see the YT supporters weighing in, it is the superior blend.
And yes it is marvellous brewed with soft water (ours is beautifully filtered through millstone grit).
No-one seems to have mentioned that it is imperative that the water be boiling when added, not slightly off the boil, but still trying to leap from the kettle spout. once applied a quick whizz of the teaspoon and allow it's penultimate gyrations to becalm. then 2 minutes of sitting, another flick of the spoon, SQUEEZE (yes I said it) then flick the teabag into the bin from the furthest distance possible (creates a beautiful beige pattern behind the binlid), and add your choice of poisons (M+2S is my preference), if however you are feeling particularly decadent, then you may add an ASDA extra-special range Darjeeling to the mix for the real prince of teas.
As being well known for being particular about tea I'd just like to mention a couple of parameters that have been forgotten:
1. Colour of inside of the mug - my experiments have shown that IMO white/light colour mugs produce much better tasting tea than dark coloured interiors (sweeter, less bitter)
2. Degree of agitation applied to the bag whilst brewing - the more agitation the more bitter the tea tastes to me.
Also, size of mug should be considered - if enormous, brewing time must be increased or risk "witch p*ss"
Bloody hell, these sort of topics do bring the wannbee hooray henrys out of the woodwork.
The only proper drink is water. Pure, fresh, clean water. Taken from a specific mountain stream in the Himalayas, just north of Tibet. A close second is thawed ice from the Antarctic. Preferably drilled from a depth of 2001 feet.
Now, can you all just shut up about your bloody contaminated brown water?
A good cup of tea is hot, aromatic, and free from the bitterness of tannins from over-steeped leaves. You can get this nectar even from quite cheap tea if you use the right technique, to wit, put the tea in a small conical sieve over the mouth of the tea pot and pour the boiling water through that. Tea is ready immediately; no need to steep. End of discussion.
Look, I'm from the USA, where us IT types use it for fuel. Coffee in, code out (and other stuff that comes close to NSFW).
And you wonder why we have so many Starbucks around here?
I'm sure that everyone would agree that the proper drink at 5pm or so is a nice glass of beer regardless of their taste in morning drinks!
is it getting chilly in here???
3 to 4 minutes ? Wimps ! Tea must have BODY !
I have previously mentioned the delights of NATO standard tea - after sitting in a haybox ( roughly, a thermal container, originally hay lined ) for up to three hours, but I am reminded of a shop I worked for when I was about 20 where the container for brewing tea was one of those ginormous old fashioned kettles and tea-breaks took place in two shifts.
Fill with water, bring to boil, add 3 - 4 tablespoons of tea ( leaf, not bag ), and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve to first shift. Refill with water ( do NOT empty out ), bring back to boil. Add another 2 tablespoons of tea, let simmer until second shift comes in for their cuppa.
Now that tea had body !