Archive for the ‘Food & drinks’ Category


Asina is an orange soda produced by the small soda plants in Norway. it was launched in 1948 as an orange soda for the small plants among the members of the Soda Factory Association, meant as a competitor to Solo, also an orange soda, Norway’s most popular soda at the time – I had a bottle of Asina yesterday – Ted 😉

Image found on Roma soda plant’s Facebook page

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Grapette is a grape-flavored soft drink that was first produced and marketed in 1939 by Benjamin "Tyndle" Fooks. Grapette is now produced by Grapette International, and is marketed in the United States by Wal-Mart as part of its Sam’s Choice line of soft drinks.



Grapette was developed by Benjamin "Tyndle" Fooks when, while working as a traveling salesman selling a product known as "Fooks Flavors", he noticed the popularity of his grape flavor. From this, Fooks, dissatisfied with existing grape a12119_grapette_03sodas on the market, sought to develop a grape soda that tasted the way he believed that a grape soda should taste. Over the course of two years and tens of thousands of taste tests, by 1939, he had developed a flavor that he believed was superior to all other grape sodas available at the time.

To name the drink, Fooks turned to Hubert Owen. Owen and an assistant ran a local contest to come up with a name, but this failed to produce a suitable name. Owen then traveled to Washington, D.C. in 1939 to search the trademark files of the United States Patent Office for a suitable name. Here, it was found that a man named Rube Goldstein owned a trademark for the name "Grapette", "Orangette", and "Lemonette". Further research determined that Goldstein owned a small bottling firm that produced a drink that used one of Fooks’ grape flavors, called "Tiny", which it distributed in Virginia and North Carolina, marketed in a six-ounce bottle. Goldstein, however, had never used the a12119_grapette_04Grapette, Orangette, or Lemonette names. In March 1940, Fooks and Owen traveled to Chicago, Illinois to meet with Goldstein. There, they purchased the Grapette, Orangette, and Lemonette names for $500.

Grapette’s first-year sales were quite promising. This was due to Grapette’s flavor, as well as Grapette’s unique packaging. Most soft drinks at the time were sold in twelve-ounce bottles. Grapette was sold in a six-ounce clear glass bottle, which served to show off the beverage’s purple color. With the success in sales, marketing of Grapette was expanded to much of the United States, and the slogan "Thirsty or Not" was developed for use in advertising. In addition, other flavors were developed, such as Orangette, an orange-flavored soda that used a considerable amount of real orange juice, and Lemonette, which contained a large amount of real lemon juice.

Early marketing

In the spring of 1940, Fooks began marketing his soda in Camden, Arkansas under the name "Grapette"


When World War II began, Fooks dropped many of his other brands, such as Botl-O and Sunburst, in order to focus on Grapette. Sales of Grapette continued to soar during the war, despite restrictions and material shortages. Sugar, which was subject to wartime rationing, was obtained by adding water to granulated sugar, thus liquefying it, enabling it to be sold as syrup, which was not subject to rationing.

a12119_grapette_06In 1942, R. Paul May, an Arkansas oil tycoon, persuaded Fooks to allow him to market Grapette in Latin America, citing a lack of soft drink options in the area. May was able to build a good reputation for Grapette in Guatemala, selling not only Grapette, but also Orangette and Lemonette. These brands soon became market leaders. In 1962, the export division of Grapette was reorganized into a separate company, known as Grapette International.

In 1962, Grapette introduced a line of cola drinks to compete with Coca-Cola under the name of "Mr. Cola". The drink was popular in large part because of its sixteen-ounce bottle. Mr. Cola was also available in ten and twelve-ounce sizes. In 1963, "Lymette" was added to Grapette’s family of brands. Lymette, however, never achieved the commercial success of the other brands.

Decline and retirement

a12119_grapette_07By the 1960s, Fooks believed that he had reached his limit with Grapette, and was ready to move on. By the end of the decade, Fooks had begun talks with groups interested in purchasing Grapette. Fooks ultimately sold Grapette to the Rheingold Corporation in 1970, which marketed the Rheingold, Ruppert-Knickerbocker, and Gablinger’s lines of beers, as well as several regional brands of soft drinks in California, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Rheingold changed the name of the company from Grapette to Flavette, and relocated the company headquarters to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Grapette’s bottle was changed to one with smooth sides and colored dots. The slogan became "The Juicy Soda". Grapette’s advertising model also changed. Previously, advertising was funded by a surcharge on sugar, which was to be spent by the distributor for advertising only. This plan was dropped by Rheingold, placing advertising solely in the hands of Grapette’s distributors, resulting in an immediate drop in sales. During this period, Flavette purchased the Dr. Wells soda pop brand and Mason & Mason, Inc., the makers of Mason’s Root Beer.


In 1975, Rheingold was purchased by PepsiCo, Inc. in a hostile takeover, acquiring 80% of the company’s stock. However, the Federal Trade Commission determined that PepsiCo controlled too many soft drink companies, and thus ordered that PepsiCo divest several prominent brands. When the divestiture was complete in 1977, Grapette was in the hands of The Monarch Beverage Company, which manufactured NuGrape. As Monarch already manufactured a grape soda, it was determined that they did not need a second. Representatives from Monarch flew to Grapette’s headquarters and essentially fired the Grapette team. As such, the Grapette name was shelved, and the flavor was retired in the United States.

a12119_grapette_10Despite the brand’s retirement in the United States, May retained ownership of Grapette International, and Grapette was still produced internationally, remaining a popular drink. When May died in the early 1970s, control of Grapette International was passed on to May’s son-in-law, Brooks Rice.

In the United States, Grapette may have been gone, but it certainly had not been forgotten. Rice had made many offers to buy the American rights to Grapette back from Monarch, but regardless of the amount of money offered, Monarch refused to sell the name. Despite this setback, Rice continued to grow Grapette’s market share elsewhere in the world, with sales in the tens of millions in countries in South America and the Pacific Rim.


Rice had profited by becoming an early investor in a business called Wal-Mart, founded by Sam Walton. Over time, as Wal-Mart grew into a household name, Rice began thinking of ways to partner with Wal-Mart. In 1986, Rice was able to meet with Sam Walton, in order to discuss creating a line of private label soft drinks for Wal-Mart. He was specifically interested in making a grape soda for Wal-Mart. Walton did not waste words in telling Rice what he wanted: "I want Grapette in my stores." While Rice did not have the American rights to the Grapette name, he was able to offer Grapette’s flavor, and also promised that if he was able to reacquire the rights for the Grapette name, Wal-Mart could have it.


Ozark Farms

In 1989, nearly three years after the initial meeting, Grapette International began producing a line of soft drinks for Wal-Mart under the Ozark Farms name. The flavors available were cola, lemon-lime, grape, and orange. Each flavor used Fooks’ original formulas. Thus Grapette had returned to American shelves, albeit under a new name. However, sales were disappointing, and the Ozark Farms line of soft drinks was discontinued.

Sam’s Choice

When Sam Walton died in 1992, Wal-Mart CEO David Glass felt it would be a fitting tribute to Walton to rename Wal-Mart’s private label as "Sam’s Choice". In 1993, Rice again began manufacturing soft drinks for Wal-Mart, this time under the Sam’s Choice brand. Wal-Mart was given exclusive rights to the flavors in the United States. Grapette was relaunched at this time as well, under the name "Sam’s Choice Grape". Sam’s Choice Grape soon became one of the best-selling grape sodas in the nation, seemingly proving Rice’s claim that the flavor was what had made Grapette so a12119_grapette_09popular, and not the drink’s famous name.

Revival of Grapette name

In 2000, Rice walked into the Wal-Mart Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas, in order to personally deliver the news to David Glass: Monarch was finally selling the Grapette name. Rice told Glass, "This is a tribute to you and Sam for having the vision on this product."

By late 2004, the Grapette and Orangette names (and original logotypes) had been incorporated into the Sam’s Choice line of soft drinks, and had completely replaced the Sam’s Choice Grape and Sam’s Choice Orange brands in Wal-Mart stores.

Text from Wikipedia

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Triple XXX History


a12051_xxx_091895 saw the start of The Galveston Brewing Company at 34th and Post Office Street in Galveston, Texas. It was started by Anheuser-Busch along with some local investors.

The brewery had an estimated 10,000 barrels of its beer beverage. It was only sold locally under the name "Hi Grade." Its keg beer was packaged in steel banded barrels of oak which were marked with "XXX".


When a storm hit Galveston Island, business was temporarily halted. The accompanying sea surge swept over the island, and 6,000 lives were lost.

In the wake of the disaster, The Galveston Brewing Company was one of the surviving commercial establishments. Galveston would rebuild and resume brewing Hi Grade beer for the locals. When 1903 hit, the City of Galveston a12051_xxx_08constructed an elevated seawall along its beach front. The wall was built to protect the island from flooding in future hurricanes. The Galveston Brewing Company added another brand during the wall’s construction. It was called "Seawall Bond." It was created to commemorate the "invincible" new Galveston Seawall. Shortly thereafter the brewery started an ice plant which had a daily output of 100 tons of "pure crystal ice." By 1913 they constructed a bottling plant which adjoined the brewery with a capacity of 30,000 bottles a day.

Between 1900 and 1908, soft drink syrups started to be sold by The Galveston Brewing Company under the name "XXX." At the time, the company’s resident chemist developed a wide array of flavours, such as: root beer, ginger ale, strawberry, lemon-sour, lemon, orange, chocolate, cream soda, sarsaparilla, cream, grape, and apple-juice. The brand’s United States Patent Office registration statement noted that the trademark had been continuously used since at least as early as April, 1908.


In 1916, the State of Texas acted to prohibit alcohol in advance of the looming enactment of the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This forced the closure of many breweries in the state including The Galveston Brewing Company. The owners of Galveston Brewing Company decided to re-organize the company thus changing the name from Galveston Brewing Company to Southern Beverage Company. It would then change over its equipment to producing "XXX" soft drinks. The soft drinks were primarily ginger ale and root beer.

a12051_xxx_11In 1918, the owners of Southern Beverage Company acquired an additional trademark for its "XXX" brand of soft drinks. Reflecting on the exuberance of the day, it seems that if "XXX" was good, then "Triple XXX" had to be, as the brand’s new slogan proclaimed, "The Aristocrat of Them All"! The company would then expand its horizons. They set their sights on targeting new territories. Thus, ten "outside" salesmen were hired. Throughout the next decade Southern Beverage Company experienced huge growth of the brand’s sales volume and areas of distribution.


In 1923, licensed distributors of Southern Beverage Company included over 150 Triple XXX bottlers and approximately 100 Triple XXX "Thirst Stations." The locations included Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

The largest distributor of the brand outside of Texas was called A. H. Rutherford & Sons of Renton, Washington. The Rutherfords designed a unique "twin barrel" for the Triple XXX root beer restaurants. The restaurants became popular along the west coast from southern California to Washington. Triple XXX restaurants were also operated in the Vancouver, British Columbia area.

a12051_xxx_07By 1927, Southern Beverage Company decided to restructure and re-organize. Triple XXX Company was formed as the parent company and Triple XXX Bottling Company was kept as the company’s local bottling plant. The parent company now known as Triple XXX Company kept expanding the brand well outside of the Galveston territory. By 1928, they added cola flavour to their line of soft drinks. Triple XXX cola was dispensed through barrels and put up in bottles as was Triple XXX Root Beer. Although cola was gaining popularity, root beer was still considered the favourite at that time.

The "Roaring Twenties" marked some of company’s best years. By 1928, it was reported that Triple XXX Company employed 40 salesmen who covered distribution of Triple XXX soft drinks in 35 states. Even Mississippi steamers were licensed to sell Triple XXX root beer.


A Seattle Triple XXX franchise in 1940

As the 1930s came along, many companies were hit hard and Triple XXX Company was one of them. Thus, it was re-organized under the original name of Galveston Beverage Company in 1932. The United States alcoholic beverage "prohibition amendment" was repealed the following year. Galveston Beverage Company would then merge with Magnolia Brewery in Houston. Shortly thereafter a new name was chosen for the company. The name chosen was Galveston-Houston Breweries, Incorporated. Thus the combined companies resumed brewing beer at both the Galveston and Houston breweries. "Southern Select" was a new brand of beer was brewed and sold at its Galveston brewery while "Magnolia" beer was brewed and sold at its Houston brewery. The brewery still however brewed Triple XXX root beer and other types of soft drink syrups and flavours for its licensed soft drink bottlers, soda fountains, and Triple XXX "Thirst Stations".

The years that followed in the "Dirty Thirties" were especially tough not only for the economy, but also on sugar rations due to the World War II years of 1941–1945. This most certainly contributed to the resulting thinned ranks of Triple XXX "Thirst Stations" and Triple XXX soft drink bottlers and distributors. As the breweries were continuing to age, an ownership change would soon take place.



By 1953, the owner of Galveston-Houston Breweries, Incorporated was ready to settle down and retire. He willfully agreed to sell the company to the accountant and his long-time friend. The new owner had plans for the Triple XXX brand and the brewery itself. The friend then incorporated another company. The company was called Stenzel Corporation with hopes of purchasing. The name company name was called Galveston-Houston Breweries, Inc..

A few years later Galveston-Houston Breweries, Inc. would sell off Galveston and Houston properties, equipment, and brand names to a larger company. The company who bought it was The Falstaff Brewing Corporation. The Falstaff Brewing Corporation would keep the Triple XXX brand while Southern Select and Magnolia production would be halted and discontinued all together.

a12051_xxx_06The soft drink portion of Triple XXX was all that was remaining of the Galveston-Houston Breweries, Inc. after the sale. Thus, the company’s name was changed yet again and this time it was changed Triple XXX Corporation and it became independent of its breweries roots as it did in the "Roaring Twenties."

Late 1950s

With the unexpected death of the new owner, the company was struggling to hang on. It didn’t help matters that in the late 1950s consumers were becoming enamored with fast food outlets. More and more Triple XXX "Thirst Stations" were disappearing. As well, licensed bottlers were also being lost through attrition.

The widow of the deceased owner created a new management team. The agreement and manager saw the move of the headquarters to the Wright Dr. Pepper Bottling Company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. However, the corporation’s registered office remained in Houston. The new managers set about a vigorous program of calling on independent soft drink bottlers to obtain new franchisees for Triple XXX root beer.


When the 1960s came about, nobody saw the follow development occur. In 1960, United States Food and Drug Administration released a ruling that sassafras (oil of safrole) as a food and beverage ingredient was suspect as a carcinogen. Many items were no longer allowed to use it and that included root beer. Beverage companies were given a bit of time or a "grace period" to re-formulate their root beer products.


When the 1960s came about, nobody saw the follow development occur. In 1960, United States Food and Drug Administration released a ruling that sassafras (oil of safrole) as a food and beverage ingredient was suspect as a carcinogen. Many items were no longer allowed to use it and that included root beer. Beverage companies were given a bit of time or a "grace period" to re-formulate their root beer products.

Triple XXX sought the help of an independent flavour laboratory in New Orleans. With the help of the laboratory, Triple XXX was able to retain its distinct flavour. But then came the problem of the foamy head characteristics of the root beer. To many it was irreplaceable. Sometime later, the chemist would search and find alternative ingredients that were close enough to produce the appearance of "draft style" root beer. And most important for fans of Triple XXX root beer, its distinctive creamy root beer taste was preserved.

In 1962, the management group of Triple XXX Corporation was reporting progress. The claim was that 27 soft drink bottlers and fountain syrup distributors were a part of the franchise. But the number of bottlers were down, though reasons were not known. By the late 1960s, concerned Dr.Pepper bottlers who were also longtime franchisees for Triple XXX root beer proposed to the owner of Triple XXX Corporation that new ownership and management was needed in order to preserve the brand.

In 1968, when today’s Gilman Boulevard was still Highway 10, the primary route from Seattle to eastern Washington over Snoqualmie Pass. In that year, Jay Noel built the present Triple XXX on that route for its first owners, Dick Gilbert and John Wirtz.


In 1969, the company’s headquarters were relocated to Orange, Texas after controlling shares of the Triple XXX Corporation were bought by the Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Orange, Texas. After the purchase of the company, the new owner wanted preserve the production and distribution of Triple XXX root beer and flavours for its bottlers and fountain supply distributors.

At the time Triple XXX was still highly regarded as old time root beer. Also during that time, the development in the market was limited in many ways. It was limited to serving its existing bottlers and distributors. The Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Orange, Texas sold their Dr Pepper business to Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Beaumont. But with the sale of Dr Pepper, Triple XXX was not included. Now with the owner wanting to retire, he decided to pass the legacy onto a new owner. By this time the Triple XXX franchise roster had shrunk to 5 bottlers and 2 fountain drink distributors.


In 1978 another company bought the Triple XXX Corporation. The Lydick Corporation, Houston, Texas bought all related "Triple XXX" assets. This purchase included namely the registered trademarks, formulas, and franchises from the Triple XXX Corporation in Orange. After the sale of the Triple XXX Corporation (Galveston, Houston, and Orange), the company surrendered its corporate charter and name. The Lydick Corporation changed its name to Triple XXX Corporation, Houston, Texas.

a12051_xxx_10With the new owners of the Triple XXX Corporation in place, it started an aggressive marketing campaign, franchising exclusive territorial distribution rights to the brand to a number of south western Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper/Seven-Up bottlers. Also updated was the packaging and advertising material. The new logo featured the Triple XXX root beer logo in red and yellow over a rich chocolate brown background, with red and yellow bands to highlight the top and bottom of the label. Using the sugary brand’s appeal of the past, the phrase "Tastes like root beer used to taste" was added to all packaging and promotional materials. The new logo design and slogan were unveiled at the 1979 National Soft Drink Association Exposition in Dallas.

Also during this time new promotional materials targeted at the consumer were developed. The three colour theme was carried out for merchandising items such as posters, banners, shelf talkers, bottle neck ringers, and table display cards. The company also produced television and radio spots that aired in select markets. Promotional activities varied from market to market, and included dispensing free samples in chain stores, special feature pricing for holidays and weekend promotion periods, as well as distributing price-off coupons in local stores and newspapers. The distributors of the brand started selling root beer from special events tents and trailers at local events in their markets.

After this hard marketing campaign, the results were promising. Present bottlers were retained and a new group of Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper bottlers were franchised. The number of franchises grew to 25 bottlers and syrup a12051_xxx_05distributors. Geographically, the brand’s packaged drink and fountain drink availability expanded into seven Central and Southwestern states.


In 1980, the soft drink industry changed dramatically. Faced with generation turnovers and potentially large investments to upgrade production equipment, longtime family-owned bottlers began merging or closing. Soft drink flavours were revised after these businesses combined. This development resulted in about 20 root beer brands competing for distribution through a declining number of soft drink bottling companies.

The consolidation trend accelerated through the 1980s and into the 1990s. The Triple XXX company recognized during the mid-1980s that there were not enough independent bottlers available to package the brand’s root beer and ship it off directly to stores. By 1985, canning and bottling was halted, although fountain drink distribution continued through soda fountains and restaurants.


Throughout the past decade, the number of independently owned soft drink bottlers declined through mergers and acquisitions. The decline was so bad that nearly all distribution territories in the United States were served by only three major brand soft drink bottlers, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Dr Pepper/7-Up. Also, each cola company’s parent franchise company developed or distributed their own root beer and the franchisees were only allowed to distribute that brand in their territories. That left the remaining independent root beer brands searching for viable alternate routes to market, quite a challenge.


"Triple XXX" is featured in the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute in Waco, Texas as a historic Texas soft drink brand. The brand’s limited availability continues to generate frequent consumer inquiries and requests. Triple XXX root beer in 12 ounce glass bottles is sold online through its website, which has a link to its distributors. Only two Triple XXX root beer restaurants still exist, in West Lafayette, Indiana and Issaquah, Washington. The formula for the root beer and the trademark are currently owned by the Triple XXX Root Beer Corp., West Lafayette, IN.

In context

 West Lafayette, Indiana restaurant, one of two remaining

The West Lafayette, Indiana Triple XXX store was opened in 1929 by Bert Wright and continues to operate as one of the only two Triple XXX restaurants in existence today. It also holds the distinction of being the first and oldest drive-in restaurant in Indiana. In its long history, the restaurant has had many owners, including Tom Comingore, Norm Karner, and even an investor group including Russell Tarter. Jack Ehresman, a longtime diner, was working as a dishwasher when he started asking the then-owner if he could purchase it, and eventually became the owner, along with his wife, Ruth Ehresman. Currently, it is owned by Greg and Carrie Ehresman, who took ownership of the establishment from Greg’s parents, Jack and Ruth.

There have been structural changes over the years as well. A second story was added in 1986–1987 along with a new roof, and seating has been increased to meet demand. However, The Ehresmans are quick to point out that the atmosphere remains the same, citing an iconic 35 year old Coca-Cola sign proudly displayed in the diner.

The restaurant was featured on the Food Network program Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives during an episode which aired on August 4, 2007. More recently, the restaurant was featured in a May 2009 Businessweek article showcasing America’s longest-running restaurants.

Text from Wikipedia

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Why don’t more of us use loose-leaf tea when it makes a better cuppa and is better for the environment?


Economist, environmental campaigner and wife-of-the-governor-of-the-Bank-of-England Diana Fox Carney has taken some stick for getting exercised over the environmental cost of teabags. It may sound trivial to some, but she makes a good point on the waste involved – we use about 55bn teabags in the UK each year – that’s about 370,000 tonnes of waste that mostly end up in landfill.

Even Unilever, maker of a little brand called PG Tips, deems sustainability an important enough issue to tackle, asking people whether they will compost or recycle used bags


But the question should be, why do we need any kind of bag when loose leaves make better tea? In 1968, only 3% of households in Britain used teabags – a foreign, American invention that went against our love of leaves. Loose leaf tea, on the other hand, has been made for around 3,000 years, and just requires one brilliant bit of kit – a teapot.

I have never understood why so many of us think it’s a real hassle to make proper tea, but happily use a cafeterie for coffee. You get better flavour when you allow the leaves room to unfurl as they infuse. No chemicals, no waste and it’s really not complicated.

And the waste isn’t just limited to the bags. If you’re using good tea leaves, you’ll find they can be infused several times. Each time you brew the tea, different subtleties of the delicate flavours will be released. In China it is widely believed that the second or third brew of fine tea is the best.

The trick is not to leave the tea leaves to stew once they have been brewed to the desired strength. Straining the tea completely will prevent the leaves from becoming bitter and allow a second and third brew.


Making a perfect cup of tea

Measure out a cup of water and a teaspoon of tea for each person, with one for the pot if you like it strong.

Pour the water from the freshly boiled kettle into the teacup first and then into the teapot – this way the proportions will be perfect – once the tea is brewed all the liquid is poured out so the leaves won’t stew and will be in perfect condition for a second or third infusion. It will also cool the water to the right temperature – for proper tea, an ideal temperature is around 85 C.

Remember, leaf teas need a little longer to infuse than teabags. Teabags give up their paltry flavour in an instant. A tealeaf has so much more to offer and takes its time.


White and green teas don’t really work with milk but with black tea, anything goes. It’s entirely a matter of taste. The great thing about proper leaf tea is that it’s delicious on its own or with milk.

Milk in first or second? It’s up to you. I put it in second so I can tell how strong the tea will be by the colour. No doubt there will be some who disagree – do share your tea rituals.

An article from The guardian

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header_image_softdrinksa12034_donald duck soda

Donald Duck soft drinks were the first sodas to be produced by General Beverages, Inc. of Chattanooga, Tennessee. They were licensed by the Double a12034_donald duck soda2Cola Company to produce the Donald Duck line. These fruit flavoured sodas were introduced in the 1940s and included flavours such as Lemon Lime, Grape, Orange, Strawberry, Black Cherry, Root Beer, Cola and Ginger Ale. Donald Duck Soda was released in both bottles and cone-top cans, and later, punch-tab cans. The brand was discontinued in the late 1950s

Text from RetroPlanet

Help Needed
I need your help visitors, both in suggesting sodas and soft drinks from around the world and in giving your opinion on the ones presented if you know the product. And you can start with giving your opinion on the ones posted already or reading what other visitors have written  – Ted

List of Soft drinks and sodas posted already
Visitors soft drinks and sodas suggestions and comments

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In 1946 George Orwell famously wrote an assay about how to make the perfect cup of tea. His essay contained very important rules about making tea, such as…

“One should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one’s tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.”

The problem is that nearly 50 years later many people are still, still, getting tea wrong. Very wrong. Every time. Especially Americans. So to settle this once and for all, here is a guide of what you shouldn’t do when making tea.

Write these rules down. Immediately.

Rule No 1 – Do not leave the kettle alone when boiling tea.


Leave the kitchen whilst boiling the kettle so you can do something else? No. You are making a British cup of tea. You are an ambassador for the tea. You are expected to wait next to the kettle at all times.

Why? You have to wait for the “ticking noise”, six seconds after the kettle has done that bubbling noise (the ticking is always much later than you ever intended). When it has gone off, wait a tiny bit so it is over-boiled. Then it is ready. You must be ready.

If you aren’t ready, you have failed.

Rule No 2 -  Do not brew the tea for fewer than 3 minutes.


Some say 3 minutes. Some say 180 seconds. Please aim for somewhere around the middle. It is critical that you brew between these times and not a second less. Oh and warm the pot immediately.

And when you are brewing it, leave that teabag alone. Put it in and leave it. Do not squeeze it. Do not dip it. Do not stir it. Do not wring it. Abandon it. If you squeeze, dip, stir or wring it during the brewing period you have offended a British person.

Rule No 3 – Do not leave the teabag in the mug.


People tend to have floating tea bags whilst drinking their tea for two reasons. The first reason? We have no time. We now live in a cash-strapped iPhone minimalist design society. The second reason? It is fun. Pressing the top of the teabag back into the mug after it has floated to the top, just so it can gobbbbbblooooobbbbbbblleee topsy turvy.

But there are logistical problems. How do you deal with that squelchy bag at the bottom of every mug after every cup? And how do you tip the tea down into your mouth without the tea bag falling into your face resulting in first-degree burns? Think about it.

Rule No 4 – Do not ever use any of these (unless life or death).


If you ever give any of these to a British person by choice you deserve never to speak to one again.

Sure, the taste of real milk compared to this milk isn’t that different and yes, we all had to use these milk sachets when we were students because we were poor. We’ve all had that low period in our lives where we’ve gone to the local Wetherspoons pub and nicked 40 Millac Maids at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Seriously. It’s fine.

But offering a British person now? In the sanctuary of their office or in the privacy of their own home? How dare you. How dare you! Hang your head in shame.

Rule No 5 – NEVER put the sugar teaspoon into the tea.


Why? Because you will contaminate the sugar. Contaminate the sugar!

You must tip the spoonful of sugar you are intending to to use into the mug from the spoon. You then must return your spoon into the packet of sugar and repeat until you have the allocation of sugar you need in the mug. Once you have done this, it is then completely suitable to then stir the tea until all of the sugar has dissolved. And you must stir. Keep stirring!

If you haven’t done this, then you have failed.

Rule No 6 – Never use a different type of milk than anticipated.


Using semi-skimmed milk even though you have been told to use skimmed milk?What are you? A criminal? Using skimmed milk instead of semi-skimmed milk? I can’t believe you are suggesting that. It’s just utterly insulting.

Using 1% milk because that was the only thing that was left in the shop? STOP. It is just hurting so much right now.

Also, never decide to use Earl Grey teabags instead of English breakfast if there aren’t any English breakfast left. This is an insult. Instead, you must leave the house and head to the nearest shop that sells the correct teabags posthaste — even if it is 3 o’clock in the morning and the store is in another country. British people don’t expect anything else.

Rule No 7 – Never ever EVER pour the milk in first. EVER.


Why should you never put the milk in first? Because the tea will never get to a tea colour. It will just stay a milk colour. The milk colour! You’ve just poured your colleagues or your other loving half a pint. A pint of milk! Well done, you.

Oh so you will go back and rectify this in the kitchen will you? OK. How do we sort this out? Make the tea all over again? Nah. That will take a lot of time. Like all of three minutes. “I know,” you decide in your inspired wisdom “I’ll go and pour more hot water into the mug.” Nope wait…. hang on a minute, it’s just looking more and more like milk. OH GOD watery milk.

Rule No 8 – NEVER EVER use a microwave to reheat your tea.


Seriously? You might as well cook a whole roast dinner in there from scratch.

You disgust me.

Rule No 9 – And clean the shit up afterwards.



Only if you follow these rules then you can enjoy tea.


Text and images from buzzfeed.com

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