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Posts Tagged ‘Tea’

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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YOU HAVE DRUNK TEA. YOU HAVE ENJOYED TEA.
YOU WILL NOW CLEAN UP.

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

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Text and images from buzzfeed.com

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The History Of Tea

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I needed a large cup of Twining’s loose weight Assam, with a dash of honey and some tea history  to shake off all of that French that infested my screen – Ted

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Aunt Mable on a pub-crawl with her travelling companions on a trip to England. She was obviously proud of her new bloomers and saw no reason not to show them to all and sundry. Her friend Mrs Poddington seams to think it a smashing idea and is about to show her own undergarments. To their defence it might be said that it looks like the whole travelling party is pretty under the weather. Just the travelling party for aunt Mabel in other words – Ted

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Image found at The Abbeville Blog

Aunt Mabel when she realised they didn’t serve tea in England heavily laced with vodka like she did at home – Ted

Image found at Film As Sport

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Must See Tea Ad

What a charming lady – Ted – Video uploaded on YouTube by “antonfosh

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A Tea Diary

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This is an idea I like, a tea diary. Well executed and easy on the eyes – Ted
Image found at “Jeanfi Vintage Cooking Co

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Tea’s Served

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I’m not interested in hiring a maid before I find one that serves tea like this – Ted

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