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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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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.

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

Subtle

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).

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Meh

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.

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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.

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Trollface

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)

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Anonymous Coward

Coffee for the commoners. Tea for the gentry.

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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).

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Ooh...

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.

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Re: Ooh...

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

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Re: Ooh...

Coffee until noon, then tea till bedtime!

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Pint

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!

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Coffee/keyboard

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)

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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

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Happy

Physics

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!

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Boffin

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)

Pour

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

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just can't take

the full fat milk. Yorkshire Gold with skimmed is heaven

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Pint

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.

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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.

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Devil

WTF?

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

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Re: WTF?

Probably a consequence of toxoplasmosis.

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options

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.

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Happy

Re: options

"cofftea"

You sick, sick man.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: options

add 2 or 3 spoonfuls of good instant coffee

There is no such thing.

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

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Happy

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Mostly_Harmless,

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.

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@I ain't Spartacus

True Cofftea is not merely coffee-flavoured tea or coffee-flavoured tea...it'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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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...

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Stop

Re: options

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

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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"

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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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Trollface

Re: No Milk No Sugar

I hope Linus approves...

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Coat

Re: No Milk No Sugar

Wouldn't it be cold, and possibly fairly manky, after a week or two?

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

Think the standards are...

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

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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.

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Re: Assam only

Assam FTW!

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

V.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Assam only

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

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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 :-)

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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.

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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.

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