back to article Reg readers brew up the ultimate cuppa

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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Brilliant

Exhibits A through Z of why I love the Reg

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Re: Brilliant

Only PG will do it for me.

Put the bag in the cup and pour boiling water directly on the bag so it inflates and floats as the cup fills. Doing it this way I only need to brew in the cup for about 20 seconds before it's perfect ... and I like my tea very strong.

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Happy

Re: Brilliant

As an ex-PG drinker, I will recommend Twinnings Strong Breakfast and Yorkshire Gold. Both worth a try. Yorkshire Gold has got that lovely reddish clay-like colour, too.

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Re: Brilliant

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.'

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Suggest you try Clipper English Breakfast blend - nice brew.

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Also, since you're in London, head to Carnaby Street and to Camellia's Tea House. Some lovely teas there for the real tea connoisseur (Irish Mountain blend is particularly smooth and rich) and they're all loose. None of this bag nonsense you see these days...

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Or

The Teabox in Richmond. Mine's a Russian Caravan

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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.

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Twinning's Assam

Rich, strong, good quality tea.

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Boffin

Brewing Time

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.

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Re: Brewing Time

Tetley is fit only for animal feed.

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JDX
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Re: Brewing Time

Why would you feed tea to pigs, it has little nutritional value.

I guess Tetley is the Coldplay of tea... actually nothing wrong with it but it's cool to jump on the bandwagon and express loathing towards it.

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Re: Brewing Time

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.)

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Re: Brewing Time

"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?

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Happy

Re: Brewing Time

3-4 Minutes!!

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...

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Trollface

Re: Brewing Time

This is a bit like 'wine testing'.

A load of bollocks to 99.9% of the populace

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Joke

Re: Brewing Time

@Psyx "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."

At 10-15 mugs of tea per day I imagine he already objects to the amount of time you spend in the bog!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Brewing Time

Tetley is heaven compared to the Sir Henry Breakfast Tea garbage our canteen has just changed too. Totally disgusting.

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Re: cool to jump on the bandwagon

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.

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@JDX

"Why would you feed tea to pigs, it has little nutritional value."

So you can get tea-flavoured bacon. Duh.

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JDX
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Re: @JDX

>>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

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Brewing Time

"it's cool to jump on the bandwagon" (Typical iClone response)

You lose!

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Re: @JDX (whisky & sex)

Are you some kind of lightweight?

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Happy

Re: @JDX

"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!

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Re: Brewing Time

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...

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It all depends on the water!

Different brews for different water types - Yorkshire Tea in Yorkshire, Glengettie or Welsh Brew in Wales etc.

But make sure you include co-op 99

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Re: It all depends on the water!

Yorkshire tea is also good in the Midlands. As a Lancastrian it pains me to admit this but I cannot tell a lie. Our water comes from Wales though, so I'm tempted to give the Welsh Brew a go.

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JDX
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Re: It all depends on the water!

I believe that the big companies tweak their product depending where in the country it is being sold?

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Headmaster

Re: It all depends on the water!

Yorkshire Tea (*not* the decaffeinated one) and Paned Gymreig do nicely in South Wales, too.

But make sure you also include Builders' Tea, please!

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Boffin

Re: It all depends on the water!

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.

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Re: It all depends on the water!

Yorkshire Tea is always a good on in our household. They also make a version for hard water areas.

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Boffin

Re: It all depends on the water!

"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.

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Re: It all depends on the water!

"I drink old women's piss nowadays"...

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Re: It all depends on the water!

@The Serpent - "I drink old women's piss nowadays"...

Is that with or without Milk and Sugar?

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Re: It all depends on the 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.

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Re: It all depends on the water!

Yes

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Devil

It's now a moo[t] point ...

"Exact personal preference must therefore be set aside in pursuit of a compromise brewing solution based on the majority vote..."

... but I still say no to cow juice.

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Re: It's now a moo[t] point ...

I expect to be roundly flamed for this, but I don't mind soya milk in tea. (the bovine extract doesn't agree with me)

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proper tea

Weirdly I just watched Doc Brown's Proper Tea rap before reading this story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtK_vfp8po8

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Re: proper tea

Is it anything like Professor Elemental's?

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Re: proper tea

How many jiggawatts does his kettle need?

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What is wrong with you all?

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.

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Stop

Re: What is wrong with you all?

"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.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What is wrong with you all?

The pot is aspirational. In day-to-day situations it's often an unavailable luxury.

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Re: What is wrong with you all?

OK, sometimes you have to use a cup and a tea bag but every opportunity I use a teapot and tea leaves....... it tastes so much better!

PS. Milk in first of course :-)

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Re: What is wrong with you all?

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.

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Re: What is wrong with you all?

"You might as well serve in a styrofoam cup while at it"

Actually there is a lot to be said for builders tea served in a styrofoam cup, when its a cold miserable day and you would kill for a hot drink. Has to be the right situation though and a decent brew.

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JDX
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3-4min

Meh. 30s of gentle agitation - don't mash the bag but keep it moving - does the same thing. Or using the string if it's that type of tea-bag.

Pyramidal bags are scientifically proven to infuse a LOT faster than regular ones too.

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Re: 3-4min

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.

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