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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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Re: Assam only

@AC 13.35

You do know that they grow tea very succesfully in Cornwall on the Tegothnan estate? So those adverts aren't quite as misleading as you think.

Love English Breakfast tea, although I also like the Afternoon blend too. Preference is Fortnum & Mason and should be loose leaf, can't tell you how they brew it though as I only drink it when visiting the store.

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Re: Assam only

Pro tip - don't use teabags or sugar and the clumping won't happen anyway! And milk is definitely best added first, you just need to learn how much to add for your particular tea and brewing duration. Agree on the still-boiling water though.

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Re: Assam only

Assam indeed! My future ex partner got me on to Assam when we first met, and I realised why I was rarely satisfied with my tea up until then. Now my tea recipe is 1 tea bag in the cup, pour on boiling water, agitate the water without mashing the bag, leave for 5 minutes or so, carefully remove bag squeezing it once to reduce drippage, add a reasonable splash of full fat.

A friend once went to her grandparents' house and offerered to make a cuppa for her grandad. "How do you like your tea grampy?" she asked. "I don't know, ask your gran" was his reply.

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Re: Assam only

Why don't you warm the cup first? Tea needs really hot water to infuse properly!

People warm the teapot, so why not the cup? Essential as it also removes whatever evil contaminants left behind by the dishwasher's rinse aid.

And then you only need one tea bag, which you can leave to stew for several minutes before mashing.

And just a dash of milk to soften the bitterness.

End result should be a deep tan.

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Ingredients:

1 x boiling water (enough to fill cup (saves electricity not boiling a full kettle!)

1 x PG Tips / Tetleys in the cup (What ever's on offer at <<insert your supermarket here>>

1 x TSP fresh skimmed milk

Directions:

Turn kettle on

Place tea bag into cup

Once water is boiled, pour water into cup. Allow to mash (Yes, yes, brew etc) for about 4 mins until you cannot see the bottom of the cup

Add a splash of milk (with teabag still in)

Wait a further minute or so, stiring for the last 20 seconds.

The using a spoon, drag and squeeze the bag up the side of the cup.

Sit down and enjoy.

PS - The 3 blighters can wait for their cereal whilst I go through this ritual every morning!

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Anonymous Coward

"Ingredients:

.....................

Directions:

Turn kettle on

Place tea bag into cup

Once water is boiled, pour water into cup. Allow to mash (Yes, yes, brew etc) for about 4 mins until you cannot see the bottom of the cup

Add a splash of milk (with teabag still in)

Wait a further minute or so, stiring for the last 20 seconds.

The using a spoon, drag and squeeze the bag up the side of the cup.

Sit down and enjoy and last 5 mins of your break.

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Anonymous Coward

Down to 12 mugs a day

From frequency of consumption tea bag is easier now, though I used to do loose+ceramic tea pot when I was younger and could be bothered.

Currently have settled on Twinings 'Everyday' having tried most standard retail brands.

Must be at least a 1/2 pint mug for me.

Water just on the boil (when the kettle starts to bubble but before it clicks).

3 mins on the timer.

Sorry, no milk.

No sugar either, I get that fix from the associated biscuits/doughnuts etc (though never dunked).

Drunk before it goes from hot to just warm.

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Coffee. Preferably thick enough to stand the spoon up in, and strong enough to desolve the spoon in the process.

No milk, just a couple of sugars....

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It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

Full fat milk but not too much because the lactose takes away the bite of the tannin.

And it has to be in a mug unless it's cha or otherwise ceremonial; high, cream etc.

But I'd really rather have a triple espresso.

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Happy

Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

Plus, you should use the same mug throughout the day without washing, the last cup of the day should be in a cup that has been thoroughly stained a bright orange colour :-)

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Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

Until, after many months, you are forced to leave half a dish washing tablet in the mug overnight to remove the build up of tea scale which has reduced the volumetric capacity of said mug to the point of unusability.

Spoken like a true Yokshuman.

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Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

Denture tablets work much better than dishwasher tablets. No idea why though and no I don't have dentures!

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Re: It's not a proper mug of tea unless it's a double bagger

Until, after many months, you are forced to leave half a dish washing tablet in the mug overnight to remove the build up of tea scale which has reduced the volumetric capacity of said mug to the point of unusability

Rinse the cup out in water, so that there's a dribble of water in it. Pour in some table salt and rub it over the tea stains. No need for a storm (or chemical warfare) in a teacup.

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No, no, you've got it all wrong.

Tea needs to be strong. When you bring it up for a sip it grabs you around the throat and chokes you strong.

I use a mixture of Madura (a low caff black tea available in Oz, though I don't care about the low caff thing), and a mixture of assorted teas and infusions from my local tea place. They all smell yummy.

I use honey. Never raw sugar. You can't even pretend to be serious about tea if you use raw sugar.

I have more cold soy milk than seems normal for the amount of tea for three reasons. One, it smooths it out, secondly it cools it down, and lastly, milk gives me phlem. I can't stand hot fluids and foods, they just burn my tongue and I can't taste anything for the next few days - really annoying.

Being as lazy as I am, I sort-of-brew-it with one of those strainer thingies that hangs in the mug for a while.

I used to put a lot more effort into it, but I eventually realised that I just don't care enough to do it "properly".

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Re: No, no, you've got it all wrong.

Yes you have: Madura ... yummy ... honey ... soy milk ...

This is about tea. Proper tea so unless you're a Yorkshireman or an Englishman (AKA a failed Yorkshireman) you've no business here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, no, you've got it all wrong.

Hate to break it to you; but in NZ I used to get wonderful, strong, thick tea and, in the bakeries, a lot hotter than they dare to serve it in England nowadays. Melbourne does a decent job too. In poor old England, too many places are going American or Continental and just putting water, from some long-off-the-boil urn over cheap and nasty teabag or, even worse, serving a cup of hottish water and the teabag, in a paper envelope, separately. Unbelievable.

In the USA, one motel tried to make me tea by adding water to a tea bag, FROM a KITCHEN TAP!!!! I mean, I know most Americans are of Spanish or German or Italian descent; but surely there must be a few English immigrants to educate them.

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Re: No, no, you've got it all wrong.

@ Anonymous Coward

You made yourself sound like a fail in your first post (jt?). Now you just look like a fool.

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Re: No, no, you've got it all wrong.

@@ Anonymous Coward

@ El Presidente: You made yourself sound like a fail in your first post (jt?). Now you just look like a fool.

No, that wasn't me. I don't post as AC, mainly because I'm already a certified fool, and don't need to hide the fact just to show it. If that makes sense. Of course not. So there, I've made my point then...

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Anonymous Coward

It depends on the blend of tea. Sorry Lester, there is no black or white with the art of tea.

A nice early grey would not take too kindly to having milk added. It is not bitter and doesn't require sugar.

A cup of brand tea (e.g. Tetley/PG/etc..) must have milk added. This is bitter, so if you prefer bitter to sweet, you don't add sugar, else a small amount of sugar minimises the bitterness.

Of course you can't escape those heathens who must have more milk than tea and 3+ sugars, blurg!

Coffee drinkers are like the rats on the underground. Common, expendable, of no worth.

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My sister used to drink Earl Grey with milk. I've always felt a bit sorry for her! Mind you I don't like it much without, but with half a spoon of honey it's OK. Personally I wouldn't drink any perfumed Teas with milk, however judging by all the comments in this thread so far Tea is like politics or sex. We'll never all agree on what is best but we know what we like!

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IT Angle

Darjeeling

For me it's a bag of darjeeling in a large pot. Let it brew for a few minutes and enjoy the first cup of mild tea. Then the next two when it's cooled slightly have the full flavour.

Additionally no milk in mine, never much cared for cow juice in tea. 2 spoons of sugar though.

Tend to drink it in the smaller cups, more elegant that way. I'm tempted to try it with a squeeze of honey, any opinions?

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Where I used to live ..

.. we referred to black tea as "British Rail" :)

Personally, I like my tea black, and not so strong it can be used to tan leather, and *hot*. One sugar.

However, when I'm working from home I swear by Lavazza coffee, brewed on the stove in the traditional aluminium Italian moka pot. The one I have has space for a full mug worth of strong coffee - tea is for the evening :).

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Happy

Re: Where I used to live ..

"tea is for the evening"

Sir, you are insane.

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Re: Where I used to live ..

Sir, you are insane.

Of course. Would I otherwise post here? :)

Given that I've only got one bottle left of the First Edition 2008 Balvenie single malt, and given that was the last of the batch I restrict my enjoyment of that for very special occasions - so tea it is.

BTW, a friend of mine who spent most of his early years in the colonies refers to my preferred strength of tea as "merely passing the bag over the cup"..

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Happy

Re: Where I used to live ..

I'll forgive your slur on tea of being an evening drink due to your love of the Balvenie. Tea is clearly a drink for all the time, and as often as possible. Then again, perhaps I could say the same about whisky...

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Anonymous Coward

Properly

Green Tea (Or White tea, or Gunpowder tea), brewed for a short 3 mins; no more.

No milk or sugar.

Large packet of plain choc digestives. Two packets if drinking in company.

Jasmine tea is OK, as is Hibiscus, but fruit teas are only fit for cleaning the drains with.

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Go

Green is the colour

Maybe with jasmine sometimes. Loose if you have time to relax, bags at work or when you're in a hurry. Water just off the boil. Brew for 2-5 minutes depending on current needs. No milk. No sugar. No substitutes. No messing.

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Anonymous Coward

Rules 1 to 6 - How not to get crap tea.

1. Whichever way you like your tea, never let somebody who doesn't drink tea themselves make you a cup - it will be crap.

2. Never buy tea from one of the 'coffee shops' - it will be crap

3. Always take tea-bags and a travel kettle on holiday - as invariably you will get warm water with 'liptons yellow label' - which is crap.

4. Never use condensed milk, it is crap (unless you are drinking a-la locals, such as massala chai in India, where it is to be expected)

5. Never scrub your tea cup clean - you need to build up the amount of crap in the cup

6. Never drink rose/berry/blah-blah tea - they are NOT tea and, you guessed it, they are all crap.

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Re: Rules 1 to 6 - How not to get crap tea.

Rule 7: Never make tea from teabags - they're filled with the leftovers from making 'real' leaf tea and it will be crap. (Teabags are OK to take with you if you're away from home and there's nothing else.)

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Re: Rules 1 to 6 - How not to get crap tea.

I would dispute Rule 1, after 15 years my wife (non-tea or coffee drinker) makes a more than passable brew, albeit with bags.

Lord knows what I'd get if I let her use loose leaf tea!!

Now where did I leave those rich tea?

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Go

Moderately strong tea, milk in afterwards (I work with someone who sometimes puts the milk in along with the tea bag while waiting for the kettle to boil). Oh and at our office f'gawd's sake use the water from the filter jug. The water out of the tap tastes fine for drinking cold but boil it up and you get a nasty soapy taste :(

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Moderately strong tea, milk in afterwards

Actually, it depends. I prefer loose leaf tea to tea bags (*), but I drink more bagged tea due to the convenience. Anyway, if you make a proper brew(**) you need to scald the pot, put in the leaves and then put in the boiling water. If you've faffed around for too long between starting and pouring in the water, boil it up again then put it in the pot. It needs to be boiling(**). Then put it on a hot stove for about 4-5 minutes. For this type of tea, you absolutely need to put the milk in the cups first, otherwise you scald the milk. You might not believe this, but do a blind taste test and I think you'll be able to tell the difference.

For bags, you also need boiling hot water to begin with (and you may also wish to scald the cup first so it stays hotter, but it's not necessary), but from that point on you just leave it to brew by itself for a couple of minutes. Personally, I give it a stir (usually by grabbing the back with my fingers and swirling it around, but you can be fancy and use a spoon) and remove the bag before adding the milk, but the other variations of this aren't wrong. The only thing I'd insist on is if you have to use a sweetener, then it has to be honey. Even then, sweetener is really only something you want after some kind of shock or a day's hard labour, in which case it's acceptable :)

* Barry's Tea is de rigeur; it's a blend, but mainly based on Assam (also called Breakfast Tea by many)

** Actually there are many "proper brews", but I'm talking about black (fermented) leaf tea here. That's not to say that things like green/gunpowder/matcha tea (which don't take kindly to boiling water at all), Oolong or even (horror of horrors) mugi cha (which actually isn't a "tea" at all) aren't all worthy beverages in their own right.

*** Incidentally, this is why it's hard to make a decent cup of black leaf tea at altitude since the boiling point is reduced. Green (unfermented) tea is much better there.

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jai
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my favourite tea

best tea i've ever had is at my grandparent's house (this might be biased slightly by childhood memories of cups of tea and my Nanna's home made chocolate cake or lemon cake etc, but regardless).

i recently found out that they buy loose tea, English Breakfast and Earl Grey. And then, in an ancient square tin, my grandfather blends the two together, one part Earl Grey to 3 parts English Breakfast.

they live miles away, and after the long drive to see them, that cuppa tea is the most curative and restorative drink ever (again, an opinion perhaps influenced because of it's close association in my mind with my nanna's home baking).

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Sorry but

I have to agree with the coffee drinkers here, tea just doesn't cut it for me...

Should be as nature intended too...burn the beans, crush them, put them in hot water (Not boiling as that brings out bitter oils) then throw away the crushed beans and drink the water

Repeat at least 10 times a day with a 1/2 pint mug or scale up to suit for smaller flagons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry but

This is no place for coffee drinkers. Let them go to perdition for the nasty foreigners and traitors they surely are.

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1. Mug

2. Tea, normal English (e.g. Yorkshire) brewed strong as death

3. Milk, skimmed or semi-skimmed, just a spot

No sugar. That's for coffee, and even then it should be brown.

Earl Grey is perfumed rubbish. If it absolutely must be drunk, it should never be with milk.

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Anonymous Coward

@Richard 81 - Earl Grey is perfumed rubbish.

You're far too polite.

Let's cut to the chase and sod all that PC crap, Earl Grey is for pooftas. It's not proper tea. It's "perfumed" for godssake. Would you eat a "perfumed" bacon sarnie flavoured with a hint of bergamot orange? I think not. Then why adulterate a good honest cuppa.

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Joke

Why do marxists drink only herbal tea?

Because property is theft! :-)

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I refuse to take part in this

"For the love of all that's holy don't get sidetracked into the perfect biscuit to accompany the perfect cuppa."

Separation of the twin sacrements is a heathen act.

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Pint

Re: I refuse to take part in this

But still we should probably follow the rules

*cough*hobnobs*cough*

Additionally, we need bacon and a cup of tea as images. In place of both I shall be using beer, and just pretending it's tea served in a pint glass.

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Happy

Re: I refuse to take part in this

Jaffa cakes are best.

*runs*

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On second thoughts

I can't remember if the Jaffa Cake is a biccie or a cake now, but my opinion has also begun to change on this recently. High quality chocolate covered ginger biscuits are exceptionally yummy with tea, but they seem to be about £2 for 8. Ouch!

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Re: On second thoughts

Dark choc Digestives that is all

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Re: On second thoughts

Chocolate malted milk biscuits are surprisingly divine!

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Go

Re: On second thoughts

Macaroons!

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Re: On second thoughts

Rich tea, or one of those Millie's Cookies that are the size of a dustbin lid with chocolate chips like bricks.

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Anonymous Coward

Regional variant

Tea drinking is still alive an well in the colonies, albeit not as you know it.

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Boffin

The ramsay way

Scottish Blend. IN.

Hot water. POUR IT SLOWLY FROM A F***ING HEIGHT.

DON'T F*** ABOUT. Give it a fu***ing chance. WAIT

Take out the bag. DON'T SQUEEZE IT YOU MUPPET.

One sugar. IN. STIR.

Milk. POUR. From height. THREE BUBBLES MINIMUM.

STIR.

Enjoy.

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Re: The ramsay way

Should that last line not be

F***IN ENJOY!!!

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