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 …
Re: Tea.. !!
"" That's "Bettys", you hooligan. ""
Yes, you are quite right. My most humble apologies! And it is still the place to take a woman. Not on a first date, but certianly after the second!!
Really Bad Tea
As a Scots friend of mine preferred her tea ...
Take 1 mug.
Fill 2/3 with boiling water.
Add 1/3 cup milk.
Add 3 sugars
Take teabag and dunk in watery milk ONCE. DO NOT STIR. DO NOT SQUEEZE TEABAG. JUST DUNK.
Attempt to claim resulting sickly sweet, slightly beige, transulcent mixture is a Cup of Tea
Re: Really Bad Tea
I had a chef in my pub that drank tea this way - he refered to it as babby tea
Re: Really Bad Tea
That sounds remarkably like the "drink" my wife got once in northern Portugal after asking for tea with like (or cha con leite I think).
Re: Really Bad Tea @ukgnome
Where did this chef come from? From my part of the world bab means shit which is what that abomination sounds like. However if he did hail from the same corner of our beloved isle then he wouldn't be drinking it in the first place or at least not admitting to it in public.
Purpose of the tea
It should be noted that, throughout the course of a day the job of a cup of tea varies, from ohmygodwakemeupNOW tea through to five minutes relaxing with a biccy while The Archers is on.
In this specific case the job of the tea in question is to wash down an A90 Behemoth and so the careful selection and preparation of ingredients must be formulated accordingly.
Your palate will be full of the delicate, exhalted flavours of grease, salt, more grease and brown sauce. The tea must complement these flavours and not cause gustatory dissonance. To whit:
1) Take the first mug that comes to hand.
2) get a box of those "one-per-cup" red label teabags. Put two in mug.
3) boil whatever water comes out of the tap and pour into mug almost to the top.
4) using a teaspoon, handle end of a tablespoon or fork or whatever first comes to hand, stir, crush, bash and mash the hell out of the teabags.
5) continue until the tea is the colour of satan's dark, ebon heart.
6) remove teabags.
7) replace volume of removed teabags with milk. From cows. Colour of bottletop is irrelevant, it's a cup of tea not a fashion accessory, get over yourself.
8) add up to two sugars. Or don't, you won't taste it over the bacon butty anyway.
9) Finish Him!
Put it in the pot - Stew for 10 minutes!
Then next time someone else will make the teat for you - Job sorted!
Re: Put it in the pot - Stew for 10 minutes!
I once put washing up liquid in a colleague's coffee. He always left the mug of coffee granules by the sink while the kettle boiled. May have been the highlight of my career.
man's cup of tea
strong, spot of milk + 2 sugars. drinking anything else is for girls.
Loose tea (a darjeeling/assam mix) in a cafetierre. Boiling water, steep for 6 minutes, press and pour.
Obviously, I'm in the minority
Of course, as a Yankee (true New England variety), I can be forgiven (or accused), but...
Tea is, in some ways, like wine. No one would dare say that any particular vintage is THE perfect wine — it's a matter of what you like and what suits the occasion.
Therefore, I drink a variety of teas with a variety of methods. In any event, I always prefer my tea strong and without additives. If I really want to get into it, I prefer loose African tea (Kenyan or Tanzanian, for preference), in a warmed pot, 1 tsp/cup plus one for the pot (unless I'm using my 1.5 cup pot — then two will do). Water should be on the brink of boiling, but not rolling, as boiling deoxygenates the water (though that's a moot point). Steep four minutes.
If I don't have the time or inclination, I'll use a bag in a mug and have even microwaved the water. Steep four minutes. Among the bag teas I favor: Tetley's British Blend, Twining's Lady Grey, Bigelow's Constant Comment (this last is good with brandy, if you're feeling poorly...)
I'm becoming disturbingly effete in my old age. I started off as a milk and one sugar man (well boy at first). Then the sugar got dumped, and the milk got less and less. I suddenly realised that if I could taste the milk I wasn't liking it, so the obvious solution was to go black no sugar. Easier as well. Although I now don't get through enough milk, and have to keep having custard or throwing it away. The tea got a little weaker, as I dumped the milk.
Weirdly I now find that the taste of sugar or milk in tea makes me feel slightly sick. Even though I still have a little milk in my coffee and I'm not averse to eating a sugar cube. That must be some weird psychological effect.
The difference between tea bag and pot is mainly consistency. I never seem to be able to get the tea tasting even remotely the same each time with a tea bag, whereas there's less random chance when you use a pot and loose tea. Or even a pot and bags. So long as the bags haven't been filled with the sweepings from the floor, it's possible to get a reasonable cuppa, just not as easy. So loose leaves and a strainer. It's actually less effort if you consider the next point:
The other big advantage of a teapot is that it's easier to get your tea in the correct dosage i.e. 2 mugs. The first one is weaker, but hotter and starts the process of relaxation. But the full satisfaction is gained only by drinking the second, now cooler and stronger cup, faster. That's the one that deals with the thirst, and tastes the best. Also the pauses between sips while the first one cools allow for perfect biscuit/cake appreciation. Whereas the 2nd cup can be drunk while working on a task, or concentrating on some reading.
Delivery system is also important. Cups aren't big enough, and saucers are ridiculous. So a mug it has to be. But it must be thin. So porcelain or even glass is best. That way you can have the size of a mug, but have the tea cool down enough to drink faster.
I now prefer something with less tannin, so Yorkshire is horrible without milk. At the other extreme you have Lipton yellow label, that you always seem to get on the continent. I'm not sure what it is, but Arthur Dent might recognise it, as a brown liquid that tastes not quite entirely unlike tea.
First rule of enjoying tea...
drink it, don't talk about it. Anything else leads to merciless, never-ending conflict.
Make mine dark, with just a sip of milk.
How to enjoy your tea
(1) Start the boiler
(2) Read a climate change / no change article on El Reg (gets your blood pressure high enough to get up again)
(3) Pour hot water over tea / tea bag
(4) Post an 85 word comment about the (lack of) science on climate change
(5) Remove tea / tea bag and add a little milk
(6) Read the rest of El Reg, sip your tea, and relax
I had the misfortune
To visit a tea plantation in Sri Lanka
I nearly prchased a kilo of the stuff to bring home
Luckily, I tried a cup before purchasing, and it was terrible
Even the processing plant stank, but I thought, well that must be the process!
How wrong can one be!
Marks & Spencer Extra Strong teabags for me. Steeped in boiling water for between 1min30 and 2mins with a splash of skimmed milk.
Not a connoisseur
... Far from it, as you shall see, but the only way I have found I enjoy tea is strong, with a generous amount of lemon juice and two sugars (Not iced tea, but hot tea with lemon)
For some reason, the taste of tea with milk makes me think of dirty socks... It's not that it *tastes* like socks (at least not exactly), but I have that strange association in my mind, and accordingly, find the tea with milk repulsive
Tea over coffee every time, its so much more civilised.
I like a Kenyan assam brew myself, milk and two sugars, with ginger nuts to dunk. This adds a touch of ginger to the tea and makes it wonderfully sharp.
Teabags vs Loose Tea
Time was when Loose was the boss. But apparently sliding quality of Sainsbury's Red Label (used to be quite tasty and aromatic -- and cheap) and advances in Teabag Technology seem to have levelled the playing field.
Twinings English Breakfast Tea
One per person and one per pot which means three spoonfuls for a morning brew.
Warm the pot if can be bothered but it doesn't change the taste of tea, just the temperature.
A small splash of milk in the mug before pouring in tea which must have had time to mash.
Then for the rest of the day I drink fancy Chinese loose leaf teas from the Canton Tea Company with multiple colours, infusions, origins etc. but I need a proper strong mug of tea for breakfast.
Every day tea
(1) Mug with either some obscure IT reference on it, or stolen from Garfunkel's. Unwashed to allow the patina to build.
(2) Tetley Extra Strong, 1 bag.
(3) Try and grab some boiling water from the work's kettle before it's stolen.
(4) Try and grab some 1% (orange top) milk which is mine before it all gets stolen even though it is f***ing close to water which should put anybody off stealing it in the first place.
(5) Squeeze the bag and drink strong and hot.
(1) Warmed pot.
(2) One heaped teaspoon per cup with one for the pot of a ceylon/assam leaf blend.
(3) Pour boiling water from a great height into the pot to froth the tea.
(4) Show the pot the pictures.
(5) Cold milk into fine china cups, about 5% by volume.
(6) Pour tea through strainer.
Best tea in the world
(1) Throw a scoop of tea leaves into the stoker's pot with water drawn off from the cylinder cock drain valve. Stir with a spanner.
(2) Leave on the hotplate next to the firebox for about six miles.
(3) Tie a rope onto the handle and spin furiously around out of the cab between stations to centrifuge down the leaves.
(4) Pour the supernatant into two enamel mugs, each with a generous splash of unpasteurized milk. Use a coal hammer to knock a lump off the sugarloaf kept wrapped in brown parcel paper and drop in mug.
(5) Hand one mug to the driver and enjoy, ignoring the oil slick on the top, as that's what gives it the flavour.
Don't drink tea, they drink COFFEE. Nice strong COFFEE. None of this milk or cream stuff.
That's why god invented COFFEE cups.
General rule: COFFEE in code out.
Simple task: Find some tea in Seattle. Good luck with that! Of course one reason we here in the USA drink COFFEE is that a few years ago we dumped all the tea into Boston Harbor.
Just make sure that the COFFEE isn't computer animated, I'm told it is "dreadful".
Re: Real programmers...
Harbour has a "U" in it..........
So wrong twice.
@Piloti (was: Re: Real programmers...)
Harbo(u)r has a "u" in it in British English, true. But "Boston Harbor" is a place name, with no "u" in it, regardless of where the writer lives. Unless you call the River Avon "the River Afon", of course ;-)
Fancy a cuppa?
The perfect tea for bacon butties has to be Builders Tea from the same greasy spoon that you got the bacon buttie from - strong enough to stand the spoon up in, hot and with a splash of milk (presumably full fat). If making at home - then Yorkshire Tea (other similar blends work well too), bag in mug, pour in boiling water, mash bag till water goes a dark black, splash of milk (skimmed at our house).
I do however like going to Fortnum's to take tea as they make it beautifully. Loose leaf Afternoon blend served in a warmed silver pot big enough for 4-5 cups. Leave tea to brew for about 5 minutes, splash of milk in the cup, pour tea through silver strainer. Absolute nectar of the gods.
on foriegn travels..
I can highly recommend BOH gold blend available either loose or in individual foil wrapped bags from the common highlands of Malaysia . However don't drink the stuff where the plantation is, the local water makes it taste foul, wait until back in gods county (yorkshire for the southernly inclined) where most local waters have limestone dissolved in which lends a sweetness otherwise lacking.
same applies to yorkshire tea, wonderful in the country tastes crap everywhere else (a childhood with the parents caravaning lends onhand experience to to this fact) . I would also assume this applies in reverse to several teas which is probably why I can't abide earl gray.
(beer because I miss my old job where tea was a soft option and drinking at work wasn't frowned upon)
Have a beer
No, No, No No.
As a man who used to run a cafe:
First, you need a teapot. Decent tea can't be made in a cup. Second, you need a teacosy for that pot. Your Gran didn't get to be that old without learning a few things y'know.
The correct ratio is 3 teabags to 750ml of water - i.e approx 1 per mug. Many teabags are acceptable - Nambarrie for me, however Yorkshire, 99, co-op own brand or, in a pinch, Scottish blend are OK. The only thing that's not really acceptable is Tetley's.
The water should be poured into the (warmed!) pot at boiling point, so a little splashes out onto your hands. Anything worth having requires a little sacrifice. Also, the pot should contain the very dregs of the last brew - a useful technique here is to drain the pot, then squeeze the dregs out of the discarded teabags back in.
Leave it for at least 5 minutes - this is where that teacosy comes in. In the meantime, fill your mug with boiling water to get it nice and hot. Discard before serving, obviously.
The tea should be poured onto the veriest dribble of milk - I define the amount as "slightly more than no point." (QI moment - the reason for the British tradition of "milk in first" is because the delicate china cups they had back then would shatter if you poured the hot tea in first.)
This is for teabags. As for loose tea - an Indian colleague of mine once brought me back a paper bag of tea leaves that made the weakest, palest looking tea imaginable. I piled more and more in until it was a decent colour and basically gave off gamma rays for a week.
Please excuse any mispelings in this post, because I'm drinking red wine.
Genetic testing shows ...
Morrison's own brand loose Chai with a drop of milk is guaranteed < 10% horse-piss !!!
Re: Genetic testing shows ...
That's what adds that delicate flavour, I tried Morrisons savers (I know I'm a tightwad!) they were the sweepings from Shergar's stable. As a tightwad I seldom throw anything away, so I used the rest of the pack to light a fire with in the morning. I swear it took me hours to get the disgusting taste out of my mouth. (No sniggering at the back there!)
In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.
A cup ' COLD tea.
Without milk or sugar.
In a filthy, cracked cup.
We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.
The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.
Can you get Real Milk in your neck of the woods? When I lived near Barcelona, the local supermarkets would have more varieties of UHT milk than bottles of fresh... I was shocked to find that many of my compatriots had gone native and would use UHT with their tea.
Like George Orwell
My personal preference is for bog-standard PG Tips, in bags, medium strong, dash of milk, sugar ratio in proportion to the size of the mug.
Alas as PG is darned expensive in Canada Ex-Pat Shops & Typhoo non existent. It has to be Tetley (Sub-heading Orange Pekoa), from most stores like Wally-World*, Shoppers Drug Mart, London drugs & Canadian Superstores\No Frills.
For Nostalgia my nans Co-op 99 tea.
Warm Pot with boiling water.
Reboil kettle for 20 secs while emptying used water, add 1 teabag per person + 1 for the pot.
Add fresh boiling water, give it a bit of a stir & then stand.
Milk in cup, pour from teapot (sugar may be added either before or after pouring).
Ideally consumed with a Devon cream tea (yes we can actually manage those in Alberta).
Warm cup with boiling water.
Reboil kettle for 20 secs while emptying used water, add 1 teabag to the mug (currently a TARDIS shaped one).
Add fresh boiling water, give it a bit of a stir & then stand.
Ideally consumed with toast & marmite!
Army issue anyone ?
From choice, I drink coffee, but that is not a widely available option in the British Army.
From the graceless days of my youth, coming in off stag at 0300, cold, wet, miserable, somewhere in Germany to find a haybox of 3 hour old tea which has been stewing, complete with tinned milk and sugar, but it's hot, it's wet, and it was delicious !
I have no idea what brand or variety of tea came up in Army compo rations, nor was it ever brewed with any great style or distinction, but it was a life saver.
Now, if only it had been served with a nice bacon sarnie with a dollop of brown sauce . . .
Don't care so long as it deserves to be called tea
I live/work in France. When you see the insipid rubbish that passes for tea, you'll appreciate the British tea bag all the more.
For me, my personal preference is: mug, Tetley, hot water, a little milk, and of course two sugars. When it looks like a cup of coffee, it is strong enough...
Black, no sugar, teabag stewing in the mug. Unleaded.
I lived in France for a while. Those Lipton's teabags on a string with noncy individual packets are an abomination. Made infinitely worse by the fact that it takes at least five to turn the water brown.
If you're going herbal, you might as well drink matte. It's the Peruvian cocaine of herbal teas.
On PG Tips shipping boxes I order from Amazon (2-240ct. boxes @$29 delivered to Tennessee***) and Twinnings Earl Grey -> if good enough for Capt. Picard, it's good enough for me :)
Generally one cup of coffee in morning then dark PG Tips the rest of the day - good when gaming too, good cold with ice.
*** I saw what ya'll said about Tennessee folks in another very recent story.... large brush you have.
Re: Import stickers
A Tennessee man with a sense of humour...!
Warm the pot, always.
Now, one for me, one for thee, one for the pot, one for luck.
Let stand for one moment.
Pour the milk.
Cup, saucer, spoon.
Pour, should be just about nice.
(Big Brother icon because Number 6 is always being watched.)
Everything I know about tea …
… came from the song T.U.S.A. on the Masters of Reality album Sunrise on the Sufferbus.
(Me, I’ll stick to swilling my Coffea arabica, which leaves more Camellia sinensis for you lot.)
Forget ye not your vessel
The mug or cup makes a difference. A fine bone china Dunoon Nevis mug is my vessel of choice. No cheap chunky lipped mug.
Boil kettle, rinse out/warm the mug, then fill one half of some tea ball tongs with Assam leaf tea. Take it as strong with as little milk as you can. Sugar is for the intellectually inferior.
 - http://goo.gl/9XGRw /  http://goo.gl/tBtfd
Took you long enough Lester!
I asked for this one months ago....
My father was VERY fussy about his tea. Had to be loose leaf, 50/50 Tukvana Darjeeling and Lyons red label. Total of 1 spoon (proper "tea caddy" type spoon, none of those tea spoon things) of blend per person.
Warm old fashioned brown pot & add tea. Cover with cosy and leave for 5-6 mins (depending on who was partaking of the nectar).
Add preferred amount of milk to mugs & any sugar required by the partaker, making sure that each person got THEIR mug - none of this matching sets of mugs rubbish, we all had individual mugs.
Pour through a strainer into the mugs in order - those who like weaker tea first, and if necessary give the tea a quick stir in the pot for those who like it stronger.
It was permissable to "freshen" the pot once without making completely fresh, but no more than that.
Tea bags were banned in the house, even when we had the workmen in doing new windows & central heating. He would even insist on tea this way when camping, though due to the potential for breakages he'd use a stainless steel pot.
At home I'm too lazy for this & will use tea bags, but have to be decent quality (Yorkshire preferably), bag & 1 small sugar in the mug then boiling water, then a fair amount of milk. Very gently stir until tea reaches the required hue and remove bag without squeezing hard - sugar in first makes the tea brew quicker without the tangy tannin taste you get from hard squeezing of the bag.
When I'm out strong builders tea with extra sugar to go with a greasy spoon type meal, and never NEVER anything pretending to bve tea from a vending machine!
Re: Took you long enough Lester!
Think I'm with your father on this-- I'm seriously surprised at the number of reg readers who think teabags are acceptable except when there isn't an alternative (e.g. at an American restaurant where tea generally shows up as a bag of liptons and some tepid to hot water). Do they also consume instant coffee, or (blech) coffee bags? And what's with making an entire pot of tea from teabags? Once you've got the pot there's no excuse.
For me, it's got to be:
brown betty, warmed with boiling water
loose leaf tea (Scottish Breakfast, or Darjeeling or Ceylon for the afternoon, never never Earl Grey)
cover leaves in boiling water and let sit in cozy for a few minutes
this opens the leaves and distributes the flavor better
fill to top with boiling water and let steep a few minutes more
For best results, use a dutch tea cozy (they look like little suitcases and keep your tea deliciously hot for hours).
Personally, I like my tea like most other things, straight up, no bullshit. But I accept milk, honey, or sugar as legitimate additions. Lemon however is plain wrong.
who makes it
Yorkshire tea served medium strong, milk no sugar, in bed on Sunday morning.
But, and this is the important part-made by somebody else.
Lapsang Souchong, dammit
Neil Barnes is correct. Lapsang Souchong is my normal brew, made in a proper Brown Betty. I am also fond of the occasional Earl Grey or Oolong, but Lapsang Souchong is the ideal coding fluid.
Even when slumming it with Twining's English Breakfast or PG Tips, on no account should the decoction be adulterated by foul additives such as refined sucrose or mammary fluids. That stuff has been in cows, I tell you! COWS!
All the best,
Re: Lapsang Souchong, dammit
Dried leaves [yes]
Boiling water [yes]
Juice squirted out of a cow [NO]
Warm the cup!
All your hard work is undone by not warming the cup first!
(Also has the advantage of removing contaminants left by last user.)
1. Boil kettle.
2. Warm cup with boiling water, pour away.
3. Re-boil kettle.
4. Pour still boiling water onto Twinings Everyday or English Breakfast tea bag in warmed cup.
5. Poke tea bag several times to ensure leaves within nicely soaked, inverting teabag several times to encourage infusion.
6. Leave for 3 minutes.
7. Mash tea bag to extract as much flavour as possible.
8. Remove teabag, add sugar to taste and no more than one teaspoon of skimmed milk.
9. Allow to cool to approximately 60 degrees C
10. Ignore comments from girls about colour of tea.
(And never never never boil the water in the cup in the microwave. Adding a teabag to such a cup just makes a mess.)
I think this explains my feelings about tea
Cup of Brown Joy by MC Elemental
The worlds only rap song about tea by an englishman in shorts and a pith helmet