A Conversation for Tea

All day breakfast

Post 141

Rojo Habe (48-1+2-7)

Not too keen on eggs. Can I have bacon, sausage and chips? And two slices of toast. And a fag and a mug of tea. You know, the really strong stuff they keep on the hot plate all day and just keep topping it up and bung an extra bag in now and again.

reboiling the kettle

Post 142


This may be slightly off the subject, or it may be a repeat of a post I haven't got around to reading yet. If either is the case, I apologize!

I implore you, PLEASE don't put milk and lemon in the same cup of tea. This may seem obvious to most people, but I discovered the hard way that the lemon juice will cause the milk to curdle, leaving nasty bits of larval cottage cheese floating on the top of, and ruining, what could have been a perfectly good cup of tea.

milk, before or after

Post 143

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

This thread seems to have gone cold - I think it's time time to re-boil the kettle, and damn the etiquette.

I find that there is a discernable difference in a cuppa made with the milk put in before or after, and I heard it explained this way - when you put the milk in first (and we're talking about tea made in the pot, not in the cup), there is more cold milk than hot tea in the cup to start with, so only a small amount of the milk is scalded before the temperature of the tea is brought down to a point where it isn't hot enough to scald the milk any more. If you put the milk in after, more of the milk is scalded because.... well, you can work it out for yourself. As for the re-boiling thing, I don't belileve that I could tell the difference, and I think everyone makes tea with a little re-boiled water - who amongst us empties and re-fills the kettle every time we make tea?

milk, before or after

Post 144

Rojo Habe (48-1+2-7)

Totally agree about reboiling the water. People talk about this "degassing" the water, but all you're doing is separaing a small proportion of the water into oxygen and hydrogen, resulting in slightly less water; in fact you boil a little more chalk out of it, so I'd say you end up with higher quality H2O.

Spot on about the milk too - that's EXACTLY why you put the milk in first. When you do it in the cup, however, it's the other way round. Putting the milk in first would be like putting the milk in the teapot, and would cool the water before it has a chance to soak the tea.

So to summarise:
Teapot: milk in the cup first.
Taebag in cup: Pour boiling water onto teabag, put milk in after.

milk, before or after

Post 145

goo master

Very rarly clean the pot. It always tastes funny after the pots been cleaned. I know people who never clean their mug and let the flavour build up in that too.

Cup or pot

Post 146

Marcus Halberstam (Keeper of the True Path of the Vinyl LP)

Though your account of the correct way to brew tea in a mug or cup is largely accurate, there are a couple of points that should be added.

1. Brewing tea at work, where teabags in mugs are de rigeur, is a totally different science from the enjoyment of tea at home or in cafes. Work tea is largely fuel, and may even be subjected to the horrors of UHT milk without suffering unduly. Tea when made for enjoyment should involve identifiable leaves, rather than the scrapings from the tea factory that inhabit the average teabag.

2. The edge of the mug is an excellent surface against which to squeeze the teabag, and to encourage any flavourful particles to make their exit into your beverage. With practice, the teabag can be stirred, squeezed almost dry, and propelled towards the bin without the unhygenic fingers ever getting in on the action.

3. There is also a neat solution to the "tea for one - can I be arsed making a pot of proper tea" problem, courtesy of the Char Bar, The Brunswick Centre, London WC1. All tea at this fine establishment is brewed using a one-cup open topped teabag, which is suspended on a plastic skewer, balanced on the top of the cup. You may wish to warm your cup from the kettle (definitely before it has boiled) in order to extract maximum flavour, and the filter can easily be removed and put to one side when the tea is at optimum strength. The filters (they do not like the term "bags") can be purchased from the Char Bar for use at home.

I have no personal interest in the above named establishment, and do not seek to profit from the information provided. I merely hope this adds to the great tea debate. Long may it continue. Happy imbibing.

But remember - proper tea is theft. Unless it's organic and fairly traded.

Cup or pot

Post 147

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

When making one cup of tea - whether at work or at home - I use a tea ball. That way, I can use the best quality tea, and make it as weak or as strong as I please. Now, if only I can persuade my boss to get a kettle so that I don't have to nuke the water every time smiley - sadface I'm not sure if electric kettles even exist in America smiley - sadfacesmiley - sadface

reboiling the kettle

Post 148

Sad, Mad or Bad? - I always wanted to be a dino, but alas, I'm just old.

I see I'm joining a conversation that happened over a year ago.


Here is my two cents worth of wisdom concerning tea.

1. Don't use cheap Earl Grey. I tried it once, and have never forgotten it. Remember, an unforgettable cup of tea may be unforgettably good or unforgettably bad. It's not hard to tell which this was. Earl Grey is one of my favorites, as long as it's the proper stuff and not a cheap imitation.

2. The milk AFTER the teabag. Yes, I have to agree that pre-teabag milk results in a very anaemic cup of tea, and if you want milky water, why waste a perfectly good teabag? (Milk may be before or after tea made with tea leaves as far as I'm concerned, as long as the tea has been brewed first).

3. Keep your tea leaves/tea bags in an airproof container. When kept in air, it goes off. And then it tastes awful. So either buy really small quantites of leaves/bags, or invest in some good tupperware.

4. Don't microwave your water! You'd think it'd taste exactly the same done in the microwave, but I gotta tell you, it's awful. I'd rather just not have tea.

5. My personal favorite tea is blackcurrant flavour, closely followed by Earl Grey.

reboiling the kettle

Post 149

Sad, Mad or Bad? - I always wanted to be a dino, but alas, I'm just old.

OK, so I just missed all the posts after the first 20. Whoops smiley - bigeyes

Cup or pot

Post 150

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

I'm sorry, but no tea (work or otherwise) can be subjected to the indignity of UHT milk without irreversibly disastrous consequences to its flavour. Try pronouncing UHT - what do you get? "Ughh" plus a spitting sound.

Mind you, it's academic to me these days as I almost invariably now drink Earl Grey without milk.

reboiling the kettle

Post 151

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

Sadormadorbad, I think you are possibly non-British? The US version of tea seems to consist of a cup of tepid water delivered to your table with a tea bag on a string alongside. It is pretty close to impossible to make a decent cup of tea this way (and I too am skipping 28 trillion posts and repeating existing advice here, but I don't care either smiley - smiley )

The best tea is made in a pot, with leaves. As a second best you can use an infuser, a little dangly thing with holes into which you can put the leaves. The very very best tea is made in a Chatsfield teapot, where the leaves live in a basket so you can pull them after the tea has infused properly and not have stewed tea.

Bags are acceptable if they are good bags. I have ocme across Pickwick teas around Europe, this is a subsidiary of Duowe Egberts and their tea is generally very bad (also often stale due to bieng left lying around in paper sachets for years). I strongly recommend a principled stand on this: Twining's is the best of the readily-available teas, and I use this as a benchmark. Our local supermarket, Waitrose, does a surprisingly passable own-brand Earl Grey which is what I drink.

Milk before-or-after is afunction of how you make the tea. Teas *must* be made with water as hot as possible (ask a mountaineer whether you can brew decent tea up Everest), so clearly milk first is out for making it in the cup. You always run the risk of scalding the milk, but the chances are the brewing process will last long enough that the water has cooled slightly anyway. What tea is made in a pot, it's definitely milk first. No question.

Long answer, repeating old posts, but we can't allow a subject of this importance to be left to rot smiley - smiley

reboiling the kettle

Post 152

Sad, Mad or Bad? - I always wanted to be a dino, but alas, I'm just old.

Oh yes, excessively non-British! Although I DO have three British friends, does that count? smiley - smiley However, I'm also non-American, so unless I go to McDonald's, I never get served a cup of water and a tea bag.

I am way too lazy to make tea with leaves, I'd have to use a strainer or something, and make up a pot, which would go cold before it's used, most likely, in which case, I'd have to employ the dreaded microwave, or actually *gasp* boil another pot. Incidently, if you have any helpful hints on how to keep a pot of tea hot, you've got my complete attention.

I am very picky about my choice of bags, and as I have said, they have to be kept in an airtight container. Twining's Earl Grey is the best Earl Grey I've ever come across, and I suspect you're right about other brands being acceptable, but I tried one imitation that tasted like it'd been made with salt. DISgusting.

And well, since I brew my tea for a while before drinking it, I'm not too worried about the state of my milk. smiley - winkeye

reboiling the kettle

Post 153

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

To keep a pot of tea hot requires a good quality tea cosy. Not a knitted one, but a proper quilted item. With one of these the tea will stay refreshingly hot for up to an hour, maybe more if you place the pot on top of your wood-burning stove smiley - smiley

reboiling the kettle

Post 154

Sad, Mad or Bad? - I always wanted to be a dino, but alas, I'm just old.

Aha. I've only had the knitted/crochetted cosy versions. This will explain it.

Mind you, I do have very good memories of going to my grandparent's house and having tea-in-a-pot there (with the cosy crochetted in bright but awkwardly juxtaposed colours of wool). It wasn't terribly hot by the time the pot was empty, but it was awfully strong, and I DO like strong tea. I suspect the 'being at the grandparents' was a big part of its charm.

reboiling the kettle

Post 155

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

That's where the aforementioned Chatsfield pot comes in - you hoik the leaves out when the tea has reached its desired strength smiley - smiley

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