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Gone But Not Forgotten
Feb 14, 2002
Multiple vintage threads about tea have now been consolidated into this single compendium thread.
This thread's contents aren't particularly 'Fortean', but they do concern Food & Drink.
Doing a title search on 'tea' may or may not lead you to this thread (owing to the short search term).

Right, who likes tea?

I've just made a new tea MB at easyboard.
So far I'm the only member, there because I haven't advertised it yet, if anyone had an interest in tea at all please follow the link and join it, it's not just tea there, I've set up a chat area and all that tooand theres some nice teapots in the backgrounds of the pages too, the page will get better with more stuf on it as time progresses and you and I post more :D thats the plan anyway.

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23 veiws and not one person's joined yet, that warms my heart that dose :rolleyes:

2 days wasted then. :sad:
Really, haven't you got anything better to do than discussing tea?

Wish I had that much spare time.
escargot said:
Every time I take a look I am reminded of how nice tea is so I have to go & brew up....... :D

(have you tried double lapsang souchong with a single assam then?)
melf said:
(have you tried double lapsang souchong with a single assam then?)

ooh, put that in the tea blends forum of the tea MB :D
am now a member, along with flash, spooky and the virgin queen, apparently/
How did you know it was me? I have a different name and everything! :p
Faggus said:
am now a member, along with flash, spooky and the virgin queen, apparently/

So do you think the chimps are going to batter the teabirds then, or that the tetly tea folk are going to wing in at the last minite an introduse both teams of combatants to a world of pain?

you see what quality entertainment you're all missing if you haven't joined ?:D
Spooky angel said:
How did you know it was me? I have a different name and everything! :p
it's obviouis when you think about it...
Maybe it was the Mulder pic in my sig? ;)

BTW that pic is *not* lewd... :p
Ah go on, go on, go on.

Stir crazy

Is there a formula for the perfect cuppa? Marc Abrahams gauges academic opinion

Tuesday March 8, 2005
The Guardian

Some people collect birds' eggs, some collect stamps, some the scalps of their enemies. I collect scientists' best rituals for preparing tea or coffee. Under the rubric Project Cuppa, this endeavour is only two months old. Yet already it is revealing wonders.

There are, of course, official British standards for the preparation of coffee (standard number BS 6379-4:1991) and tea (standard number BS 6008: 1980). These are maintained by the British Standards Institution, which charges £24 for a copy of the coffee standard and the same price for a copy of the tea standard. The latter, which is six pages long, was honoured with the 1999 Ig Nobel Literature Prize.

I have heard from only one scientist who claims to adhere to Standard BS 6008:1980. Most have chosen to theorise and experiment.

For some, the ritual is really about the pace and rhythm of their day, and begins at home. Julie Ellis, in Cambridge, begins the day with what might be termed a strategic ritual. "Get out of bed. Make tea for me and my husband. (Large mug, tea bag and one sugar/ sweetener, milk added last.) Don't wake him up. Drink both mugs of tea. Rinse and repeat, until either I'm sloshing or he gets up." Other scientists rely, perhaps too much, on the concept of iteration.

Susan Smith, a chemistry teacher at Petaluma high school in California, follows a simple procedure. "Brew the tea. Find it two hours later, cold. Add sugar, microwave. Remember it two hours later, cold. Microwave again. Repeat until time to go home. Return to work, wash cup, try again. Repeat as necessary."

Phil Prosser, a wildlife ecotoxicologist at the Central Science Laboratory in Sand Hutton, York, follows a multi-step regimen that begins: "(1) Arrive at work. Decide I'd like a cup of tea. (2) Get distracted by something else for around an hour. (3) Remember the tea plan. Find that kettle is empty. (4) Get distracted again." Prosser's list concludes in stirring fashion: "(13) Go home, still having had no tea. (14) Drink tea furiously all evening, to ward off thirst and dehydration. (15) Get up at least twice in the night to visit the bathroom as a result of step 14."

Quite a few scientists report using a similar technique to prepare coffee.

Stephen J Hart shares an insight: "Professor Nick Phillips, the renowned holographer at De Montfort University, once told me his secret. Unlike other scientists, he washes out his cup after drinking his coffee instead of before."

Jim Scobbie, a senior research fellow in speech science at Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh, would concur: "My personal approach is to take a cup of coffee into the shower. It lasts for ages, and stays nice and hot. The only disadvantage is that it gets weaker as time goes by, especially if you drop it. And at the end, the cup is nice and clean."

Philip Preshaw, a lecturer in periodontology at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, follows a branch of that same train track of logic: "I used to drink hot tea with milk like any normal English person. But while at university, room mates would steal my milk or it would go bad. So I ditched the milk. Then, in an effort to save money, I began to re-use tea bags, sometimes seven or eight times. The tea got weaker and weaker until I thought, 'Hey, why bother with the tea?' After that, it has been hot water all the way, or, 'a cup of hot' as I like to call it."

Others, too, enjoy watching their pennies.

Laura Eyring, an analytical chemist at the Philadelphia Water Department in Pennsylvania, recalls: "When I was a chemistry student in college, my morning coffee ritual was as follows. In the same plastic cup that holds the toothbrush, add two heaping tablespoons instant coffee (kept in the bathroom medicine cabinet for easy reach). Let the hot tap water run for a few minutes so it's nice and hot. Fill cup with steaming hot water, add non-dairy creamer and artificial sweetener to taste. Stir with the handle of the toothbrush to avoid lumps. Down quickly. Last gulp should have a nice minty taste."

Alan W Harris, who is senior research scientist at the Space Science Institute in La Canada, California, eschews doing things on the cheap. His preferred method is simple:

"Buy a plane ticket to anywhere in Italy. Get off the plane, get a coffee anywhere you land, even in the airport. Best in the world. I have other methods when time is short between trips to Italy, but the very best seems to require the trip."

Roger Farrow, a retired scientist who lives outside Nottingham, reduced his ritual to what some would call poetry:

First, procure a brown teapot.
Add a dash of water (hot).
Swirl it round, and ditch the lot.
Spoon in tea leaves - just a jot.
Boiling water, all you've got.
Place some teacups on the spot.
Pour in milk (don't let it clot).
Stir each minute (on the dot).
Some take sugar - some do not.
If you do - an aliquot.
Not too much - your teeth may rot!
Pour - don't spill it! Silly clot!
If you do - the spillage blot.
Some add whisky - just one tot!
Satisfaction! Aye! God wot!

Satisfaction, yes. But notice that none of these scientists say they can reliably discriminate - based on taste alone - a properly made cuppa from one that is not.

It is likely that they have sipped from Sir Ronald Fisher's classic essay Mathematics of a Lady Tasting Tea. Fisher is the man who transformed statistics from a ritualised form of tea-leaf reading into an extremely rigorous mathematical discipline. He boiled down the requirements for conducting a reliable tea-taste test. His document, however, weighs in at well over nine pages.

Having drank coffee most every day of my adult life, I have recently learned how to enjoy a hot cup of tea. And ya know.... I kinda like the stuff. :lol:

First, procure a brown teapot.
Add a dash of water (hot).
Swirl it round, and ditch the lot.
Spoon in tea leaves - just a jot.

Cute poem ;)
Do they need any volunteers to test it on?

I'm not fussy, wet'n'warm'll do me. :D

I love tea so much that I drink a whole pot by the mug every morning.

It's nice in the bath or shower too, and I like those portable mugs with lids for enjoying a brew during w*lkies.

Simple: The pot must be warmed first. Then empty it, put in tea leaves, fill with boiling water, let stand until it's a nice dark amber colour. If taking milk, put it in the cup first, if taking sugar, put it in after, and stir well.

Drink. Best when accompanied by toast, or biscuits.

Remember not to pour the tea leaves down the sink, as it will clog the drain. They make good compost.
Best formula for a cup of tea? Make it yourself 'cause if someone else does it they just don't get it right. Everyone likes their tea done in a different way so there is no magic formula for the perfect cuppa.

Just off to put the kettle on......
sjoh9 said:
White no sugar thanks. :D

I always use brown sugar - in the form of sugar cubes.

I find white sugar too 'harsh' in tea of coffee. It doesn't taste right.
Here you go......sjoh9....I'm dead posh me..... :D

Why thankyou Elf, i get to drink from a non plastic cup! Oh the luxury!

I always give my refined visitors a choice between a cup or a mug.

And guess what they choose? Its always the mug!

A choice is a very good thing!

Tea is a great drink, its easier to make a decent cup than coffee, even speciality teas are cheaper than cheapo instant coffee

The bags may be used more than once. (in fact one brand (Yorkshire tea, made by Taylors of Harrogate, IMHO one of the best tea companies), states you can use a bag for more than one cup.)

I never put milk in it though.

Fruit teas are good too. But be sure to get the sort where the bags come in individual packets, it will keep fresh for years if need be.
Two teabags, in a mug, two brown sugars, boiling water, lots of milk, hot, strong and sweet. :D ( It tastes better out of china imho , but I don't care )
I cant understand how anyone can drink tea with sugar in, it completely ruins the flavour.
Pete Younger said:
I cant understand how anyone can drink tea with sugar in, it completely ruins the flavour.

Couldn't agree more.Sugar in coffee isn't too bad (as long as its strong) but that still takes some of the flavour away.
t'Other Half makes the tea in the mug :x I always use a pot. One bag for each drinker and one for the pot. Put the sugar in. Always put the milk in first. Pour only boiling water into the pot (I confess to not always warming the pot first). Stew and stir.

Oh, and pour mine first, t'Other Half's second, but you have to stir his first, then mine, because he has pasteurised milk and I have steralised, and he says he can taste it when I stir my tea first then his :?

But tea made my way tastes much better than his. I don't let him get away with it though; he still has to make tea!
Similar points were covered in 'New Scientist' some years ago. The main trick, apparently, to making a perfect cuppa is not to use water that's been reboiled - but don't ask me to explain the physics/chemistry/whatever behind this. Personally, I always make sure I let the tap run a bit before filling the kettle, and don't use reboiled water. The water has to go onto the teabag as it's boiling (i.e. as the kettle is switching itself off) too.
The main trick, apparently, to making a perfect cuppa is not to use water that's been reboiled

I wonder why that is? It is something my girlfriend insists on but it baffles me why.I can understand if the water has been in the kettle for a while but...