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| Chris Arnold
I work as a hospital chaplain here in Oakland California, a city which has its problems. I am also a British ex-pat, although I've been living here since I was 8 so I've lost the accent, unfortunately. I'll have you know that very early this morning I was robbed of my wallet by two gun-wielding men. Physically I'm fine. Emotionally I'm a bit wobbly. I'm currently following my mum's advice, which is that I have a nice cup of tea and a sit down. This, naturally, made me think of you.
Now, she said that the rules are that when tea is administered for a crisis, it is properly to be sweetened, even when not normally consumed this way. Is this a protocol with which you are familiar? (I take milk, and PG Tips is my bog-standard brand)
Wishing you a gun-free day,
|Nicey replies: Chris,
Yes indeed people in shock get given sweet tea whether they want it or not, that is the British way. Either it will fortify and comfort you, or if you find yourself struggling to drink the unaccustomedly sweetened brew at least its taking your mind off the matter at hand.
Chin up. At least that San Andreas fault thingy across the bay has gone off recently, that could really ruin your day.
||Wonderful site - but has making tea really come to this? A tea bag? Dreadful. For instructions on "real tea" (in the same manner as "real ale") please visit our tea page|
Also a tea quiz - see link at bottom of page.
Keep up the good work.
Philip & Catheryn
|Nicey replies: Philip,
Whilst I'm very pleased to use at least four of our tea icons to go along with your mail, I would urge restraint on your part and not to descend into full blown tea fascism. A live and let live attitude is the enlightened path unless of course you are having to drink somebody else's ropey tea, then its all right to have a go especially if you are having to pay for it.
One pound forty on the P&O Dover Calais ferry for half a cup of warm water drizzled over a one cup bag with a small plastic pot of milk, now that's something to get upset about. These vessels are now effectively the very edge of British tea culture. Leaving our shores they are the last chance for a cuppa in a place that should recognise the significance of such a thing. They are also a welcoming sight for the weary travelling Brit and should be a stronghold and embodiment of mass tea provision, in a way that we can be both grateful for and proud of.
Of dear you appear to have set me off on one now.
Just stumbled across your website, and its very interesting! I though i should ask you a question thats been nagging at me for a while.
We are a team of 12 students at Aston University in Birmingham, and we are designing, building and racing a single seater racing car against other universities next summer. What is the ideal amount of sugars we should have in our tea, and what biscuit should we use to dunk to get the most out of our team?
Thank you very much
Formula Student Team Manager
|Nicey replies: Yes very prudent of you to touch base with us.
Ideally you should have either 2 sugars or none. Our ISP Mr Borrill has the most annoying amount of sugar in the entire world, a third of a teaspoon, for which he has a special teeny-weany teaspoon at home. He says he can drink it without now, but really it's plain that he would still prefer a tiny little bit of sugar in it. If you are going to be awkward and have sugar at least make it worth while.
As for biscuits this is a good opportunity to do some team building. As engineers you can discuss the dunking merits of one biscuit over another through which you'll learn to respect and value the input and opinions of the other team members. You'll also quickly spot the clueless ones and assign them tasks accordingly. Given that there are 12 of you, you'll need to choose wisely avoiding things that come in packs of ten unless you want to buy 6 packs and everybody have 5 of them.
Mind you given that you are students you may be over-reaching yourselves financially to go beyond entry level biscuits. As a student I ate lots of Ginger Nuts, Digestives, Malted Milks and Fruit Shortcakes all excellent Dunkers and whilst I never built a racing car I did manage to loose all of my third year Molecular Biology project results which led to me being advised to try a career in computing instead.
|Mary Ann Lund
Thanks for your wonderful website!
Wise as your advice invariably is, I can't agree with your reply to Linda Dunn that a teaspoon is a vital part of tea preparation. By trying to whip the teabag out of the mug without one, you may, as she says, get burned fingers. But there lies the dangerous thrill of the tea-making process. Will you grab it in one, giving barely a tingle to your agile fingers? Or will you be forced to plumb the depths of the mug, risking health and safety in your quest for the lurking bag? Coffee-drinking has nothing on this.
(surrounded by Yorkshire tea and Choco Leibniz)
|Nicey replies: More complex psychological constructs and dangerous behavioural responses designed to allay your unwillingness to wash up teaspoons I suspect (are you a student?).|
Last year I switched from coffee to tea, and have quickly become spoiled for the U.K. imports. My favorite by far is PG Tips. But there is something I simply don't understand: why do you Brits not have tags and strings on your tea bags? All the UK teas available at my local tea store (Typhoo, PG Tips, Taylors of Harrogate, etc. etc.) are stringless and tagless.
I do a lot of tea drinking at work, and can never find a spoon handy (i.e. am too lazy to wash and dry one every time I use it). I've got perpetually burned fingers.
Then again, I occassionally see a PG tips tag hanging out of a mug on your site, further confusing me. Is it just that you keep the tagged bags for yourself, and ship us the tagless offerings? I'm starting to wish the colonies had never split from your country at all, if this is the case.
Without exception, all the US teas have strings and tags. The only problem is that the tea hanging off the end of the string is crap.
Any help with this appreciated (love your site, btw).
|Nicey replies: The tagged bags are one cup bags, although most people prefer (us included) just to bung a normal bag in their mug and fish it out with a spoon, rather than having all that extraneous string and cardboard. Also the spoon is vital to a properly stirred cup of tea and sort of agitating a suspended bag in your cup does not cut it.
Most brands have such tagged bags but they only really figure largely in catering type scenarios such as trains, and hotel rooms. The ones on our site are various one off promotional ones and I suppose they like the tag as it adds branding.
So really the only advice I can offer is to start taking teaspoons more seriously.