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I was prompted to remember this by your poll. I always refuse to call herbal tea 'tea'. Surely a drink must contain tea leaves to qualify for the moniker. What's your view? I think they should be called "herbal tea-like drink infusion", so those expecting actual tea from the misleading label will not be disappointed again. I can see why this might not catch on though...
|Nicey replies: Oh quite. I mean coffee doesn't get all this grief does it? Occasionally chicory or something tries to get involved, but it does have completely random things like stinging nettles, stinky old camomile, rose-hips or blackcurrant leaves passing themselves off as it. If I was tea I would be very indignant, and demand that they only assume the title of "herbal infusion", and use a different shelf entirely in the supermarket.
Hope all's well :)
On the subject of Iced Tea, I have to say that there is a world of difference between a lukewarm bottle of Lipton's and the Real Thing, which, when drunk on a REALLY hot day, is incredible. The best (and only) way of serving iced tea I discovered when on holiday in San Francisco and at a restaurant called 'Max's'.
Order it there and they will bring a teapot of freshly brewing tea to your table (along with the usual sugar), accompanied by a huge glass tumbler filled to the brim with ice (plus extra ice on the side!) and wedges of lemon and lime. The exciting thing is when you get to pour your freshly brewed tea over the ice and watch it melt instantaneously! Add sugar/ lemon/ice as you wish and you have yourself a really great drink! So - all you tea-drinkers out there; In the blistering summer, forget all that Lipton rubbish! Give real iced tea a chance!
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
A friend of mine has just paid a visit to Eastern Europe and tells me that on ordering a nice cup of tea in a café, she was presented with a mug of black tea with a separate bottle of lemon juice. Is this common practice in Eastern Europe and, if so, is it a perhaps consequence of European legislation governing milk quotas?
|Nicey replies: Yes I've had the lemon thing happen to me, its quite cruel, as the promise of a proper nice cup of tea is dashed by the appearance of the yellow citrus nonsense.|
||Dear Nicey and the wife,|
Having looked through your feedback, I notice that there are many items relating to various cakes and biscuits but very little correspondence on the subject of toast.
I imagine that for most people, the phrase "A nice cup of tea and a sit down" evokes an image of afternoon tea. This is perfectly understandable as the 3 o'clock cuppa or a freshly brewed pot on arriving home after work are the most anticipated and well deserved breaks in the average day. On these occasions, a biscuit or a nice piece of cake is exactly the right accompaniment.
There are, however, other tea drinking opportunities, particularly breakfast and supper time, when a slice of toast is more appealing. As a child, one of my favourite culinary treats was hot, buttered toast with a sprinkling of sugar. The toast has to be hot to allow the sugar to melt into the butter. Nowadays, I enjoy toast with butter or marmalade for breakfast. Speciality jams are also provided for the younger members of the household.
For supper, I will occasionally top my toast with peanut butter or something more exotic such as cheese (with a dash of Lea & Perrin's), pilchards, plum tomatoes or mushrooms with cream.
Perhaps you could provide a survey on the best "toast topper", including butter, jam, marmalade, peanut butter, marmite (yuck!), mashed banana etc.
As you can see from this short list of options, toast is extremely versatile and should note be ignored.
p.s. Possibe new icon alert.
|Nicey replies: Kieth,
Our mate Nick Parker wrote a splendid book on toast, he also ran the London marathon last Sunday.
Of course Toast falls within the gamut of tea and sitting down activity. Wifey likes tea before, during and after Toast in the morning. Wifey sticks rigidly to Marmite or cheese. I like Bovril, Marmalade, sometimes a spot of jam occasionally Peanut Butter with sweet pickle or fresh ground black pepper. A spot of Heinz Tomato Ketchup is very good also. The whole team enjoys Sardines on toast and we feel strongly that more people should eat Sardines on toast.
I'll try a sweet toppings poll first, but I think I know the outcome already.
Big Woos for the icon fest nature of this message
||When at home I've been using very large tea cups, you know the really big wide ones, for years, and I think the tea in said cups cools at just the right pace for sustained tea enjoyment. Infact when I visit my parents or other old people and am offered tea in traditional "tea cups" I sometimes|
defer. (I do note that some older tea cups do have a splayed flange or rim which I believe was an early attempt at what modern day big tea cups are so good at.) I have also noticed that tea served on trains (Great Western/Penzance line)in those tall ribbed plastic cups stand NOT A CHANCE
at proper heat dispersal. (Hot enough to blister your lips for a frustrating 15 minutes then stone cold all of a sudden. Well within 5 minutes anyway.) I might add that Great Western sell a bloody good 4 pack of Fruit Shrewsbury biscuits however, even they're a little delicate for dunking.
The Germans are bloody good at biscuits aren't they.
|Nicey replies: Yes we are hearing good things about the Fruit Shrewsburys on trains.
As for the Germans I find them a bit fixated on Ginger and Spice in their biscuits which is fine just a bit samey. Still I've only been there once so what do I know.