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Now this is going to sound like one of those Viz ideas or even something out of Take a Break magazine but anyway here is a very nearly revolutionary idea.
You see I only ever use milk in tea, I drink coffee black and dont have time for cereal in the mornings. Sometimes I dont even have time for tea (because I believe that 10mins extra in bed is approx equal to a cup of tea).
Because of this I was finding that I was throwing out alot of unused milk.
So I came up with the following idea - you know those freezer bags which you fill with water to make ice cubes? Guess what?! Yep fill 'em full of milk and hey presto! Milk Cubes!
I find that one cube is sufficient (I like my tea on the strong side) and that after infusing in a cup whilst I shower in the mornings one milk cube makes a perfect cup of tea which is just on the right side of hot / drinkable.
What do you think?!
|Nicey replies: I think it gets a cautious Rocket Science icon.
Kate Allen's scientific teabag timing methods could be well employed wherever there is a proliferation of tea bag types, leading to tannin barriers at different points.
We need a graph, probably not one of those lovely 3-D ones that Ex-hell gives you, but one that really helps the bewildered coffee drinker to understand the complex relationship between teabag type, agitation (of the bag, not the tea maker), size of mug, time of day etc.
Here, the other half asks "tea, dear?" to which the answer is inevitably "oh, twist my arm then", but the follow up is more and more complicated "bog standard, decaf, assam or darjeeling?" followed by "how long do I leave it in for?" A graph in the kitchen would do the trick nicely.
Hmm, suppose I'm asking for trouble by not making it myself.
|Nicey replies: Definitely a PhD in there, and possibly a whole new branch of mathematics.|
Caught the show on UK Food the other day, good showing by your good self as ever - never heard that bit about Iced Gems before . . . nice to know that I can still learn something.
Anyway, onto more important matters.
As you know, I always like to push the envelope and go a bit eXtreme with my biscuit eating - desperately scouring the shelves to find weirder and weirder tea time treats (with disastrous results sometimes like those bloody awful Apple and Cinnamon jobbies from Asda) and have
now moved onto experimental tea drinking thanks to the works coffee machine.
I'm currently running a very nice (and very big) metal thermal mug courtesy of Starbucks. No handle, rubber grip, rubber bottom, doesn't fall over easily . . . very nice all round.
The problem I have with it is that I don't drink tea really hot and due to the thermal properties of the mug it now takes over 30 minutes to cool down to a drinkable temperature (instead of the usual 10 or so). Because of this my tea invariably ends up with a skin on it (which I thought was odd because I always believed that the skin was formed when the tea cooled but it turns out it's a function of time) which I have to scrape off or drink through.
In order to alleviate this situation I have taken to blasting my tea with the coffee machines cappuccino wand to give it a nice thick frothy covering . . . it works quite well, significantly reducing skin formation while I wait for it to cool and surprisingly the covering of bubbles doesn't seem to do anything to keep the tea warm for longer (good job too).
Anyway I've christened my new creation a Cappeteano . . . it's a bit of a faff and I can't do it at home as we don't have a coffee machine but while the technology is here I might as well use it.
Just as a matter of interest . . . What sort of technical advances do you think would benefit tea drinkers in the future???
|Nicey replies: Adam,
The tea is simply trying to form a protective skin to stop you giving it any more abuse than you already have. Possibly in future we might have super powerful computers watching over our every move and advising us when we are in danger of making a really offensive cup of tea by bunging it a cross between a tin can and a thermos then blasting steam through it, I expect.
BTW I'm back on UK Food next Wednesday as apparently we failed to fit all of the biscuit universe into seven minutes.
(Its alright I know Adam personally so you can all be as rude as you like about his misguided tea making)
||Sorry, but this important question has just come up - surely if you put cold milk in tea there is no need to pour out hot tea and replace it with cold tap water? Similarly, why is it that although in posh coffee houses they make coffee with hot milk, no-one ever makes tea with hot milk - why not??|
|Nicey replies: All to do with the denaturation point of casein the main protein in milk. By forming complexes with the tannins in the tea the milk protein softens the taste, which is how most of us like our tea. Hot milk doesn't do this as well because the protein is all mashed up. Of course this was the central point to the recent study by the Royal Society of Chemistry on tea making. |
|| As a keen mountain climber and hill walker i always carry with me my trusty thermos of tea with a seperate bottle of milk as otherwise the milk tastes like that manky UHT stuff one finds in hotels. Naturally i cary some small snack to keep my energy up, normally some shortbread or "digger biscuits" (family recipe, 'nuff said tho when it's basiclaly oats and golden syrup). However, recently i was tihnking of taking a trip further afield with som friends, notably the Andes in South America or parhaps the Alps depending on funds, when to my horror i learnt something that should put every tea drinker from ever going to anywhere of notable altitude. A physics frined of mine told me that according to kinetic theory as altitude increases, pressure decreases so the temperature needed to boil water decreases. This doesn't sound too bad, until you realise that at the top of the Alps water boils at 80 degrees Centigrade or at the top of Everest it is a lukewarm 60 degrees. So no tea to stave hypothermia off and, unfortunately, no trip. It does make you wonder how Edmund Hillary got to the top of Everest tho. In the meantime, Explorers BEWARE, tea at altitude is lacking in taste and heat.|
|Nicey replies: The highest I've made tea is about 1800M above sea level. It works well enough at that altitude providing one doesn't use the local tea bags.|