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||Dear Nicey -|
The coffee/ tea sound difference is an interesting issue. I believe that the difference in sound is due to a greater viscosity in coffee than in tea. This difference in consistency between the two liquids is due to their chemical composition.
Coffee's main constituents are: phenolic polymers (pulp) 8%, polysaccharides 6%, chlorogenic acids 4%, minerals 3%, water 2%, caffeine 1%, organic acids 0.5%, sugars 0.3%, lipids 0.2%, and aroma 0.1%. Tea - especially if brewed from higher grade 'large leaf' varieties - does not contain such a high proportion of pulp or polysaccharides. Coffee is made from the bean - a nutritionally rich source of water-soluble compounds. Tea, of course, is brewed from the leaf - a comparitively scarce source of nutrients.
This 'pulpiness' in coffee, (plus the presesnce of quinic acid, a sugar-like molecule), makes for a 'thick' liquid (also contributed to by the addition of milk) through which sound travels more slowly than the 'thin' consistency of tea: thus the 'clunk' as opposed to 'clink'. (A bit like whisked egg-white in a glass bowl!)
Hope that helps?
|Nicey replies: Woo - we'll that's that sorted out then. Of course we are also open to silly explanations too. |
||re: Stephen Pearce's mail.|
I can't believe that unless I hear it myself. I'm going to try it tonight. Is it instant or fresh coffee do we know? This could be something big.
|Nicey replies: These are exciting times indeed Jim. I too pondered the fresh or instant thing and could decide which one deserved to go clunk-clunk. Fresh always thinks its the bee's knees and yet it doesn't have the paper seal on top of the jar or better still catering size tin, awaiting the bold tea spoon of destruction. So I decided both probably go clunk-clunk.|
||Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
Sorry to bother you again with my musings but another age old question from my dark days of biscuit modification is why does Tea when stirred with the milk in make a tink-a-tink-a-tink sound whereas coffee with milk in makes a cluck-a-luck-a-luck sound. I have replicated this experiment since my childhood and can assure you that this phenomenon exists even when using the same mug! Is it just me that noticed this or are there others?
Thanks again for humouring me.
|Nicey replies: Not at all Steve, that's and excellent point, and exactly the sort of issues we like to confront head on.
||Hi Nicey (and/or Wifey),|
Bit of a question for you. We're having a bit of a debate in the office today. Let me set the scene for you:
Four of us having tea, two with sugar so we use two different spoons so not to contaminate the non-sugar takers. I'm fine with this. It's a bit weird, because in my opinion surely everyone benefits from sugar in their tea. But I digress...
One of the newsreaders in the studio (we work in a radio station) says she prefers to have a strong cup of tea with quite a fair bit of milk in. I say this defeats the object of having a strong cup of tea. Surely having lots of milk dilutes the strength of the tea and ends up as have wasted a lot of time waiting for the tea to diffuse and ultimately makes the tea colder? As I like a strong cup of tea I hardly put any milk in the cup at all, so not as to receive a cup of mainly milk.
Just thought if you knew who wins this argument?
We like your book, by the way.
|Nicey replies: Pete,
This is a fruitless argument as nobody is doing anything utterly wrong here with their tea making. As we said only a mere twelve emails ago "everybody likes tea the way they like it", and we should respect that. Putting lots of milk in strong tea merely creates milky strong tea, which is not the same same as milky weak tea, neither of which I would go for but I can accept they are both different to strong tea with a dash of milk.
I suggest you stop picking arguments over the strength of each others tea, and move to more debatable subject such as which biscuits you should be eating.
||Dear Wifey and Nicey|
I am very worried about the way you make your tea, after all your site is called " nice cup of tea..."
It may seem a small thing but in my experience a fine biscuit and a lovely sit down is very easily ruined by a poorly brewed beverage. I urge you to reconsider - one pyramid tea bag for two cups? Then you put the milk in? It's a recipe for disaster and will almost certainly force the rebranding of that classic dunker Rich Tea and then where would we all be?
My own personal preference is Clipper Organic Assam made in a lovely teapot, proper milk none of that semi skimmed rubbish and a nice mug. (I'm making the assumption that the plastic cup in your photo was for promotional reasons so i won't dwell on it.) Please give it a try, it's a tea with the substance and gravitas a nice sit down and biscuit deserves.
|Nicey replies: Fiona,
Fiona, Fiona, much confidence have you in your own tea, yet remain closed your eyes do to tea in general (yes that was in a Yoda voice). As we always say when we get an email such as yours that implores us to make tea just like you have it, "Everybody likes tea the way they like it". You will have read those words but not taken on board their meaning. We respect your opinion on tea but its no more correct or valid than anybody else's, except for the people who put the milk in with the tea bag before adding the water.
The picture of the cup of tea on the train, is a picture of a real cup of tea as drunk by thousands of people every day. Its there to challenge peoples perceptions of tea, most of which are over sentimental. Its not some stereotypical image from a bygone age, but it was a useful cup of tea and I think I washed it down with a triple pack of Jaffa Cakes. If you are shocked by the reality of tea in the 21st Century then perhaps you should stay indoors.