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A long time ago, inspired by the comments and letters of other visitors to your website, i sent you my own dark and sorry vending machine story. The machine in question, i'm sad to report, is still installed here as the only source of hots drinks. So repulised was i this lunch time, when against my better judgement i attempted to drink tea from it, i was inspired to write this poem...
The air conditioning is on full blast
Its raging torrent is dry and vast
My throat and eyes are red and sore
'What a place to work', I scathingly deplore
Tetley, Twinnings, PG Tips
A smooth warm mug I taste on my lips
Yet a thin white cup burns into my hand
As I choke back chemicals that will one day be banned,
I am dry, this liquid is wet
But the relief I imagined curdles to regret
An unnatural bitterness, repulsive a vile
Sinks into my tongue and bubbles like bile
I'm a victim of fraud,
And I’ve paid my fee
20 sodding pence for plastic tea.
|As a Kiwi now resident in Australia, and a keen Afghan maker/consumer, I can assure you that no Aussie I have asked has ever heard of them, so I would claim them as a purely NZ thing. No idea where the name comes from -- I did wonder if they were Victorian, named during a war on the North West Frontier, but the cornflakes would argue for a more recent invention. The Griffin's ones are gravely disappointing. It wouldn't be so bad if they called them Mediocre Milk Chocolate Crunchies or something, but to attach to them the hallowed name of Afghan is approaching sacrilege. But they're the sort of thing that has to be homemade to be any good anyway|
|Mr and Mrs Brooks
currently living in L.A., a yearning for all things british sparked a discussion between my husband and I about the Great British biscuit assortments of our 1970s childhood, we loathed Lincolns but were both fans of the lemon puff and realised we hadn't seen one for a while. Do they still exist?
Keeping the flag flying, love to the wife
Mr and Mrs Brooks
|Nicey replies: Yes the Lemon puff is still around although its a pale shadow of its former self. Lemon puffs of old were rectangular with a scalloped edge and were finished in a sticky sugar glaze. This was baked until it just began to caramelise giving the biscuits a rich golden colour. I actually didn't like them much as they were too much like a couple of crackers that were trying to make it in the world of sweet biscuits. None the less I respected the path they had taken.
Lemon puffs today are small round affairs, the glaze is virtually non existent, the lemon filling isn't tart enough, and the biscuits are drab. Apparently the Lemon Puff is very popular in Sri Lanka, so may be you can still get good ones there.
|Hello my dearest Nicey & TW|
Hearty congratulations on your recent "moving experience".
The current NCCTAASD survey intrigued me as though both Tea and Coffee stayed on the menu throughout four pregnancies, Sugar was permanently ditched at the onset of the first after religiously taking two teaspoons per cup since childhood.
This left a substantial calorific vacuum in my diet to be filled with an extra dip into the biscuit barrel, which was my ragged excuse for taking liberties with the family Hob-nob & Abbey Crunch quota ...hurrah for "eating for two" :-)
all the best, as ever
||Dear Nicey, Wife and co.,|
Although your attitude to our national beverage seems very sound in general, I'm somewhat offended that you choose to represent it with a picture of the kind of cup of tea you get on trains. I appreciate that personal preferences differ, but surely these are without a doubt the least satisfactory cups of tea the average person ever has to endure? To my mind this is for three main reasons:
1. There's no control over the tea-making process - you'll get it how it comes, and if it's stewed by the time you get it back to your seat, there's little you can do about it with your one little pot of milk-substitute
2. The equipment provided is inadequate - plastic cups are no way to serve a brew, and there's rarely a good place to put the tea-bag
3. The motion of the train is more than likely to make the hot tea slop all over your face as you sip, scalding your lips and perhaps even staining your shirt front.
How about presenting a positive image of tea to the world, with a picture of a perfect cup of tea in a large mug (white on the inside for preference - don't know why but research shows this makes tea look more appealing)?
Thanks for reading my one quibble with your otherwise fabulous site,
|Nicey replies: Kirsty,
Yes indeed it is a cup of tea on a train. I choose that picture, because its iconoclastic, which I thought was nice.