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||I've just tried the Korean spin on instant tea, crystallized ginseng. It's a product of the Dongwon Korean Ginseng Company based in Seoul. I don't get that same steepy goodness from this tea that could be expected from the root itself, and to get the right strength two packets of the stuff should be used (10 to a box). The crystals dissolve instantly with a fizzly sound, producing a thin layer of froth in the cup. I recommend honey as a sweetener if desired, but only in moderate amount so as to not overpower the ginseng. It has a pleasing warmth to it, and soothes the throat in the opposite way of the cool slightly minty Echinacea brews. Although the idea of instant tea may initially put off, it's crystals rather than powder and worth a try simply because it's so convenient and will even dissolve readily in cold water (I prefer it hot, of course).|
|Nicey replies: Washed down with some Purple Yam biscuits no doubt.
I think we'll stick to PG and Digestives.
|Mrs Ann Day
||Good afternoon Nicey,|
Love the site. Anything that keeps me off of eBay is a good thing!
Where do you sit on the subject of date slice? Is it a biscuit or a cake or something else? I have made loads of these as they go well at a cricket tea along with the jam and cream scones, chocolate cake and strong tea. I always know when to start brewing the tea....it's when my husband goes in to bat.
As an addition to my extensive cake repetoire I have invented the bakewell slice and the mincemeat and marzipan slice. Basically the same constrution as the date slice but filled with marzipan and mincemeat/jam of your choice. I especially like making them as my husband hates marzipan and I get to eat them all ;-)
On the subject of tea I have been to India on a number of occasions and they can't make tea worth a damn. what with the hot milk and boiling everything up together in a saucepan. What is it with Lipton's Yellow label tea? It seems to be all you can get in hotels. I've travelled extensively and the only hotel where it wasn't on the breakfast table was in The Dominican Republic where they served proper Twinings Breakfast tea.
|Nicey replies: Ann,
We had a discussion on this very topic not so long ago and agreed that 'slice' should be a recognised term deserving of its own circle in our mighty Venn Diagram of the baked goods world. It has the significant advantage of neatly solving the 'Flapjack dilemma' that has plagued cake biscuit taxonomy theory for years.
Of course the only problem in all of this is that I had just got the diagram looking very nice for the book and I'll have to redo it.
||Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
I know you don't much like fancy teas but will be tolerant of those who do. Occasionally in England or Scotland it is possible to find Twinings' Rose Pouchong Tea which has a lovely subtle flavour of dusty potpourri. In Ireland it is IMPOSSIBLE to find it and so I am developing a nervous tic in my left eye. What should I do?
|Nicey replies: You need to find a tea buddy in England or Scotland that has cravings for Barry's tea and you can exchange parcels.
||Dear Mr Nicey and Mrs Wifey,|
Tomorrow and Friday, my wife and I will be entertaining electrical engineers while they do some work to our house.
Of course we are concerned that we give them the right tea and biscuits for the occasion. We plan to give them Sainsbury Red Label tea (from tea bags) as we find this to be a good reliable brew. You can easily get two mugs out of one tea bag and the taste seems to suit most people.
However, we are not sure what would be the best biscuit: my immediate thought was the Rich Tea (although we do only have digestives in the house at present). In your experience, is there a biscuit that you would recommend for feeding electrical engineers whilst they are at work? Would they be disappointed by a Rich Tea or a Digestive as these bisuits are non chocolate and a bit traditional?
|Nicey replies: Alan,
I think you have it all under control, of course you might need to have the sugar handy as they could require up to three spoonfuls per mug although two is more common. I would normally serve Rich Teas to any trades people who are working outside, as they are optimised for high speed dunking in rapidly cooling tea. Presumably your electrical work is inside in which case the Digestives should work well, or maybe some nice Fruit Shortcake, or Custard Creams. You should always be aiming to offer a biscuit that is humble yet tasty, in this way your 'guest' will feel quite comfortable tucking away as many as they fancy. If the biscuits are too fancy then people can feel inhibited, and not take as many biscuits as they should. If you feel their work has been of exceptional quality and their manner courteous and thoughtful then you might wish to serve them a Penguin with their last cuppa.
||I thought you may be interested to learn that the vending machine in the physics department of imperial college (a place at the very forefront of scientific invention) has a vending machine of the 'clix' brand which in addition to the regular vending machine issues you have highlighted also revels in giving you the 60p you get back from a pound in exchange for your steaming liquid entirely in 1p pieces.|
In continental tea issues my girlfriend is currently living in Germany where they seem to have pioneered a kind of halfway house between loose leaf and the tea bag. I'm not sure if you are aware of this development but essentially it is a very long teabag which is open at one end, the theory is you put your loose leaf into the bag and then put it into your mug. The teabag is just long enough that it stands in your mug without the contents spilling over into the tea when you add water. I think they're rather clever.
Yours Peter Burgess
|Nicey replies: No I'd not heard of those DIY teabags, they sound like they could be well received by 'ALL tea bags are filled with sweepings' brigade. One such lady last Tuesday tried to tell me that those little metal ball things on chains were marvelous, that I should go to India to see how tea is really made before having an opinion on it, and that as she was a wine writer she knew a thing or two about things and I was best advised not to argue with her. I told her that we drink PG and this seemed to annoy her sufficiently.|