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Emily Hopkins
Nicey replies: Well in Balamory PC Plum finishes off a plate of Miss Hoolie's Custard Creams whilst on his rounds, as well as a cuppa. This evidently means he is a bad-un, on the take and up there with the likes of Don Beeche of the Bill (although he seems to be in Eastenders now).

Frances Dunlop
Nicey replies: That puts me mind of a charming letter I received this week from a gentleman who had been a POW in Italy during WWII. He recounted how his last pinch of precious tea leaves were offered up in an enamel mug to a passing driver of an Italian steam locomotive. The British chaps gestured that would like some hot water in their mugs, with much mutual denouncement of war as a bad thing between both parties. The kind engine driver then used jets of steam to blast out what he took to be bits of old filthy stuff in the bottom of the chaps mug and returned it to him nice and clean and empty. He didn't get another cup of tea for two and a half years.

Nicey replies: I've not actually ventured into decaffeinated tea, and so couldn't say. If its anything like decaf coffee then the solvent based extraction of the caffeine also takes some of the more volatile components of the taste and flavour with it. However, if you need to drink the stuff then its very welcome.

Mark George
Nicey replies: As you leave your bag in for two minutes I certainly wouldn't try to make another cup with it. However we only give our bags a matter of 10-15 seconds whilst giving it a bit of a stir, and it works fine for us and a great many others for that matter. As we explained in the book when talking about leaf size in modern tea bags after two minutes a average tea bag in a mug will have begun to stew so unless it is removed exceedingly carefully will release the stewed tea from within, hence the perceived baggy flavour. This is due to the heavier molecular weight tannins which account for this flavour being able to move through the now saturated and hence widely spaced fibers of the cell walls. If the bag were to do this in the context of a teapot then it wouldn't be so much of an issue as it would no doubt be working with more than one mug of boiling water.

If somebody were to make a cup of of tea with one of your used two minute bags it would taste awfully stewed, and I certainly wouldn't fancy that.

I hope we have arrived at some sort of understanding.