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I read a mail from Carley about her ex-boyfriend's cups of tea. I've heard this before and am a little sceptical that it makes much difference when milk is added, but it is suggested that you can scald the milk if you add it to hot water. I really doubt that the sugar plays much of a role in the flavour difference.
Perhaps you already know, the BSI considered "tea making" worthy of study and won the 1999 Ignoble prize for litereature for their "BS 6008:1980, ISO 3103-1980 Method for preparation of a liquor of tea for use in sensory tests - Procedures for preparation with or without milk.", sadly I have not read it, I consider £11 a bit steep for a six page document... as that buys roughly 10 packs of lovely biccies!
So what is the difference between adding milk first or last...?
CASE 1: Milk first
A 200 ml cup is pre-loaded with 20 ml milk from the fridge, the cup will bring the milk to room temperature.
20 ml of boiling water is added, so then you might think that the average temperature of the 40 ml of liquid would be 60°C, this is unlikely to be the case as the cup itself will be a nice sink for some of the heat, and this is a non-adiabatic system as it's cooling to the air all the time, I'd guess that the maximum temperature after 1 sec is no more than 40°C.
The temperature of the milk then will rise smoothly to 80-90°C as you pour the rest of the water into the cup.
CASE 2: Milk last
first pour in the boiling water, so you have a cup of black tea sitting at 95°C
Then add the cold milk, the milk will cool the tea a little, but the milk itself will go through a very rapid increase in temperature.
If the milk comes straight from your fridge it might start at 4°C, when added to the cup, it will reach something like 80-90°C after just 1 sec, hence the term "scald".
As to the chemical effect of scalding the milk, and what compounds give the funny taste, I've no idea!
Any dairy scientists out there? I'd hazard a guess that it would depend strongly on the thermochemical properties of the milk,
and therefore what type you use e.g. skimmed milk is very easy to burn, UHT has already been "burnt" etc. etc.
It's more likely that Carley's ex-boyfriend could tast the difference in the type of milk used.
My own method is to add the milk first, but that's only so I can put the milk back in the fridge whilst waiting for the water to boil.
|Gordon J. Lowe
||Hi Tea 'n' biccy lovers,|
I was wondering what people thought about some tea bags my mum acquired called "Rocket Fuel". They are regular square bags but fortified with taurine (along with the usual caffeine). The idea, obviously, to get you on the go in the morning a lot efficiently than regular tea.
I found a brew with these bags was too weak (two bags allowed some flavour). I did seem to gain added vigour, but that could have been a "placebo effect".
There was a free sachet of "Rocket Fuel" coffee, which was very nice.
Any views about this product?
PS: favourite biscuit for dunking: Fox's Classic (Fox's ARE the biscuit kings!)
|Nicey replies: They have to put taurine in cat food or else cats go all wrong, that's why you shouldn't give them dog food as they will start to mis-function. So it must be vital ingredient in cats, a bit like tea is in normal human beings. Not sure I would be drawn to the stuff sounds like they are using grotty tea to make them.|
||Hi. Great work Nicey.|
In response to Christine Keeble's leaky teapot misery: it is possible to end those dribbling spout nightmares. Unfortunately this comes at a cost. My mother-in-law cuts a small section of durable, plastic tubing and seats this half over the end of the spout - which effectively gives you a short extension. I can't claim to understand the wonder of such an technology, but it greatly reduces seepage. However, this is detrimental to the overall aesthetics of your teapot. Would the Vicar approve? I don't know.
Personally, I am resigned to making a great deal of mess during the whole making-a-nice-cup-of-tea process, as the final result is worth all the tears shed during it's production.
|Nicey replies: Woo. I really should do a teapot icon to honor such a tale.
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
|Dear Mr Nicey,|
May I first congratulate you on an inspirational website, Never before has any site made me want to leave my computer so much, venture downstairs and make a cracking cup of Yorkshire tea. Thank you.
I feel compelled to add to the mighty Tim-Tam debate that is unfolding before our very eyes by including a couple of instructions for the sucking up of tea through a Tim-Tam that Mr Pigstabber wrote to you about. The Tim-Tam must slightly give way underneath your fingers when the tea has been sucked up, so don't grip the biscuit too hard, and then, the MOST important thing is to put ALL of the Tim-Tam into your mouth for the complete and unadulterated satisfaction and semi-orgasmic experience.
These extra additions I feel will make those virgin Tim-Tam Slammers quiver with sheer delight.
Thank you Ian Norris, you are a legend in your own mixing bowl. Long live the Tim-Tam,
Humble biscuit fan
Never e-mailed you before, son, but I'm sure that you'll be delighted to see this report. It's the proof of what we all knew, deep down in our tannin-stained souls. Tea is the ultimate health drink. Sod fruity smoothies, or carrot juice, or any of that other rubbish. It's tea we need. I only wish that I'd been one of those lucky "human volunteers".
I only wonder whether they got biscuits with their experimental tea? If so, maybe it's actually your average 'penguin' or 'garibaldi' that's really the good stuff? I'm more than willing to find out, should NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown wish to fund any further research into this important issue.
|Nicey replies: Yes I think we all instinctively know that. I see the research was done by Americans in America, we can only guess at the results they would have got if they had used proper tea. As you also speculate were biscuits involved, and of course were they seated? It all has a bearing.|