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A very good mate of mine is very logical, precise, and deliberate in his own way. One of his particularly ideosynchratic traits is to stir his cup of tea exactly 25 times. This habit always perplexed me and I asked him today via email why he did this.
I thought I would share his reply with you:
I don't really stir it exactly 25 times, that's a bit too precise, even for me. It's more about firstly getting the stirring done while the tea is piping hot (ie before adding milk) and then ensuring you get the tea up to as high a rotational velocity as possible. The reason for doing this is because ease of sugar dissolution improves as both temperature and motion increase. The way sugar (a solid) dissolves in tea (a liquid) is by the sugar particles getting into the gaps between the tea particles. As you are aware everything expands as it heats up, however it remains the same mass/weight, therefore it is actually the spaces between the particles which get bigger, not the particles themselves. So the higher the temperature the more chance the sugar particles have of sneaking into these spaces. Similarly, the motion of stirring causes more gaps between the particles to be exposed, thus improving the rate at which the sugar can get into the gaps. The result of course is a more delicious cup of tea which has an even mix of sweetness throughout the tea in the cup (ie no pile of sugar in the bottom of your cup).
More information than I expected, but enlightening nonetheless, don't you think?
|Nicey replies: Perhaps you should suggest he gives up sugar, as its obviously making him a bit unhinged in a Howard Hughes sort of way.
||I'm not sure that Gavin Mist would be able to get nice cup of tea in germany even if he took his own teabags. I've always found the problem to be that when you ask for a cup of tea, you get given a pot of lukewarm water, a jug of cream and a teabag. If you can persuade someone to pour the boiling water directly on the tea and to replace the cream with milk, the tea is actually quite nice. If you can't do this, just drink the green tea or the stuff they do called kaminfeuer which is quite nice without milk.|
Incidentally its worth going to german tea shops to stock up as they sell a huge variety of really really nice loose leaf tea which is tastes fantastic as long as its made in the proper (ie british) fashion.
||I do apologize for the shock Kate Allen has received, but have to say that I'm not really surprised.|
My father, who I believe burned off his taste buds some time ago, will not only reheat his tea or coffee in the microwave several times, but has been known to come back to the same not yet finished cup the following day, scrape off whatever that is floating on top, and heat it again.
I prefer a fresh cuppa.
I shall soon be having to spend 3 or 4 weeks working in Germany. Now, much as I try to be a good European, experience has shown that it's impossible to get a good cuppa on the Continent.
Do you or any of your correspondents have any tips on how a dedicated tea drinker can survive in a tea oasis for several weeks?
Any advice gratefully received.
Desperate of York
|Nicey replies: Gavin,
Start by bringing your own tea bags, thats it really.
|Ive been sitting here for the past 2 hours (its about 5 am) in my cold basement somewhere in Canada, surfing the net, really needing a nice cup of tea. Not residing in this country very long and very dubious of what resembles tea over here, last week I ordered a tea with milk from a local Coffee-Time. My husband brought it to me, I sipped it and said "does this tea taste like ****?" - vaguely reminiscent of that famous Austin Powers sketch. My long-suffering hubby duly returned the luke- warm sludge, only to discover that the server had placed the tea-bag into the cup and filled it up with black coffee!|
p.s. the only English biscuit I can find in my local store is McVities Digestive (plain) - thank heavens for small mercies. But it doesn't quite taste the same?????
Anne - Toronto