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I love tea, but I find the few minutes when it is too hot to drink a freshly made cup very frustrating. It is either burn my tongue, or sit there smelling the delicious aroma unable to actually taste it.
Do you have any tips? Clearly more cold water would help, but I feel I would be sacrificing the strength of the cup. I can't brew it any longer to off-set this as I drink mainly green tea which becomes very bitter when over-brewed.
Is this just one of those un-solvable conundrums of tea?
|Nicey replies: Try blowing on it or taking very small sips.|
||Hello Nicey –|
I’ve just been reading all the e-mails on your site – phew, what a lot! It must keep you very busy, so I don’t suppose you have a lot of time to sit down and have a nice cup of tea!
Just thought you’d like to know about “railway tea” – no not that awful stuff that you get on Inter Cities and things, but hot, well–stewed stuff that we steam railway volunteers drink. I work on steam locomotives on the Bluebell Railway in Sussex, and we always take “a brew” with us when on duty (that’s after we’ve drunk gallons of the stuff in the locomen’s lobby beforehand). We have special enamelled tea cans that sit on a shelf, thoughtfully provided specially for the purpose, above the firehole door, which keeps the tea hot (very hot!). Of course, it gets well stewed after an hour or so, and you can stand a spoon up in it (well, nearly – I lied about that just to emphasise how strong it gets!). Can you believe that some chaps (and probably some of the girls) actually leave the tea bags in all day? – just think what that that must do for your constitution!
Biscuits taste really good when held with oily/coaly fingers, and then consumed – nothing like a black fingerprint on your Rich Teas or Gingernuts!
Why don’t you come down some time and sample the delights of a heady brew of railway tea? – it will knock your socks off and put some lead in your pencil!
On the subject of milk (which we weren’t, but we are now), how can people adulterate their tea with anything other than full fat milk? That awful skimmed and semi-skimmed stuff should be banned (and should have a health warning on it, too).
|Nicey replies: Well actually I quite like semi-skimmed in my tea, but if you are going to drink seriously stewed tea as a matter of preference then full fat is the what's needed for that proper greasy finish. When my good friends Andy and Louise walked to the base camp of K2 their sherpa guides liked to brew up tea with lumps of butter in it.|
Following on from the current flurry of vending machine emails I thought people might be interested to hear the latest in vending machine developments over here in Japan.
As many people know Japan is renowned for people working long hours with unwavering dedication to their company and its leaders. This company culture leads people to work 12 to 15 hour days five or more days a week. The end result of this is that a good 30% of people on the train are asleep at any one time. This is a country in clinical need of caffeine, but with little time to drink it.
The Japanese solution to this? Canned tea and coffee of course! Yes! Walk up to any vending machine in Japan (there are 5 million of them at the last count, one for every 24 people or so!) and you will be presented with a selection of canned hot and cold drinks. Drop in 100 yen, about 60p sterling, and out drops a steaming hot can of "Royal Milk Tea" or "Mountain Roast Coffee" in a can.
'Sacrilege!' some may cry! But when you are standing on the platform at Kita Ickibukruo station waiting for the next train to Shibuya, the freezing winds of Western Russia streaming through your overcoat, the hot can vending machine yards away stops being a object of disgust and transforms into an oasis of comfort and warmth. The products in these machines are usually very sweet and slightly clinical, lacking the character and depth of a good, strong, cup of tea, but when there is little else on offer they do fulfil the need for tea.
So do you think this could ever catch on in the west? If you could be sure of a satisfying drink of tea from a can would you buy it? Or is tea too complex a drink to be mass produced in a factory in the back end of nowhere?
|Nicey replies: It all sounds delightfully cyber-punkesque. Hoorah for the Japanese and their hatstand ideas.
Gratuitous link to Oolong the sadly departed head performance rabbit.
||Dear Nicey and The Wife,|
I tend to work a home a lot and so am often the only individual in the house during the day. I do enjoy a good cup of tea, specifically PG Tips and relative newcomer Scottish Blend (both of which come in "Pyramid" varieties), but I find that making tea for one makes me fall short of the regulation "two cups per Pyramid bag." I hate to think that I am using a tea bag to only half of its full potential and was wondering if you could give me any advice on the matter, either regarding the optimisation of tea bag use, or on alternative uses for partly-used tea bags?
|Nicey replies: You should get a really big mug, that way you can maximise your tea bags' potential. You might not always want to finish your big mug but from time to time it will come into its own.
|El Pollo Diablo
Your website is amazingly good, and I like it very much, but I have noticed that your toucan tea drinking news is sadly lacking.
Please allow me to direct you here
El Pollo Diablo
|Nicey replies: They could just remove the large amounts of Guinness from their diet, which is allegedly a good source of iron, but that would be cruel.|