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Good tea, methinks, is like fine wine (not that I can drink that nowadays): it should be served as is, so that one can savour its subtleties. OK, if it's a plain brown wrapper sort of tea, a wee dram of milk might even improve it. In the olden days, I used to add a drop of evaporated milk for a nice flavour. But milk with pure Ceylon, or Assam, Darjeeling, Russian Caravan, Scottish Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, ye gods, that's not NICE! I was once given a cup of Earl Grey with milk in it. It tasted a bit like shaving cream. And I do know what shaving cream tastes like. I once brushed my teeth with it. Not a practice I would reccomend.
|Nicey replies: Hi Brian,
We drink our tea with a dash of milk, too much and our very hard water creates a mad sort brown film which slides around the sides of the mug in a fairly off putting way.
We are three Temps having our last day together at a car rental admin office and are all fans of your site. We are having a special tea and biscuits sit down this afternoon.
I said we should all vote for what biscuits we should have (2 packets). Only choc chip cookies came up as a common vote, all the rest were different so I shall abuse my power as the one going to the shop to choose the second packet.
Anyway one thing we have not come across on your site is the hot topic of tea making. Mike says put the milk in last I say put it in before the hot water. Scientifically I know the tea will brew more if hotter (i.e. water before milk) but tea making is an art as well as a science and I prefer the texture of tea made milk first. Any official Nicecupofteaandasitdown view on the subject?
|Nicey replies: We make our tea milk last, however that is our preference. Tea is such a personal matter that we wouldn't be as bold as to say which is the correct way of making it and drinking it. However, George Orwell had no such compunctions a wrote a definitive essay on how to make and drink tea. This was in the days prior to mugs and tea-bags, both of which I think he would have disapproved of.
Tunnocks Wafer Review
I love Tunnocks wafers but never seem to buy them. I also know of no-one who buys them. If 4 million are sold every week then who the hell is buying them? Maybe manufacturers of budget washing powders are buying them in bulk and adding them to their powder in order to give poor kids the smell we all know and hate.....just a thought.
|Nicey replies: Well spotted Jim. We wondered about this very paradox previously, and assumed that it was the Scottish themselves, of which there are over 5,000,000. So they would be able to take of them all if they only ate one each a week.
Maybe somebody Scottish could provide estimates of how many Tunnocks wafers and by what proportion of the population are eaten. We could the do the sums and estimate how much of their weekly production they send down south.
It has also been pointed out that the Scottish apparently enjoy a higher standard of health care, maybe this helps certain individuals cope with massive intakes of Tunnocks wafers, who may responsible for mopping up hundreds of thousands of them. We don't know this is pure speculation.
|Alan (Fred) Pipes
Glad you enjoyed your Welsh mini-break -- did you get to sample any laver
bread? Talking of which, I must throw my hat into the ring vis-a-vis Soreen
Malt Loaf -- there is only one 'tea bread' -- don't accept a substitute.
Despite abandoning their waxed paper wrapper yonks ago, Soreen is still the best! And even better toasted with a knob of butter (none of this
new-fangled Benecol rubbish)!!!
All this talk of antiques led me to delve into several of my semi-active tea
caddies and re-examine my tea spoons, two of which I have photographed for your edification.
|Nicey replies: (Fred),
Thanks for that fantastic picture of tea caddy spoons.
Malt loaf is splendid stuff indeed, there was a two for one offer on Soreen Malt loaves in Iceland last year which resulted in a great many of them being scoffed. It also gave us the freedom to experiment with cutting them length ways.
Didn't sample any laver bread, not near enough to the coast. Llanelli market is the place for that sort of seaweed technology.
Take heed from these wise words!
"Resolve to be a master of change rather than a victim of change."
Many biscuit loving people would love to be in your position, you have a gift. What other man could hold and captivate the ear of a biscuit lover? No politician or monarch, or even religious leader could claim to be first and foremost a biscuit ambassador. You have demonstrated and communicated to the everyday person your bond with the biscuit and yet, on this occasion I feel that your grief and heartache, at the demise of the biscuit related receptacle has clouded, nay overcome your judgement.
As Jesse Jackson, a long time biscuit lover once said:
"Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change."
No-one has ever said that having a nicecupofteaandasitdown would be easy? Modern life is geared towards change and progress, both bitter enemies to the barrel lover, I can tell you! Like it or not we are faced with a problem. At the current rate of decline the biscuit barrel has become the most endangered of household items. It has overtaken even the most anachronistic of everyday items, such as the tea strainer (often found in period dramas and daytime programmes such as Bargain hunt (see local listings for details)), to become the number one article of decline.
Environmental factors are partly to blame, the kitchen environment is changing. The tasteful brown barrel, which used to go so well with the brown tiles (with the leaf relief on them) is an abhorrence in the chrome and Ikea 21st Century kitchens. Brown tiles have made way for funky MDF Designs pioneered by such angels of destruction as Linda Barker. As a result many barrels are barren, empty vessels consigned to the back of some silver painted cupboard, along with the lemon juicer and the salad spinner .These factors have caused barrels to decline ten fold in the latter part of the 1980's (*W.H.O. report 1994) . If the exponential decrease of the barrels continues, the last barrel to exist will be melted down (to provide metal reserves for the mass production of the newly re-discovered and highly fashionable tea strainer) on the 27 April 2013.
This does not have to be.
Resolve to be a master of change. Set the production lines! Produce a new biscuit tin of startling and revolutionary design, that still fulfils the vital function of a traditional biscuit vesicle. Use your design skills and your position to woo the general public to again embrace and covet the biscuit tin. It can be done. You are the one to do it. Soon everyone will want a bite of the biscuit and new tins will appear everywhere. Linda (slag to fashion) Barker will be obliged to extol the virtues of "this realllly funky biscuit tin thingy" and it would all be because of you.
P.S. My current tin is showing signs of age. Dents have started accumulating and the crumbs are fossilising at an alarming rate. I believe it to be Roman as it shows a map of Londinium, the Latin word for London (as I'm sure you know) so time is of the essence. Help me nicey, you're my only hope!