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||Hello Nicey and Wifey,|
I would like to get a message to Adrian Leaman, who wrote in recently to tell of the shocking practice of making tea in the microwave oven - I just want to assure him that not all Americans make tea this way! I have never seen any of my friends make microwave tea, most follow the tradition of using a kettle, a proper mug or cup, or teapot. Maybe it's just Bostonians.... I live in North Carolina. Tearooms have actually become rather popular in our area over the past several years, and they do make tea in the conventional way. So Adrian, I hope you are reassured that if you visit America again, it is possible to find people who know how to do tea without a microwave. At our house, we have a nice Bodum electric kettle that we have enjoyed for some time now.
Nicey and Wifey, I love your website, it is great fun as well as educational to read. My children gave me your book for Christmas and it was an enjoyable read. Thanks for such a great site, keep up the good work!
|Nicey replies: Ellen,
Thanks for setting us all straight on the tea situation in North Carolina, it all sounds very sensible there.
Have you ever come accross the minature immersion kettle before? A friend of mine at school had one. It was a little like the element from a kettle, coated in material that was electrically insulated, but not heat insulated and on the end of a wire plugged into the mains. You took a cup, filled it with water, dunked in the immersion heater and boil away. When the water is boiled, simply turn off the heater, remove from the cup and make your cup of tea. If you are fussy about the way you make your tea simply use two mugs, boil in one, make tea in the other. It made a pretty decent cup of tea as far as I remember. At least it did until he blew the fuses in the boarding house by forgetting to turn it off. With the addition of some kind of safety switch this would make a very handy addition to your suitcase when going to America or other kettle sceptic countries.
|Nicey replies: Indeed a friend at University had one. He would often leave it to heat up cups of coffee he had let go cold, whilst we dragged him off to the pub. Returning to it 3 hours later to find it had enameled the inside of his cup with the very nasty but worthy Oxfam coffee he drank. I noted its existence but gave it a wide birth.|
I have just returned from a trip to the United States which I survived quite well by referring my hosts in advance to your website, and explaining (in a loud voice, I am sorry to say) how essential it is to avoid any form of embarrassment. However, there were one or two disturbing traits which I should bring to your attention. First, the demise of kettles: they seem to have been replaced by microwave ovens. Any form of tea-making involves pre-heating the water in a cup, then applying a stringed tea bag. Secondly, the resultant beverage is then put in an insulated cup, so that it may then be consumed while in an automobile. I need hardly add how shocked I was. On an upbeat note, I am pleased to say how plentiful the supply of Nairn's wheat-free mixed berry were in Boston, although the sting in the tail was the rather steep price, which some might have thought extortionate, but I kept quiet on that one.
|Nicey replies: I blame popular science fiction (you know the one) for making people comfortable with the idea of getting their drink out of a small glass fronted hi-tech cupboard. We have tried to do our bit to redress the balance by bunging Patrick Stewart a copy of our book when we ran into him last autumn.|
McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
As an English tea drinking addict marooned in deepest Pennsylvania [due to husband's job] it was a delight to discover your website detailed in a precious copy of the Sunday Times brought over to me from deal old blighty. Tea and biscuits in hillbilly country here are virtually non-existent and we rely on friends to bring these necessities to us in bulk when they visit. There are one or two small shops scattered over this vast country that sell UK goods at vastly inflated prices so I can survive to a degree - I have been known to pay $6 for a small packet of Choc Digestives...consumed in one go I might add. The yanks don't do biscuits - they do cookies which are vile. We can buy 'British' tea here but you know, it doesn't taste the same - it's all down to the water I think. Reading your article on kettles made me chuckle as well - it took me months to find one here as everyone drinks coffee and use percolators. So enjoy your tea and biscuits and give a thought to us folk over here who are deprived of these basics!
In my world a kettle was a kettle, it boils water just like it says on the box. That was until I met with the Hinari JS501SS Jug kettle. Okay it boils water fine...but how can one kettle possibly make that much noise coming up to the boil!! If World War III broke out whilst I was making tea I'd never ever know. Our kitchen trannie won't even go loud enough to be heard over the kettle and any quiet conversation escalates in volume to that of a shouting match. It makes me wonder about Hinari's R&D dept., maybe its sited in a really noisy part of the factory and no one ever noticed the kettle was that noisy.
I'm waiting for it to break down but knowing sods law it'll go on for ever...arghhhh.