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I'd like to stick up for Katie a little. I am a one bag per cup man, not because I am a man of infinite tea resources, but due to the fact that surely the second cup made will be of superior strength and quality. Also, I have always heard the theory when making a pot of tea, that x+1 bags should be used. Where x is the number of cups required. This is even more excessive than the one bag per cup method employed by Katie.
One thing I can't disagree with however is the main ethos in all tea making matters. Make it how you like it. In fact I think I will...right now. Excuse me.
|Nicey replies: Jim,
I hear what you are saying but I think its one 'spoon' each plus one for the pot. As I said teabags tend to be a bit generous so I think that equation may not hold true except for people who have big teapots and like strong tea. In a very scientific test I've just scrunched a Pyramid bag onto a teaspoon and it looks like a heaped spoonful. Perhaps other people could estimate the contents of other bags?
I would say that because the flavour of the tea leached from the leaves changes as the tea brews due to higher molecular weight tannins being released, then the second cup can taste different if both are not made in quick succession. Again as with all tea matters personal taste is every thing here, but for the Wife and I the teabag is only in the mug of boiling water for a matter of a few seconds to get it to how we like it nice and refreshing.
||I am disappointed that the judgement has gone against me, but I did hold you up as the ultimate arbiter, and so I must bow my head and accept your decision.|
But I don't want any of you thinking that I'm about to start recycling teabags. My pride may be dented but my standards are as high as ever.
Keep on composting!
|Nicey replies: You make it how you like it Katie. Hoorah! for and your decadent one bag mugs.
Mind you, when an imminent tea bag famine approaches as can happen from time to time in offices, for instance when the person who sorts out tea bags etc leaves or is made redundant, then doubling up on tea bags becomes a important survival technique.
Controversy rages in our office and we need you (and your readers) to arbitrate.
I just went into the kitchen where my otherwise esteemed colleague Jane Leonard (I'm sorry, but she needs naming and shaming) was making three cups of tea.
I caught her in the act of fishing two teabags out of one of the mugs and asked what was going on. It transpired that in order not to 'waste' tea she had used one teabag each in two of the mugs, then transferred both the USED bags into the third cup.
Clearly this is some kind of wartime economy measure gone mad (and anachronistic given Jane's youth). But on the basis that the box of 240 bags of Waitrose 'Premium Gold' tea (highly recommended, by the way, as an all-round crowd-pleasing blend of Kenyan and other African teas) costs £3.75, each teabag is worth less than 2p. My innate horror of a cup of tea made from recycled teabags meant I couldn't bring myself to try the offending brew (we gave it to the accountant), but my suspicion is that the supposed saving is JUST NOT WORTH IT. Jane on the other hand mainatins that this is 'normal' practice, and grossly extravagant to do anything else.
What do you think, Nicey?
|Nicey replies: Katie,
Tea bags are designed for pots, not mugs unless they are the one cup variety with the string thing. What this means is that each tea bag is more than capable of producing two cups of tea, as this is a civilised amount of tea to brew for a a single person who may require a second cup. The upshot of this is that you can, and indeed the Wife and I do, make two perfectly good mugs of tea with one bag.
When thinking of tea economy I'm always reminded of Donald Plesence in the Great Escape who had used his tea leaves for about the thirtieth time.
So in short I'm with Jane on this one, of course you have to be using proper sensible tea in the first place.
||I have lots (well, 5) children and am frequently asked at what age should children be encouraged / taught /forced to make tea. Personally, I think it is an important developmental milestone and far more useful than building a tower out of three blocks. The difficult bit is surviving the stage when|
they present you with a cup of luke warm water (out of the tap) and a floating teabag at 6.30 in the morning. (Always have a potted plant in the bedroom).
Most children need encouraging (a doll's tea set in the Wendy house when they are toddlers is essential). Some need teaching, some don't. One of my sons was an advanced child who could produce something passable at about 6 or 7 years old and 20 years on is still a 10 cups-a-day person. The youngest, age 11, still cannot make tea which is drinkable despite intensive coaching from his elder brothers.
All children need forcing from time to time (well most of the time actually) especially when they don't want a cup of tea and you do. Bribery is good but sets a precedent, threats are cheaper and more effective. (Mutter about money they owe you, peeling potatoes, tidying bedrooms or just resort to violence)
Teenagers often have particularly disgusting tea making habits (cold water + teabag + mug in a microwave is not uncommon) and also specialise in under-bed storage of mugs. The primeval life forms which grow in half drunk cups of tea in this alternative under-bed world are just not the sort of thing to go with a nice sit down.
Small children and tea don't mix either. For instance it's almost impossible to have a sit down with a cup of tea until they are about 5 AND under 5's always want to dunk their biscuit in you tea AND they always leave it in too long so that it breaks off.
|Nicey replies: Well the younger members of staff have simulated cups of tea which are actually mugs of milk, as they aren't old enough to make or appreciate tea yet. So it will be a year or two before I have a view on this whole issue. They do however do that dunking their biscuits in other peoples tea thing, luckily the Wife's not mine.|
||Good morning Mr Nicey!|
Here in Australia, we attach used tea-bags to the wide brims of our hats, as shown in your little Aussie logo. If they're dry, they dangle around and keep flies away. If they're still wet, they also act as personal air conditioning filters. If they're Twinings, we suck them for the residual flavour still in them.
Ever you 'umble