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||If we're being pedantic, is the 'pyramid' really a tetrahedron either? I don't have one hand to study, but it they are cut from a tube wouldn't they be more like those boiled sweets that are cut from cylinders, with a 90 degree twist after each cut? You know the ones, when two of them haven't separated properly they look like little butterflies.|
There must be a proper name for this shape, but I'm b*****ed if I know.
(Very grumpy today, sorry)
|Nicey replies: Hello Grumpy Sue,
Yes tetrahedron is really the proper name for that shape, tetra means 4 and it has four vertices, four faces and four sides. Of course for the thing to come out as a perfectly proportioned tetrahedron with all the sides the same length the distance between the edges of the crimps needs to be pi * r * cos(60) where r is the radius of the tube. Those boiled sweets are a bit tending towards 65 degrees.
Now buck up its almost the weekend.
||You say in your reply to the query from Limerick that pyramid teabags are crimped at 90 degrees, but actually it is 60.|
|Nicey replies: No, 90, its a continuous tube alternately crimped at 90 degrees rather than all in the same plane as in a square teabag. The crimps are the divisions between the bags, the folds in the sides form at 60 degrees due purely to the crimping. If you look at any edge of a tetrahedron from a perpendicular direction its opposite edge will be at 90 degrees.|
just a little note to let you know that your website is "brewing" up a real storm at thompson scientific in limerick, Ireland. There are biscuits and tea debates kicking off left right and centre. I do appreciate how busy you are. but, there is one tea related query that "takes the biscuit" Are pyramidal shaped t-bags scienficially proven to provide a better quality and higher flavour tea. Thanks again for the hours of enjoyment you have provided us with.
your tea connoisseur pal,
|Nicey replies: The crimping of the bag at alternate 90 degrees produces a tetraheadral teabag. Compared to conventional square bags this lowers the surface to volume ratio of the bag towards the idealised spherical tea bag. What is immediately obvious is that this is good for the manufacturer as they can use less bag to tea thereby saving on materials. What is not at all obvious upon casual inspection is if this is a good thing for the tea brewing, although obviously we are told it is. To increase the diffusion of tea from leaf to water it could be assumed that a sphere is the most inefficient shape whilst an infinite plane folded or other wise would be the most efficient. This would seem to indicate that very flat square bags are good.
Of course this is a childish oversimplification as the diffusion is taking place within the space occupied by the teabag and not just at the volumetric boundary. So the ability of each tea leaf to circulate and there by potentially encountering higher diffusion gradients has to be considered. Much was made of this 'room to move' at the inception of the pyramid bag and so I suspect they probably did a lot of work in this area.
The upside of lower material uses are the potential to use higher spec bag paper as was recently introduced with the pyramid bag.
I have just enjoyed a few minutes looking at your lovely website. However, deeply disappointed that Royal Scot have been discontinued as have been searching for them for years.
Would you know if Princess biscuits are still around? I cannot remember who made them, but they were a favourite of mine in the mid 1980's. A fairly thin, round biscuit with a lattice style top. Large sugar crystals upon them too. Had a melt in the mouth, slightly buttery texture. ALmost like a very light shortbread. Would appreciate some help...
|Nicey replies: Oh dear, we get the odd enquiry about them now and again but they've not been seen for years. Indeed till now all we have had is the description, you are the first to put a name to them.|
||In our office in Kazakhstan, we have a very nice couple of local ladies who run the tearoom, where tea (and coffee) is freely available at all hours, even with a choice of white/dark sugar. They have taken to selling tasty biscuits and small sweet snacks as well, but I fear that two of these products (photo attached) are not fit for publication...but I thought you might get a private smile from them anyway. Maybe one day you could write a section on "under the counter" biscuits, or even institute an "adult" section on the site for such products.|
(PS, transliterated, it simply says BISKVIT)
|Nicey replies: A huge NCOTAASD Hoorah for your Kazakhstani tea ladies and their foul mouthed snacks. I feel somehow more worldly wise from this knowledge. |