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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.
||Dear Nicey, |
I am writing to you out of concern about the price of Twinings tea bags, which has jumped up a whopping 30% seemingly overnight! This is an outrageous leap in price and leaves us true tea lovers who enjoy a finer tea on a mature pallet, exasberated as to what to do. I don't support blatant money grabbing and that is what this is - no company needs to raise their prices by almost a third just like that. But how can one go without one's favourite tea? At present we have compromised here at number 47 - instead of going for Twinings Darjeeling tea, we are trying "Tesco Finest" brand Darjeeling. Initial results are promising, as the tea last night and today has been no different to how it always is - hot, wet and most certainly delicious. My double sized mug has been filled for a second turn as always. However, Tesco Finest isn't exactly a cheap brand either and while one doesn't wish to put a price on what is essentially a priceless delight in life, one is certainly troubled by the financial strain this could put on a family that...well, just loves to drink tea and goes through it like termites feeding on a master crafted piece of mohogony furniture.
Have you any advice for us? We have already written to Tescos to find out if they increased the price or if this is something that came from Twinings themselves. If it is just the supermarket we can of course buy it at it's regular price elsewhere...otherwise I fear that our tea drinking may change forever - though not really, seeing as the new brand we tried tastes exactly the same as the original (and by golly when you throw a cheeky Earl Grey bag into the mix for that outstanding blend only truly appreciated by the veteran tea drinker, the flavour is disguised somewhat anyway by the shock addition of another tea!)
Mr Heeley (number 47)
|Nicey replies: Sam,
As our tap water seems to have a more pronounced taste than Darjeeling tea we don't drink much of the stuff (this is a comment on both our water and Darjeeling tea). However, Darjeeling isn't called the Champagne of teas for nothing. By enjoying tea such a small region with its specialised high altitude tea gardens you are going to have to deal with such vagaries. Such fluctuations in prices are ironed out in the commodity tea market, with blends being produced from tea from several countries.
Perhaps a bit of a tea bag odyssey is called for at number 47.
Custard Cream Review
Greetings to TheWife and the Younger Members of Staff. I was listening to Radio Two the other day and there was a short item about the number of youngsters drinking tea. Apparently a recenty survey shows that its on the up, but unfortunately I didn't really catch all the details though as I wasn't really paying attention. I wondered if NCOTAASD-HQ had heard anything?
I must say it's jolly good news if it's true. I'm certainly doing my bit by espousing the benefits tea-drinkership whenever my son will listen. Additionally I've been bribing him with Custard Creams. (Not a biscuit I'd normally give away as I'm rather partial to a packet or two dunked in a nice hot cuppa, but I recently left work and it thanks to my reputation as a high-volume biscuiteer my leaving gift was a catering pack of Custard Creams from the cash and carry. Bliss)
Anyway keep up the good work, some days your website is the only thing that keeps me going (except tea of course).
|Nicey replies: Hello Greg,
They may have been talking about this story
Apparently tea drinking is up in the 20-34 year old bracket for the first time in 3 years. Seems that tea is giving those fizzy drinks with all of their various dissolved bits and bobs in a run for their money. Never mind the health benefits its less plastic bottles to bulldoze into landfill.
Good work on the Custard Cream eating too.