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I have recently started a new job where my tea-drinking and biscuit-eating is oft derided and little understood. I am however recognised as a bit of a caffeine and cake buff, obviously due in great part to knowledge gleaned from your fabulous site. But I cannot answer a question from a certain young lad named Jimmy, who wishes to know what process tea goes through when it is decaffeinated, and whether it is truly safe to sip a decaffeinated brew, or if it's stuffed full of extra chemicals and whatnot. If your readers and you might be able to throw light on this knotty issue, I'd be ever so grateful, and my reputation as Queen of Tea might just remain intact.
With everlasting admiration
|Nicey replies: Well we were as much in the dark about this as you, we sort of knew solvents were involved. So we asked the people who know the Tea Council, and received this very helpful reply from Bill
There are three methods used to wash caffeine out of tea, but number one of the following list is most commonly used.
- Di Choloromethylene (organic solvent)
- Ethyl Acetate (organic solvent)
- Super Critical Co2 (high temperature / under pressure)
All methods are governed by legal limits and of course you never get absolutely all caffeine out. There is always a residue but the industry works to a standard of 0.02g / 100g
Towards the end of the production process (about forty minutes in) but before drying, the tea is washed in an organic solvent (this procedure is common to all products that are decaffeinated) and after washing is sent to the dryer.
The entire industry takes great care to ensure that solvent residues are at fractional levels in the dry leaf when the process is completed. Every production run is rigorously tested for solvent and caffeine residues and those levels are governed by law. Extensive testing has shown that any fractional solvent residue found in the dry leaf evaporates as the scalding water is introduced to the decaffeinated tea.
I hope this helps.
This is a polite but firm request for you to remove the foul and fematatory language regarding Pink Wafers which I have just read in the FAQ's of the Biscuit bit of your otherwise excellent website.
Although nowadays I have to buy 'Pink Panther Biscuits' out of Somerfield to get my fix, I can still happily eat an entire packet dunked in tea and still feel that I could go another one without too much bother.
Each to their own of course, you're entitled to your opinion, but they certainly aren't "unpleasant at best," and are amongst my favourite biscuits of all time.
(P.S. I discovered Penguin-Tea-Straws through your website, and am eternally grateful...)
|Nicey replies: You won't be keen on what I said about them in our book then.|
||Hello Nicey ,Wifey and the rest of the team.|
I've just come back from a cycling holiday in Oakham, Rutland. I visited the local market while I was there and found a specialist Tea stall. ( Must be because the Oakham School is quite posh!) There were 3 varieties of Earl Grey tea on this stall! I bought some loose tea, a tea caddy and a "Dauerfilter" for making loose tea directly in the cup. Its a permanent filter and is "Auch ideal zum Aufbruhen von kaffee"
I don't remember which variety of Earl grey tea I bought because the stall owner put it directly in my new caddy but it has a very strong scent of bergamot and it quite delicious.
I have been amazed by people far and wide who admit to having seen and enjoyed your site or have read your book.
|Nicey replies: We keep passing through Rutland, and Oakham on our way to and from other places. In fact we tried to find somewhere to camp up there two weeks ago but wound up in Derbyshire. If we had of made it to Rutland we would have been cycling round there too..
Just got back from a splendid bike ride this afternoon with both younger members of staff and Nanny Nicey. All off road in the hills between Saffron Walden and Royston. We took half a home made fruit cake and a flask of tea. We pop two teabags in the flask when we are ready to make the tea, and this works very well indeed.
Chocolate Caramel Review
|After having browsed your website, i noticed many comments suggesting 'we appreciate your comments' i thought this was too good to be true and i therefore decided to write an email. I firstly must thank you whole heartedly for writing your book. As a lover of tea and biscuits, and of course, sit downs, i was immensely thankful to find your book in the most prestigious waterstones in Cork in Ireland whilst on a recent backpacking holiday. In all fairness, during the long travelling and quiet hostels, your book did in fact provide me with just the sort of humour, comfort and general light-heartedness that i needed on my holiday (even if it did return a little more battered than i would have liked after surviving the cross channel journey in my rucksack).|
I would very much like to be able to give an opinion on many of the biscuits you have mentioned, however i do not believe that i have the time to write it, nor you the time to read it. I shall therefore be brief and selective.
Firstly, the Fox's Jam Cream, as reviewed by your excellent selves, i find to be a fantastic accompaniment to any form of tea (herbal not included) as its cream innner draws the eater forwards before surprising him/her with the fruity jam centre that simply begs to be left in the mouth as its flavours work away upon the taste buds.
Also, The McVities Chocolate digestive with caramel. I find to be a rather peculiar biscuit. Its main selling point i believe, is that its caramel centre works as a steel girder allowing it to be left in the tea for any length of time as the biscuit itself will not dop off. However, upon eating, you do find the usual flavours of the digestive biscuit, grown to be a favourite among many, but you do find a rather sweet caramel slice hiding betwen the chocolate and the aforementioned biscuit. I believe perhaps, that the sweetness can be a little too overpowering.
Myself and my College friends in Buxton, Derbyshire have spent many an hour sampling the delights of many biscuits (Unfortunately when this time should be more wisely spent on coursework) and have often suggested that a website should be set up for those in the same opinion as us. However, after finding your site, and also, your book, i find our work is done! and also done to a much better standard than we could have probably done. Thank you again for taking the time to share your interests with the world!
|Nicey replies: Hoorah for Ireland and Cork, or Cork as the locals call it in their own special accent. Actually we met some people from Cork once and their accents were so strong I thought they were Finnish. I was unable to speak to chap directly and he unable to speak to me, his wife had to act as an interpreter.
Also Hoorah for Derbyshire. We had a very nice weekend camping just above Matlock Bath about two weeks ago, and had a lovely cup of tea at the National Tramway Museum in Crich.
Breton Biscuit Super Review Review
I'm French and have just found your site through a google search for Oreo pictures (I wanted to make an userpic out of a pic of an Oreo packet that reads "I believe in the American dream." but actually, your review made me think about it and now I wonder if it's not a bit lame.)
Okay. Whatever. I loved your reviews of Petit Ecolier, Galettes and bretons biscuit as well as Mikado. It was great fun reading them and having a foreign outlook on my everyday biscuits.
I just wanted to tell you that Auchan doesn't mean Robin in French, despite their logo being a Robin. Auchan must simply be the family name of the chain's founder, and the French for Robin actually is "Rouge-gorge" (litterally meaning "Red-throat").
As for La Mère Poulard, I don't think many people in France have ever thought of her name meaning "small chicken" or "bantam". Poulard is only a family name, not a word anybody uses or you'd find in the dictionary, although thinking about it must have been an old term for chicken ("poulet" in nowadays French).
Also, you should give Petit Beurre another try. Unlike what you seem to think according to the Petit Ecolier review, Petit Beurre is still very popular here.
I actually like it more than les galettes bretonnes. It's not too sugary nor buttery. It's dry but not too hard, it's filling but doesn't disgust you easily. For me, it's to biscuits what a plain white tee or a pair of jeans are to clothes: a basic. And I think everyone in France recognizes and appreciates its peculiar and comforting taste.
Well, keep it up. And sorry for the English mistakes I must have made (after all, before reading your reviews I had no clue what "robin" and "bantam" meant in English).
Oh, and if you want some advice about interesting varieties we have here, just drop me a line, I'd be more than happy to contribute.
|Nicey replies: Thanks for sorting us out on Robins. Even now I know they are 'Rouge gorge' I will still think of them as little Auchans hopping around. As for Poulards I bet they taste like chicken.
As for English mistakes, if you are prepared to put up with ours we won't mind about yours (not that I could see any). As for finding interesting French biscuits etc its really more of a matter of us coming to France and systematically working our way through it all. We really tried hard this year, and our local Boulangerier is probably much closer to getting that new car than they had expected to be at this point.