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||I thought you may be interested to learn that the vending machine in the physics department of imperial college (a place at the very forefront of scientific invention) has a vending machine of the 'clix' brand which in addition to the regular vending machine issues you have highlighted also revels in giving you the 60p you get back from a pound in exchange for your steaming liquid entirely in 1p pieces.|
In continental tea issues my girlfriend is currently living in Germany where they seem to have pioneered a kind of halfway house between loose leaf and the tea bag. I'm not sure if you are aware of this development but essentially it is a very long teabag which is open at one end, the theory is you put your loose leaf into the bag and then put it into your mug. The teabag is just long enough that it stands in your mug without the contents spilling over into the tea when you add water. I think they're rather clever.
Yours Peter Burgess
|Nicey replies: No I'd not heard of those DIY teabags, they sound like they could be well received by 'ALL tea bags are filled with sweepings' brigade. One such lady last Tuesday tried to tell me that those little metal ball things on chains were marvelous, that I should go to India to see how tea is really made before having an opinion on it, and that as she was a wine writer she knew a thing or two about things and I was best advised not to argue with her. I told her that we drink PG and this seemed to annoy her sufficiently.|
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
|Hello there Nicey|
I have recently moved from England to Thailand for a 6 month work placement, and I have to say that the wonderful contents of your site keep me dreaming of hours of tea and biscuitty/cake based fun when I return to Blighty. I miss certain biscuits, the Bourbon, the Custard Creme, the Ginger Nut, but especially the classic Penguin. It was whilst perusing through your the archived tomes of your website however that I came across an exciting alternative, the eccentrically named 'Tim Tam'.
So having swotted up the great Tim Tam versus Penguin debate, and being a self-admitted Penguin fan, I was of course eager to try and compare the Tim Tams, so on my next visit to the local shop purchased a few packs. I was pleasantly surprised by the Tim Tam. Initially there is something about the little biscuit that looks a touch dodgy, it's snubbed size and curiously dark choclolate coating expire a sense of foreboding, but on taste you realise that in fact Penguins merely scratch the surface of the true iceberg that is Chocolate Coated Biscuitdom. Penguins just seem bland in comparison with a Tim Tam. Tim Tams come in many different deeply tasty varieties, in my opinion the best are Choco-Chocolate and Choc-Vanilla, but even an Original Tim Tam will more than adequately complete your cup of tea and biscuit combo, and leave you with a smile on your face. And maybe a touch of melted chocolate at the corner of your mouth.
After a few much enjoyed tasting sessions, I bravely decided, as suggested on this very website and on the bold, brown packaging of the Tim Tams themselves, to try the famous 'Tim Tam Slam'. So I bit off 2 opposite corners, and tried a few times to 'enjoy' my cuppa by sucking it through the biscuit, hoping to filter through some chocolatey goodness. But to my horror, the whole experiment went quite magnificently pear-shaped. Never have I experienced a better way of destroying a biscuit and also a cup of tea. Within just a few seconds of 'Slamming' I found that the bottom third of my Tim Tam was already lost to the dark side of bottom sludge. The top of the Tim Tam also melts, as the steam from your tea rebounds off your face, as you are hunched over the cup, desperately slurping. And if you wear glasses, they will undoubtedly steam up too, thus significantly impairing your vision. With only a miniscule amount of tea slurped through the biscuit, I decided to cut my losses and go for the munch. But the Tim Tam itself had become so soft and gooey that it had lost it's unique taste as it denatured into a watery quagmire, hitting my mouth like a festival buffet stand cup of tea. There was nearly a tear in my eye. The results of the experiment were that firstly I felt and looked like a fool, secondly I had ruined my cup of tea, and thirdly I had also destroyed a couple of delightful Tim Tams that could have so easily been dunked and enjoyed in the 'proper' way. I feel quite ashamed and have vowed never to Tim Tam Slam again. Those Australians need to learn I thing or two about ingesting Tea and Biscuits.
I just thought you should know...
PS For a real treat, place your Tim Tams in the freezer ten minutes before you find somewhere for a nice cup of tea and a sit down.
South East Asian Multireview Review
|About the Kinh Do Bakery biscuits you mentioned. They have a website too kinhdofood.com. You're right, they are Vietnamese. I haven't tried the biccies you mention, but living in Vietnam they have a poor rep. as cheap garbage and no-one I know buys them. Korea does slightly better, but not much. Fortunately I have never come across Chinese biscuits. One future tip, I'd steer well clear of Polish biccies if I were you.|
|Nicey replies: Actually their website is quite good, and packed with pictures of their biscuits, which my head (and entire alimentary tract led by my taste buds are advising against), where as my heart says 'perhaps'. They would probably have to get me semi lashed up on something first, however, I don't think I could do it sober. Not after the last time.
I've only ever had nice Polish biscuits but they have all been made by Bahlsen.
Have been utterly enthralled both by the book and the website. I wonder if the undoubted resutant upsurge in teabag consumption compensates for the fall from those convering to your 'two cups from one bag' advice.
Anyway, my reason for writing is to ask if you can remember the biscuit pictured here in a new guise. I have a hazy memory of these being brought home by the Mummy in my young days and I'm pretty sure they were packaged in some silver paper wrapped about the sort of corrugated cardboard which these days is to be found sat atop the uppermost layer in a box of posh chocolates. This packing was necessary, because these came in Garibaldi-style long megabiscuit format. However, these biscuits being so light and delicate, Garibaldi-style packaging would have presented the user with a bag of crumb and dust. Indeed, whilst one could be quite cavalier in Garibaldi separation, dividing these chappies into their individual form was quite a task; tapping one soundly on the plate, for instance, was likely to reduce the megabiscuit to many thousands of fragments. I'm sure they are of similar constitution to the non-cream part of a Mr Kipling Viennese Whirl.
My wife - who spotted the packet whose scan is attached and brought it home - seems to remember that they were made by Bahlsen, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case. Any light you can throw on the matter would be welcome, since we have postponed a tasting session until we can find out the original name of these biscuits; somehow it seems wrong to tuck in in our current state of 'tip-of-our-tongue'dness.
All the best.
|Nicey replies: Hello Ray,
Right I've never encountered the biscuits of which you speak, they do sound like an import. The remembrance of a foil inner pouch is very indicative of Bahlsen as this would be their 'Tet' packaging. However its likely that other continental manufacturers would have adopted a similar format to the market leader, so its by no means certain.
||Hi - I'm responding to the item saying that Manchester water used to be shipped to Ceylon to taste tea with.|
Did you know that all Ceylon tea tasting has to be in Colombo, i.e. at sea level; the best high grown tea (usually made into broken orange pekoe or BOP) is produced between 4 an 6,000 feet above sea level and kettles boil at a lower temperature, and therefore don't make very good tea.
Apprentice tea growers are known as creepers, hence the local expression 'He's creeping under Mr. Premadasa at the moment.
I have nothing to do with the Ceylon tea industry, just brought up there: I would ask you all please to resolve to drink lots of Ceylon tea in 2005 to help boost the economy of this shattered country.