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||Can I just congratulate David Cowie on his splendid idea. I, like Dave, have often found myself throwing away half bottles of milk. In fact I am fully aware when purchasing a bottle, that it is highly unlikely that I will consume the whole contents prior to them seperating into their various|
It must be borne in mind though that due to the cooling effects of the frozen milk, this process should only be used for cups of tea to be consumed swiftly, ie. to be downed prior to dashing out of the door to work. In all other circumstances a proper cup of tea must be piping hot. But I think
that you will agree Mr Nicey that a cup of tea cool enough to gulp, is infinately better than no cup of tea at all.
I'm just off to try and find those ice cube freezer bag thingies, and a bottle of milk.
Now this is going to sound like one of those Viz ideas or even something out of Take a Break magazine but anyway here is a very nearly revolutionary idea.
You see I only ever use milk in tea, I drink coffee black and dont have time for cereal in the mornings. Sometimes I dont even have time for tea (because I believe that 10mins extra in bed is approx equal to a cup of tea).
Because of this I was finding that I was throwing out alot of unused milk.
So I came up with the following idea - you know those freezer bags which you fill with water to make ice cubes? Guess what?! Yep fill 'em full of milk and hey presto! Milk Cubes!
I find that one cube is sufficient (I like my tea on the strong side) and that after infusing in a cup whilst I shower in the mornings one milk cube makes a perfect cup of tea which is just on the right side of hot / drinkable.
What do you think?!
|Nicey replies: I think it gets a cautious Rocket Science icon.
|Hi Nicey, do you remember me, Martin in Thailand? Congrats on all the media exposure, richly deserved. When last I wrote, Marks and Sparks were selling McVities standards here - digestives, rich teas etc. at 85 baht/packet. Excuse me, but in Thailand that can buy enough rice to feed a family of 5 for a week. Seriously. There was a local biscuit somewhat reminiscent of Nice called "Homey", which stood in on occasion, but I became excited when a new biscuit appeared, Fun-O. The name's a bit of a giveaway, so I just had to tell the story to the attached pic.|
Oreo mutates into Custard Cream - amazing biscuit evolution in Thailand!
1. The original, Oreo Nabiscoensis, familiar to biscuiteers worldwide, made under licence by PT Nabisco Foods in Indonesia, selling at the Thai consumer-friendly price of 5 baht for 3. Don't worry, the funny writing just says "Oreo."
2. Oreo Knock-off-oensis, "Cream-O", made by "Jack 'n Jill" aka URC (Thailand) in Samut Sakhon near Bangkok, cleverly selling at 5 baht for 4. 2a. (not shown) an intermediate species of Cream-O, in the same size packet, but with chocolate cream filling.
3. An evolutionary breakthrough! Someone at URC decides to put a light shortbread mixture in the pseudo-Oreo moulds, but still with chocolate cream filling. The result is called "Fun-O." Now we are getting 6 biscuits for 5 baht.
4. Amazing convergent evolution! Light shortbread with custard cream filling. It might be showing signs of its Oreo ancestry, but taste-wise, this "Fun-O" is a bona fide custard cream! Still at 6 for 5 baht too.
|Nicey replies: An outstanding bit of pure biscuit research the Martin. Unfortunately as there isn't a scientific journal dedicated to the science of biscuits you'll have to settle for us as the platform on which publish your astounding thesis.|
Kate Allen's scientific teabag timing methods could be well employed wherever there is a proliferation of tea bag types, leading to tannin barriers at different points.
We need a graph, probably not one of those lovely 3-D ones that Ex-hell gives you, but one that really helps the bewildered coffee drinker to understand the complex relationship between teabag type, agitation (of the bag, not the tea maker), size of mug, time of day etc.
Here, the other half asks "tea, dear?" to which the answer is inevitably "oh, twist my arm then", but the follow up is more and more complicated "bog standard, decaf, assam or darjeeling?" followed by "how long do I leave it in for?" A graph in the kitchen would do the trick nicely.
Hmm, suppose I'm asking for trouble by not making it myself.
|Nicey replies: Definitely a PhD in there, and possibly a whole new branch of mathematics.|
Caught the show on UK Food the other day, good showing by your good self as ever - never heard that bit about Iced Gems before . . . nice to know that I can still learn something.
Anyway, onto more important matters.
As you know, I always like to push the envelope and go a bit eXtreme with my biscuit eating - desperately scouring the shelves to find weirder and weirder tea time treats (with disastrous results sometimes like those bloody awful Apple and Cinnamon jobbies from Asda) and have
now moved onto experimental tea drinking thanks to the works coffee machine.
I'm currently running a very nice (and very big) metal thermal mug courtesy of Starbucks. No handle, rubber grip, rubber bottom, doesn't fall over easily . . . very nice all round.
The problem I have with it is that I don't drink tea really hot and due to the thermal properties of the mug it now takes over 30 minutes to cool down to a drinkable temperature (instead of the usual 10 or so). Because of this my tea invariably ends up with a skin on it (which I thought was odd because I always believed that the skin was formed when the tea cooled but it turns out it's a function of time) which I have to scrape off or drink through.
In order to alleviate this situation I have taken to blasting my tea with the coffee machines cappuccino wand to give it a nice thick frothy covering . . . it works quite well, significantly reducing skin formation while I wait for it to cool and surprisingly the covering of bubbles doesn't seem to do anything to keep the tea warm for longer (good job too).
Anyway I've christened my new creation a Cappeteano . . . it's a bit of a faff and I can't do it at home as we don't have a coffee machine but while the technology is here I might as well use it.
Just as a matter of interest . . . What sort of technical advances do you think would benefit tea drinkers in the future???
|Nicey replies: Adam,
The tea is simply trying to form a protective skin to stop you giving it any more abuse than you already have. Possibly in future we might have super powerful computers watching over our every move and advising us when we are in danger of making a really offensive cup of tea by bunging it a cross between a tin can and a thermos then blasting steam through it, I expect.
BTW I'm back on UK Food next Wednesday as apparently we failed to fit all of the biscuit universe into seven minutes.
(Its alright I know Adam personally so you can all be as rude as you like about his misguided tea making)