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||In a survey conducted by Community Service Volunteers and reported on the BBC website magazine, it was reported that 79% of over-65s’ tea breaks take up more than an hour a week – I’d hope so too!|
We should all aim for this, I’d say. In fact 1 h seems too short for a week’s worth of tea-breaks. For instance the government insists its employees have two 15 min breaks a day don’t they? I seem to remember this from filling in time sheets when working in a hospital lab – ‘allow an hour for lunch and 15 mins each for morning and afternoon break’. That’s 2.5 hours just during the working week!
Celebrity life coach Gladeana McMahon suggested that people spend who spend a lot of time drinking tea could use that time to help others by organizing community tea parties around their personal tea breaks. Hurrah!
||Dear Nicey & Wifey,|
After stumbling upon your magnificent web site and subsequently reading many tea related escapades a deeply buried memory came roaring to the surface of my consciousness. As a young boy growing up in South Wales I used to spend most weekends at my Grandparents farm and distinctly remember a peculiar practice that my Grandfather employed while drinking tea. My Grandmother was responsible for the process of making the tea which began by ‘warming’ the cup with boiling water after which the tea (Glengettie leaf as I remember) was poured from a pot which had been kept hot on the stove, milk was added and served with a saucer. While insisting that his tea was delivered on the hotter side of hot my Grandfathers eagerness to drink the tea resulted in him using the saucers surface area to startling effect. He would pour tea from the cup onto the saucer and then proceed to slurp the tea in short sharp bursts. This process was repeated 3 or 4 times and would often leave beads of tea on his stubbly chin which he wiped away with his cotton handkerchief before consuming the remaining tea from the cup in the usual way. As the use of saucers has diminished significantly in recent years I was wondering if this ritual of saucer-slurping is currently practiced, whether anyone has similar memories or, as I fear, consigned to a by-gone age.
Love the site, keep up the good work
|Nicey replies: Gary,
Its my understanding that this was a standard tea drinking procedure for people's Granddads, and its been mentioned to me many a time including unsurprisingly by a London cabbie. It does seem like something that maybe Prince Philip should be doing more often to promote British culture.
||Good afternoon--I was just reading your feedback page and found a complaint from "Marge" to the effect that the iced tea she had in Paris was vile and bitter. Quite possibly true, but it's a really bad idea to drink iced tea in France anyway, where, I am told, they have neither hot-tea experts (Britain) nor iced-tea experts (southern U.S.).|
As a Northerner transplanted to Virginia, I have never been able to develop a fondness for the classic Southern iced tea, a.k.a. "the table wine of the South". Some might describe it as vile, but certainly not bitter, as the amount of sugar dissolved in it makes it very nearly thick enough to pour on your pancakes--but my in-laws drink the stuff by the gallon. However, without the sugar (my personal preference) or at least without quite so much sugar, it does make a very refreshing cold drink in this weather. Perhaps the reason you think of it as "muck" is that you haven't tried it when it was properly prepared.
My favorite method is Sun Tea. Take a clear glass gallon jar with a lid, fill it with fresh cold water, and add an appropriate number of your favorite variety of tea bags (if one tea bag makes one 10-oz. cup, that should be 12 or 13 bags). Then put on the lid and set the jar outside in a sunny spot for at least three hours, but no longer than four. Bring it inside, squeeze out the bags, stir in sugar to taste (none, for me) and serve in a tall glass over ice. Refrigerate the leftovers. And Marge, please do try it this way before you take Nicey's word for its being muck.
You'll be glad to know that I do drink hot tea also--and lots of it, here at work where the air-conditioning gets positively Arctic sometimes. With sugar, and my favorite is Earl Grey. As for spoons, there are some coffee-flavored tablespoons lying around in the break room, but I prefer my own iced-tea spoon (like an ordinary teaspoon, stainless steel and tough enough to resist a good squeeze, except that it has a long handle) which I carry on my person at all times, as our local eateries can't be depended upon to provide a good one. Plastic spoons and plastic or wooden stirring sticks are for the birds. How are you supposed to pick up a spoonful of the tea on a stirring stick, when you want to see if all the sugar has dissolved?
I've been enjoying your website very much, and your biscuit descriptions are making me salivate like mad. How about e-mailing me some? (the biscuits, not the descriptions)--Margaret
|Nicey replies: Margret,
You have covered a lot of ground there. Thanks for the description on how to make gallons of tea using sunshine and ice cubes. Of course we remain resolutely unconvinced but good on you for having a go at dissuading us.
I'm delighted to see from Glyn's email that I'm not alone in my dunking habit. Putting butter in tea is part of Tibet's cultural legacy to the world and should be embraced by us Westerners.
In fact I'm happy to dunk anything that I could eat with a cup of tea. Victoria sponge cake is a particular favourite, but needs a bit of hand-eye coordination and a fast mug-to-mouth return.
Yours with soggy crumbs all over the table, Lin.
|Nicey replies: Yak's milk butter at that. Some friends of ours about ten years ago walked to the base camp at K2. They camped each night in their state of the art tent and sleeping bags, after a nutritionally balanced re-hydrated meal. Meanwhile their Nepalese guides fashioned a shelter from a few rocks a sheet and stick and brewed up tea with lumps of melted yak butter in it.|
New product alert! The Teastick appears to be the perfect synthesis of tea leaves and spoon.
It's one of those things that I've got an incredible amount of admiration for, yet absolutely no intention of buying.
|Nicey replies: Stuff like that mildly annoys me.|