LHMark
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Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:52 pm

I've been informed by my British expat friends that Americans don't know how to make a good cup of tea. Seeing as it's your national drink (since handling one's lager seems to be an unmastered skill in the isles), what's the proper method of brewing perfect tea?
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disruptivehair
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:58 pm

It's a myth that all Brits can brew tea, and that no American can.

I make a better cuppa than my husband does. It's very simple.

1.) Boil water
2.) Put teabag in mug
3.) Pour boiling water over teabag
4.) Steep for a minute
5.) Take out teabag and add whatever you want to add to tea (milk, sugar, lemon, honey, etc)
6.) Drink

This is how pretty much every single Brit makes tea. If they want to be fancy they might use a proper teapot in which case you need a bag for the pot and one for each drinker.

It's not rocket science, it's just tea.

Some people swear by particular brands. I like Taylors or Whittards which is a bit posh, and I also like Twining's Earl Grey tea.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:58 pm

It's not well known that, per capita, Irish people drink more tea than the Brits! The standard way is to use boiling water to heat the pot, then put your tea bags, or leaf tea if you're a purist, in, usually one bag or spoonful per person. Some people add an extra one if you like it slightly stronger. Pour boiling water in immediately and leave several minutes to infuse.

There's always an argument about whether to put milk in the cup before or after the tea, and this comes down to taste. There is a slight difference: putting the milk in first gives a slightly milkier taste.
 
Banco
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:07 pm

"The trouble with tea is that originally it was quite a good drink. So a group of the most eminent British scientists put their heads together, and made complicated biological experiments to find a way of spoiling it. To the eternal glory of British science their labour bore fruit. They suggested that if you do not drink it clear, or with lemon or rum and sugar, but pour a few drops of cold milk into it, and no sugar at all, the desired object is achieved."

George Mikes: How to be an Alien.

 Wink
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BCAL
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:09 pm

The secret is in the quality of the tea and the quality of the water. You will first have to find a blend of tea that you like which also blends well with the water, and then decide whether to have loose-leaf tea or tea bags (and then if tea bags whether round tea bags or rectangular ones - experts say that the rectangular ones allow more room for the tea to brew).

To make a good cup of tea, it is best to use a teapot, using freshly boiled water (not reboiled as that can impair the flavour) and then
  • Fill kettle up with fresh water and switch on
  • Just before kettle reaches boiling point, pour a little of the water into the teapot to warm it up
  • Empty tea pot and use one teaspoon of tea per person plus one for the pot
  • Pour on freshly boiled water as soon as the kettle boils
  • Stir and leave pot to brew for 2-4 minutes depending on how you like the strength of your tea
  • Using tea strainer pour tea into mug or china cup and add milk, sugar or lemon as desired
  • Sit back and enjoy your cuppa!
If you use a delicate tea, like Earl Grey, best to use water that is just below boiling point.

Alternatively for a quick cup, use a good quality tea bag (such as Yorkshire Tea), put tea bag in mug, pour on boiling water, stir until desired strength is obtained, remove tea bag, if required add milk, sugar or lemon to taste, then sit back and enjoy.

[Edited 2007-03-20 15:10:38]
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Daleaholic
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:32 pm

What i do... And I've had compliments of it being the best cup of tea they've tasted  

1) Boil Kettle
2) Get suitable cup/mug and put in a teabag
3) Add sugar (yes, before the water)
4) Add boiling water about 3/5 of the way up the cup
5) Get a spoon, stir... then PRESS the teabag against the side of the cup with the spoon to squeeze out all the flavour
6) Stir again
7) Fish out teabag and press against the top of the cup
8) Add milk
 

[Edited 2007-03-20 15:33:07]
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CaptOveur
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:44 pm

I became a tea snob when I started working nights and coffee always upset my stomach and gave me the shits. So in order to survive working overnight without getting a KROC gut from soda I had to find alternate means of caffination: tea.

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 1):
2.) Put teabag in mug

WRONG!! I expect better from someone who lives in the mother country.

Good tea does not come from a bag. Teabags are often made with pretty much the floor sweepinsg at the tea factory.

Go find yourself a tea strainer and a small teapot. Also go find yourself a good vendor of loose leaf teas. If you can't find a tea shop locally, this one has good stuff: http://www.adagio.com/ They have a pretty decent English breakfast tea. Their flavored black teas are good too. I am also a fan of Twinings Earl Grey, it is pretty widely availible online.

Tea should come in sealable tins, if it doesn't, get tins to store it in. Oxygen and moisture are the enemy of tea leaves. Also, plan on shelving loose leaf teas no more than about 6 months.

Good tea leaves will make good tea. Also, if your tap water isn't the greatest, use bottled. Bad water will make bad tea.

As for the actual making of the tea.. Put the leaves in the pot, 1 spoonful for each cup of tea you plan on making, plus 1 extra spoonful. If you want stronger tea, add more. Add boiling water, and I mean a rolling boil. Steep for 5 minutes, mo more, no less. If you go longer you start getting tannin, which is bitter.

Some say stir at the beginning of your steeping, others say after. I stir at the end. Do not stir during the 5 minute steep period. pour the tea through the strainer into the mug.. and you have tea.
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ThePRGuy
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:46 pm

I guess I'm a bit of a tea purist...

1: Boil Kettle, leave to stand for 2 minutes
2: Place tea strainer over mug
3: Place 3 teaspoons of tea leaves (I have some earl grey ones, but any will do) into half size teapot
4: Pour in water
5: Leave for 45 seconds (I like my tea very weak)
6: Pour over tea strainer into cup up to about 4/5 full
7: Leave to stand for a minute or so
8: Enjoy

no milk/sugar/biscuits!

Thanks
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BMIFlyer
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:51 pm

I like plenty of milk in mine, plus 2 sugars Big grin



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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:20 pm

First, you have to get the perfect electric kettle. My trusty Bodum has served me faithfully for over 15 years.

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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:23 pm

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 6):
I became a tea snob

Its one thing to be a beer snob, which LHMark takes quite a bit for here in Crapchester. However being a self-proclaimed tea snob just goes right off the deep end. I'm pretty sure me and my gut would rather be called Dungeons and Dragons losers than a tea snob. I can see ole Capt. learning how to drink tea out of the same book housewives learned how to act in the '50's.

 
CaptOveur
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:27 pm

Quoting KROC (Reply 10):
I'm pretty sure me and my gut would rather be called Dungeons and Dragons losers than a tea snob.

Me and my gut didn't want to go to the supply wench at work and ask for bigger pants and a larger duty belt.. thus I stay away from the soda.
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yooyoo
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:06 am

So this is basically what the "experts" say.....

make water hot
put in bag
wait
sugar/milk to taste


is this a joke or something? Hey it ain't rocket surgery people.
 sarcastic 
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disruptivehair
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:08 am

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 6):
WRONG!! I expect better from someone who lives in the mother country.

Yeah, I suppose all the Brits I've witnessed doing it were conspiring to make me look stupid. Who has time for loose tea? I work for a living.
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:37 am

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 13):
Who has time for loose tea? I work for a living.

Doesn't your kettle have a filtering screen on the pouring spout?
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:49 am

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 1):
teabag

but the teabags are clearly inferior to standard tea. And standard tea is something where you can mix different sorts, and do add-ons like cinnamon. And then put the tea into the filter, pour the water through, keep the filter in the water for a few minutes to top up the flavour, and then you have a decent tea. And what is important in many countries like Switzerland is the water-filter as unfiltered water is not good for tea.
-
teas to be mixed are Earl Grey, Jasmine, "EnglishBreakfast", and many others. Plus if available some Moroccan mint-tea plus some cinnamon. No milk, but sufficient sugar.
-
 
Dougloid
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:29 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15):
teas to be mixed are Earl Grey, Jasmine, "EnglishBreakfast", and many others. Plus if available some Moroccan mint-tea plus some cinnamon. No milk, but sufficient sugar.

Part of the problem is that supermarket tea is even worse than supermarket coffee. I get this stuff called Lifeboat tea from the local world market. It's good. I also grow my own peppermint in the summer and use it for tea.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:05 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 16):
stuff called Lifeboat tea

well, here from their WEBsite the explanation: This tea is a unique English Breakfast blend. Packed in England by Williamson Fine Teas on behalf of the world famous Royal National Lifeboat Institution, each cup of tea will help fund these lifeboat men. - so that it actually is Williamson Tea .
-
and this is their WEBsite for consumers in the USA
/www.marktwendell.com/importedteas.htm
-

-
-
and here a TIN of Earl Grey Tea of Williamson

Earl Grey Tea, Loose Tea, Lever lid tin of 125g
-
and the Moroccan tea

-
 
disruptivehair
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:11 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):

Doesn't your kettle have a filtering screen on the pouring spout?

It's an electric one, so no.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15):
but the teabags are clearly inferior to standard tea. And standard tea is something where you can mix different sorts, and do add-ons like cinnamon. And then put the tea into the filter, pour the water through, keep the filter in the water for a few minutes to top up the flavour, and then you have a decent tea. And what is important in many countries like Switzerland is the water-filter as unfiltered water is not good for tea.

Like I said, I don't have time for loose tea for my morning or afternoon cuppa. Just not enough hours in the day.
 
Banco
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:25 am

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 18):
Like I said, I don't have time for loose tea for my morning or afternoon cuppa. Just not enough hours in the day

Which is exactly why teabags are so popular. Sure, the quality might be a bit lower, but they're that much more convenient.
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:30 am

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 18):
It's an electric one, so no

Hmmm. So is mine and it has a screen. Oh well.
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disruptivehair
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:32 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 19):

Which is exactly why teabags are so popular. Sure, the quality might be a bit lower, but they're that much more convenient.

Right now we're still working our way through what remains of the 160 PG Tips teabags we had to buy to get the free munkeh.
 
Banco
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:41 am

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 21):
Right now we're still working our way through what remains of the 160 PG Tips teabags we had to buy to get the free munkeh.

 rotfl 

Me too.  ashamed 
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disruptivehair
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:47 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 22):
Me too. ashamed

But I got a free monkey! It was so worth it! Of course, I also want one of the big'uns:

 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:24 am

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 12):
make water hot

No way, Andy, that's the problem! Here in the States they make the water HOT but not BOILING. Tea made with hot water is gross.

LHMark - the one thing Americans do most wrong with tea is to not boil the water. For the love of God, use boiling water!

Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 7):
5: Leave for 45 seconds (I like my tea very weak)

My dad would have called that Red Cross tea. "So weak it needs an ambulance to help it out of the pot!"

Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 5):
And I've had compliments of it being the best cup of tea they've tasted

Dear Lord...yes, that cup of tea would certainly be an experience...  yuck 
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fumanchewd
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:06 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15):
but the teabags are clearly inferior to standard tea.

Yes, teabags can be very dirty.  yes 

Quoting Banco (Reply 19):
Which is exactly why teabags are so popular.

I like them for other reasons.


Yes, I know...everyone else was was thinking it but was too sophisticated to mention it. Only FU is depraved and uncouth enough to make the move.  Smile
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HAWK21M
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:50 pm

I would reccommend that you all try the Indian Masala Chai [Tea] available at the Roadside stall in BOM streets.Its also called cutting which means just a half small glass full.
Very tasty & refreshing  Smile

regds
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:07 pm

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 25):
Yes, teabags can be very dirty.

I don't like teabagging. You never know where they've been.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:33 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 26):
the Indian Masala Chai [Tea] available at the Roadside stall in BOM streets.Its also called cutting which means just a half small glass full.

Had it in Dubai some 3 years ago. Really good !
-

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 27):
Yes, teabags can be very dirty.
--
I don't like teabagging. You never know where they've been.

-
I can tell you where they have been. Being stored for a year or more
 
jush
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:48 pm

The difference is simply the teabag. In Germany you don't get the proper Tetley's or PG Tips.
Well we have some brands of good tea here but they don't get anywhere near the English brands.
So you might just wanna import some tea and you can make a good cup of tea yourself.

But don't use water from your local river Big grin
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NZPM
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:05 pm

Quoting LHMARK (Thread starter):
Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Why ask the Brits? Your question should be directed at the Chinese who have been drinking tea for over 5000 years.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 2):
leaf tea if you're a purist

 checkmark 

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 6):
Good tea does not come from a bag. Teabags are often made with pretty much the floor sweepinsg at the tea factory.

Correct. Tea bags contain fannings and dust, the smallest leaf grades - essentially what's left behind after the whole leaf teas have been processed.

[quote=CaptOveur,reply=6]I became a tea snob

I'm also a tea snob, although I prefer the term aficionado. I spend hundreds of dollars a year on premium whole leaf teas.

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 6):
Good tea leaves will make good tea. Also, if your tap water isn't the greatest, use bottled.

 checkmark   checkmark  I use bottled spring water, as it is free from the chemicals and contaminants found in tap water.

Quoting KROC (Reply 10):
being a self-proclaimed tea snob just goes right off the deep end. I'm pretty sure me and my gut would rather be called Dungeons and Dragons losers than a tea snob. I can see ole Capt. learning how to drink tea out of the same book housewives learned how to act in the '50's.

The appreciation of fine teas and proper brewing techniques is gaining greater recognition and a fast-growing number of devotees. Witness the vast array of tea vendors on the internet, while teahouses are springing up in more and more cities.

I am currently considering the purchase of a travelling tea set like the one below so I can brew a cup of whole leaf tea during long flights.

Big version: Width: 640 Height: 480 File size: 78kb


Meanwhile, airlines like CX and JL offer Business and First Class passengers traditional Chinese and Japanese tea service.
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gkirk
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 pm

Never had tea in my life, never will.
Tea is a posh English drink.
Coffee is much better  Wink
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disruptivehair
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:26 pm

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 31):
Never had tea in my life, never will.
Tea is a posh English drink.
Coffee is much better

Coffee makes your breath stink.
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:02 pm

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 31):
Never had tea in my life, never will.
Tea is a posh English drink.
Coffee is much better

if it is REAL coffee, OK. But I still remember that kind of flavoured washing water customary in Britain as "coffee" in the early 1970ies brrrrr!  yuck 
-
 
David L
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:05 pm

Milk or lemon? I'll never forget watching a Ghurka soldier try lemon for the first time in his tea... which already had milk in it. I think he ate the resulting goo with the spoon.  biggrin 

Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 5):
then PRESS the teabag against the side of the cup with the spoon to squeeze out all the flavour

Work colleagues used to do that and my conclusion was that anything that needs that much help leaving the tea should probably stay in there.  Smile
 
MYT332
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:11 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 22):
Me too.

Me three...

I don't actually drink tea though which is the amusing thing.
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Dougloid
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:31 pm

Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 32):
Quoting Gkirk (Reply 31):
Never had tea in my life, never will.
Tea is a posh English drink.
Coffee is much better

Coffee makes your breath stink.

It does....very much so, which is why I never drink coffee if I have to have a face to face with someone, or use a good jolt of Lavoris before hand but after the coffee is swilled.
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yooyoo
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:05 am

Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 7):
Boil Kettle, leave to stand for 2 minutes



Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 24):
No way, Andy, that's the problem! Here in the States they make the water HOT but not BOILING. Tea made with hot water is gross.

ok, ok... understood  smile 

BUT !!... do you eat Timbits with your tea?  Wink
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CastleIsland
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:16 am

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 37):
BUT !!... do you eat Timbits with your tea?

I prefer a bit of crumpet.
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KaiGywer
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:31 am

The only kind of tea I really like:

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LH423
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:12 am

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 24):
No way, Andy, that's the problem! Here in the States they make the water HOT but not BOILING. Tea made with hot water is gross.

Maybe you should find another place to get your tea then. Or stop buying it and make it at home. Anyone and everyone who makes a cup of tea at home will ALWAYS boil their water in a kettle, whether it be on the stove or electric. Maybe it's a western thing not to boil the water.

LH423
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David L
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:51 am

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 12):
So this is basically what the "experts" say.....

make water hot
put in bag
wait
sugar/milk to taste

Wait? For how long? Until the movie ends? Until Jupiter aligns with Mars? It makes all the difference.

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 12):
Hey it ain't rocket surgery people.

And it ain't brain science, neither.  Smile

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):
Doesn't your kettle have a filtering screen on the pouring spout?



Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 18):
It's an electric one, so no.

Wait... you people are talking about putting the tea into the kettle?
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:53 am

Quoting David L (Reply 41):

Wait... you people are talking about putting the tea into the kettle?

Sounds like a good way to gum up the kettle.. I have a hard enough time getting the loose leaves out of my teapot..

I boil my water on the stove or if im in a hurry... the microwave
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ScarletHarlot
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RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:42 am

Quoting LH423 (Reply 40):
Maybe you should find another place to get your tea then. Or stop buying it and make it at home.

Um, yes, thanks. No restaurants here, or very very few, boil the water. It's all just hot water.

I make it constantly at home - four to eight cups a day - but if I am out or travelling I've got to have my tea somehow. I drink it like people drink coffee and must have some in the morning.
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disruptivehair
Posts: 565
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:28 pm

RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:06 pm

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 36):
It does....very much so, which is why I never drink coffee if I have to have a face to face with someone, or use a good jolt of Lavoris before hand but after the coffee is swilled.

I wish some of my work colleagues did that; I have one whose breath could peel paint off a wall.

Quoting David L (Reply 41):
Wait... you people are talking about putting the tea into the kettle?

No; we use an electric kettle to boil the water. We have a teapot for making tea, or we just use individual teabags in mugs.
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: Brits: How To Make A Great Cup Of Tea?

Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:40 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 41):
Wait... you people are talking about putting the tea into the kettle?

If you asked for "tea" in the France of the 1950ies/60ies, they filled the kettle with tea and then poured a bit of water over it, and after 5 or 10 minutes served the result  yuck 
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Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 44):
I wish some of my work colleagues did that; I have one whose breath could peel paint off a wall.

you might donate him a toothbrush and a toothpaste ! And more serious, your talks find place in a too narrow cramped place. A bit more physical distance might add to the quality of the meetings !
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Quoting Disruptivehair (Reply 44):
We have a teapot for making tea, or we just use individual teabags in mugs.

use teafilters, kept by a teafilter-holder, and fill the boiling water so that it reaches the filter, and then wait for a moment. No problem with the volume, it is NOT the water you pay. And the tea becomes better if done in the pot and not in the mug
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