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Chat => Guides & Projects => Topic started by: ERU on October 08, 2011, 22:16:46 PM

Title: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: ERU on October 08, 2011, 22:16:46 PM
Lord, ladies and oddballs. People have often asked me why it is that the British like tea so much, which never seems to them to be a very good drink. To understand, you have to know how to make it properly.

There is a very simple principle to the making of tea and it's this - to get the proper flavour of tea, the water has to be boiling (not boiled) when it hits the tea leaves. If it's merely hot then the tea will be insipid. That's why we British have these odd rituals, such as warming the teapot first (so as not to cause the boiling water to cool down too fast as it hits the pot). And that's why the Foreign habit of bringing a teacup, a tea bag and a pot of hot water to the table is merely the perfect way of making a thin, pale, watery cup of tea that nobody in their right mind would want to drink. These Foreigners are all mystified about why the British make such a big thing out of tea because most Foreigners have never had a good cup of tea. That's why they don't understand. In fact the truth of the matter is that most British people don't know how to make tea any more either, and most people drink cheap instant coffee instead, which is a pity, and gives Foreigners the impression that the British are just generally clueless about hot stimulants.

So the best advice I can give to an Foreigner arriving in Britain is this. Go to Marks and Spencer and buy a packet of Earl Grey tea. Go back to where you're staying and boil a kettle of water. While it is coming to the boil, open the sealed packet and sniff. Careful - you may feel a bit dizzy, but this is in fact perfectly legal. When the kettle has boiled, pour a little of it into a tea pot, swirl it around and tip it out again. Put a couple (or three, depending on the size of the pot) of tea bags into the pot (If I was really trying to lead you into the paths of righteousness I would tell you to use free leaves rather than bags, but let's just take this in easy stages). Bring the kettle back up to the boil, and then pour the boiling water as quickly as you can into the pot. Let it stand for two or three minutes, and then pour it into a cup. Some people will tell you that you shouldn't have milk with Earl Grey, just a slice of lemon. Screw them. I like it with milk. If you think you will like it with milk then it's probably best to put some milk into the bottom of the cup before you pour in the tea.1 If you pour milk into a cup of hot tea you will scald the milk. If you think you will prefer it with a slice of lemon then, well, add a slice of lemon.

Drink it. After a few moments you will begin to think that the place you've come to isn't maybe quite so strange and crazy after all.


~1. This is socially incorrect. The socially correct way of pouring tea is to put the milk in after the tea. Social correctness has traditionally had nothing whatever to do with reason, logic or physics. In fact, in Britain it is generally considered socially incorrect to know stuff or think about things. It's worth bearing this in mind when visiting.
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: XEntity on October 08, 2011, 23:09:08 PM
Love it! and for the record, I'm a milk second man, and I'm flexible on type of tea, sometimes earl grey can be a bit bitter..
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: soopahfly on October 08, 2011, 23:11:57 PM
I have a zero tolerance policy on tea.

Can't stand the stuff.
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: ERU on October 09, 2011, 08:02:10 AM
I have a zero tolerance policy on tea.

Can't stand the stuff.
That's fine as long as you don't claim to be a native :P
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: soopahfly on October 09, 2011, 10:08:30 AM
Oh I'm native alright.  I've progressed from the namby pamby to the manly Coffee.
We'd still have an empire if it was built on Coffee instead of tea  :ptu:

(http://checkyourbadself.co.uk/avatars/goldblendsmall.gif)(http://checkyourbadself.co.uk/avatars/goldblendsmall.gif)(http://checkyourbadself.co.uk/avatars/goldblendsmall.gif)
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: Clock'd 0Ne on October 09, 2011, 17:28:05 PM
I like all kinds of tea, but one thing from your post I cannot understand is how putting milk in the bottom of the cup before adding piping hot tea is any different to adding milk to the top of piping hot tea. Its also that bit more difficult to guage if you've put the right amount in (hence so many horribly milky grandma teas)
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: bear on October 09, 2011, 18:24:38 PM
Temperature depends on type of tea and steeptime also depends on type of tea. http://coffeetea.about.com/od/teabrewing/a/teatemp.htm
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: Leon on October 11, 2011, 09:32:31 AM
I like all kinds of tea, but one thing from your post I cannot understand is how putting milk in the bottom of the cup before adding piping hot tea is any different to adding milk to the top of piping hot tea. Its also that bit more difficult to guage if you've put the right amount in (hence so many horribly milky grandma teas)

For tea from a pot I don't understand it but when doing bag in cup or with coffee the reason for it is to stop your scorching the tea/coffee when pouring (nearly) boiling water directly on top of it. Of course you don't really tell the different but if we were to nitpick ;)

I'm always milk after due to the same difficulty to gauge how much you have added.
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: soopahfly on October 11, 2011, 10:10:19 AM
I like all kinds of tea, but one thing from your post I cannot understand is how putting milk in the bottom of the cup before adding piping hot tea is any different to adding milk to the top of piping hot tea. Its also that bit more difficult to guage if you've put the right amount in (hence so many horribly milky grandma teas)

For tea from a pot I don't understand it but when doing bag in cup or with coffee the reason for it is to stop your scorching the tea/coffee when pouring (nearly) boiling water directly on top of it. Of course you don't really tell the different but if we were to nitpick ;)

I'm always milk after due to the same difficulty to gauge how much you have added.

I can tell the difference between milk before and after.
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: Clock'd 0Ne on October 11, 2011, 10:48:33 AM
It makes sense with not scalding the coffee if the coffee is in the cup with the milk, but scalding the milk should be the same both ways surely, you're still combining boiling water and milk regardless of which is added to which?
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: soopahfly on October 11, 2011, 18:46:41 PM
Nah,  you're pouring hot fluid into cold. The the milk will slowly heat up as there is more cold than hot.

The other way,  you're rapidly heating the milk as there's more hot than cold.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: zpyder on October 11, 2011, 18:57:21 PM
A similar principle is applied in chemistry with concentrated acids. When you're diluting them down, you always add the acid to water, never the other way round :D
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: Clock'd 0Ne on October 11, 2011, 20:15:37 PM
I must have missed that part of chemistry (or forgotten about it). It's all clear now :D
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: Serious on December 20, 2011, 21:44:38 PM
1) The tea will have gone off the boil before you pour it, therefore it shouldn't make any difference if you add the milk to the tea or the tea to the milk. Some people firmly believe one or the other is right, I've tried both and it doesn't seem to affect the flavour at all.

2) Adding milk to Earl Grey is just wrong  :gag: but then you have to drink it, I don't...

3) I generally prefer tea with lemon and honey, ideal for those 'I've got man (or woman) flu days' or when you are feeling a bit down  :rock:

4) while there is always some discussion as to if loose tea is better than a bag, in tests it has been proved that there isn't much difference. If anything, because the bag tea is more fragmented, it releases more flavour in the short period of time.

5) choice of teapot, especially the material it is made out of, does make a difference.
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: Clock'd 0Ne on December 20, 2011, 22:06:07 PM
I think loose leaf tea as a given is generally better quality, hence the perception that loose leaf is best. I like Early Grey without milk but if I fancy it a little softer then a couple of drops of milk is all that is needed.
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: bear on December 21, 2011, 10:51:16 AM
Steeptime is important, to long time and it becommes bitter, if one wants a stronger tea, add more leaves(or use less water) but keep the steeptime right. Temp and time depends on type of tea.
Title: Re: ERU's Good Tea Guide
Post by: soopahfly on December 21, 2011, 17:11:01 PM
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jNDkx8GKAEI/SwxpC8p49nI/AAAAAAAAC2k/o7OyfKshVj0/s1600/coffee.jpg)

TBFH