View Full Version : Perfect Tea

30th Dec 2014, 02:39
Having recently watched Saving Mr. Banks (which delved into the relationship between Walt Disney and Mary Poppins' author P.L. Travers) I was curious as to why Ms. Travers insisted that the milk go into the teacup first.

This self-professed coffee drinker wonders why. Does it really make a difference when the milk goes into the tea?

Secondly, is loose tea really better than teabags? The commercial kitchen I am currently renting used to be a tea shop. The owner gave me scads of loose tea, including the metal holey thing that you put it in before dunking into the teapot. (BTW, what is that called?) I didn't think it was better than a teabag. Matter of fact, I disliked spitting out the smidgeons of loose tea that somehow escaped that metal holey thing.

Thirdly, where can you buy the best tea? My doctor is from India. She says she cannot buy any decent tea in North America, so her father sends it from India.

Finally, what is your favourite tea? Earl Grey? Orange Pekoe? Black Tea or ? What about brand? Any recommendations?

Any more tips on making that perfect cuppa would be appreciated. I don't know if they will make me more of a tea drinker....but I may try a little bit harder!

30th Dec 2014, 02:47
If you add the water to the milk, the milk is raised to its maximum temperature, which is presumably less than that required to 'scald' it. If you add the milk to the water, some will be raised to more than the 'scalding' temperature, which may change the taste. So goes tea- and coffee-drinkers' lore.

I cannot help with the other questions, being almost wholly a coffee drinker.

30th Dec 2014, 02:54
Hydromet, you are a coffee drinker in Oz? I could not find a decent cup of coffee there. The Melbourne Grand Hyatt had instant coffee in their rooms! :(

Espada III
30th Dec 2014, 02:55
The milk before pouring tea in or after is an age old argument. Most people can't tell the difference. Making tea in a teapot with loose tea is meant to give a better flavour but you should use a good strainer to avoid getting leaves in the cup. There are many types of tea but no one has yet found good tea in the Americas.

Tips for making a good brew.....

Fresh water straight from the tap and into the kettle. Soft water is better.
Irrespective of whether you are using teabags in the mug or loose tea in a pot, drink tea from a thin china cup or mug.
For tea with a strong robust flavour try to find a blend which the English drink with milk. I like Yorkshire Tea. Even better is a home made blend of loose tea 50/50 Yorkshire with Earl Grey. Earl Grey is one of the most few speciality teas than can be drunk both with and without milk.

Enjoy! !

30th Dec 2014, 02:58
Personally I think that anything in a tea bag is a huge mistake and the revenge on the Americans by the British for what happened in Boston harbour.

Also those perforated metal things are useless, if you brew good quality loose tea properly you won't have a problem with "floaters".

I don't even use a teapot, I have a huge mug and I brew my cuppa in that, however, there are some important things to consider;
1) freshly boiling water (not HOT water from a big container thats been sitting there for forever).
2) a HOT receptacle (teapot or mug) that that tea is directly put in just before the freshly boiling water.
3) Let it soak, the longer the stronger the brew will be, BUT it may get too acid if left too long.
If you have good quality tea, freshly boiling water, and a hot receptacle the leaves will rise to the surface, soak, then sink..... then let it sit for a while, add your milk/cream/suger/whatnot, stir and drink..... bliss!!!

If you are pouring from a teapot then you can catch any stray leaves in a strainer on the way to your cup, you only have to really worry about major leaf quantities when you are getting to the bottom of the pot.

It is easier to find decent tea in the US now than in the past, if you have Indian shops around then you have a good chance to find decent tea.

I order mine from "the big south american river" website. (Yorkshire tea, on a regular, standing order)

Enjoy, my first mug of tea of the day starts me off just right.


30th Dec 2014, 02:59
Expada, thanks for the recommendations. I never thought of mixing tea blends, but I like the idea!

30th Dec 2014, 03:01
fleigle, more tea for thought. Thank-you. That first cup in the morning is heavenly (be it tea or coffee).

30th Dec 2014, 03:56
I was told as a Youf told that the difference between milk in first or last is that one result is a Colloid and the other a Mixture.

Quote ....A colloid is a substance in which microscopically dispersed insoluble particles are suspended throughout another substance.

Quote .... A mixture is a combination of two or more pure substances in which each pure substance retains its individual chemical properties.

So now you know.

Personally I put the milk in last, otherwise you might put too much in the cup to start with, I added milk until I attained the right colour - but stopped adding milk or sugar about 40 years ago, mainly because when arriving at a strange hotel in the middle of the night I could plug in my mini-immersion heater "dipstick" into the hotel electricity supply, and brew a cup of tea in a mug without the necessity of carrying milk that would doubtless have spilt into my suitcase or briefcase, and the sugar would have found its way into my knickers etc. to slowly decompose into a sticky mess.

For the same reason I stopped carrying Gin, and switched to Whiskey, to which only water needed to be added. Some of my colleagues stuck to Gin, but Gin and Water is not the same, and the means to make Pink Gin also occasionally flooded the briefcase. ( Just like shampoo always oozed out of any receptacle that man could design.)

I also switched to black coffee, mainly because the cabin crew couldn't remember who had what in respect to sugar, milk, black or white etc. sweetened white coffee is total poison to me. An insulated, plastic thermal picnic beaker inscribed with the slogan "Capt. - Tea or Coffee, Black, no sugar" served me well for many years. I was once told that I had earned the nickname " Captain No Sugar"

Adam Nams
30th Dec 2014, 04:22
I was told that the 'milk in first' came about to save cracking the delicate porcelain with the boiling hot tea.

30th Dec 2014, 04:56
Here ya go V2. A most excellent tea, available from Twinings.

Lapsang Souchong. (http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/09/lapsang-souchong-tea-history-how-to-brew.html)

30th Dec 2014, 05:25
Like Exsp33db1rd I drink my tea black with no sugar and so tend to like my tea on the weaker side. Twinings Darjeeling for a more subtle flavour or their English Breakfast for a more robust start to the day.
As others have said, freshly drawn water into the kettle and poured onto the tea while still on the boil. Drinking out of porcelain also enhances the pleasure.

30th Dec 2014, 06:41
Favourite everyday blend for a quick easy cuppa : Yorkshire Gold. Always take a box or two when travelling to the savage parts of the world where they bring you a mug of warm water and a Liptons Yellow Label peebag to dunk into it. Yuck!

I also blend my own tea. A full flavoured tea such as Assam is the main component, with a bit of Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong to add flavour and a hint of smokiness.

When I gave a mug of tea to a visitor, she told me she thought I must have cooked fish in the teapot, due to the smoky flavour of the Lapsang.

30th Dec 2014, 06:54
I'm rather fond of tea; it's my drink of preference. I've been drinking at least ten cups a day for over thirty years.

As I approach 'old bugger-hood', I've started to become rather discerning concerning what I consume (and I had a head start, I've always been a bit of a fussy ba$tard), and this follows through to tea.

The most important aspect is the actual tea itself. This should be as fresh as possible (if it's foil-sealed, that's worth several brownie points), definitely loose-leaf, and of a good quality. Twinings do some pretty good quality teas. My favourite is Prince of Wales, followed by Irish breakfast, then English breakfast. (I like a robust tea. Others prefer a more subtle brew.) Lapsang Souchong, mentioned above, is a large-leaf smoky flavoured tea. (Large leaf means it needs brewing for longer, unlike, say, Irish breakfast, which is very fine, and thus releases most of its flavour quickly.)

Twinings also do some absolute crap teas. These are in bags, and generally made for the so-called hospitality industry, and sold in containers containing maybe a hundred or more individual tea bags. (Many manufacturers do this.) They are usually individually wrapped in a paper envelope - I guess to prevent the rubbish paper they use to make the bag from disintegrating - it starts to do that in the cup, anyway - often have a string and a tag attached, and contain the lowest grade sweepings from the more remote corners of the factory floor, where the weevils and dust mites ablute. (At least, that's what it tastes like.) The taste is something akin to a combination of paper mill exudate, and really really stale dusty tea. (It's what the Americans call tea, by the way.)

Only buy decent tea. If it's grown at a decent elevation in India, Sri Lanka or similar, and is top of the range - meaning that the pickers (who are paid something like half of a rupee per ton, rather than a quarter of a rupee) only cut the tips of the new leaves, and it's processed the same day - you've got a good tea. If the container is foil sealed, so much the better.

The teapot doesn't matter so much. Stainless steel, enamel steel, pottery - all are capable of producing decent tea. Avoid soft pottery or un-glazed teapots - they tend to be somewhat porous - and aluminium, which is affected over time by the acidity of the brew.
Pre-heating it does. (Matter so much.) I leave mine on an element, on the lowest setting, to keep it close to boiling (it mustn't boil, nor even simmer) for a few minutes. The rule of thumb 'one spoon per person then one for the pot' works pretty well. If it's too weak, or too strong, you can adjust the amount to suit your taste in subsequent brews.
Brew for between three and five minutes. Stir, then serve, through a decent tea strainer. (I'm a milk-first person. Preferably full cream (4.2%) milk, and I don't touch homogenized. It's shite.)
Drink. Enjoy. (Cocking the pinky is optional. Unless you're gay. Then it's still optional, just a bit more of a give-away.)

If you leave it much longer than five minutes, it starts to get a little bitter, as the tanic acid is released. The longer it's left, the more predominant this flavour, which most don't like much. (It can be masked, however, by using sweetened condensed, milk, like they do in Malaysia. That's fun.) Inadvertently boiling it will increase this bitterness at an accelerated rate, too.

The best teas I remember drinking were at a high tea at Raffles in Singapore - they know about tea, there, and at the Boh tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. Boh tea is not generally considered a world leading brand. The one I bought was toward the top of their range and had been packed that morning, and it was brilliant, thus proving to me that freshness does make a difference.

It home I drink a locally packed brew made by Edgelets, or Dilmah Premium Quality Ceylon tea, which comes packed in foil.

Hope that helps. I'm a total addict, by the way.

Solid Rust Twotter
30th Dec 2014, 08:04
Another tea addict here, although not as fussy as Mr Tarq. I have a large mug which holds two pints and I hoover up between eight and ten of those a day.

Agree with Mr Canso about the Lapsang Souchong, although I like mine with a drop of milk. If using standard commercial black tea, I prefer leaves in a tea ball. Another thing tea lovers should try is tangawizi chai from East Africa. Fragrant Kenyan or Ugandan tea made with fresh ginger and condensed milk. Sublime...

30th Dec 2014, 08:13
Walking the streets of Mumbai, I watched a tea seller preparing on a small portable stove on the backseat of his motorbike.

Observed that he boiled the milk, then put in the tea leaves and other spices, strained when pouring into the serving mug.

Apart from the mug, seems quite hygenic :)

30th Dec 2014, 08:26
A guy with a username of the calibre of "solid rust twotter'' in no way is required to prefix my name with "Mister".

Appreciate, though.

30th Dec 2014, 08:36
good advice!
btw, why drink tea from a thin china cup or mug.
I've always preferred good solid big mugs?

and if you want it spicy, http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/553555-hotnspicy-tea.html - some real good tips there, too :) - and they work, and I'm extra glad about this cinnamon-thing (never occurred to put it in tea). The link to making chai-latte would make one wonder why so much boiling, though.

30th Dec 2014, 08:38
We always used to have this debate at work. If you put the milk in last, you always seemed to get a "scum" on the top of the tea,and around your cup. Milk in first seemed to stop it. Also, are you meant to boil the water, I read somewhere the perfect temp isn't boiling point,which is why aircraft kettles don't boil either :)

30th Dec 2014, 08:48
In 1983 or thereabouts, I had an absolutely magical holiday in Ceylon (my dad had worked there in the 1930's, and if it was Ceylon to him it was Ceylon to me).

One of the highlights of the holiday was a visit to a tea plantation where I was impressed by quality of the tea and appalled by the incredibly low wages of the employees. The manager could not understand why anybody would want to put the stuff in little sachets and subsequently only the lowest grade of tea and factory sweepings was 'tea bagged'.
Since then I have only ever bought Ceylon tea - and loved every cuppa - in an effort, in some small way, to help those lovely people.

30th Dec 2014, 08:57
I think the technical term for the 'metal holey thing' is a tea strainer. :hmm:

30th Dec 2014, 09:35
I think the technical term for the 'metal holey thing' is a tea strainer. :hmm:I got one as a wedding pressie and was told that it was an 'infuser'.

Edit to add:

Like this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KX9XFCS?psc=1

30th Dec 2014, 09:44
The link to the big river site doesn't work for me. :(

You could well be right, I was thinking of a tea strainer used for when you pour tea from a tea pot when using loose leaves. However, as you say you can get 'infusers' which contain loose leaves and you dangle in hot water to get the leaves to release their flavour. :)

30th Dec 2014, 10:02
As mentioned above, teabags generally contain rubbish. You can demonstrate this yourself by tearing an unused one open and shaking all the contents out into a white dish.
And of course the paper adds its own taste.

I use my favourite tea blend in a china teapot, freshly boiled water, and poured through a stainless steel strainer. The milk is added last, carefully to get the exact colour. Wonderful!

30th Dec 2014, 10:36
I read somewhere the perfect temp isn't boiling point,which is why aircraft kettles don't boil

Aircraft kettles don't boil at sea level, because they are usually at a cabin pressure of 8000ft when in use, where the boiling point of water is 91.6°C. As a result the thermostat on the water heater has to be set something below that. Hence the reason most Brits consider aircraft tea to be lukewarm at best.

joy ride
30th Dec 2014, 10:51
Tea for me is

Mate´ / Che, gourd, bombilla, plus hot water and a small amount of molasses sugar.

30th Dec 2014, 10:56
Typhoon Q-t

30th Dec 2014, 11:16
Any more tips on making that perfect cuppa would be appreciated. The first and most important thing is - get rid of that metal, holey thing - the tea strainer. You can't make tea like that! The metal cools the water and inhibits the infusion. The leaves go straight into the pot, completely naked.

1. The teapot must be heated before putting the loose leaves in,
2. The pot must be brought to the kettle,
3. The water must be "on the boil" when poured into the teapot and
4. The infusion must continue for at least two minutes, preferably three or four.

Do not in any circumstances place anything cold - such as a spoon or (heaven forbid) a tea strainer into the mixture until the infusion process is complete.

The argument over milk first or tea first will go on for ever.
It is actually a personal choice. I prefer to put the milk in after the tea. Pouring almost boiling tea into a spalsh of milk is likely to slightly curdle the milk. I like to let the poured tea cool a little before adding the milk to the tea.

To prevent getting tea leaves in the mouth, filter them out when pouring into the cup by placing a strainer over the cup when pouring. The disadvantage of this is that one cannot get Granny to fortell one's immediate future by reading the tea leaves in the cup when one has finished. ;)

30th Dec 2014, 11:27
The best possible tea comes after several hours hard, pointless work in the cold for a miserable boss. The British military have known this for centuries, and so kindly arrange for this to happen almost every day.

Other handy tips include:
Tea bags are bad not because of the bag itself, but because they rarely put decent tea in them. Pyramid bags are better (and that's recently been scientifically proven).
The blend of tea should match the water hardness. Yorkshire tea is often a blend suited to hard water, and it isn't as good in soft water areas.
The physics of it mean it is more important that smaller dainty cups & teapots are pre-heated, like espresso coffee gear.

30th Dec 2014, 11:33
How should tea be prepared? This plate (http://steemrok.com/cuppateav8) shows how a certain supplier of aeronautical charts might have demonstrated the method in the days when its offerings were sometimes criticised for their illogical and confusing layout.

30th Dec 2014, 11:39
The effect of altitude on all hot food preparation is vast. Water boiling at below 100C is only one of them.

When we moved from the UK to Johannesburg, just under 6,000' ASL, my wife had to learn many new techniques. Even the simple things like boiling an egg is different. The most significant was re-learning how to make Yorkshire Puddings! Apparantly the usage of Baking Powder is entirely different.

To keep to the tea thread, one side effect, the tea companies have different blends that they sell in such places and we discovered that the 'Johannesburg version' of SA biggest selling tea, makes a far better brew when carried to sea level.

For our Iberian friends, it made an excellent brew on the Costa Del Sol!

30th Dec 2014, 11:43
Aircraft kettles don't boil at sea level, because they are usually at a cabin pressure of 8000ft when in use, where the boiling point of water is 91.6°C. As a result the thermostat on the water heater has to be set something below that.
I've read about a flying boat Captain who would descend his (Sunderland? Solent? I cannot remember) flying boat to near sea level before ordering his tea to be made, precisely because of this fact. He could then enjoy his perfect cup of tea.

Mr Optimistic
30th Dec 2014, 12:19
Have to disagree re teabags. May have been the floor sweepings n the early days but not now. Quality of the water is a big factor, soft water is far better than hard. In the old days the blend of tea varied between areas based on water hardness, suspect it doesn't now. The milk first or later argument was in the days before tea bags. As I recall it was an etiquette issue only, in Liverpool we put milk in teacup first so clearly the right way was the other way. I am told that the ethnic Indian community favour adding condensed or evaporated milk to the teapot once brewed as it stops teeth staining. Not for me though as my yellow English smile attests!

30th Dec 2014, 12:23
...are never going to give you boiling water (unless you're on the ground) because of the reduced boiling point of water with altitude (cabin alt 8000-ish feet?).

I remember one of my lads wondering why the tea was lukewarm as he dished it out in an unpressurised aircraft at 25050' (the 50 was important at the time!). Elementary physics lesson followed by bollocking for walking around with teapot and no walkabout O2 bottle! Stupid boy had never been that high before. Thought he was still at 1000').

The Ancient Mariner

Metro man
30th Dec 2014, 14:33
Milk in first was originally to prevent low quality china from cracking when hot liquid was poured in.

Tea bags contain "dust" grade tea leaves but are quite acceptable when travelling, I use tea bags when flying as quality tea is wasted when brewed at altitude using aircraft water.

This site has some useful information about tea:


30th Dec 2014, 14:55
My great-grandfather (I can just remember him, he died in 1947) used a metal teapot to brew his tea; he then put it on the stove to boil for five minutes before pouring the tea into his moustache mug (https://41.media.tumblr.com/071358732c8a15be01529f750851aa5d/tumblr_mijvwsWxF31rp78t3o1_500.jpg), an item which fascinated me as a child

flying lid
30th Dec 2014, 21:39

30th Dec 2014, 22:12
Of course, everyone knows that the best tea is billy tea. Boil a billycan full of water over a fire made from gum tree twigs, with some gum leaves thrown on for extra flavour if desired. When the water boils, throw in a handful of tea leaves and remove the billy from the fire. The type is probably unimportant, but the leaves should be approximately the size of a small post-it note, and of dubious quality.

Tap the side of the billycan to make the leaves sink - don't ask me why, but it works - and allow to draw for a few minutes. To make any floating leaves sink to the bottom, swing the billycan of tea at arms length through a couple of 360 degree vertical circles. Pour into an enamel pannikin, and add an excessive amount of sugar to mask the flavour of poor quality tea and gum leaves.

30th Dec 2014, 23:06
To warm the teapot, does anyone else here hang the teapot over the kettle spout as its coming to the boil? It gets it nice and hot, thus avoiding the swill it round and empty out' stage.

30th Dec 2014, 23:13
Hydromet here's the Canadian equivalent. Ya gotta throw in a few spruce twigs for flavour.


30th Dec 2014, 23:33
And you can make a perfectly acceptable substitute for tea using spruce needles if you forget the teabags...... :)

31st Dec 2014, 05:05
Now that I live in the USA, getting a cup of tea is a continual sore point considering I don't like coffee & sip tea continuously. Diners rarely have water that's hot enough thanks to whatever less-than-boiling temp setting they use, hotels are infested with those infernal coffee makers which not only don't boil the water, but impart an 'old coffee grounds' flavour to the water. To add insult to injury, it's rare to find somewhere with milk to add to tea (diners excluded**). Instead, in increasing order of awfulness, its UHT half & half, liquid creamer, and creamer powder.

I nearly always have a 500ml thermos with me as a result.

"No thanks. Hot tea, please. *No* honey, *no* lemon, just small amount of milk for my tea, and the water boiling temperature, thanks"

<usually all the parts after 'please' are said to a rapidly retreating back, but in rare cases it proceeds to:>

"You want half 'n' half?"
"No. Milk."
"No. Milk. From a cow."
"Oh. We don't have 'no fat'."
"Just milk."
"Just plain, ordinary milk."
"OK...." <rising inflection. Thought bubble of "He's a weirdo">

It invariably arrives with tepid water, + lemon & honey and I have to remind her about the milk. Sometimes it arrives with with half & half, or creamer, as well if the waitress was more alert than average. Most of the time I can stick my finger in the cup to demonstrate to the waitress that the water is not hot, and request she replaces it or zaps it in their microwave.

31st Dec 2014, 05:53
Another abomination often ruining an otherwise decent cup of tea is serving it with hot milk, or the 2% muck that passes for milk. This is very common in South Africa.

When I travel I take a supply of my own tea bags, something I rarely use at home, but it does guarantee a standard of some kind.

joy ride
31st Dec 2014, 09:24
Dave Gorman did a great demonstration of making tea on his great show "Modern Life Is Goodish" showing the result of pouring boiling water over the tea, then adding a tea bag to the water.

The Masters of Reality's first CD included the song "T.U.S.A." a rap/rant by the estimable Mr Peter "Ginger" Baker, all about "the inability of yanks" to make a good cup of tea:


31st Dec 2014, 09:27
To warm the teapot, does anyone else here hang the teapot over the kettle spout as its coming to the boil? It gets it nice and hot, thus avoiding the swill it round and empty out' stage.Been doing it for years, but one of the teapots doesn't 'balance' which is annoying.

Apparently it's a southern African way of wamring the pot, I'm told.

31st Dec 2014, 11:22
My old Political Science lecturer taught me to make tea at tutorials, we'd always have a brew during the tute...

He was an Englishman with that delightful way of mispronouncing his "g"'s.

Preheat pot, fresh water freshly boiled and allow to brew.

I detest instant coffee as well as anyone who puts sugar and milk in the cup with the teabag BEFORE adding the hot water...

I've found an acceptable tea (without a pot) by using Yorkshire Tea (BRAND) bags (just learned about the hard water factor here)
Preheat mug, add tea bag, then freshly boiled (fresh) water, allow to brew for at least three minutes, then add sugar and milk.


Um... lifting...
31st Dec 2014, 13:17
I detest instant coffee as well as anyone who...

Emphasis mine.

Seems like an awfully high level of dudgeon for a beverage from which one could simply abstain, and what difference could it possibly make to you how someone else prepares theirs?

Detestation, loathing, disgust, insult, injury, all over a cuppa stewed leaves. Frankly, Hydromet's got it right within one standard deviation.

It's little wonder anti-psych meds are a growth industry.

31st Dec 2014, 13:32
Here's a nice NAAFI lass, dishing out a proppa cuppa to the Yanks. [359th Bombardment Squadron ground crew]

"Tea and a Wad? How'd ya eat a Wad?"


Looks like they never learned to spell NAAFi either . . . :rolleyes:

Krystal n chips
31st Dec 2014, 18:03
My old Political Science lecturer taught me to make tea at tutorials, we'd always have a brew during the tute..

I detest instant coffee as well as anyone who puts sugar and milk in the cup with the teabag BEFORE adding the hot water...

I've found an acceptable tea (without a pot) by using Yorkshire Tea (BRAND) bags (just learned about the hard water factor here)
Preheat mug, add tea bag, then freshly boiled (fresh) water, allow to brew for at least three minutes, then add sugar and milk.


Phew !..if that's what's required to make a cup of tea then we can't even begin to imagine what making a sandwich would entail....

31st Dec 2014, 21:38

to clarify: anyone who makes a cup of tea FOR ME "pre-loaded" with milk and sugar then serves it to me, forcing me to consume it rather than break social conventions and hurt their feelings...

maybe I should seek medical advice...

31st Dec 2014, 21:57
I wonder if Yank should dare to trespass on these hallowed grounds? Fools rush in, etc. Tell you what, I promise not to say anything about Texas sweet tea. :}

Joy Ride, you beat me to it. I grew up on mate, although we spelled it with 2 'T's. Chá Matte Leão 100g (http://www.brazilianshop.com/Beverages?product_id=81)

For the adventurous gourmand, try Thai Iced Tea; more than a bit different, I wouldn't try to compare it to English style tea, just something in a completely different category which you might also enjoy.

Should you happen to be in tropical Brazil, see if you can find any sea grass tea. 'cha de capim marinho' aka 'capim santo' Again, completely different, neither better nor worse, but interesting.

Since we are discussing minutiae, re hard vs. soft water, if you have hard water, what is the most, um, tasteful way to soften it?

I've also had home-made orange peel tea. Simply peel the orange, dry the peel in the sun for a while, then add hot water.

Of course, there's always Alaskan fungus tea. Not hallucinogenic at all. No, really. http://http://www.arcticchaga.com/

31st Dec 2014, 22:12
2% milk versus 3.25% milk! Sheesh!

For the first 3,500 years tea was sipped more-or-less unadulterated.

Then the industrial revolution happened...

How do you take your beer?

31st Dec 2014, 22:21
McDonalds in NZ give free coffee to Those Of A Certain Age - yes, I know, but it is free, and often the only place in my town open between 2.00 pm and 6.00 pm. and it is the sort of coffee I like, i.e. as used to be sloshed into a cup by the waitress as one sat down in any roadside "Diner" across the USA - stuff all the modern Yuppie names, like Latte, or whatever, but ............ they always ask if I want sugar, but NEVER if I want milk, the words Black, no Sugar are totally ignored.

Doesn't anyone ever LISTEN anymore ? free as it is, I always return it and demand black, as asked, so it costs them two cups each time ! Tough.

31st Dec 2014, 22:30
That would never happen at a McDonald's in Canada.

31st Dec 2014, 23:06
only place in my town open between 2.00 pm and 6.00 pm

Have the Kiwis adopted the Spanish siesta?

31st Dec 2014, 23:08
Maybe the time was adjusted to UTC?

31st Dec 2014, 23:11
Anyone who's back-packed in India (or perhaps more precisely Darjeeling) might remember drinking a cup of 'chai' from a street vendor.

If I remember correctly, it was prepared as follows:

1) 1 1/2 heaped-teaspoon of tea-leaves per serving approx. 200ml.: (not Darjeeling tea - that was too expensive) for the commoners, so probably Assam tea leaves or any cheaper variety available.

2) Add all the tea-leaves (so approx. 7.5 heaped-teaspoons for 6 people) to about 1.5L (of un-treated water and adulterated milk: so 1L of water and 0.5L of milk I guess) cold in a saucepan.

3) Add about 2" x 1/2" x 1/2" of fresh ginger roughly-sliced to the saucepan.

4) Add at least 2 tespoons of sugar to the ingredients.

5) Bring to the boil rapidy on 'high heat'.

6) Once 'boiling', serve into individual mugs through a sieve (to filter out the tea-leaves, ginger etc.

7) Add 30% to the cost of the ingredients to establish the selling price of the 'chai' (or as required).

8) Enjoy...

PS. I imagine if you wanted a spicier tea, you'd add chilli powder, cardamoms etc. with the cold water at this stage...?! Although all the Nepalese coolies (porters) who carried the fresh oranges out of the valleys upto Darjeeling in those days 'made do' with the standard 'chai'. Of course, New Yorkers, Londoners and Americans in general would probably consider all this effort quite ambigious and un-necessary. I'm sure that Nestlé will soon bring out a machine and a capsule which replicates with great sincerity (and even greater profit margin) your own demands for 'authenticity'...?! :}

1st Jan 2015, 01:26
Have the Kiwis adopted the Spanish siesta?Not really, but they don't seem to have a keen sense of retail service outside the major centres, lunch is lunch and dinner is dinner.

Many restaurants fail through lack of custom in the Winter, a Pizza joint opened in the town some years ago, but was closed during January that year, Jan. being Summer and the only time the town is slightly busy following the Christmas holidays. When I questioned the wisdom of this when they re-opened in Feb. - to empty tables - the response was ... well, we need a holiday too ! Couldn't they take a holiday in April, when the town is deserted anyway !

Yesterday was New Years Eve - I couldn't park outside the Post Office, had to walk down the street ! Only happens one day a year tho'. Later in the day I was able to park outside the front door of the cinema, so normality is slowly returning.

That would never happen at a McDonald's in CanadaWhich - the free coffee or the mindless, inevitable, milk ?

1st Jan 2015, 04:33
Wow! I've been making my way through the reply. Lots of good suggestions. Thank-you!

I have discovered that I like my tea mildly brewed - without milk.
Just devoured two cups.

More experimentation is in order.

1st Jan 2015, 04:56
In Canada, I've received several free black coffees, and have paid for many more. Pretty good coffee actually, but have never, ever, had milk poured in my coffee without my specific request.

1st Jan 2015, 06:59
Place around here called 'The Tea Centre'...expensive....but my favourite blend is this one....particularly enjoyable :ok:


I'm a definite no milk no sugar guy, though if drinking crap tea at work, (i.e tea bag stuff) a slice of lemon makes a world of difference!!

We're not long back from Hong Kong....went into a little market up in ShenZhen and stopped by a purveyor of fine teas.....who had an elaborate table set up so that he could pour out various blends directly onto the table, and they drained away down a drain hole, before preparing another blend, rinsing out between with hot water, and never trying the first cup of any new blend prepared, but rather poured away, and the second cup offered as a tasting....quite a spectacle in itself really...

I have in the pantry right now a vacuum sealed pack of Pu'Er tea ready to go....couldn't bring myself to but a whole Pu'Er 'cake' like this...

1998 Zhongcha Old Pu'er Tea Yunnan Chi Tse Beeng Ripe Tea 357g wholesale | eBay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/390581614175?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=107&chn=ps) :eek::eek:

1st Jan 2015, 10:52
Wow! I've been making my way through the reply. Lots of good suggestions. Thank-you!

I have discovered that I like my tea mildly brewed - without milk.
Just devoured two cups.

More experimentation is in order.
Try and source some black tea with vanilla pods. A good quality one is exampled here: maya vanilla | leaf tea (http://www.leaftea.com.au/content/maya-vanilla)

Seems like you might also be partial to Darjeeling, or maybe Broken Orange Pekoe.

1st Jan 2015, 17:13
Tarq57, tea with a vanilla pod? Sounds decadent and delicious - thanks.

Blacksheep, tea and a WAD? I had to look that up. WAD = sandwich.

A cup of coffee (or tea) and a sandwich probably helped win the war! A hot drink, two pieces of bread with something in between - basic sustenance that quashes the hunger, warms the core, lifts the spirit, and brings people together - be it socially or for a common cause. It goes beyond the mechanics of "The Perfect Tea."

1st Jan 2015, 21:54
Should you want a tea that has a positive effect on you try Feiyan Tea. It is known as Chinese Slimming Tea and has this ability to keep you on the throne all day.

It certainly works. I lost three kilos a week.