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Tea; The Great Debate

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djgordy
906950.  Sat May 05, 2012 8:36 am Reply with quote

hassan el kebir wrote:

Eggscuse me, mon brave, I take grave exception to that statement; that's exactly how tea ought to be made, loose leaf is definitely best brewed in the cup.


Nonsense. If tea was best made in a mug God wouldn't have given us the tea pot.

 
RLDavies
906951.  Sat May 05, 2012 8:37 am Reply with quote

sally carr wrote:
Watching a programme about antiques the other night I found out that putting the milk in first began when porcelain was liable to shatter when the tea was poured in, the upper classes put the milk in first because they had the fancy china, the rest of us had earthenware and that could withstand the heat. I prefer milk in last because it is easier to add more if needed but impossible to remove if the tea is too milky.

Other way round. The upper classes had the good porcelain that could take practically any heat shock (top-quality porcelain can go straight from the kiln into water). The middling classes had bone china and low-grade porcelain that was likely to shatter if boiling water was poured in directly. The labouring classes wouldn't have been able to afford tea at all.

Colin likes milk in his tea; I prefer lemon. They go in after, since you can judge the amount better.

 
sally carr
906952.  Sat May 05, 2012 8:41 am Reply with quote

RLDavies wrote:
sally carr wrote:
Watching a programme about antiques the other night I found out that putting the milk in first began when porcelain was liable to shatter when the tea was poured in, the upper classes put the milk in first because they had the fancy china, the rest of us had earthenware and that could withstand the heat. I prefer milk in last because it is easier to add more if needed but impossible to remove if the tea is too milky.

Other way round. The upper classes had the good porcelain that could take practically any heat shock (top-quality porcelain can go straight from the kiln into water). The middling classes had bone china and low-grade porcelain that was likely to shatter if boiling water was poured in directly. The labouring classes wouldn't have been able to afford tea at all.

Colin likes milk in his tea; I prefer lemon. They go in after, since you can judge the amount better.


Not according to Lucy Worsley in her new series about antiques

 
RLDavies
906954.  Sat May 05, 2012 8:45 am Reply with quote

I watched the same programme. I'm sure it was the other way around, but other things were happening at the same time, so I could have misremembered.

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
906955.  Sat May 05, 2012 8:47 am Reply with quote

I do mine in a pan. Depending on the number of mugs I make sure the mix is 4 parts water, 1 part milk. To make 5 mugs of Indian chai, you use 4 full mugs of water, 1 full mug milk. Put it in a pan and then add 2.5 full tablespoons not levelled of loose tea into the mix and add some tea masala depending on how spicy you like it (about 2 teaspoons). Bring it to the boil allowing it to froth up, gather the stuck loose tea on the sides and put it back into the mix stirring the mix well. Boil it again to ensure a rich brown colour not too dark. Pour into the mugs using a tea strainer to ensure loose tea does not go into the mugs. Add sugar or sweetner to taste. If more adventurous you can add into the mix while boiling either ground cardoman or fresh ginger pieces.

The only drawback with this method is the disposing of the loose tea and washing up the pan as the tea making leaves a brown residue which is hard to clean. You can get tea masala in any Asian shop or supermarket if they stock it.

 
'yorz
906961.  Sat May 05, 2012 8:59 am Reply with quote



I had one of these. Quite strong in flavour. I guess it was more the novelty that made me use it all up than pure enjoyment. Give me Earl/Lady Grey anytime. The loose leaf version is of course best, but for every day use I have teabags.
I do possess a egg-shaped strainer which allows to let the tea infuse and then be discarded.
Boiling water for a pre-warmed pot, swirl and chuck out, pour boiling water onto tea(bags); no milk, and 1 sweetener per cup. I will have to get myself a glass teapot, as Earl/Lady Grey in a stoneware pot somehow doesn't seem right.
I already have a glass tealight, so the overall effect will be eye-pleasing as well.

 
djgordy
906962.  Sat May 05, 2012 9:04 am Reply with quote

Here is my recipe for the perfect cup of tea.

Tell the butler to tell the kitchen staff to make the tea.

 
Spud McLaren
906968.  Sat May 05, 2012 9:49 am Reply with quote

Masala tea is an acquired taste. I acquired it very quickly.
PWUM wrote:
The only drawback with this method is the disposing of the loose tea and washing up the pan as the tea making leaves a brown residue which is hard to clean.
Soak it in a strong-ish sodium bicarbonate solution. for a couple of hours - it'll rub off* pretty easily then.

* Shut up, Mike.

 
Sadurian Mike
906978.  Sat May 05, 2012 10:20 am Reply with quote

Prof Wind Up Merchant wrote:
I do mine in a pan.

Remind me never to pop by for a cuppa, I don't have that sort of time spare!

 
swot
906979.  Sat May 05, 2012 10:21 am Reply with quote

I got mother one of these for Christmas a couple of years ago, along with some loose tea:



I don't know if she uses it all that much though.

 
NinOfEden
906983.  Sat May 05, 2012 10:33 am Reply with quote

RLDavies wrote:
sally carr wrote:
Watching a programme about antiques the other night I found out that putting the milk in first began when porcelain was liable to shatter when the tea was poured in

Other way round. The upper classes had the good porcelain that could take practically any heat shock (top-quality porcelain can go straight from the kiln into water). The middling classes had bone china and low-grade porcelain that was likely to shatter if boiling water was poured in directly.

Aah! That'd explain why putting milk in first is seen as being a bit common?

 
djgordy
907003.  Sat May 05, 2012 11:36 am Reply with quote

I think that is very unlikely. Quite apart from anything else, if you pour tea from a tea pot into a cup it will be nowhere near boiling. It will have been brewing for at least 5 minutes and a lot of the heat will have gone into the teapot and then into the ambience. Also, has any body ever actually had a cup shatter from pouring tea in it? I suspect this is just one of those stories that goes around without any real confimation.

I suggest that people put the milk in first simply because it is easier to guage how much has been added.

 
Oceans Edge
907011.  Sat May 05, 2012 12:25 pm Reply with quote

ISO 3103

Or you can find the longer British Standard doing a google search on BS6008:1980 (however it is a copyrighted document and a legal copy will cost you 64 french francs)

The Royal Society of Chemistry reworked the British Standard method and released it as a news release: here

OK... we do a pot nightly here, 3 Tetley orange pekoe tea bags per 32 oz earthenware pot. Pot pre-warmed, water boiling and poured over the tea bags, steep 5 minutes - no more, no less. Stir, do not squeeze. Pour into prepared mugs. My daughter and I take ours with one sweetener and milk, my husband and son with 2 sugars and milk. Served in porcelain mugs

Mid day, single cup. Same method, brewed in the cup, milk and sweetener added after the brew (and the bag removed)

Out on the boats, same method, served in tin mugs, usually sweeter and with canned milk.

I also do a fair bit of herbal tea, and specialty teas, each one depends on what it is, as how I take it, plain, lemon, or milk.

I think it's possible the adding the milk first thing came from a time when all milk was full fat, and pouring the cooled milk into the hot tea could cause the milk fat to cook and separate, tea is safe to drink, but looks hideous. By adding the milk first and pouring the hot into the cool, there is less separation of the milk fat.

 
Oceans Edge
907019.  Sat May 05, 2012 12:35 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
hassan el kebir wrote:

Eggscuse me, mon brave, I take grave exception to that statement; that's exactly how tea ought to be made, loose leaf is definitely best brewed in the cup.


Nonsense. If tea was best made in a mug God wouldn't have given us the tea pot.


And what would we have done with all the tea cosies?

 
Jenny
907025.  Sat May 05, 2012 12:46 pm Reply with quote

I never thought of using a cafetiere to make loose-leaf tea in, to avoid using a strainer, but now I think I will try it. Thanks for the tip, CB :-)

 

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