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Tea; The Great Debate

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CB27
907037.  Sat May 05, 2012 1:30 pm Reply with quote

No probs. I used strainers for years, but at work I felt a bit silly so looked for a decent infuser, but the cheap ones always let out lots of bits and the decent ones were ridiculously expensive. Then I was shopping in ASDA and I saw a cheap cafetiere for £3 and realised it was perfect for what I wanted.

I put some tea in and fill up with water and put the lid on top and press down slowly halfway, then leave it for a couple of minutes to brew, lift up the plunger and push down slowly all the way, and it's usually just the right strength I want.

 
tchrist
907578.  Mon May 07, 2012 10:47 am Reply with quote

Has anyone ever had the experience of tea made only with ((very) hot) milk, not with water?

I have. In Spain, some places are willing to prepare a té americano for you. No, I don’t know why they call it that.

It is, hm, interesting, for certain values of interesting: Just milk and sometimes sugar, or honey if you’re fancy, and also obligatorily canela, um ground cinnamon.

 
Jenny
907592.  Mon May 07, 2012 11:00 am Reply with quote

Interesting for certain values of interesting sounds like an excellent description for that. I don't think I fancy that enough to actually try making it, nor do I know any Americans who drink it that way, though I guess chai comes close (not my favourite form of tea...)

 
CB27
907649.  Mon May 07, 2012 12:20 pm Reply with quote

Boiled milk Chai is supposed to be a comforting drink, I'm wondering ehther that Te Americano is from that?

 
CB27
907652.  Mon May 07, 2012 12:24 pm Reply with quote

BTW, in the early 90s when I used to travel a bit across Europe and "make friends" with a few girls, I lost the number of times I'd get a pack of Chai as a clever gift in the post... :)

 
sally carr
907657.  Mon May 07, 2012 12:53 pm Reply with quote

Back in 1975 a bunch of us were squatting in a posh part of Effingham (Surrey) and the bungalow was called Chota Cha, I believe it means cup of tea

 
tchrist
907675.  Mon May 07, 2012 2:10 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
Boiled milk Chai is supposed to be a comforting drink, I'm wondering whether that Te Americano is from that?


(I wonder if that’s related to hot milk being somehow soothing?)

To answer your question, it sounds somewhat similar but I'll bet the Spaniards who do it started doing so long before chai was common in the West, let alone in Spain. I first encountered it there almost thirty years ago.

I said somewhat similar, because chai is “spicier” than té americano is. It has more different spices in it, not just one. The Spanish version just has cinnamon in it for a spice; they sure do seem to enjoy their cinnamon there. The Mexicans like cinnamon so much they put in their pudding-thick hot chocolate, too, and even sprinkle it on their churros. I don’t recall the Spanish doing either of those two things, although there may be those who do.

“Un”-English cuisines (well, un-Anglo; don’t know how to specify the world outside of Greater Anglophonia) often have the most curious juxtapositions of herbs and spices. In the tea context, there’s of course chai from India, which has reached global popularity; tell me, do you ever drink chai cold in the UK? That seems like a growth industry, as it were, here Stateside.

For a perhaps bigger surprise of mixing unlike things, consider the various Mexican mole sauces. I’ve heard them described as curries with a pinch of bitter chocolate added at the end. Considering the origins of chocolate, this isn’t too surprising, but Western palates are more accustomed to thinking of chocolate in the context of sweet dishes than in savory ones.

Back to tea. Besides masala chai and té americano, does anyone know of cultures with traditions of preparing tea that involve herbs, spices, or other assorted bits not customarily seen in a “normal” English tea setting?

(And by tea, I do mean proper tea, that is, tea involving real tea leaves, not tisanes or so-called herbal “teas”.)

 
tchrist
907678.  Mon May 07, 2012 2:25 pm Reply with quote

sally carr wrote:
Back in 1975 a bunch of us were squatting in a posh part of Effingham (Surrey) and the bungalow was called Chota Cha, I believe it means cup of tea

Well, cha means tea in Portuguese — and in Chinese (yes, there’s a story there). It’s pronounced as though it were spelled sha, though.

But chota isn’t ringing any bells for me, at least not in Portuguese. It Spanish, it means various things, including also “a snitch” in some Hispanic slangs. But I wonder where it means cup in Portuguese?

Hold it. The Portuguese ch is pronounced sh, so that would sound a lot like shotta sha. Is this perhaps multilingual punning/slang for a “shot” of tea?

 
tetsabb
907680.  Mon May 07, 2012 2:35 pm Reply with quote

Tea is a very personal thing, so my method will probably come over as blasphemy to some.

Tea bag and 2 sugars in mug, and apply boiling water.
Stir and squidge it until I can't see the bottom.
Remove teabag (and put it in the compost bin).
Add a small amount of milk to make it dark brown.
Biscuits or shortbread.

 
Moosh
907685.  Mon May 07, 2012 2:53 pm Reply with quote

tchrist wrote:
sally carr wrote:
Back in 1975 a bunch of us were squatting in a posh part of Effingham (Surrey) and the bungalow was called Chota Cha, I believe it means cup of tea

Well, cha means tea in Portuguese — and in Chinese (yes, there’s a story there). It’s pronounced as though it were spelled sha, though.

But chota isn’t ringing any bells for me, at least not in Portuguese. It Spanish, it means various things, including also “a snitch” in some Hispanic slangs. But I wonder where it means cup in Portuguese?

Hold it. The Portuguese ch is pronounced sh, so that would sound a lot like shotta sha. Is this perhaps multilingual punning/slang for a “shot” of tea?


Chota, or more usually choti is Hindi for small, so if we let cha be chai, then small tea could conceivably be a cup of tea.

 
mckeonj
907764.  Tue May 08, 2012 3:25 am Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
tchrist wrote:
sally carr wrote:
Back in 1975 a bunch of us were squatting in a posh part of Effingham (Surrey) and the bungalow was called Chota Cha, I believe it means cup of tea

Well, cha means tea in Portuguese — and in Chinese (yes, there’s a story there). It’s pronounced as though it were spelled sha, though.

But chota isn’t ringing any bells for me, at least not in Portuguese. It Spanish, it means various things, including also “a snitch” in some Hispanic slangs. But I wonder where it means cup in Portuguese?

Hold it. The Portuguese ch is pronounced sh, so that would sound a lot like shotta sha. Is this perhaps multilingual punning/slang for a “shot” of tea?


Chota, or more usually choti is Hindi for small, so if we let cha be chai, then small tea could conceivably be a cup of tea.

There is a group of words and phrases which have entered English, both regular and slang; which derive from the British Raj; mostly derived from Hindi, but also Malay and Chinese.
Chota Cha (cup of tea) is one of these, and I recall also Chota Peg (a measure of beer). Other such words in common use are bungalow (from Bangalore, referring to a type of house built in that region for Europeans);
bint (a young woman, from bindi); wally (a simpleton, from wallah). There are many more, which I am sure can be Googled by adepts.
Returning to the Bungalow, these were originally built in Southern England, in Surrey and the Bournemouth area, by retired Colonial Servants, and often named with names from the Raj, as noted above.

 
Starfish13
907774.  Tue May 08, 2012 3:59 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
... and I recall also Chota Peg (a measure of beer).


I've heard that used before, and thought it meant a 'sudowner' alcoholic drink, like G+T on the veranda in the evening. As opposed to any other alcoholic drinks once the sun was over the yardarm.

 
hassan el kebir
907813.  Tue May 08, 2012 6:07 am Reply with quote

I thought we'd pinched bint from the Arabic word bint meaning 'daughter'

 
Efros
907839.  Tue May 08, 2012 8:04 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
Tea is a very personal thing, so my method will probably come over as blasphemy to some.

Tea bag and 2 sugars in mug, and apply boiling water.
Stir and squidge it until I can't see the bottom.
Remove teabag (and put it in the compost bin).
Add a small amount of milk to make it dark brown.
Biscuits or shortbread.


Identical to my method apart form the dark brown, mine is a bit lighter. Oh and we don't have a compost bin, I used to use used tea mixed with oats to feed rabbits. Biccies are a must mid afternoon. TBH I rarely drink tea nowadays, I survive on my two cups of coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day.

 
gerontius grumpus
907893.  Tue May 08, 2012 3:18 pm Reply with quote

What you must absolutely never ever do when making teabag tea in a mug is to put the milk in first. That's really disgusting and should be allowed.
The fat and proteins in the milk coat the tea leaves and interfere with the diffusion process.

Something that is almost as disgusting, but doesn't spoil the flavour, is to leave the teabag in after the milk is added.

 

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