Thursday, June 12, 2003

Phil,

Loved your thoughts on tea making. Very well written. Good to finally read the thoughts of someone who knows what he's on about. Would like to make a few minor suggestions if I may? Firstly, tea spoon useage is often over looked when preparing tea. As you so rightly point out, the water needs to be boiling hot to scold the tea leaves and release that heavenly flavour. Many amateurs will allow the tea spoon to stand in the cup, thus allowing heat to escape rapidly via convexion. The leaves are not sufficently scolded, and this impairs the flavour of the tea and reduces temperature, both of which are cardinal sins. Secondly, bag squeezing. Why has it taken so long for someone point out something so fundamental to the tea making process.....why has nobody released that bag squeezing will release tanin from the leaves giving your mug of cha an unpleasant aftertaste and resultant "carpet mouth"? A heartfelt thanks to you Phil, for finally saying what needs to be said. On several occassions I have written to my local MP demanding that a warning should be printed as standard on every packet of tea sold in this country. I propose the warning should inform people that "bag-squeezing" has been linked to poor sexual performance and social oestracism. Strangely, my advice has gone unheeded.

Would appreciate your views on the North/South divide, do Northerners make better cups of tea? Or have I simply met the wrong Southerners?

Finally, Yorkshire Gold Tea. Fantastic. Highly recommended, good strong taste with a homely, welcoming feel. Subtle, and yet very tasty. Has an extremely high caffeine content for all you "clubbers", perfect for an early morning tea buzz as you set out for work. If you like good, honest, strong tea with no pretensions then this is the brand for you. And goes superbly well with a garibaldi.

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