View Full Version : A proper cup of tea....

12-11-2000, 10:16 AM
Not being a rum drinker I've wondered what an Englishman means when he says he pops below to make a proper cup of tea. What?


John R Smith
12-11-2000, 10:44 AM
Well, Norm, there is really no particular mystery about this. Except to realise that we, the English, cannot function without tea. The first beverage to pass our lips each morning is not coffee, as on the Continent or in your estimable land across the mighty Atlantic, but tea, the nectar of the gods. Only after this first cup do our eyes blearily open and brain cells begin, sporadically, to function. Obviously on a boat this necessity is even more crucial.

To make proper tea we must have -

Some fine Indian or Ceylon tea

A kettle of freshly boiled water

A tea-pot

A tea-strainer

Cups, milk and sugar

Pour a little boiling water into the pot, and swirl it around to warm the pot. Tip out the water.

Place one teaspoon full of tea per person into the pot.

Fill the pot with boiling water. Allow to stand and infuse for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place a small quantity of milk into the cups BEFORE pouring (very important).

Pour the tea into the cups through the tea-strainer, add sugar to taste, and stir.

Raise to the lips and enjoy!

Other methods (such as putting a tea-bag in the cup) are barbaric and un-English.


Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-11-2000, 10:52 AM
Norman, a cuppa char is a cuppa char, mate. Nothing rum (odd) about it!

Curiously the Chinese word for tea (cha) was adopted by the English working classes, whilst the upper classes came up with "tay", later "tea".

EG Alexander Pope, in "The Rape of The Lock", descibing Hampton Court, favoured seat of Queen Anne.....

"Where thou, great Anna, whom three realms obey,

Doth sometime counsel take, and sometime tay...."

I have seen tea made on the East Coast, by fishermen and, come to think of it, by barge repairers (Webbs at Pin Mill) in the following manner:

Take one large copper kettle, approx six pints or larger. Fill with water. Place on coal range. When the kettle boils, add tea (to the kettle!). As the tea is drunk, add more water and more tea. Continue adding tea until the leaves fill the kettle (after a few weeks!) then tip out the kettle and start again. Add condensed milk, out of a tin, with two holes in the top made with a marline spike, and drink (in some variants, the condensed milk is also added to the kettle!).

The resulting beverage would be unrecognisable to the Chinese, to put it mildly, and may well account for the American Revolution! The caffeine jolt that it adminsters, with enough sugar to stand the spoon up as well, will keep you going through almost anything the sea throws at you, without throwing up yourself!

I should add that the same people commonly have kippers with marmalade (yes, marmalade!)for breakfast!

Rum is usually added to ky (cocoa), not to char. The ky is brewed in a large mug and rum and sugar are added. This is a Royal Navy watchkeeper's drink, also found in merchant ships, but, for very obvious reasons, it is unknown in the USN!

[This message has been edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett (edited 12-11-2000).]

Dave Fleming
12-11-2000, 10:56 AM
JohnR, is it OK, that I use Japanese Green Tea and leave out the milk?

Never did like coffee in the morning, though the smell like bacon cooking does make the stomach rumble. Much prefer coffee in the PM break or a nice little Demi after a good meal.

12-11-2000, 11:05 AM
I'll stick to my southern sweet tea. last time I went to the great white north, I was asked "you want a cup of tea love?" well this was a very nice sweet old lady(in her mid 70's)who was a relitive of a girl freind, who called me "LOVE"...in which I have never been called before. a little spooked and shaken, I thought that she would never deceive a southern red neke such as my self. little did I know that this sweet little old lady was the same person who kept a pair of binocklors, or what ever thay are called, at the window of a ten story building.
well after I relized that she ment a tea bag in a coffee cup half full of pipping hot city water, it was too late. well mom said never wast anything but the next time I spend the weekend up that way I'll make sure to read the speed limit signs and ask for a southern ice cold sweet tea...
btw did you know that there are a few signs up there that say speed limit 75, but the mounties go crazy when you go shooting by them at 80 mph? http://media4.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif

Scott Rosen
12-11-2000, 11:06 AM
Norm, it's funny how great minds think alike. I was just logging on to post a new topic asking our UK bretheren what their favorite tea is, when I saw yours at the top of the list.

My wife is a tea drinker. Her preference is Bigalow Earl Grey. I must admit to using the bags (does it really matter?), but I do brew it for her every morning in a ceramic pot, pre-warmed with boiling water. Of course I add the milk to the cup first, then the tea. She takes it without sugar. She is very particular about her tea, and she can tell if I've steeped for even a minute to long or short, or if I've added too much milk--even a dropperful.

Let's say I was to get her a special tea for a present. What kind do you think she might like? Please help this low-brow coffee drinker make the right choice.

Ed Harrow
12-11-2000, 11:08 AM
No tea cozy??? How on earth can one possibly have a cup of tea without a cozy over the pot. Even an Aussie, after swinging his Billie (sp?) would use a cozy if he were having a "proper" cup of tea.

Chad Smith
12-11-2000, 11:12 AM
I first got turned on to hot tea in Saudi Arabia. My supply sargent and myself went to a local hardware store to negotate for some supplies we needed and our Arabian host treated us to hot tea. It was fantastic and I've been drinking it since then, although I haven't found the right blend. They all seem to sweet to me and I can only drink one or two cups. BTW I still have my mandatory pot of coffee in the morning.


Dave R
12-11-2000, 11:18 AM
JohnRSmith, I'm glad to see you write "Place a small quantity of milk into the cups BEFORE pouring (very important)." I was taught this many years ago by a fellow from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and still amazed by the difference in flavor. Much better your way.

Ross Faneuf
12-11-2000, 11:24 AM
One PGTips bag per mug (it's supposed to make 2 mugs, but that just means it's about strong enough). Water must be boiling. Add milk (NO sugar). Minimum 3 mugs a day.

Or the same, using Canadian pack Red Rose, which is wonderful. NOT the American Red Rose, which is packed by a different company using warehouse sweepings.

Result is somewhere in between the teapot/find India/China tea, etc etc fancy stuff, and the kettle full of old leaves. That is, very strong but not bitter.

Don Olney
12-11-2000, 12:40 PM
The Russian word for tea is "chai" and is based on the Chinese word "Cha". Most likely, tea came to Russia through Chinese traders and that's why they are similar words. "Chai-nik" is a teapot and should not be confused with "chaika" which is a seagull and a Chekov play by that name.

The English may be well known for their tea habits, but I've never seen anybody drink more tea than the Russians. They are constantly drinking tea, usually heavily laced with sugar. I've easily had a dozen cups of tea a day in Russia. Up until recently, tea bags were unknown.

I would have thought that a bunch of salty, pine tar wooden boat guys would mention Lapsang Souchong as one of their favorite teas. This tea has a very heavy tar-like flavor and aroma. Kind of like boiled asphalt roof shingles that were covered with pine pitch and removed from the house of a three pack a day chain smoker.

B. Leggett:

Were you shooting by the 75 mph speed signs or shooting at the speed signs as you went by at 80mph? I thought those bullet holes in the signs on Rt. 28 in the Adirondacks were from deer hunters.

Alan D. Hyde
12-11-2000, 12:55 PM

Only a guess, but she might like a good darjeeling; my wife does.


12-11-2000, 01:36 PM
With me its [i]expresso![/b]

Ian McColgin
12-11-2000, 01:58 PM
My favorite cuppa tea is any old brand in any old pot since I'm just gonna pour it in the bilge to sweeten the boat a bit.

Then I pour the Old Man a few drops of the highland's finest over the side and put quite a few more drops in my cup

A cuppa finastkind.

Oh yeah, my coffee will curl your head hair and straighten your curlies . . . mixed with chockolat, honey and cream to take the curse out of ohdarkthirty.

The real trouble with tea is that there's no sense of sin to it.

12-11-2000, 02:05 PM
[i]expresso![/b] ????????

I take it you missed your morning dose?

Neighbor kid, my older syster's age, was on a US destroyer in WWII in the Meditranian. He said they never missed a chance to tie up along aside a British destroyer and exchange stores. Tea for Rum. Must have been good rum 'cause I think he is the only remaining resident in the little town in Western Kansas where we grew up.


Scott Rosen
12-11-2000, 02:19 PM
Ian M.,

I'll make you an deal. If we ever meet up on the water, I'll wash your decks for a cup of the coffee of yours.

Keith Wilson
12-11-2000, 02:21 PM
John R's description of tea warms the heart as much as his stories of Lulu, and, by God, the heart could use some warming this morning - temperature was 9 below zero (F) when I got up today, probably down to 15 below tonight. One of my anglophile obsessions is my morning tea, made just about as John describes, although I admit to using tea bags in the pot. And, to give the good folks in the Napa Valley their due, Republic of Tea British Breakfast is IMHO superior to any tea I've found from England.

For a real cross-cultural experience, just try to get a proper cup of tea on the 6 AM flight from Minneapolis to Detroit. You want WHAT in your tea?!!?

Ian McColgin
12-11-2000, 02:40 PM
Done. Vinyard Haven or Edgartown this summer.

Actually it's easy, Megdelleo d'Oro (spelling brutalized) or any of those med to levantine espresso grinds about 2x the recommended amt coffee per cup through Melita.

Jamie Hascall
12-11-2000, 02:41 PM
The water was just boiling for the morning pot as this subject came up on the screen. As a dedicated tea drinker in the home of Starbucks, it's nice to find enthusiasm for this subject in a place where drinking tea is generally considered as quaint and antiquated as, say, wooden boats. Generally, my favorite brew is a good Assam with a generous dash of the above mentioned Lapsang Souchong thrown if for a bit of smoke. The Assam is a stout morning brew with a good kick to it and great flavor. Lapsang itself can be a bit much on it's own (kind of like learning single malts by starting with Laphroig). Russian Caravan is a blend that gives you this milder smokiness ready made and can be quite good. I'll second the suggestion of a Darjeeling as a nice tasty lighter tea. I feel very strongly that tea bags should only be used when necessary as you actually can taste the paper and the water can't really swirl around the leaves. I suggest using an infuser that fits down into the pot and allows you to pour the water through the tea leaves without restricting their movement, as opposed to a tea ball which never really lets the tea fully steep. The last important step as John mentioned was to steep the tea for a limited amount of time. Usually somewhere between 2-5 minutes, depending on the specific tea and how much you have used. The infuser allows you to remove the tea leaves so they don't oversteep. The death of a good cup of tea is most often one of oversteeping which will bring out the bitterness to mask all the gentle flavors.
Victoria is equipped with a small Japanese cast iron teapot. It holds the heat well and is indestructable. I wouldn't leave the dock without it. There are great sources of tea on-line including the classic Canadian tea company Murchies http://www.murchies.com/ , and my local tea shop Teacup at http://www.tearanch.com/.

Happy brewing

[This message has been edited by Jamie Hascall (edited 12-11-2000).]

Alan D. Hyde
12-11-2000, 04:00 PM
On a related topic, when coming in from bad weather, nothing beats a jigger of Jameson in a cup of good strong coffee, with one rounded teaspoon of sugar mixed in and cream floated on top.

All natural, and full of vitamins, expanding both our arteries and our minds.

"Let's take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne."


Ian Wright
12-11-2000, 04:13 PM
Tea is tea, it just needs to be strong enough,,,, I buy Twinings English Breakfast 'cos I'm used to it, and (on the boat) I make it in a one cup cafetier (sp?) french press to the coloni,,, US types. Milk and sugar to taste,,,, though a drop of brown west indian milk makes a cold night watch seem warmer.
ACB describes what I knew as "Trawler Tea" back in my happily misspent youth, the kettle was a four pinter and emptied every morning. Never drunk in smaller than pint mugs,,,,,,,,,tea-riffic,,,,,,,,,(sorry)


Mike Field
12-11-2000, 05:27 PM
Aussie tea made out in the bush is indeed made in a billie, as Ed says. The water's brought to the boil on the fire, a few handfuls of tea (any tea) thrown in (and it's not measured any more accurately,) a couple of gum leaves perhaps added for flavour, and then the billie's taken off the fire, swung round in vertical circles at arm's length a few times, and the tea poured. Great stuff. Ed, I have to tell you, though, that we don't actually use cosies on billies.

Typical Aussie teas used to be Lan Choo or Tuckfield's, although lots of other brands are available. My own preferences are for Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, and my own Home Blend (the recipe for which I can't tell you, or I'd have to kill Norm.)

[This message has been edited by Mike Field (edited 12-12-2000).]

B. Burnside
12-11-2000, 06:54 PM
To Scott Rosen-
Being a confirmed tea addict meself (two round Tetley's teabags, Russian steel teapot 3/4 full of briskly boiling, freshly drawn water, steeped under cosy about 5 minutes, milk in mug whenever, every 20 minutes whether I need it or not), I would caution you not to mess with your wife's idea of perfection. Get her some of what she likes, not something else. There's no tea like home tea. Go for the accessories - the wonderful cosy, the exquisite cup - but don't try to change the taste!

12-11-2000, 07:02 PM

12-11-2000, 07:10 PM
And if it must be tea......

garland reese
12-11-2000, 08:32 PM
I tried to ween myself of coffee by drinking hot tea. It didn't take. This is Oklahoma, and tea, like Mr. Leggett says, is best when it is strong and iced and in a big ol' mason jar (mine isn't sweet n'more though, I'm a diabetic)....'course, there are other things that are said to be best when drank from a mason jar too, but I've not been down that road since I was a lad.....don't ya jest love the south?? heheh.....

12-11-2000, 09:43 PM
hay Don, the guys in the patrol car walked and said "you know how to read a speedomiter?", and I said yes, but yall have some funny signs here. I'm just trying to get out of youer country so if yall(remember that word incase you go to that part of the world) could see fit to let me I'd be mighty greatful"...and thay looked at each other and started sneakerin, and said " remember that until you hit US border that signs are in K.P.H.'s and can you say "tatar" for us?"
http://media4.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif I had them guys rolling in their boots!!
Keith, where are you at? I'd freeze to death if it got below 25 here!!
and I almost forgot that the rest of the world don't drink from a mason jar!!! man you guys don't know what youer missing.

12-11-2000, 09:46 PM
On a historical note, some corner of my brain seems to remember reading something about coffee and boats... Back sometime in the 1870's Congress passed a bill to encourage the drinking of coffee in the navy (and, hence, discourage the drinking of rum), thus breeding generations of seagoing cafine addicts. I'm a tea drinker myself, but I make coffee by the gallon when on my ship (there are 2 pots on the bridge alone...)

Todd Schliemann
12-11-2000, 10:01 PM
Ian and Scott, I'm there. And after we're finished I'll get my water color brush out and do you a painting of your respective boats with the coffee grounds and a little water, maybe some wash from the deck, if it signifies.

12-11-2000, 10:35 PM
Jamie, you're a scholar and a man of taste. Nothing like Assam. I usually have to frequent a gen-yoo-ine tearoom to have it though, as my wife finds it too something-or-other. A touch of Earl Grey gives Assam an intersting nudge. Hard to find decent tea in the fringe areas though.

As regards iron teapots, are they to be treated with the same caution as the unglazed pottery ones? I've heard it said that both should be used withh only one kind of tea for their entire lifetimes since they absorb essence of tea and will impart that flavor to other teas thus spoiling both tea and pot. I stick with the Brit manner and use crockery. With a cozy.

Milk, no sugar.

12-12-2000, 12:03 AM
posted 12-11-2000 03:05 PM
---------------------------------------------[i]expresso![/b] ????????
I take it you missed your morning dose?

too much actually http://media4.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif


Signs You Might Have Drunk Too Much Coffee
1. You ski uphill.
2. You get a speeding ticket even when you're parked.
3. You speed walk in your sleep.
4. You answer the door before people knock.
5. Juan Valdez has named his donkey after you.
6. You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
7. You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
8. You just completed another sweater and you don't know how to knit.
9. You sleep with your eyes open.
10. You have to watch videos in fast-forward.
11. The only time you're standing still is during an earthquake.
12. You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using the timer.
13. You lick your coffee pot clean.
14. You spend your vacations visiting "Maxwell House"
15. You're the employee of the month at the local coffee house and you don't even work there.
16. You've worn out your third pair of tennis shoes this week.
17. Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.
18. You chew on other people's fingernails.
19. The Nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.
20. All your kids are named "Joe"
21. Your only source of nutrition comes from "Sweet & Low"
22. You buy and by the barrel.
23. Your so jittery that people use your hands to blend their margaritas.
24. You can type sixty words per minute with your feet.
25. You can jump-start your car without cables.
26. You've worn out the handle on your favorite mug.
27. You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
28. You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.
29. You don't need a hammer to pound in nails.
30. You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged in.
31. You've built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.
32. Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
33. Instant coffee takes too long.
34. People get dizzy just watching you.
35. When you find a penny, you say, "Find a penny, pick it up. Eighty-four more, I'll have a cup."
36. The Taster's Choice couple wants to adopt you.
37. Your taste buds are so numb you could drink your lava lamp.
38. You're so wired, you pick up AM radio.
39. People can test their batteries in your ears.
40. Your life's goal is to amount to a hill of beans.
41. You channel surf faster without a remote.
42. When someone asks, "How are you?", you say, "Good to the last drop."
43. You want to be cremated just so you can spend eternity in a coffee can.
44. Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.
45. You'd be willing to spend time in a Turkish prison.
46. You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.
47. You're offended when people use the word "brew" to mean beer.
48. You named your cats "Cream" and "Sugar"
49. Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.
50. You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
51. You think being called a "drip" is a compliment.
52. You can't even remember your second cup.
53. You help your dog chase its tail.
54. You speak perfect Arabic without ever taking a lesson.
55. Your Thermos is on wheels.
56. You soak your dentures in coffee overnight.
57. You introduce your spouse as your "CoffeeMate"
58. Your first-aid kit contains 2-pints of coffee with an I-V hookup.
59. You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
60. You short out motion detectors.
61. You have a conniption over spilled milk.
62. You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.
63. Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.
64. You don't tan, you roast.
65. You don't get mad, you get steamed.
66. Your coffee mug is insured by Lloyds of London.
67. You think CPR stands for "Coffee Provides Resuscitation."

Rick Starr
12-12-2000, 06:31 AM
Well, I was giong to go on and on about the virtues of PG Tips, how its deep and slightly smoky flavor is reminiscent of lapsang soochong, yet much more refined, and how that might appeal to an earl grey afficianado. I know, a few say it's boarding house swill, but We Know Better. I was going to say how proper teas like PG Tips (and the Roses) are a real experience for most Americans, and in some cases and addictive one!

But, of course, Barbara hit the nail on the head. I have a lovely Queen Elizabeth print tea cozy in the workshop which gets alot of attention. Maybe something like that...

Chad Smith
12-12-2000, 06:40 AM
Hey John thanks for the tip on how to make tea. I got home last night and the wife was feeling sick. So I went into the kitchen and made her a cup of tea following your directions and she loved it.


J. Dillon
12-12-2000, 07:30 AM
My departed mother -in- law was an avid tea drinker. She could also read tea leaves and tell your fortune. She got so good at it people beleived every word she said as gosple. Most of the time she was right on. Her priest finally told her to stop. It put a vacuum in her life as she had a lot fun with the social aspect of the readings.

12-12-2000, 08:08 AM
After 24 years of being a "2-pot-a-day" coffee drinker, I finally lost my taste for it (so hard to get a good cuppa, and cappacino is such a bother to make) and switched to tea.

I'll leave it to the British to instruct us on proper tea (though I would reccommend a 5 minute steep, not just 2 or 3), but for anyone who is forced, out of convenience or circumstance, to use bagged tea, I can pass along a recommendation.

Tazo (pronounced tah- zoe) is the best bagged tea I have found. Stay away from the fruity herbal concoctions (there ought to be a law that states a product must contain leaves of the tea plant in order to be called tea) and try what they call "Awake," which is a basic black tea (which has some Assam in it, I am sure). My wife (a 30 year tea drinker) tells me their Earl Grey is the best she's ever had.

The Starbucks company bought TAZO last year and serve it at all of their shops (where they try to pass off that dishwater they sell as coffee). I buy mine by the case (6 boxes) from a place I found on line. They have the lowest prices I've found. Check them out at http://www.cooksnook.com


Ron Williamson
12-12-2000, 08:18 AM
My Grandpa used to drink tea all the time but in his later years, he drank the first morning cup diluted(?)with lemon gin.
"Drink up,boy!It gift you power!"(spoken with a strong Dutch (Friesian,actually)accent.

John R Smith
12-12-2000, 08:27 AM
Well, I am really pleased to see that everyone regarded this a jolly important topic, ranking right up there with CPES and anti-rot treatments. Congratulations, Norm

But I must apologise for omitting the tea-cosy, although ours has gone missing recently which probably caused this lapse.


Keith Wilson
12-12-2000, 08:49 AM
B Legget, I'm in Roseville MN, just north of St. Paul, and the thermometer said 16 below (-27 Celsius for the furriners) when I got up this morning. Things looked better after a couple of cups of tea. And yes, I have a lovely tea-cozy, which my wife's aunt made for us - y'all got a problem with that?!?(pounds his hairy chest) ;)

Dave R
12-12-2000, 08:54 AM
Thank you Keith. You made me feel just a little warmer this morning. Down here in Rochester it was only -13F. Guess that's what comes of bein' down south. I'm getting ready for a cup of tea in about 5 minutes.

12-12-2000, 09:02 AM
Seems that with you tea drinkers, the ritual is half of it.

With coffee (at least for me) it's the drug.

As per Brian's post #33



Ken Hall
12-12-2000, 10:49 AM
Coffee for maintenance dose of caffeine, tea for pleasure. At the office, it's Bigalow Earl Grey with about 1/4 tsp sugar to take the edge off. At home (much better) it's lapsang in a tea-ball (in the mug), taken neat. Maybe with buttered wheat bread and an apple (Fuji or Braeburn) if I need a snack.

Coffee black at all times. No exceptions. http://media4.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif

Best regards,

[This message has been edited by SelfSinkingFlatiron (edited 12-12-2000).]

12-12-2000, 11:36 AM
well I guass I'm the odd ball here..I'm still sipp'n from the mason jar, which is filled to the threads with good'ol southern sweet tea made by mom. well I can no longer gripe about the weather and temp here it's 58 deg f. here. slightly cloudy, but more to the warm sunny side.
I tried a Stare Bucks expresso when I was in Seattle W.A. but it didn't take.

Ed Harrow
12-12-2000, 11:53 AM
Well I must admit to being afflicted with a tea habit, with an emphasis on "a". (I figure that one is not addicted if one is particular.) My weakness is New Market Spice Tea from Seattle. I know, I know, it is not real tea cuz it has orange, clove, and god knows what else in it - "It's good though!" There is another kind of tea that I've had at a friends that has that smoky kind of flavor, I like it too. Re the milk, if you drink it straight is that another sin?

Why is it that the English, in an attempt to keep the teapot warm, cover it up; then they go and put toast, the nearest thing to a perfect gourmet food on the planet, which clearly needs to be eaten while warm, on cooling racks for heaven's sake. John, can you expound upon that perversion?

12-12-2000, 12:39 PM
-14 F in Eagan this morning; I went and plugged in the auto. I suppose it would have started without it, but why add wear?

I'm a coffee drinker, mostly, although I do drink and enjoy tea when it's offered or requested. Real tea does have caffine, btw, and some of them have more than some coffees.

12-12-2000, 12:48 PM
I grew up in Kansas being told drinking alcohol and coffee were adult decisions (intelligent, responsible adults decided no) and pop was a waste of good money. Early conditioning must work because I never developed a taste for any of them.

Green tea is my preference. I buy organic from a fair trade company and brew it up right (don't steep too long ~ 2.5 min). I like the fresh taste of Samabeong Darjeeling green tea and the more complex Ambootia Darjeeling green tea. Summertime will find me making unsweetened iced green tea. The dry nature of green tea really slakes a powerful thirst.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-12-2000, 04:20 PM
I also like green tea, a taste I acquired in China; it has the benefit of being extremely good for you. It has the same stuff in it that red wine does, ie it is meant to be good for your heart. Apologies to any medical types reading this for the non-technical description!

Now, toast. I am quite an admirer of the American breakfast, although frankly speaking I doubt if I shall ever really appreciate grits. However, the way the toast arrives at the table, wrapped in a napkin, in a basket, is designed to ensure that all you eat is soggy cotton wool!

Seriously, I'm sure the difference lies in the bread from which the toast is made. if you put toast made from normal US white bread in an electric toaster in a toast rack, it will dry to a tasteless crisp.

Toast made from English bread (a proper loaf, not pre-sliced supermarket "bread") in a gas grill, or ideally over the fire, on the other hand, remains soft on the inside and crisp on the outside when placed in a toast rack.

12-12-2000, 05:12 PM
Strong brewed tea...a dollop of honey, and a bit of milk--fresh, condensed, or powdered.

If we are talking tea--in the sense of tea being served at "tea time"-- I'm all for it; pass the scones.

The first is definately better suited to real concentration and consideration in the morning, or anytime, than coffee. Coffee, too alarming of the mind.

So there, Ishmael

Jim Hillman
12-12-2000, 05:34 PM
Numbers 7 & 33 on Brian's list reminded me of an effective but nasty way of making coffee, "mouth coffee". One packet of instant coffee, well chewed, chased by a cup of water. "When you absolutely positively have to be awake and alert in 30 seconds..."


Jamie Hascall
12-12-2000, 07:44 PM
I once polled a friend on the thought of combining my newfound tea drinking habit with the yearning for a more robust coffee like buzz by using an espresso machine to make a steamed tea extract. He blanched at the thought of making tea by such a violent means and really gave me a better insight into the gentle ritual of tea.

Kermit, we'll have to get together for a pot one of these frosty days. Thanks for the heads up on my cast iron pot. I'm pretty sure the new ones like mine are enameled inside as I've not found any off tastes and I use it for a variety of teas. At my shop is a treasured old Hall that brews up a great pot of tea.

Speaking of green tea, there's no more amazing buzz than that from the powdered green tea of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. It is truly the espresso of the tea world and a wonderful ritual to participate in. It can be a little hard on the knees though...

Happy brewing

Wayne Jeffers
12-12-2000, 09:36 PM
I've really enjoyed this discussion thread. I was an avid tea drinker back in the 60's, but somehow switched to coffee by the mid-to-late-70's because I work in an office and proper tea was just too inconvenient. I still have my tea pot, but I've looked and I haven't yet been able to find my tea strainer once again.

Among my favorites, I remember Darjeeling, English Breakfast, and Formosa Oolong. I never acquired a taste for any of the green teas, but maybe I'll try them again. I have fond memories of drinking Lapsang Souchong after returning from hunting small game on frosty fall mornings.

I was too ignorant to realize I should put the milk in the cup first (for those I drank with milk), but I'll do better next time.

Garland -- I was a major coffee drinker, at least 10 cups per day, absolutely hooked on caffeine until about a year and a half ago when I had a little cardiac episode and the doctor told me I should kick the habit. When I say hooked, I'm talking major headaches if I did not have my morning coffee, etc. Realizing the hopelessness of quitting cold turkey, I switched to the "lite" coffee with half the caffeine. After a while, I found I could take the coffee or leave it. This made it was much easier for me than I had expected. Just a thought for you or anyone else who would like to cut back or quit coffee.


12-13-2000, 06:10 AM
"Mouth coffee"

Boy does that bring back memories of a friend.

Used to travel with a can of instant coffee, "just in case"

He literally could not function in the morning till he had a caffine source!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-13-2000, 06:21 AM
Just to note that tea of equivalent strength contains more caffeine than coffee does!

There is a variety of Chinese tea, usually served in minute porcelain bowls about and inch and ahalf in diameter, which I associate, perhaps wrongly, with Chiu Chow cuisine, which is the tea equivalent of a double expresso and will give you exactly the same buzz!

12-13-2000, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the tip about the Tea Ranch, Jamie. I sent off an order one evening, got a phone call about noon next day advising one item was out of stock, etc. Great service, eh?

But about coffee: I gotta tell you the best cup of coffee I ever had was made by an old cowboy out in Arizona. He and I and others had been summoned, this was back in '56, to the Pranty Creek Fire to hold the lines until a proper crew could be assembled. He as cook, me as tool man. You know they were desperate if they called my away from my regular job of boiling the meat off dead birds to be their tool man. And one look at our cowpoke cook would be enough to gag a maggot. Him, cook! I'd never have believed it. There were no saddle sores on that man. Those were calouses. He put on a big camp style coffee pot, right out of the chuck wagon I think, threw in a couple handfuls of coffee and brought it to a boil. When it boiled over he pulled it off the fire, threw in some egg shells which settled the grounds, and poured a round for the assembled crew. Good stuff! Well, maybe you had to be there. Anyway, the dandy from headquarters who had proper USFS Cook credentials never did as well. I was relieved to defer to a proper tool man when they started bringing shovels and polaskies and bull dozers in by the truck load. They whipped the fire after a week of good effort. It rained.

I also learned that a Zuni razor is no way for a white man to shave.

Bottoms up!


Ian McColgin
12-13-2000, 09:42 AM
My Oklahoma cowboy uncle had his

Black as Sin
Hot as Hell &
Strong as Death.

12-13-2000, 10:43 AM
"Black as Sin,
Hot as Hell &
Strong as Death."

That's how my Newfie Grandmother took her tea


Ross Miller
12-13-2000, 10:49 AM
My maternal grandfather used to say he liked his coffee "like I like my women: hot, black and strong." Not too terribly PC, but neither did it disparage.

No more caffeine for me; its homegrown applemint tea, and occasional (hot, black and strong, no simile) decaf.

Ed Harrow
12-13-2000, 11:15 AM
ACB, re toast. Yes! You are correct in that toast made from the typical white bread purchased in American stores is not worth the effort to pick it up. I have a strong preferance for the "hearty" nine-grain variety, or similar.

Re Camp coffee: The last person I saw making coffee like that was SWMBO, when we were up on the side of the Allagash.

B. Burnside
12-14-2000, 01:31 AM
Some dear Nova Scotia friends make tea by putting a pyrex teapot on the stove with cold water in, throwing in the tea (Red Rose in bags, maybe, lots of 'em) and letting 'er boil. For a long time. Like all afternoon while we sat around yarning. You just keep adding more water as the conversation goes on. Doesn't seem to dilute the tea much, though.

12-14-2000, 09:12 AM
Tea actually has about half the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee.

"A 7 oz cup of coffee has the following caffeine (mg) amounts according to Bunker and McWilliams in J. Am. Diet. 74:28-32, 1979:

Drip 115-175
Espresso 100mg (1 serving, 1.5-2oz)
Brewed 80-135
Instant 65-100
Decaf, brewed 3-4
Decaf, instant 2-3
Tea, iced (12 ozs.) 70
Tea, brewed, imported 60
Tea, brewed, U.S. 40
Tea, instant 30

The variability in the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee or tea is relatively large even if prepared by the same person using the same
equipment and ingredients day after day.

[Reference: Variability in caffeine consumption from coffee and tea: Possible significance for epidemiological studies by B. Stavric, R.Klassen, B. Watkinson, K. Karpinski, R. Stapley, and P. Fried in "Foundations of Chemical Toxicology", Volume 26, number 2, pp.111-118, 1988 and an easy to read overview, Looking for the Perfect Brew by S. Eisenberg, "Science News", Volume 133, April 16,1988, pp. 252-253.]"

Ian Wright
12-14-2000, 12:44 PM
One more for that list,,,
Tea, half pint, brewed by English tea drinker from tea leaves sold in England. Caffine content not tested by Bunker and McWilliams in J. Am. Diet. 74:28-32, 1979: who should by now have been awarded their Macdonalds Gold Stars, and in any case what would they know,,,,,,,,,,,,


12-16-2000, 04:14 PM
Same word 'round the world -- the ordinary bloke's cup when I was in East Africa in the '60's was "Simba Chai" The word was general in Kiswahili. Anybody know what the Arabic word is?

12-16-2000, 05:18 PM
Can one of our UK friends rate "Taylors of Harrogate" green tea on a scale from 1 to 10.

SWMBO Picked up 125g at local British Shop while shopping for authentic plum pudding and bone china.


Greg H
12-16-2000, 05:58 PM
Tea always seems like it's missing something.
I need coffee. French roast ground to a powder, 3 scoops for 4 cups and a spoonfull of dark brown sugar, then I'll be right.

12-17-2000, 08:35 AM
'Tea stirs the senses' - Smacksman
It only grows in the most beautiful countryside, heavy with exotic
scents, the tinkling laughter of women picking in the lush green
fields. The tea factory with its heady smells and the craftsmen who
blend the tea, whose pallet is honed to the subtleties of flavour
as a 'nose' is to perfume. It is caressed half way round the world,
hermetically sealed and temperature controlled to be enjoyed by
experts such as in the thread above whether they be in a drawing
room, building site, smack's cabin or the outback.
Its light, lasts for ages, can be drunk hot, cold or iced, with or
without milk or sugar.
Once enjoyed its use is not over. The leaves in the bottom of the cup
guide fortune tellers to predict the future. Then the leaves are put
around the base of a hydrangea or rose bush as an important source of
trace elements. Oh, and cold tea is a wood stain as well.
ps Abe - haven't had the pleasure of Taylors of Harrogate but the name sounds sniffy enough that it should pass muster. As a general rule, buy something with a Royal Charter attached - if the Queen uses it, then it is ok.

[This message has been edited by Smacksman (edited 12-17-2000).]

12-17-2000, 09:05 AM
My Swahili dictionary connects "chai" to a Hindi, Persian source. I go to the Shalimar Indian market in Cambridge (MA, USA) and buy Taj Mahal brand tea for my "cuppa".

John B
12-17-2000, 01:59 PM
Somebody else always drinks my first cup of tea in the morning.

12-17-2000, 02:12 PM
Is it Kate, or is it just too early (is that possible?)?

John B
12-17-2000, 04:02 PM
Wrong John Thad, Kate is 12000 miles from here and wouldn't look twice at me anyway.
My wife Kirsty, reckons its me that drinks it but she's got no proof.

[This message has been edited by John B (edited 12-17-2000).]

12-17-2000, 04:56 PM
Sorry -- I've got the identity (at least the boat and island connection) straight -- but I still wonder about that tea, thanks.

10-20-2003, 08:59 AM
Was trying to remember how to make a proper cup of tea the other day. I had vagualy remember John posting the procedure. So after a little searching today I found the thread. This time I will print it out so I don't lose it again.


Jim M
10-20-2003, 10:56 AM
I too have become a big tea drinker. We have two tea outfits, one Irish, one Japanese. I don't drink it every day because I like to have to the time to do it leisurely and not do anything else at the same time. But no more than 2 days between.

Why are so many wooden boat people tea drinkers?

Tar Devil
10-20-2003, 10:59 AM
At least 4 cups a day for me. Twinings Earl Grey, preferably.

Lots of benefits, this stuff.



Tar Devil
10-20-2003, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
Just to note that tea of equivalent strength contains more caffeine than coffee does!Not according to the McKinley Health Center web site...

The amount of caffeine in some common foods and beverages is as follows:
Coffee, brewed - 40 to 180 mg. per cup
Coffee, instant - 30 to 120 mg. per cup
Coffee, decaffeinated - 3 to 5 mg. per cup
Tea, brewed American - 20 to 90 mg. per cup
Tea, brewed imported - 25 to 110 mg. per cup
Tea, instant - 28 mg. per cup
Cocoa - 4 mg. per cup
Chocolate, milk - 3 to 6 mg. per ounce
Chocolate - bittersweet - 25 mg. per ounce
Cola and other soft drinks, containing caffeine - 36 to 90 mg. per 12 ounces

Dr. took me off coffee in 1984 and suggested tea as a milder substitute.



Jamie Hascall
10-20-2003, 11:23 AM
Now you've gone and made me want to go upstairs and put the kettle on again. It's dark and drippy outside as the PNW has returned to typical winter weather from a beautiful dry summer. Lucy the hound is unable to move, sleeping away the day in her depressed state of WAD (Weather Affective Disorder), it happens every year around this time.

Now letsee, maybe the Keemun this pot...


Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-20-2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by JohnRSmith:
Well, Norm, there is really no particular mystery about this. Except to realise that we, the English, cannot function without tea. The first beverage to pass our lips each morning is not coffee, as on the Continent or in your estimable land across the mighty Atlantic, but tea, the nectar of the gods. Only after this first cup do our eyes blearily open and brain cells begin, sporadically, to function. Obviously on a boat this necessity is even more crucial.

To make proper tea we must have -

Some fine Indian or Ceylon tea

A kettle of freshly boiled water

A tea-pot

A tea-strainer

Cups, milk and sugar

Pour a little boiling water into the pot, and swirl it around to warm the pot. Tip out the water.

Place one teaspoon full of tea per person into the pot.

Fill the pot with boiling water. Allow to stand and infuse for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place a small quantity of milk into the cups BEFORE pouring (very important).

Pour the tea into the cups through the tea-strainer, add sugar to taste, and stir.

Raise to the lips and enjoy!

Other methods (such as putting a tea-bag in the cup) are barbaric and un-English.

JohnI believe John's treatise to be correct, and definitive.

However, on the boat we commonly use mugs rather than cups.

I should add that a couple of years ago I bought She Who Must be Obeyed a silver tea service. This has been our greatest extravagance, if we class the long case clock as a Household God, rather than mere furniture. The pot, made in 1803 by Robert Hennell, rather in the style of a Roman lamp, does appear to make rather better tea than lesser teapots do, possibly because it is only ever asked to brew Earl Grey. Or possibly because the appearance of the State Tea Service means that the tea ceremony is attended with greater than usual attention to detail.

10-20-2003, 02:08 PM
A canadian lady of my acquaintence, who favored Russian Caravasary tea, cliamed that the actual moment of "steeping" tea was the act of rocking the pot once (she was quite insistant on that) fore and aft after it had infused for for the necessary time. She said it got the best flavor out of the tea, but if you did it more than once, you started to get less desireable flavors (actually, she used the "s" word ;) ).

Quite an interesting lady: she grew up on an island off of Vancouver Island's east cost, not far S of Nanaimo. No 'lectricty or indoor plumbing and everything had to come by boat.

[ 10-20-2003, 03:10 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Hans Lassen
10-20-2003, 05:31 PM
Late September three years ago, two thirds of the way up Ben Nevis, in moderate wind and constant drizzle (been up there umpteen times, always the same weather...), enjoying myself immensely; very few people on the mountain for a change; squatting down behind some boulders, taking the Trangia out, lighting the stove, pouring water, boiling, putting a bag of roibos tea into the pot, inhaling the scent, drinking slowly - pure bliss, really! And the best part - fellow hillwalkers putting down their packs, sharing a cuppa, not many words spoken, but feeling absolutely at ease. That's tea for you. WHO SAID THERE WEREN'T DECENT THREADS IN THE BILGE? :D

[ 10-21-2003, 07:16 AM: Message edited by: Hans Lassen ]

10-20-2003, 05:33 PM
So, is there any validity to the Canadian lady's steeping notion? A personal quirk or a tea insider's revelation?

[ 10-20-2003, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Ian Wright
10-20-2003, 05:45 PM
On the boat, in the middle of the North Sea at night I have added three tea spoons full of Twinnings English Breakfast to a 1 cup french press coffee maker. Boiling water, three mins to brew then press. Three sugars and a splash of milk. Bliss.
Keeps you awake too.


10-20-2003, 06:38 PM
Andrew, the brew you described made gave me a queasy feeling, lord that sound like something to tan leather.

Smacksman,now that's the feeling of tea,,the smoking or drinking kind.

Peets Coffee in the S.F. Bay area has some dynamite teas. Assam Golden Tip, Pumphreys blend. I've been really impressed with Twinnings Green Tea English Breakfast ( I know that's not right but it's on the package)

Brought some Japanese green tea from Japan but it's TOOO green for me. Must be what crack is to cocaine.

I understand now why tea is good for kayaking in cold, cold weather,,I've usually tried hot cocoa/mocha drinks but lighter hot liquid sits better when nibbling snacks or warming a cold person without causing a ruckus in the gut. Those yuppy bullet shaped thermoses can be wrapped with 3/4" minicell and duct taped, a cap of the same over the top. I had one sitting in a 35 degree kayak for 5hrs and it was still hot, without the wrap it cooled off in a couple hrs. It can also get thrown around and float without a problem.

10-21-2003, 12:14 AM
Andrew, I agree with you. I have a friend who makes his tea in a sterling silver teapot and it is a fine cup indeed. In his case he chose Dilmah ceylon tea.

Ken Hall
10-21-2003, 09:27 AM
Wanting to keep a good thread near the surface of the bilge, and having booted caffeine during an unfortunate bout of food poisoning back at the end of July, I now drink decaf Earl Grey (Twinings is easiest to find). I'll have to check Whittard's of Chelsea on the Web to see whether they have it loose. I suppose decaf Lapsang Souchong would be a forlorn hope....

10-21-2003, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by Ken Hall:
I suppose DECAF Lapsang Souchong would be a forlorn hope....What's the point? A shot of dark rum makes this go down right!

Jamie Hascall
10-21-2003, 02:12 PM
Maybe resurrecting fine old threads is a way to keep a civil bilge aive smile.gif .

I inherted a lovely old sterling tea service but rarely bring it out other than for group occasions as it's a bit bigger than I will drink on a regular basis. However, you've made me remember what a treat it is to use. Maybe this afternoon while working on that WWI Marines uniform display. The weather's certainly appropriate after getting a totall of 3.77" of rain yesterday. :eek:

Nothin like a good cuppa tea...

10-21-2003, 02:19 PM
Steeping anyone?

There's something in tea that prevents me from drinking it! It's not the caffine, since I have no trouble with coffee, but if I drink tea, I awaken in the night with terrible nightmares. Tanin?

10-21-2003, 06:27 PM
We've been ordering out tea from http://www.specialtyteas.com . The cheaper varieties are a little more expensive than super market loose tea but of the latter only one store carries it, Liptons orange orange peako, in this part of town. But oh my, the stuff I order is soooo much better.

Still we are a bit cavalier about brewing it. A scoop in to the dedicated drip coffeemaker, set the timer and we have hot tea when we get up. The recommended amount per cup makes a brew much to strong and bitter.

I wonder if Twinings Earl Grey is the same here as in the UK. I like the Earl Grey from Specialty Teas much better.

Now, I'm gonna sign off and put on the tea kettle and try the french press method Ian recommended above.

10-21-2003, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
[QUOTE]Other methods (such as putting a tea-bag in the cup) are barbaric and un-English.

JohnMaybe. but the bags are made with hemp fiber.

10-21-2003, 09:08 PM
Milk in tea? YUK! I prefer lemon and sugar....

John B
10-21-2003, 11:15 PM
I still don't know who drinks my first cup of tea in the morning. :rolleyes:
interesting old thread. 'none' must be Bill. I saw him back recently under another name.