Tuesday, 8 November 2011

I can understand in your day to day cafe, a selection of 5 teas is normal and to the person behind the counter when you order a pot of chai, you are really only ordering 'tea' to them.

In a boutique tea house where there is a wide range of teas on selection, where you expect them to have some background knowledge in the range. Does it become Tea snobbery to be annoyed when the waiter brings you a fruit infusion because they were out of Chai?

Arthur Dent had just had his home destroyed, followed by earths destruction for a hyperspace bypass. He found hinself on board a dushbags ship, with the girl he loves dating that dushbag, and to top this all off when all he wanted was a cup of tea, he ended up with a cup of mud.

Monday, 31 October 2011

The Steampunk Teapot from Michael Morarity

Inspired by the fantasy sub-genre of science fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s, Michael Morarity has created something that is so amazingly amazing I think I’d like to steal it.

The features begin with a temperature gauge underneath the handle in true Steampunk style. It has a spout cover that looks somewhat like an exhaust flap and a percolation window.

“Tea is inserted via the top ‘hatch’ and when the temperature is high enough, the release key that controls an internal seal is manually pulled and hot water percolates through, rotating the key as it does so.”

This is not in currently in production. However, when it is released you will find me brewing a cup of Lapsang Souchong quoting Sherlock Holmes with a bad Pompey accent.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Life, the Tea and Everything

The regular early morning yell of horror was the sound of me experiencing a cup of tea leaves, milk and sugar as the bag had split.

It wasn't just that my tea now had a rough texture, it wasn't just that I was now drinking with my teeth clenched and acting as a strainer. It was the fact that the taste was becoming bitter with each leaf that hit my lips and I knew there had to be something more too what was in my cup.

Since then, I have discovered many different ways to brew tea and experience the amazing flavour. The process I use changes, depending on the type of tea, the mood I am in and how much time I have on my hands.

The Teabag
Now I touched on Teabags above. The particular incident was a paper tea bag, which is where most issues occur. Then there are the Teabags that have become popular again recently but first came about as early as 1903. These were originally hand-sewn silken bags used as a cost effective way to ship tea by one Thomas Sullivan. It was intended that customers would cut open the bag before brewing, however an accidental genius changed the world for tea drinkers by infusing the entire bag!

One sacrifice with these bags was flavour. The bag does not allow the tea to breath and expand (if it does, it may break the bag) and will become stale quicker due to storage. Generally it is the broken tea leaves or dust in some cases that are small enough to be packed into the paper. It is a cheap, quick and hassle free way to make tea. There is nothing wrong with this, some days it is all I drink, however it does explain why most people need a lot of milk and sugar.

Meshed Ball Infuser
A stainless steele meshed tea infuser ball is the most common accessory for loose leaf tea. Varying in size and shape to make a cup or make a pot. It is easy to steep with and easy to clean. It is also handy for all tea types, letting litte residue get through. The Mesh ball allows water around all the tea leaves allowing the flavours to be released and doesn't start to dissolve into your tea.

There are also a number of silicone and plastic versions of the mesh ball. A lot of them though have bigger holes. These are great for the larger leaf teas but let alot of the smaller leaves through into your cup.


Plungers (also known as a French Press for coffee) are my all time favourite tea utensils. It is a stainless steel mesh disc attached to a rod which is pressed down into a pot of boiling water after the tea has had time to steep. The pot is commonly produced out of thick glass with a metal bracing and a plastic or silicone handle. It is a convenient tool for the morning or anytime you find yourself in a rush. The glass holds in the heat for a longer period of time than most cups and teapots. You don't have to worry about heat proof mats to protect your table either as they are constructed to sit off of the ground. You also don't burn your fingers holding down the lid as you pour!

There are a number of things to assist in the brewing of tea. The ones above though are a useful as a pouch made out of rabbit skin to keep things in.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Taste of Dried-up Leaves Boiled in Water

Not Tea.
One day soon, we may be able to hit a 'Drink' button. Allowing a highly detailed examination of our taste buds to occur, a spectroscopic analysis of our metabolism and then receive experimental signals down our neural pathways to the taste centres of our brain. With this, we can look forward to being presented with a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

One girl sitting in a cafe suddenly realised what had been going wrong with The Nutri-Matic drinks dispenser and she finally knew how to make it work properly. Sadly, before she could get to a phone a great catastrophe occurred. The idea was lost forever.
The Future.

However, this is not a story of a machine. But a story of an experience and extraordinary discovery. It is also about a beverage, an aromatic beverage known to us as tea. Not a new invention, though an agricultural product. Nevertheless, a remarkable beverage. In fact it is the worlds most consumed beverage second only to water.

Though this is quite a remarkable story of extraordinary discovery and how it intertwined with a beverage, it begins very simply. It begins with a cup.