Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Opinion: Savages.

      You do not put milk in Earl Grey tea.  Not ever.

     Outrageous.  Unacceptable.  Do these ignorant barbarians on the Internet not know what a dad-blasted bergamot is?

     No.   Most of them do not and would not even if one landed on their head with a label pinned to it, reading, "Behold, the bergamot."

     I lay the blame for this outrage directly at the feet of the decline of Great Britain.  They have Let Their Side Down and now English-speaking tea drinkers outside that island-bound nation are pouring milk into Earl Grey and drinking it (actually drinking it!), thinking, "Yes.  Yes, this is how tea should taste."

     Ugh.  If the Brits were capable of making an acceptable cup of coffee, the asymmetry would be unbearable.  Thankfully, they cannot -- for whatever happens, we have got the Chemex, and they have naught.*

     Now, if we just had a nice plate of arrowroot digestives.
* "Whatever happens, we have got/The Maxim gun, and they have not" --Hilaire Beloc; sadly, he also wrote, "Is there no Latin word for Tea? Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have left the vulgar stuff alone." He was by birth French and never fully gave it up, just as one might expect.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Also, anyone who puts milk and sugar in coffee is a wuss. A pinch of salt is all anyone needs.

I do draw the line at not cleaning out my cup. But I was never a Navy Chief, either.

greg said...

Ouch. What about half-and-half? And splenda? It goes in both my coffee and teas. But then again, I prefer English Breakfast to Earl Grey.

I'm in purely for the caffine though...I make no bones about that.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I started drinking coffee when I was 11. At that time my father informed me that if I was going to drink sugary milk with coffee flavoring like my cousin Steve (who was sitting across the table at the time) then I would not be allowed to drink coffee. For 40+ years I've drunk it black and never looked back :)

Eric said...

When I was growing up, my Dad would put a little coffee in my milk and called it "little boy coffee". Now whenever I order a latte', he gives me grief over still drinking "little boy coffee".

Roberta X said...

Fuzzy: So, you've read the George Orwell piece on the making and drinking of tea, then?

I tale sugar and cream in my coffee, often sugar tea, and have been known to take black tea and chai with milk on occasion.

I don't favor lemon but milk and lemon are an XOR. 'Tis never both. You also don't put milk in orange pekoe tea -- or Earl Grey -- and for the same reason.

Eric: well, the rarely-allowed "child edition" coffee in my house growing up had cream and sugar *and* was half milk; Dad drank his coffee with "cream" (Coffee Rich) and a little sugar.

Roberta X said...

Greg: The password is "bergamot."

Dave H said...

Milk in Earl Grey? (shudder) I'd sooner put it in my grapefruit juice.

Hasn't anyone had "the talk" with you about reading content mills? I followed the link to the article author's bio: 177 articles, 1.9 million page views, and five fans. I'd say this person's expertise is in generating page views, not a good cup of tea.

jed said...

Now I have the Lipton Tea jingle in my head.

When I was a young lad, I put milk in my Lipton tea. IIRC, it's a blend of orange pekoe and black tea. Well, dairy and orange together aren't unheard of -- witness the orange Creamsicle. Back then, I knew of nothing but Lipton.

I rarely drink tea these days. It's morning coffee, black. No caffeine after noon either, except on those occasions when I get Thai iced tea with my Panang Curry.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Bobbi: Actually, I don't drink tea at all. Nasty stuff. Can't imagine how the Brits built an empire on it.

Worse, people (my wife) add to the horror and drink it on ice, too. Brrrr.

Anonymous said...

A good daytime cup of tea needs a canister of Keemun Black from the local Chinese grocery, a teapot and a kettle, and water, of course. Nocturnal: replace the Keemun with a canister of loose chamomile tea: Whole Foods Market actually seems to be the best place to find that. Teabags are only when I don't have the time to brew a proper pot, and then it's Irish Breakfast for me. Coffee can only be drunk raw and naked (that is, no sugar or cream) unless it's from Starbucks, in which case sugar is needed to disguise the fact that it tastes horrible. At home I have a Black and Decker single cup brewer; the brand varies depending on what is on sale at Publix.

What I don't understand is those people who buy K-cups of tea!


DaddyBear said...

Unless the tea is so strong that I can't see through it, I don't normally put in milk or cream. I usually add a bit of sugar or lemon, depending on the tea, but Earl Grey doesn't need the help.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"What I don't understand is those people who buy K-cups of tea!"

While I would never trust it with real tea, I find that my Keurig Vue does a good job with the Sleepytime Herbal Tea. Other than that, it's loose tea brewed in a real pot - I have a small "tea for one" pot that I use just for that purpose, and our local coffee shop has a good selection of loose tea, too. No milk, lemon, or sugar - any decent black tea needs nothing but itself. You just have to find a blend that works for you, rather than forcing it with additives.

"Tea! That's all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannins, just the thing for healing the synapses." - The Doctor

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

On a related note, while checking to make sure I had that quote right, I found this: Tardis Blend from Adagio Teas. "Blended with black tea, orange peels, natural bergamot flavor, blue cornflowers, natural blackberry flavor, natural vanilla flavor, blackberry leaves".

Windy Wilson said...

Milk in tea seems just weird to me, although I've read that the English do that, with tremendous arguments about milk first, then tea or the reverse. Isn't it also something the Indians from India do?

I never could take black coffee with my delicate stomach; I had a boss who derisively referred to what I drank as "candy coffee" -- and this was before the Starbucks frappacino peppermint insulin comas. He was weaned on coffee in the Mekong Delta in the late 60's, where they made coffee on Sunday and boiled it all week, and cream and sugar were mere myth. He always claimed that it straightened his teeth.

Stretch said...

"Boiling water (less than 190 degrees at that altitude)plus shavings from a compressed block of tea plus yak butter makes for a powerful start to the day."

If anyone can tell me where that description comes from I'd be grateful. I found it in a dust, ill lit section of my brain and would like to get it back to its owner.

Dave H said...

Stretch, I think that's called sherpa tea. I can't tell you where that particular quote came from, but I remember reading about it in a book on camping. I believe it traditionally used rancid yak butter.

Robin said...

Sadly, the nation located in the area formerly known as Perfidious Albion is no longer "Great"...


We shall not discuss how the Italians confuse dessert and coffee shall we? It comes from the Italian propensity to try to pretend to be Viennese.

Chris said...

The Stash brand of tea has a Double Bergamot Earl Grey. Wonderful.

My best friend and his wife visited London recently and said there was a chain of coffee shops with the best coffee he's ever had, but I can't remember the name. I don't like the stuff myself.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the pedantry, but "orange pekoe" tea doesn't have orange flavor, it's a grading of black tea leaf size that basically meant (once upon a time) "good enough for the Dutch royalty".

Roberta X said...

I stand corrected -- though I still maintain the mixture of spices in Constant Comment (which is what I was thinking of) make milk a no-no. It seems to be weaker than I remember these days, which makes me sad.