UK: Put the Kettle On????

Old Jan 12th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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For you tea lovers...a blog

http://teachatee.blogspot.com/
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 11:03 AM
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A foam forms at the top and leaves an ugly ring around the mug

Then there's something with a contaminant in it - either the water (if it's not filtered) or the vessel (if it's not rinsed adequately).

I have been nuking water for 35 years, and I've never seen a ring. Ever.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Robespierre -- you are obviously a Philistine. Nuked tea?! Mon dieu.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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Tea isn't only good to drink but is a wonder to look at and to smell too. As a child, I was lucky to have spent many years with access to a tea estate in Africa. Those memories are filled with the endless sight of emerald rolling hills and slopes in the cool highlands of Kenya. I have never seen so many shades of green together, like an enormously beautiful, patchwork quilt extending to the horizon, which probably accounts for why I like that colour to this day.
Picking tea is a laborious job but the people who do it get skilled to the task very quickly. The tea we drink consists of the unfolded bud together with the next 2 leaves of the top of each stem of the tea bush. The bushes have to be constantly trimmed to waist height in order for the pickers to have access to the leaves. The picker's quick eyes spots the appropriate tips and plucks them off, until a handful is collected which is then tossed over their shoulder into a large basket hung over their back. When the basket is full, the tea is weighed and allotted against the picker's name for payment, the basket emptied into a truck and the picker sent out into the field again.

Within hours of picking, the tea buds and tips begin to wilt and ferment. What follows is a heady, earthy, scent that is very pleasant to the nose. As kids we would pluck handfuls of leaves and keep them in the warm cupboard that housed our water heater (we called it a 'geezer' - don't ask me why ). The heater would come on in the early hours of the morning while we all slept and drive the scent around the house. We would then leave the wilted leaves in the sun to dry to a crisp after which we'd crush the leaves and brew our own cup. Can't imagine doing that today, but when you're 10, it was great fun !

Only the leaf part of the plucking is used for regular tea. The stem part is usually discarded, or else used to make a stronger tea. The discarded stems used to be packaged and sold cheaply as "Teakataka", a riff on the Swahili word 'Takataka' which means rubbish.

I could do with a cup now.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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To me, "chai" is simply a translation of "tea" of any kind. My parents were born in India and although we always spoke English at home hindi words just happened to be used consistently for some things...

"Chai" as it's used more recently by Western retailers refers to a specific variant of tea which apes the way tea is sometimes but not always prepared in India - strongly brewed with a variety of spices which can include all or any of cloves, cardamom, cinammon, ginger, cumin, pepper plus lots of sugar and lots of milk.

Can't stand it myself...

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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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PalQ, now I think about it, I can summon up an image of a pig nestling in a nice warm (but very big) poke - why wouldn't it be happy?
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Buying a pig in a poke means to buy something when you don't know what it is. A poke is a bag

Happy as a pig in shit is a whole other kettle of fish.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Sheila, about the phrase "kettle of fish" ... When I lived in Newfoundland, some people said "a quintal of fish" instead of "a kettle of fish." I asked what a quintal was and was told that it was a wooden box that would hold a hundred-weight of salted fish.

That was, of course, in the 1970s, long before the collapse of the North Atlantic cod fishery, so Newfoundlanders were still selling large quantities of salt fish.

Obscure bits of English language use will never cease to amaze me.

Anselm
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 12:43 AM
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Mathieu, you weren't calling the water heater a 'geezer' but a 'geyser', as in the boiling hot water that spurts out of the ground in volcanic countries like Iceland. I think it must have been a brand name for an early water heater - some of the gas-powered ones in Britain were prone to volcanic explosion on their own account!

But where and how 'geezer' for a man (in either the British or American senses) comes from, I'm none the wiser: unless it has the sense of an old boiler that's stopped working properly but still gurgles away to itself (like me) ...?
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 03:07 AM
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According the the OED "geezer" meaning a man comes from "guiser" meaning a mummer.
The one that interests me is the American "guy". To me, a guy is a stuffed dummy which is placed on a bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night.
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 03:13 AM
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My friend Dr. Chasuble who is Scottish in origin, uses the word "poke" to mean a paper bag, eg. a poke of chips.
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 04:38 AM
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PatrickLondon : LOL ! I think thats definitely where 'geezer' comes from !
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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This is absolutely fascinating. And Mathieu, your last posting was a peek into a world I never knew existed. Beautifully said, I can picture the hills of Kenya in my mind (though truth be told, in my mind they look something like Hawaii...way too high.)

My ex-husband loved all different kinds of tea, and would order them from Canada. His favorite was called Russian Caravan, which I would always refer to as Old Camel Nose, because they smelled about the same... It's no wonder we divorced.

Friends who live in Paris introduced me to: The Melange Fauchon, which I guess is their house blend, and quite delightful. And also packed in their Crystal tea bags, which I believe are made out of silk (or some type of synthetic).
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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My co-worker, who originally hails from Dublin just sent me this link today (timely!) on how to make a pot of Irish tea

http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.co...kfast.html#Tea
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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I'm at work and was dying for a cup of tea this afternoon. I got the hot water from the spigot on the coffee machine, then put it in the microwave for a minute to come to a boil. And although it sort of "fizzles" when you put the teabag in the water, the tea brewed OK. It would actually have been a pretty good cup of tea if I hadn't have had to use Coffee-Mate instead of milk (none around, of course.) That kinda ruined the effect.
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Kaybe95 -- my most sincere condolences in regard to your poor cup of tea. I used to carry whole milk to work everyday for my tea. As I mentioned, I got a lot of guff from my coffee drinking coworkers, but it was more than worth it.

As for the fizzle, that's it exactly! A fizzle, a foaming when you put in the tea bag. Mine always ended up as a ring around the mug. I'm not alone.

Have a nice cup of tea when you get home tonight.
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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Here is another site for anything you want to know about tea and tea stuff!
I love those cosies of every design you can imagine (almost).
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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I got so excited about the cozies, I forgot the url:

www.devotea.com

So my life is reduced to being excited about tea cozies......
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 12:57 PM
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SeaUrchins, you are easy to please, LOL! Tea cosies indeed.

Time for a trip to Italy I believe
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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You are soooo right!!!

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