UK: Put the Kettle On????

Old Nov 5th, 2014, 02:01 AM
  #281  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,912
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Tea probably 8 times a day, coffee once after an evening meal. I've recently discovered Rosebush (South African muck with no Caffeine in it, pretty good).

Water has to be boiling, though once sat through a "tea house" lecture in a poncy Czech tea shop (home of the revolution), where water had to be added at 86C exactly and the water jug had a thermometer on it. All I can say is, never again.

I gave up on milk 30 years ago.

I also discovered that even vending machines in the UK can make a good cup of tea if the water is good water. Over the years I've had a fair number of machines in factories (>10) taken out, cleaned and replaced so that the water going in is clean. Once you do that the tea coming out is much better.
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 03:30 AM
  #282  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Now do you pour the milk or the tea first?>>

now that's a whole new kettle of fish, chartley.

I'm a "milk first, tea second" person, but DH prefers it the other way round.

amazing we're still married really, given that fundamental difference of opinion.

I agree about the need for the water to be boiling, and I remember that stupid argument put forward by those who had clearly never had a decent cup of tea that some teas need a temp of 95C or below. poppycock. you have only to drink tea made at altitude to see how daft that is. OTOH I have had very good tea in Venice - and you don't get much closer to sea level than that.
annhig is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 05:56 AM
  #283  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
About young kids and tea - tea is supposed to have half the caffeine that coffee does - which surprises me that young kids are told or led to drink it.

Just can't imagine an American 5-yr-old drinking anything but sweet ice tea.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 06:29 AM
  #284  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,508
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, flanner, Patrick and chartley, for your posts and a peek into your English childhoods. Wonderful to read.
ChgoGal is online now  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 06:38 AM
  #285  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,942
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>You make tea with freshly boiled water. Why on earth would you want to keep it hot for twenty minutes?<<

Refills. Haven't you heard of "stretching the pot"? My grandmother was a holy terror for it, apparently. At one B&B she was staying at, she was always asking for extra hot water, which the poor skivvy had to take up; and one day she overheard herself described as "That old one in number 3, she's a b... for tea", which has stuck as a family saying ever since, because we're all a bit like that.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 06:46 AM
  #286  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,942
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>I am surprised that Patrick had to go downstairs to the kitchen<<

Tall, thin Victorian terrace, built for a family that could have employed a "general", Mr Pooter-style, with the best room on the middle floor (next to the bathroom, which is also not an insignificant factor in a draughty house without central heating); but by the 1940s and 50s, we did our own skivvying (hence not missing coal fires - you try going down two flights to the coal cellar and up again on a cold night).
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 07:01 AM
  #287  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ah Patrick, life in the metropolis was always more extravagant. Out in the provinces, we always had to make a bucket of coal last all evening.

Getting back to tea, I was at college when I heard a Midlands landlady ask the question "Shall yer mash?" I had no idea what she was talking about.
chartley is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 07:51 AM
  #288  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Just can't imagine an American 5-yr-old drinking anything but sweet ice tea>>

made with sugar, presumably, Pal?

Chartley - my midlands grandparents always mashed the tea, and topped it up with boiling water in order to "stretch" the pot. [possibly a war-time habit designed to make the most of the limited tea ration, though it probably pre-dates that].

we still top up the pot to get an extra cup out of it.
annhig is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 08:03 AM
  #289  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,585
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My grandma was in demand because she could read the tea leaves.
MissPrism is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 10:39 AM
  #290  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It seems to me that tea is more than tea - again from Corrie - every time there is a serious discussion to be had - at any time of day or night - someone says 'I'll put the kettle on' - so does tea have a value more than just tea? Like some magical problem resolver after all sip some tea?
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 11:15 AM
  #291  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,942
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>> so does tea have a value more than just tea?<<

There's a ritual element, I suppose. Or at least, it's a neutral indicator of some sort of social connection, like opening a conversation with some reference to the weather (or gardening or dogs, if you have them in common).

It's not called "British penicillin" for nothing, you know.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 11:21 AM
  #292  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,508
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
@ chartley: "Shall yer mash" isn't bringing anything up on google. Did you learn what that meant?
ChgoGal is online now  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 12:15 PM
  #293  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Like some magical problem resolver after all sip some tea?>>

it's more like a universal panacea - someone died? have a cup of tea. Been in an accident? have a cup of tea. tired and need a restorative? have a cup of tea.
annhig is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 10:12 PM
  #294  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,942
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>> "Shall yer mash" isn't bringing anything up on google. Did you learn what that meant?<<

"Shall yer" is a common variant in the Midlands and parts of the north. For some reason, my mother hung on to a common saying she heard while evacuated north during WW2 - "Move up bus, shall yer?"

"Mash" is a rather graphic word for making tea (implies getting the maximum flavour out, I'm sure you've "mashed" a teabag)

Posher folk would have said, archly, "Will you be mother?"

>>it's more like a universal panacea - someone died? have a cup of tea. Been in an accident? have a cup of tea. tired and need a restorative? have a cup of tea<<

No more tea? Let's have a nice hot cup of boiling water*

*<small><i>Not original, it comes from Beyond the Fringe</i></small>
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 11:00 PM
  #295  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,268
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"it's more like a universal panacea"

With apologies to Bill Shankly: it's more important than that.

Hot, sweet tea was throughout my childhood and adolescence, widely prescribed (by real doctors and paramedics, with real theories of how to drive up blood sugar levels quickly) for shock, or reviving people. A crucial part of the ritual for local crises (a fire in a neighbour's house, say) was bringing out cups of tea for the emergency workers. It's still part of Northern Irish mythology that in 1969 the Catholics brought out cups of tea for British troops arriving in Belfast to separate the warring tribes. The Falkland Islanders welcomed their liberators in 1981 with cups of tea.

I've always assumed this is commonplace throughout the civilised urban world. It may be wine in France or coffee in America: but doesn't everyone have this kind of universal ritual?

PalQ's confusion, I think, is that tea has an effete, pseudo-liberal, snobbish connotation in much of America, with the corollary that red-blooded Amurricans drink coffee. It's a huge oversimplification to say the opposite's the case in Britain: making a cup of Tesco generic instant coffee has its own symbolism, far removed from narcissistic obsessions with designer single-estate java and the machinery for brewing it.

But real men and women drink P&G (or Co-op 99 or Sainsbury's Red Label) tea - generally as it's offered. Giving minutely detailed decaf prescriptions to a Starbucks barista epitomise all that's wrong with the modern world.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 11:15 PM
  #296  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,929
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Giving minutely detailed decaf prescriptions to a Starbucks barista epitomize all that's wrong with the modern world.
------

I SO agree with this statement. I once offered to pick up a coffee for someone and they reeled off this screed that contained about 7 or 8 instructions, some of them conflicting as in : extra sweet, no sugar.
I was tempted to say sorry I asked.
raincitygirl is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 11:49 PM
  #297  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 847
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I remember a few years ago working with some Yanks who had come to England for job training, about 10 o clock on the first morning I said to my manager(who was working with us and a northerner), "time for a brew".
To this day I've never seen such an intense look of shock that came over the 2 Yanks faces, then one blurted out "I know that you guys have a reputation as hard drinkers but it's far to early for us to go to the pub". As I remember it took me and the boss around 2 minutes to stop laughing, much to the puzzlement of the 2 visitors.
Hooameye is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2014, 11:56 PM
  #298  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,912
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
For those whose literature adventures include the MASH series of books (ah those childhood days) would now that Hawkeye took against having to fix up British soldiers in the Koread police action as the first thing the Brit front line medical support did was to give their wounded "a nice cup of tea". I think Hawkeye put this way "these guys come in here with most of their stomach shot away and the first thing that happens is I get a bucket of tea all over my boots" (I may be a bit off as it has been 40 years)

A few years back the BNP or English Defense League (nasty Nazi party to put it simply) was making a point of visiting northern towns to make trouble with our local ethinc population. They got to Hull and approached a mosque to be met by the iman and a local COE vicar with trays of tea which resulted in the collapse of nasty party.
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Nov 6th, 2014, 12:00 AM
  #299  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,912
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
And now in English

For those whose literature adventures include the MASH series of books (ah those childhood days) would know that Hawkeye took against having to fix up British soldiers in the Korean police action as the first thing the British front line medical support did was to give their wounded "a nice cup of tea". I think Hawkeye put it this way "these guys come in here with most of their stomach shot away and the first thing that happens is I get a bucket of tea all over my boots" (I may be a bit off as it has been 40 years)

A few years back the BNP or English Defense League (nasty Nazi party to put it simply) was making a point of visiting northern towns to make trouble with our local ethnic population. They got to Hull and approached a mosque to be met by the iman and a local COE vicar with trays of tea which resulted in the collapse of nasty party.
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Nov 6th, 2014, 01:29 AM
  #300  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,942
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I suppose it's a bit like Russians with the bread and salt.
PatrickLondon is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -