Friday, 6 February 2009

Warming the pot

When you make tea in a pot rather than a mug (you do still make tea in a pot rather than a mug don't you?) it helps to get the best results if you warm the pot first.

Of course this option tends to be limited by modern day hurry, along with an increase in single cups of tea being brewed because people are alone, at least in still being a tea drinker.  It becomes easier to just throw a tea-bag in the mug. Gone are the days of the English tea ceremony involving warmed pots, leaf tea, strainers and milk-first china cups on saucers.

My late father-in-law would regularly say that his tea was too wet, meaning that it needed a little something to go with it, such as cake or at least a biscuit. This week I discovered a new fact, at least for me. I do not remember having ever heard of Marie biscuits before, let alone having had one. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that they taste almost the same as Rich Tea biscuits, which are half the price! I know, I know, the purists among you will say they are completely different but there you go, when you are in a hurry to make a cup of tea any old biscuit will do...

Doing the job properly and warming the pot has become slightly more difficult these days as jug kettles replace the older squat versions such as our veteran Russell Hobbs. As I was making breakfast for my wife the other morning (sorry for the gratuitous showing off there), I was reminded of my good friend Keith from University days, who taught me many things but especially how to do things right. If you hang the tea pot on the spout of your trusty Russell Hobbs or similarly stumpy kettle, it will sit there perfectly poised, ready to catch all of the steam as it emerges from the kettle spout. By the time the kettle boils, the pot is warmed to perfection.

To get a really good cup of tea out of your warmed pot you then have to add the right kind of tea. Being here in Welsh Wales, then it would have to be Glengettie (which only sounds like it is from Scotland). 

So next time you reach for the kettle and a tea pot, why not have a go at warming the pot and see if you can taste the difference. At least it may lower your stress level a notch or too because after all, if you haven't got time to stop to warm the pot, you probably will not find time to stop and smell the roses either.

1. More than you could ever want to know about the Marie biscuit can be found here

2. There is a website for everyone out there

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