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Troika #27: Cuppa Tino
Oooh, I love a cuppa. I have a special large mug which gives me nearly a pint of the lovely brown fluids. Thats all fine and dandy when I’m at home, but finding somewhere to get a decent cuppa when I’m out an about is jolly hard. You can get coffee from various degrees of mediocre to excellent, but tea only seems to come in awful. And all because they don’t know how to put fresh water in a kettle. Rant, rant, rant.
Anyway, enough whingeing. Here are three songs all about tea!
- ‘Cup of Brown Joy’ by Professor Elemental
When I say ‘OOO!’ you say ‘LONG!’
- ‘Drink tea (For the love of God)’ by Kula Shaker
Featuring the words of George Orwell’s monologue on tea
- ‘Tea in the Sahara’ by The Police
A very mellow track, ideal for a tea break
Finally, here’s a picture of my favourite tea mug, its the ‘Cat in the Hat’ mug from Universal Studios in Orlando…
I have two of these now in case one breaks, but they’re very hard to get hold of! By the way, the title of this episode is a bastardisation of ‘Cupertino’, that there place where Apple lives…
How to get this episode
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All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.
Ride with tea!
Wouldn’t it be nice, especially over winter, to be able to take a nice cup of tea* with you on a bike ride? A source of refreshment, caffeine, antioxidants and sugar that tastes so much better than energy drinks**.
You can of course take a thermos with you, but this is not only heavy (requiring a bag to carry it) it also means stopping to drink it. Its nice to stop and enjoy a view for sure, but generally I prefer to keep going, especially as stopping can mean getting cold.
So, what I was looking for was the equivalent of a normal plastic water bottle (or ‘bidon’ if you’re poncey), that can be stored in a bottle cage and squeezed into my mush on the go, but will also keep my tea drinkably hot. Until recently, the closest I’d found was the Biologic Vacuum Flask, which is designed for a bike’s bottle cage, but doesn’t fulfill the squeezy requirement:
I also had doubts about whether a metal flask in a metal bottle cage on a metal frame would just be too rattly.
I was about to seriously start thinking about trying to make my own (see: Kickstarter), when I found the Camelbak Podium Big Chill via Matt Hamm. I use Camelbak Podium’s already, they have a great spout system, and you get no nasty plastic taste in the water. I hadn’t come across the ‘Big Chill’ though, which has an insulated wall for keeping water cool. In the description was the key text:
Also keeps warm beverages warm during cool weather rides
My tests so far have been great – I’ve kept tea hot for more than an hour and half, longer than I expected for plastic bottle! It doesn’t have all the elegance of a china cup, but it works!
*Or coffee if you’re that way inclined
**OK, it doesn’t have all the benefits of a proper energy drink, but it does taste better
Drink Tea (for the Love of God!)
This uplifting ditty and accompanying Python-esque video about my favourite refreshment was Kula Shaker‘s free Christmas single from 2007!
We wanted George Orwell for the narration, not just because he was a T.O.F.F., but because he actually wrote a very serious article for the Times newspaper in the 1940’s about how to make a perfect cup of tea. Whilst we don’t agree completely with his rather rigid, and to be honest, quite dogmatic creed of ‘no sugar’, we still admire his pioneering work as a social prophet and old skool tea drinker. Good old George.
Good on you chaps!
A plea for a decent cuppa
From high street coffee shop chains to a visitor’s café at some attraction (such as the one I went to at Alnwick Castle last week), I’m being left with a bad taste in my mouth.
All that specialist equipment, ‘barista’ training, and trouble spent over making a good cup of coffee – then when you ask for a cup of tea, you get a tea bag dumped in a mug, and over-boiled water from an urn poured over it. The muck you get at other end of this passionless process is fairly undrinkable.
It’s to these folks that I want to get this message across: Boil some fresh water please.
To brew tea leaves, the water needs to be oxygenated. Constantly re-boiling water removes that vital element – the water needs to be freshly drawn (throw out any old water in the urn), and freshly boiled if it’s to stand a chance of getting the flavour out of those leaves. Even with tea bags, you can get a good result.
If the the tea can be made in a pre-warmed pot (a cold pot means a loss of brewing heat), with loose tea, then so much the better. The time the tea is left to brew is down to personal taste and the type of tea (for example green tea needs very little brewing time) – but no longer than 5 mins or the tea will be ‘over-stewed muck’. The ideal is to be handed a freshly made pot and a mug, and leave it up to the customer to finish the job.
All I want is to be able to go out with coffee drinkers, and be able to get a cup of tea, made with the same attention as their cappucinos or lattés. Thanks for listening!
a cup of tea…
…and suddenly all is right with the world.