10 Nov 2020
As I made my early morning cup of tea this morning, I was reminded of a television advert years back for a tea bag brand, asking if you were a jiggler or a dangler.
It doesn’t seem to have as much attention lately, or maybe I’m just comfortably enough set in my ways that I ignore other people’s preferences, vis a vis tea bags.
Yes there are some people I know whose tea preferences are that familiar to me that I don’t have to ask, really. There are some people who are weak black tea drinkers, who you pretty much achieve satisfactory strength by waving a tea bag in the general vicinity of a cup of hot water. My mother was one of these, for whom a used tea bag could last all day and begin the next days tea drinking too. She was the most economical tea drinker I’ve ever known. I also know some people whose weak milky tea requirements are achieved by me making the most disgusting cup of tea I could imagine, and to them I have achieved perfection.
My perfect cup of tea (we are talking regular breakfast tea, labelled black nowadays in the wacky world of peppermint, earl gray, lapsang souchong, chilli and green lime etc) has a good contact with the tea bag – but not left to soak so long that it becomes one with the cup. In the jiggling world, maybe around 5-10 seconds of jiggling. If dangling is involved, maybe a 15 second dangle with a quick jiggle on extraction, so to stir in the lovely tea flavours. There isn’t a lot of milk involved, just a quick splash.
There you go – a perfect cup of tea in my world.
But wait – there’s more.
I’m a bit particular about the sort of milk I prefer in a cup of tea. Full cream is a no-no (too creamy). My preference would be hi-lo or skim milk. I still shudder to think of my American years where we mistakenly thought “half and half” milk was like hi-Lo milk, not realising until the most disgusting cup of tea ever made, that it is half milk and half cream!
And if I’m not fussy enough, I also have preferences regarding the sort of cup I drink from. I’m not one of the ‘proper cup and saucer’ brigade, but full respect to those people who have the forbearance and time to match up their drink ware settings. I like a good sized cup of tea that isn’t going to go cold before I get to the bottom of it, so a mug is my preferred option. BUT – I don’t want a thick mug, because my brain likes to imagine it is daintily sipping a small cup of tea from a paper thin china cup. I appease my brain by drinking tea from a thin walled cavernous mug.
We all have preferred ways of drinking out tea or coffee (don’t get me started on the people who must have their milk in the cup before their instant coffee!!)
There are other preferences regarding tea. I have a particular friend – who I won’t name to protect her privacy, although many of you may know Nancy – who absolutely HAS to have chocolate to eat when she drinks tea. Woe betide your friendship status if you don’t have something in the pantry to offer up, and I have learned from experience that cooking chocolate is not the correct option.
But when it comes down to it, we would drink a sub standard hot beverage prepared with the best intentions by a friend, just because they are friends and it’s the fellowship involved that is more important than the beverage itself.
Tell me about your preferences – I can’t promise to make it perfectly if you visit, but at least I’ll try 🙂