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Friday, July 14, 2017

Tea tastes best if somebody else makes it

 

Remember this scene from "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"? There actually is a Dr Len Fisher of University of Bristol who won an Ig Nobel Prize for an equation which explains how best to dunk biscuits in tea.

He calculated that the average pore diameter in a biscuit is equal to four times the viscosity of the tea, multiplied by the height the liquid rises squared, divided by the surface tension of the tea, multiplied by the length of time the biscuit is dunked.

Not quite as useful as the Ducks-like-water study, and not as readable as the entertaining essay 'A Nice Cup of Tea' by George Orwell, the great critic of Hitler and Stalin, who was not above a bit of totalitarianism himself when it came to the diktats of making the perfect cup of tea.

He laid down eleven rules of tea-making, every one of which he regarded as golden, and none of which involved the now ubiquitous tea bag which, while invented around 1908 by an American (of course!) tea merchant, didn't really take off in the U.K. until the 1950s.

He called tea "one of the main stays of civilization" which it certainly is at "Riverbend" where I drink copious cups, usually with a large dollop of honey and a dash of lemon, or in any other combination as long as it is wet and warm, although it always tastes best if somebody else makes it.

Right now I'm still batching and about to make myself another cuppa before I get back to reading some more of George Orwell's fifty essays.


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