Reading Carol Midgley in today's Times brought back memories of long ago which made me smile. She talks about Timothy Spall and his tea-bag habits and that made me think of my mother. No such thing as tea bags when I was a child = it was Typhoo tea in those little grey and red boxes of quarter pounds. We had a quarter of Typhoo on our order each week and it had to last. Come to think of it I might have been speaking of during the war when there was rationing anyway. But one thing is certain = it had to be Typhoo.
Mother went through the same routine each tea making session. Warm the pot while the kettle is boiling. Put the tea in the pot (it was a secret she guarded closely how much she actually put in but in theory it should have been one tea spoon per person and one for the pot). All I can tell you is that my father insisted that they had had a quarter of Typhoo for a wedding present and my mother was still using it. He loved very strong tea and she liked to be able to see the bottom of the cup - in other words very weak.
Carol in today's Times reveals that Timothy Spall likes one bag of Yorkshire tea and one bag of Earl Grey mixed in the same cup and the tea bags left in the cup until you can "stand your spoon up in it." Carol says it sounds "as perverse as mixing HP Sauce with Ketchup" or a teetotaller's (Spall gave up drinking some time ago)version of snakebite.
I love Yorkshire tea and I love Earl Grey - but not together. I love Yorkshire tea when the water has just been shown the tea bag (in other words very weak as my mother took hers) and because it is quite a weak tea I like to leave an Earl Grey bag in the cup for a few minutes.
But it seems we all have our teabagging habit. What's yours?