Saturday, 6 November 2021

One bag or two?

 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?

38 comments:

Susan said...

My tea of choice is English Breakfast or Earl Grey. I do use tea bags occasionally but most of the time I make my tea in a tea pot. Like your mother, I warm the pot first. I always have several other types of tea as well because friends have various preferences. Some times I prepare three pots of tea so everybody has their favorite tea.

Bovey Belle said...

Earl Grey here (though we keep stronger "ordinary" tea in for guests). We have a cup in the morning and one at three p.m. That's it!

Rachel Phillips said...

You understand snakebite? You never cease to amaze me.

Debby said...

We have a box of 'Yorkie' presented to us by our son-in-law. It's the only tea, in his mind. He'd be aghast at mixing it with Earl Grey, I'm afraid.

I'm a coffee drinker myself, and just like your mother and her tea, I have my own little routine for that.

But I don't mind sipping tea with loved ones.



Tasker Dunham said...

I've never understood how those door to door Ringtons tea vans can possibly be profitable.

Heather said...

I like Yorkshire tea and buy the loose version. One good teaspoonful in a small pot gives me a perfect cup. Not too strong, no sugar and a little milk. Perfect at any time of day. My grandmother used Brook Bond Dividend tea which had a little stamp on each packet. I was allowed to take the stamp off and stick it to a special card which when full gave a reward of some kind. I believe that was during the war.

Jennyff said...

Yes Yorkshire tea for us, I make a pot, never ever put the bag in a cup, for me and MrFF with just one bag and pour mine quickly drunk black before it mashes, I mentioned to a neighbour I like weak tea.she said she was the same. I suggested we could share a tea bag, she said one would last us all week.

Minigranny said...

I don't like tea much but occasionally like weak Yorkshire tea or Lady Grey or the two together. I remember the Rington s tea man coming to our house.

Anonymous said...

Growing up in Australia pre teabags ,Robur tea was the go to, as was Amgoorie, and very much part of the tradition bought from 'the home country'. In my family it was recognised that Dad's mother made the best cup of tea as she had a strict routine, used a blend of teas, and would only use rainwater. I think she used the formula of 'one for each person and one for the pot'. The teapot had to be warmed first, no question, and a tea cosy in use always.
I use Yorkshire teabags for convenience, but husband insists on Green Signal loose leaf tea. Often a store has to order it in.
I notice we have new Yorkshire tea bags on the supermarket shelves now that says 'proper strong'. on the box- very nice too.
Husband's grandmother's opinion of me when I first met him over 40 years ago?" Lovely girl, but can't make a decent cup of tea."
Hope I've improved by then, but my mother always complains that 'the tide's out' in the cup. - Pam.

The Weaver of Grass said...

So many memories here already - I had forgotten Ringtons tea vans Tasker but have never seen one since I have lived up here in Yorkshire.
I thought everyone had heard of snakebite Rachel.
I occasionally buy English Breakfast Susan - nice taste.

Barbara Anne said...

I like Earl Grey, Lady Grey, and my favorite winter tea is Bigelow's "Constant Comment" as it even smells like Christmas!

Hugs!

Rachel Phillips said...

Clearly thry have if 89 year olds have.

The Feminine Energy said...

I use loose leaf tea, for the most part, but am not married to any particular brand or kind. ~Andrea xoxoxo

Cro Magnon said...

I have one cup of Twinings Lapsang in the afternoon (in the mornings it's Nescafé instant). I stir the bag around, then press it to the side to release even more flavour. A tiny cloud of milk, and a McVities dark chocolate biscuit, and that's it.

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coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I'm not a huge tea drinker, but it's usually Tetley (or whatever is on sale). I also have decaf tea because caffeine really disturbs my sleep if I have it too late in the day. My father insisted that his tea be strong, and NOT out of a mug. It had to be in a cup with a saucer. -Jenn

angryparsnip said...

I used to drink Tea when I was younger. I would drink tea in the afternoon with my Mum sometimes. As I got older I drank green tea but noe it is coffee,
Lovely post today.

Bonnie said...

I like coffee in the morning but I love a cup of green tea in the afternoon. It is interesting to see everyone's favorite!

Derek Faulkner said...

After sticking rigidly to loose Yorkshire tea made in a pot I have now discovered tea bags of English Breakfast Tea made by Taylors of Harrogate and will only use them. So some days it's a pot of loose tea and others it's the tea bags but whichever method I use, the tea has to be strong.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

When I was very young I used to insist on PG Tips because they had a little picture card in each packet illustrating various animals or birds and you could stick them in a little album. Over sixty years on, there are no cards in PG Tips but it's still what I drink.

thelma said...

I used to order my loose leaf tea from Twinings in Ireland, Earl Grey for Paul and English Breakfast for me, and would imagine its journey across the water but now have given in to tea bags. Tea making is of course a ritual, from the first cup in the morning to that one in the afternoon with cake.
Of course part of the ritual is the cup you drink it from, fine porcelain or the thicker mugs we now have, so my choice of mugs for either coffee or tea is dictated by this;)

Librarian said...

My first drink in the morning is coffee. always. But later on, I like either Earl Grey or Yorkshire Tea - seperately, not in the same cup. And for a leisurely Sunday breakfast, I absolutely love to have a glass of sparkling wine along with a cup of Earl Grey - my idea of luxury!

Jules said...

There's nothing better than a really good mug of Yorkshire tea. Not too strong, not too weak, just somewhere in between. The Ringtons van still passes here each week. X

Sue in Suffolk said...

I went off tea a few years ago and never drink it now unless that's the only thing on offer

Anonymous said...

At first I thought you were going to write about (hand)bags ! One or two of those is definitely not enough for me !
Here in France people used to drink more coffee than tea but I'm not sure this is still true. I love strong breakfast tea, with milk and no sugar. Teabags most of the time. The usual brands are Lipton, Twinings and Tetley. But we can find Barry's. Green tea seems to be everywhere but I really don't like it, too weak.
I have my own large mug with a quote : Toute la sagesse du monde se trouve dans une tasse de thé !
Maguy

the veg artist said...

I don't often drink tea any more, but I take it med/strong and black. I do take milk in coffee though for some reason.

Fifitr said...

I remember with fondness going into French shops and cafes and asking for Le Liptons... tea drinking really didn't seem to be that common back in the 80s and 90s I think. I have always drunk very weak tea and realised when I tried herbal teas that it's actually the scent that I'm mostly enjoying, not the taste. A friend once wrote a poem about me that started "Her tea is like Horlicks" and I have, in the past, made a cup without the bag at all and not noticed. Nowadays on the few occasions I do drink tea it's Twining's Lady Grey - rather floral and aromatic. Mostly I stick to decaf coffee and minty teabags (again, not in the same cup! Eugh, the thought of it.)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Anon - Maguy - Love the quote - so true!
Sue - Interesting - my DIL is the same
Jules - so Ringtons is still on the go.
Librarian - Earl Grey and sparkling wine - now that is luxury indeed!
Thelma - sounds very civilised and I am sure - like me - little rituals keep memories alive.
Write and complain - they might start up the little card idea again!!.
Derek - I didn't realise Taylors made Yorkshire and English Breakfast
Cro - I do love to read the order of your eating and drinking - so civilised.

Thanks everryone - such variety

Tom Stephenson said...

Currently it's Lidl Gold teabags, though I am not religious about it. I heard that most teabags are made using banana skin, then I was very disappointed to hear that a lot of teabag makers use plastic to reinforce the paper bag. You inadvertently gave me a laugh when you referred to your 'teabagging' habit. I'll tell you what that means in the uncouth world when you are old enough.

Melinda from Ontario said...

My favourite tea is King Cole. It's hard to get where I live because it's actually made in the Maritimes and is only shipped to a limited number of stores in Ontario. My three siblings and I grew up in the Maritimes but gradually all moved to Ontario- some for University and others for careers. I honestly think we hung on to King Cole tea like we hung on to our Maritime roots, (for familiarity and comfort!) We also insist King Cole tea tastes better when made with Maritime water.

Anne Brew said...

Tea into the pot, boiling water poured on, stand for 5-8 minutes. Drink.
We now use a large thermos flask instead of a pot as it keeps the tea hot.

Anonymous said...

I stopped drinking tea when I left home at 22. Mom made the 1st pot at 4;30 a.m. then just added water and tea leaves (in the 60's, tea bags) by the time we had ours for breakfast , it was like drinking mud. Swore I'd never drink it again when I moved out and I haven't.

kippy said...

Taylors Scottish Breakfast tea here in the Pacific Northwest. Love it daily. A dear friend orders multiple boxes for family and friends and brought some over to me. Now she gets a box every couple of months for me. Other teas here are Rooibos and green tea. Always bag teas as that is what is most available.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Kippy - is that Tayors of Harrogate,,
Anon - can't say I blame you!
Anne - does the tea keep well in the Thermos? I always felt it tasted stewed.
Melinda - I love the way you think it tastes better made with Maritime water. We all have our lirtle idiosyncracies it seems
Go on Tom, tell me now - I think I am old enough!

Well I think I can say with certainty that no two of us take tea in the same way. Thank you all for revealing your little trade secrets.

kippy said...

Yes ! Taylors of Harrogate.

Anne Brew said...

It doesn’t seem to taste stewed. Just one bag for a full size Thermos.
Make overnight and it’s surprisingly nice and hot in the morning.

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Anonymous said...

Advised to avoid caffeine several years ago as it was a bladder irritant, green tea is ok though. Start the day with Sainsburys Tumeric spice tea, mid morning decaff coffee, afternoons its usually Earl Grey Rooibos and in the evening maybe an ovaltine if Im pushing the boat out, or if having trouble sleeping its a camomile tea, which doesnt smell or taste that nice but knocks me out like a light! Jane