deird1: Anya looking bored, with text "Please, continue. I find your problems fascinating." (Anya problems)
I mostly don't have a problem with Australia's customs regulations. Annoying, yes, but they've managed to keep the country rabies-free, for one thing, so... *shrugs*

So I put up with not being able to buy ornamental daggers (weapons), fun puzzles (wood), or medieval drinking horns (animal products), with a minimum of complaining.

But...

I've just finished my supply of black tea. And we're only here for two more weeks. So I can't really finish another box of tea leaves before we go home... And I can't take them home with me... So I really shouldn't buy more tea... And...

WAAA!!! I WANT MY TEA!!!


How on earth am I supposed to be utterly tealess for a whole fortnight???

on holiday

Aug. 31st, 2014 06:22 am
deird1: Sokka, with the picture he painted (Sokka picture)
Edinburgh!

My sister has been known to grumble about the weird British taps, and now I know why: it seems impossible to select both the water temperature and the water volume, simultaneously. You pick your favourite, and try to endure the other one.

We went to Edinburgh Castle yesterday, which was very cool. It's the first time I've seen a castle that has always (pre-museum) been a fully functioning thing, as opposed to being semi-ornamental, and it shows. Rather fascinating. It also afforded me the chance to drink my very first British cup of tea, which was as yummy as I was hoping.

The streets up to the castle could not be more clearly tourist-centric if they tried. If we wanted, we could have bought tartan (kilts, hats, bags, wellies, towels...) at twenty different shops. I was tempted, but refrained. The other standard souvenirs seem to be shortbread and whiskey. I even saw whiskey flavoured tea... which strikes me as slightly gross.

Today, we're going to Hopetoun House, where we will wander the grounds and have a traditional afternoon tea (scones and all), and then to Hadrian's Wall.

oops

Oct. 27th, 2013 09:39 am
deird1: Dawn, with text "troublemaker" (Dawn troublemaker)
In the space of about two minutes, the husband and I have managed to get tea all over:
- a magazine
- a couch
- the carpet
- both coasters
- my hands
- a chair
- the kitchen bench

All in a sedate and civilised fashion, so we didn't quite notice that there was more drippage until we'd started dealing with the first bit.


In my defense, my mug had developed a crack along the side, and was slowly leaking tea along the whole crack line. In my lack of defense, the tea I spilled while transferring it to a less leaky mug, and the tea I spilled while putting my new mug down, were both the fault of me being clumsy and not at all to do with bad mug design.
deird1: Fred squeeing, with love hearts (Fred squee)
The problem with drinking really nice tea is that it ruins all less-nice tea for you forevermore.


I have long ago lost my taste for teabags; tea leaves are where it's at.

Infusers? Nice - but not as good as plunger tea.

And plungers? Well...


I discovered yet more "secrets to the perfect cup of tea", and decided to try them out - sceptical that there could be any way to make tea better than it already was.

WELL. I WAS WRONG ABOUT THAT.

I
1) warmed the teapot beforehand
2) after a couple of minutes, turned the teapot three times clockwise and three times anti-clockwise

And voila: the most perfect cup of tea known to man.


I... really don't think I can go back to plunger tea. Not after this.



Dammit, perfect tea! You're ruining the rest of the good tea for me! *shakes fists*
deird1: Dawn raising an eyebrow, with text "srsly?" (Dawn srsly)
I'm currently on a campaign to improve the tea at church.

The boyfriend and I have been complaining for awhile that the tea at the 10:30 service is dreadful - which puzzled us, because the tea at 8:00 is fine. (Not that nice - cheap teabags and all - but fine.)

And, after much detective work, I think I've figured it out.


It happens like this:
- 8am service happens, with much tea being brewed in big kettles.
- 8am tea finishes, and the kettles are duly rinsed out.
- 10:30am tea people arrive, prior to the service, and take these kettles - still damp from being rinsed - and get them ready for the next lot of tea.
- As part of this, they get out the teabags, drop them into the damp kettles, and then go into the church service. Leaving the teabags to gradually dampen for the next hour.
- After the service, they fill the kettles with boiling water, and wonder vaguely why the tea tastes so bad...


I was aghast when I realised this was happening. (Seriously - DAMP TEABAGS. What on earth!) But, interestingly, when I try explaining it to people, I keep getting this reaction:

"...so the teabags are staying damp for an hour before the tea gets made."
*blank stare* "That... makes a difference?"

YES. YES IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

I realise that my extensive experience in plungers, teapots, infusers, and so forth have given me a unique perspective on this - but I find it RATHER SAD that intelligent people have grown to adulthood without ever finding out that the way you make the tea affects the way the tea tastes.

There should be compulsory classes.



(Americans: just TRY defending the whole cold-water-and-teabag-in-the-microwave thing. Just try it.)
deird1: the Master sneaking up on Buffy, with text "ceci n'est pas une victime" (this is not a victim) (Buffy (french victim))
Quietly panicking...

- I've agreed to be a Sunday School teacher, owing to my crazy delusions of being good at stuff.

- I'm trying to decide what on earth I'm going to remix and how on earth I can possibly do it.

- Somewhere in there I'm also supposed to be writing a Dawn/Andrew mpreg which has been stalled for weeks.

- My tea supply is getting low.

- I've decided to try doing a workshop for high-school students on writing lab reports - because I am a CRAZY PERSON.

- People keep shoving badly written documents at me and asking me to edit them, and I KEEP SAYING YES. Why can't I be content with doing one thing at a time?
deird1: a fictional creature called an Alot, being hugged by someone, with text "I care about this alot" (Alot)
I’ve become increasingly familiar with the different styles of editing that you need for different occasions – depending on why the writer in question needs an editor.

For instance:

The most important thing think about when you making a cup of the tea is flavour and strength. Flavour of tea, such as Earl Grey or English Breakfast, should chosen to suit the occasions.

Diagnosis: You’re a reasonable writer, but it’s possible that English is not your first language. You need a picky editor with a book on grammar close at hand.


You need to think about milk. It should go in before the hot water does.
Some people use plastic cups, or polystyrene, but it’s better to use a mug.
Once you’ve made a cuppa, settle down in your favourite chair with a book and a muffin.
If you put the milk in afterwards, it’s easier to see how milkier it will get.
Use tea leaves instead of teabags.
Putting milk in first will stop it from scalding.

Diagnosis: You write things down in the order they occur to you, rather than a logical reading order. You need a creative editor with a handy pair of scissors.


Tee is a grate drink for settling thee nervous. Originally form china, its spread awl over the world and is know drunk buy millions of people everyday.

Diagnosis: You are relying far too much on spellcheck. You need an editor with a large vocabulary and vast realms of patience.


When given the opportunity to commence making a cup of tea, it is important to consider several different requirements, addressing each in turn to ensure a decision-making process that encompasses all of these, putting equal emphasis onto every point that requires it. The first is to address whether to decide to make use of teabags, or to decide to invest in a range of potential options of various tea leaf varieties.

Diagnosis: You have spent too much time writing for the government. You need to be hit over the head with a large mallet.
deird1: Sokka looking upset, with text "you're making me tearbend" (Sokka tearbend)
So, the question is, having bought a new kind of tea that I despise, do I:

1) Throw it out, and laugh off the expense?
2) Stoically drink my way through the whole disgusting lot of it, and let it be a lesson to me?
3) Keep it hidden in a drawer in the hopes of one day finding someone who wants to take it off my hands?


It's black tea with extra caramel - and turns out to taste just like a weird form of coffee. Given that I drink tea to avoid all things coffee...
deird1: Dawn, with text "troublemaker" (Dawn troublemaker)
Went to the Grand Shop Of Tea Snobbery (not its real name) today to buy tea for my sister.


I usually love going there - a whole shop devoted to cool tea supplies! what's not to love? - but in this case, I was on a mission for... stuff I wouldn't usually buy. Stuff that would be better bought at a shop that wasn't so snobby about tea.

Because the simple fact of the matter is, when you go up to the counter carrying the stuff I was carrying, the shop assistants look at you with dubious disbelief and ask in an undertone "...you realise those are teabags, right?"


Woe unto me, for I have purchased teabags. I have fallen from the heights of the true looseleaf drinker, to a lowly purchaser of these plebby little containers. I must truly be ashamed.






Oddly, Firefox wants to correct my spelling of "realise", but is fine with "plebby"...

deird1: Dawn raising an eyebrow, with text "srsly?" (Dawn srsly)
I am not a tea addict.


I do, however, have certain opinions. And supplies.

Disregarding my kitchen at home, which is an entirely separate issue, let's ponder my work tea for a moment.

A year ago I started bringing my own tea in, instead of putting up with the disgusting work tea bags. At the time, my supplies consisted of:
1) a mug
2) tea bags provided by work and not kept at my desk

I now have a drawer containing:
1) a mug
2) a canister of looseleaf New Zealand breakfast tea, with bits of kiwi fruit
3) a canister of looseleaf tropical black tea, with bits of berries
4) a canister of looseleaf chai tea
5) a scoopy thing
6) a mug-sized strainer, to put the tea in
7) a plunger-tea container, for when I'm sick of the strainer
8) my own personal supply of honey, because sugar just isn't good enough

...yes, I'm a little obsessed. When I start bringing in my own porcelain teacups, you might think about staging an intervention.



Sidenote: I was looking for the entry linked above, and discovered just how many times I've talked about tea on this blog. Notable excerpts include:
tea thoughts through the ages )

TEA

Nov. 26th, 2010 08:54 am
deird1: the gaang hugging (Gaang hug)
Tea might just be the greatest thing mankind has ever invented.

I mean, really, it's hard enough making the inital cooking leap of "these leaves are kinda boring; let's soak them in water for a while to make them tasty", but then throwing out the leaves and drinking the cooking water? What on earth?

But it works. It works so well. And whoever invented this magnificent drink, you have my heartfelt thanks - because I benefit from your wisdom every single day.


(Right now, I am halfway through a cup of chai tea with milk and honey. It is GLORIOUS.)


Hmm. I clearly need an Uncle Iroh icon.
deird1: Sikozu looking interested (Sikozu)
I'm experimenting with tea.


I ran out, last week. So I dutifully headed down to the tea shop to stock up.

Usually, I'll buy one black tea I've had before (and know I like) and one that I've never tried. This time, I decided to be different, and buy a non-black tea I've never tried: Roses.

Yep. Roses. It smelled like pot-pourri; it tastes like... well, kind of like what you'd expect mushy petals in hot water to taste like. (Not good, in fact.)


I could always throw out my drinkable pot-pourri and return to familiar old black tea... but instead, I decided to experiment.

I am now drinking black tea (flavoured with a slight hint of vanilla) combined with a lot of roses. And with milk in it.


It's actually pretty nice...

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