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View Full Version : Why isn't tea as popular in the US as it is in the UK?



Jakenorrish
2007-Jan-18, 09:51 AM
It seems to me the British obsession with tea hasn't caught on at the same level in the States. I drink about four cups a day, anybody in the US drink tea?

Gillianren
2007-Jan-18, 10:29 AM
No. But I don't drink coffee, either.

I have friends who drink tea. In fact, I may have more friends who drink tea than I do friends who drink coffee. However, I do have an unusual circle of friends.

Ivan Viehoff
2007-Jan-18, 10:59 AM
Didn't they throw the tea into Boston Harbour because they didn't like the Brits charging them taxes on it? That was in 1773. Tea-drinking was reduced in the USA as a sign of solidarity, and the US coffee habit established instead.

Tea-drinking was important in Britain at that time because water supplies were frequently poisonously non-potable, especially in cities. No doubt it was important in the USA for similar reasons. Tea (and coffee) was safe to drink, and avoided the side-effects of the common alternative, beer. Tea, though, remained very expensive at that time because it all came from China, mostly carried out of remote Yunnan by human porterage. The Chinese were careful to avoid seed or other propogational material getting out. In the end, the British identified tea growing wild in Assam, as well as managing to steal some Chinese seed. By around about the 1870s this allowed large-scale low-cost tea cultivation in India, soon expanding to Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, etc. This established the modern British/Irish/South Asian taste for dark Assam-style teas.

Van Rijn
2007-Jan-18, 11:48 AM
It seems to me the British obsession with tea hasn't caught on at the same level in the States. I drink about four cups a day, anybody in the US drink tea?

Definitely. Tea drinking is quite common, but it certainly isn't as culturally established in the U.S. These days, if you walk into a decent grocery store, while there will still be a bit more coffee selection in the coffee and tea section, there are a good number of varieties of black tea, as well as green tea and herbal teas.

As for me, I have a mug with about a two cup capacity. In the winter, I usually drink about two mugs of tea per day. In the summer, I'll have a mug in the morning, and plenty of iced tea later. I used to drink more coffee, but common brands seem to have become increasingly bitter in recent years (apparently this is due to the increased use of Robusta beans).

Argos
2007-Jan-18, 12:28 PM
You didn´t ask for the opinion of second class people like me, but, I think you might like to know that tea is very common all over the American continent. In Brazil, Argentina, Chile, it is appreciated as much as coffee. In the former capital of the Brazilian "empire" [Brazil used to be a monarchy], Rio, where the bulk of the aristocracy lived, there´s even a five o´clock tea.

gwiz
2007-Jan-18, 12:48 PM
My experience is that what you get in the USA when you ask for tea is nothing like the real thing, being little more than hot water and milk. Americans don't drink tea because they don't know what tea tastes like.

Tinaa
2007-Jan-18, 12:51 PM
In the South, one drinks iced tea. Nothing beats a big glass of iced tea in the summer or winter.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Jan-18, 12:55 PM
Oh yeah, it's ARRRRGH!

Not grrrrr.

Bears growl, Americans say ARRRRGH!

Brits probably say AOURRRRGH!

Delvo
2007-Jan-18, 01:16 PM
In the Southeast of the USA, cold sweet tea is the standard, default drink they'll assume you're having if you don't specify something else. For example, when I worked in a Southeastern state's forestry agency, when we were at a wildfire late and would order meals to bring out there, they'd come with a big central container of tea or each meal would come with a tall styrofoam cup of tea. And at a "fish fry" (the Southeastern social gathering equivalent to what would be a "barbecue" elsewhere, with a different menu), it was automatic that there'd be lots of iced sweet tea there for everyone, but you'd have to check around ahead of time to find out whether you should also bring something else for someone.

Other than that, I'd guess the reason tea's not popular in the rest of the country is that it's such foul, nasty stuff. :p

Jakenorrish
2007-Jan-18, 02:03 PM
Take no notice of what Advenger says he's obviously a bit ignorant about more than just meal names.

Sorry Argos, didn't mean to exclude your neck of the woods from the question! I'm off for a cup of tea now. I take it white with no sugar. How does everyone else take their tea / coffee?

ToSeek
2007-Jan-18, 02:05 PM
ADVENGER's offensive posts (and responses) removed. ADVENGER banned for a week.

Doodler
2007-Jan-18, 02:05 PM
Says who tea isn't popular? I do hot tea at the office all the time. I can't stand coffee, so its the only alternative for hot drinks.

Neverfly
2007-Jan-18, 02:06 PM
Dr Pepper

NEOWatcher
2007-Jan-18, 02:10 PM
It seems to me the British obsession with tea hasn't caught on at the same level in the States. I drink about four cups a day, anybody in the US drink tea?
I wonder if it is even an "American" thing. Sure, the Boston situation had exasperated the situation, but there are also many cultural differences here.
Both my parents were not born here (Eastern Europe)... they and all my other relatives were coffee drinkers. What portion of the U.S. population would have had the Tea preference handed down since the 1800s anyway?

Celestial Mechanic
2007-Jan-18, 04:09 PM
I wonder if it is even an "American" thing. Sure, the Boston situation had exasperated the situation, but there are also many cultural differences here.
Both my parents were not born here (Eastern Europe)... they and all my other relatives were coffee drinkers. What portion of the U.S. population would have had the Tea preference handed down since the 1800s anyway?
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Speaking for the roughly one quarter of the U.S. population with German ancestry, most of whom arrived after about 1840, I'd say it is because coffee (and coffeehouses) were more popular in Germany than tea. Preference for coffee or tea probably has a large cultural component.

tlbs101
2007-Jan-18, 04:57 PM
My experience is that what you get in the USA when you ask for tea is nothing like the real thing, being little more than hot water and milk. Americans don't drink tea because they don't know what tea tastes like.
I've had proper British-style (strong, sugar, milk/creamer) tea on several occasions and I like it. It's more of a cultural thing that it's not part of my daily routine.

My drink of choice when at a restaurant is iced-tea (what you consider watered-down stuff) and I like it strong. In the morning I have my daily cup of coffee. When I can afford it (daily) I drink espresso-based drinks.

Just wait until there is a Starbucks on "every" corner of every city in Great Britain! You won't be drinking their espressos, Starbucks will be forced to brew British-style tea. LOL!

I have a question. Is afternoon tea more of an English tradition, or do the Scots, Welsh, and Irish consider it their tradition, as well?

Pleiades
2007-Jan-18, 05:02 PM
It seems to me the British obsession with tea hasn't caught on at the same level in the States. I drink about four cups a day, anybody in the US drink tea?

As stated in other posts, in some cases the tea is lousy here in the US. In some areas of the country, a better selection and preparation of tea is available. Due to the large asian population here in the SF bayarea we have a wonderful selection of tea. Recently we have had a increase of tea houses in the area, just about any type of tea is availabe. :D

I'm partial to green and black teas, some herbals are ok. Like Van Rijn my consumption of tea rises during the winter months.

Argos
2007-Jan-18, 06:02 PM
Sorry Argos, didn't mean to exclude your neck of the woods from the question!

Alright, mate(*), I never thought you did! :)


I'm off for a cup of tea now. I take it white with no sugar. How does everyone else take their tea / coffee?

Black for me, with a little bit of sugar. Many friends like it with milk.

(*) Btw, Mate (pronounced 'mah-teh') is an infusion of Yearba Mate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerba_mate), much appreciated in South America and much resembling of some tea varieties.

NEOWatcher
2007-Jan-18, 06:06 PM
Alright, mate(*)

How about taking in some more caffiene. This is the second double post I've seen you make today. :lol:

Doodler
2007-Jan-18, 06:06 PM
My experience is that what you get in the USA when you ask for tea is nothing like the real thing, being little more than hot water and milk. Americans don't drink tea because they don't know what tea tastes like.

Heh, that's a wee it of a generalization... A friend of mine in high school brewed his tea the way his family liked it. About 12 bags per gallon.

I dunno about you guys across the Pond, but tea you can still taste 48 hours later qualifies as strong to me...

Argos
2007-Jan-18, 06:09 PM
How about taking in some more caffiene. This is the second double post I've seen you make today. :lol:

I´ll do that! :)

Problems with my connection... I´m removing the duplicate.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Jan-18, 06:18 PM
I like it strong, with a healthy dose of lemon and a bit of sugar, and hot enough so that when 1st served you can just barely sip it.

No milk, and none of those weak herbal concoctions.

gwiz
2007-Jan-18, 06:22 PM
Heh, that's a wee it of a generalization...
Well, I only tried asking a few times, but as I never got a good cuppa, I gave up and started asking for coffee instead. The low point was a place where they gave me the cup of water, warm only, and the tea bag separately.

jseefcoot
2007-Jan-18, 06:30 PM
I drink tea more than any other drink, including soda, coffee, water, etc.

I live in the south, but wasn't born & raised here. Iced tea might as well be a staple product. I don't know anyone who doesn't at least keep some on hand all the time. But I've always liked my tea VERY strong, 10-15 bags per gallon, steeped until they all sink to the bottom. Sometimes fifteen minutes. But unlike most of my friends, I 'under-sweeten' it. Most people I know put 2 cups of sugar or more per gallon. At most, I'll put in a cup. Maybe an extra third of a cup, but that's it. And no one I've ever met in my entire life has ever put milk in their tea!! This is a completely new concept, one I'll have to try next time I make some hot tea.

It's not uncommon around here for a household to go through several gallons a week, even in the winter. I buy it in bulk, myself, and I live alone.

As an interesting aside: apparently, my cats love tea. When I brew up a batch, they sit around mewing for the teabag envelopes. I ball them up, and they behave just as if I'd given them a catnip toy. Like, I mean they're tweakin' like crackheads or something. Is there any relation between catnip and good ol' tea?

Doodler
2007-Jan-18, 06:56 PM
Well, I only tried asking a few times, but as I never got a good cuppa, I gave up and started asking for coffee instead. The low point was a place where they gave me the cup of water, warm only, and the tea bag separately.

Yeah, I've had that before. We haven't gotten anything beyond the standard tea bags in a while, but I used to love two bags of Earl Gray, hot hot water and a teaspoon of sugar.

Unfortunately, curse Starbucks, if you want a good cup of tea over here, you typically need to do it yourself...

yuzuha
2007-Jan-18, 07:03 PM
Don't care much for sugar or milk in tea. Mostly like green or white tea, especially maccha http://www.ujicha.com/shouhokuen%20pages/english/e-matigai2-3.html But, I drink a lot more weak black coffee (simply because it tastes better than the water).

Doodler
2007-Jan-18, 07:06 PM
I can't figure it out, but green tea puts me right to sleep... Most people swear its like a stimulant, but its been anything but for me. :think:

Van Rijn
2007-Jan-18, 07:10 PM
I'm off for a cup of tea now. I take it white with no sugar. How does everyone else take their tea / coffee?

Tea: Sugar, no cream. Sometimes a bit of lemon in iced tea. Coffee: Cream and sugar. And I definitely taste the tea.

Fazor
2007-Jan-18, 07:12 PM
Why hasn't anyone mentioned the obvious; tea isn't as popular in the US because of our short supply of crumpets. And, unless television has lied to me, Britts always drink tea with crumpets. It's like, the law over there or something.

...I mean, American television stereotypes don't lie, right?

NEOWatcher
2007-Jan-18, 07:14 PM
Why hasn't anyone mentioned the obvious; tea isn't as popular in the US because of our short supply of crumpets. And, unless television has lied to me, Britts always drink tea with crumpets. It's like, the law over there or something.

...I mean, American television stereotypes don't lie, right?
Same thing in the U.S. as long as you substitute an Egg Roll for the Crumpet. :lol:

ciderman
2007-Jan-18, 07:24 PM
Whaaat!
I thought you guys ate doughnuts at each beverage break.;)
I'm a coffee drinker myself, milk & single sugar, same as tea if thats all that's going.

Fazor
2007-Jan-18, 07:51 PM
Whaaat!
I thought you guys ate doughnuts at each beverage break.;)
I'm a coffee drinker myself, milk & single sugar, same as tea if thats all that's going.

Doughnuts, Pizza, and Beer. That's pretty much our "afternoon tea" ...boy do I wish anyway. lol.

As for coffee, in the past I would drink my coffee "black", no cream, no sugar, just coffee. Recently I have been making it more a habit to try some of these different flavored creamers they have out, tend to go for the "coffee mate" liquid creamer brands. I don't like powered stuff. I still enjoy plain coffee tho.

Trebuchet
2007-Jan-18, 07:54 PM
I drink coffee, black, no sugar. (Although my wife occasionally talks me into a latte, without sugar or flavorings.) My tea drinking is limited to an occasional glass of the iced variety, which I suspect is far more common in the USA than hot.

Two of my co-workers drink hot tea at work but one was born in India and the other in Taiwan.

Delvo
2007-Jan-18, 08:04 PM
Maybe the difference has something to do with Brits' habit of serving beer warm, too...

paulie jay
2007-Jan-18, 08:40 PM
For author Douglas Adams the thing about "American made" cups of tea that made his head spin was that the crucial step of adding water to the tea when it (the water) was boiling was more often than not ignored. He even went so far as to write a piece on tea making specifically for the American drinker.

paulie jay
2007-Jan-18, 08:42 PM
Maybe the difference has something to do with Brits' habit of serving beer warm, too...
Brits don't serve beer warm. It was, traditionally, served at room temperature which in the case of most British "rooms" was less than 10 degrees celsius.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Jan-18, 08:42 PM
But I've always liked my tea VERY strong, 10-15 bags per gallon, steeped until they all sink to the bottom. Sometimes fifteen minutes.

We do the sun-tea thing in the summer.

A glass gallon jug (made just for brewing tea - big spigot on the side near the bottom), with a monster teabag (probably about the equivalent of 10 to 15 little ones).

Start with cold water (I do not know why) and set in the sun all day. By sunset you have a beautifully dark gallon of very warm tea.

Add about a cup of sugar and a few glugs of Real Lemon, overnight in the fridge (or poured over ice), and voila!

Lianachan
2007-Jan-18, 09:07 PM
Tea? Eww. A peculiar southern habit. Like cricket.

;)

Gillianren
2007-Jan-19, 12:41 AM
I drink hot chocolate--the hot beverage they don't refill!

jumbo
2007-Jan-19, 01:32 AM
Just wait until there is a Starbucks on "every" corner of every city in Great Britain! You won't be drinking their espressos, Starbucks will be forced to brew British-style tea. LOL!
They pretty much are on every corner now. Never tried their tea though. I cant stand the stuff with one expection: Coca tea brewed with lovely coca leaves. Sadly i cant have that in the UK as the leaves are an illegal drug according to our government but between drinking gallons of the tea and chewing the leaves they pretty much got me through the inca trail in Peru. There was another type served on lake Titcaca that was passable too but it can remember then name of it. It looked like a tiny tiny leafy twig in a cup of hot water. Works wonders too.


I drink hot chocolate--the hot beverage they don't refill!
I love that stuff. I got a hot choclate kit for christmas to make my drinks. flavoured hot chocolate works well. Cinammon hot chocolate or turkish delight hot chocolate are favourites of mine.


Maybe the difference has something to do with Brits' habit of serving beer warm, too...
Beers each have a certain temperature they should be served at. Not all beers are supposed to be icy cold. With some doing so would ruin the flavour thats been carefully brewed. Many should be served at around 11C or so. Only beers that are meant to be served cold should be refrigerated as much as some end up being.

Pleiades
2007-Jan-19, 04:01 AM
I take it white with no sugar. How does everyone else take their tea / coffee?

Depends on the tea, green tea - unsweetened, chinese black teas - with little sugar, english and irish teas - very strong with a dollop of milk and a bit of sugar. Ice tea - unsweetened and strong.

I prefer loose leaf to bags that way I make it as strong as I like.

Jakenorrish
2007-Jan-19, 09:52 AM
I have a question. Is afternoon tea more of an English tradition, or do the Scots, Welsh, and Irish consider it their tradition, as well?

Good question. Tea is popular all over the UK, but I think the pomp and ceremony of bone china, scones or crumpets and 'afternoon tea' is more of something the likes of the Royal family and other middle / upper class people do. Your average worker slurps their strong tea from a large mug!

By the sounds of it iced tea is very popular in the States. I have tried iced tea and its quite nice, but I still prefer hot tea even on a blazing hot day. Its a bit of a family tradition to take a flask of tea when we go to the beach. You can't beat it!

Speaking of which, time to put the kettle on (again!).

sarongsong
2007-Jan-19, 11:40 AM
Real croissants and hot, dark-roast coffee at breakfast, Chuao's Abuelo hot chocolate in the afternoon; medicinal teas when warranted.
...If you order a full, English-style tea, you are first served a selection of bite-sized tea sandwiches. Common varieties include cucumber and cream cheese, chutney and cheddar, and roast beef and horseradish. The next “course” (sometimes presented with the sandwiches on a separate tier of a multi-tiered platter) consists of scones and, possibly crumpets, served warm with butter, Devonshire cream, and preserves...A plate of pastries concludes the tea service, with a glass of Champagne, port, or sherry an additional option at many tea rooms... Taking Time for Tea in San Francisco (http://www.sallys-place.com/travel/san_francisco/n_tea.htm)Well, that's more like it---sign me up!
Even google is happening:
January 7, 2007...Food is a major perk at the Manhattan Googleplex. Every Tuesday afternoon, tea with crumpets and scones is served... OCALA (http://www.ocala.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070107/BUSINESS/201070328/1009/NEWS)
And as for Starbuck's grandiose plans:
January 15, 2007
...Starbucks is to open new coffee shops in London at the rate of one a fortnight for the next decade... Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=428948&in_page_id=1770)

Van Rijn
2007-Jan-19, 11:49 AM
By the sounds of it iced tea is very popular in the States. I have tried iced tea and its quite nice, but I still prefer hot tea even on a blazing hot day. Its a bit of a family tradition to take a flask of tea when we go to the beach. You can't beat it!


Define "blazing hot day." :)

Lianachan
2007-Jan-19, 01:00 PM
Is afternoon tea more of an English tradition, or do the Scots, Welsh, and Irish consider it their tradition, as well?

Afternoon tea is certainly not a tradition in the Scottish Highlands. Tea is a popular drink here (for some reason) but there's definately no tradition of "afternoon tea" as I would think of it.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Jan-19, 01:11 PM
...If you order a full, English-style tea, you are first served a selection of bite-sized tea sandwiches. Common varieties include cucumber and cream cheese, chutney and cheddar, and roast beef and horseradish. The next “course” (sometimes presented with the sandwiches on a separate tier of a multi-tiered platter) consists of scones and, possibly crumpets, served warm with butter, Devonshire cream, and preserves...A plate of pastries concludes the tea service, with a glass of Champagne, port, or sherry an additional option at many tea rooms... Taking Time for Tea in San Francisco
Well, that's more like it---sign me up!
They forgot to mention that the actual tea is made with lukewarm water and a bag. :)

Ok, they wrote hot water and lose leaf which is still wrong, it should be boiling water, then it's ok to use a bag if it's fresh.

Ivan Viehoff
2007-Jan-19, 01:24 PM
I've had proper British-style (strong, sugar, milk/creamer) tea on several occasions and I like it. It's more of a cultural thing that it's not part of my daily routine.

My drink of choice when at a restaurant is iced-tea (what you consider watered-down stuff) and I like it strong. In the morning I have my daily cup of coffee. When I can afford it (daily) I drink espresso-based drinks.

Just wait until there is a Starbucks on "every" corner of every city in Great Britain! You won't be drinking their espressos, Starbucks will be forced to brew British-style tea. LOL!

I have a question. Is afternoon tea more of an English tradition, or do the Scots, Welsh, and Irish consider it their tradition, as well?
Oh yes, the Celtic fringe enjoy their tea too. The Irish are bigger tea-drinkers than the British, though you are more likely to get apple pie than scones with your tea there. The Welsh might will give you Welsh cakes or bara brith, and the Scots might give you girdle cakes (local pronunciation of griddle), alias drop scones alias Scottish pancakes. Though 20 years ago it used to be easier to find a pint of beer than a cup of tea at 4pm in Scotland.

Whilst I am not too fond of what is often served as tea in other countries, I must say I am very frequently disappointed with what is served as tea in Britain too. If I happened to mention that I am very fond of Kalej Valley 2nd Flush Darjeeling, 99.9% of my fellow countrymen wouldn't know what I was talking about. And I know of only two shops in the country which have ever stocked it. I am also thought eccentric for roasting my own coffee beans.

Do you have Café Nero in the US? It's much better than Starbucks. Starbucks do seem to be attempting saturation here, but I avoid it.

In Britain there is a tradition of a mid-morning snack known as "elevenses". This has been adopted in Chile as "onces", which they paradoxically eat at around 5pm. But you are more likely to get a hamburger than anything sweet, unless you find somewhere in the south offering, at elevated price, "onces alemanes" (German elevenses), which is better approximation of English afternoon tea. Even then, you are at risk of finding artificial cream in your cake. [Coffee in Chile is foul, you are commonly given a flask of tepid water and a paper sachet or ashtray-like container containing the cheapest instant coffee. Powdered milk will be on the table. But in Lebanese-run grocery stores, good quality large-leaf ceylon tea is available.]

Although coffee is grown in the foothills, tea is popular in highland Bolivia. You will be asked if you want it with cinnamon or not, but milk will not be available. (In Peru, cloves will also be available.) A plain bread roll is normally served with your tea, without butter or jam or anything. I once arrived at a roadside cafe in a remote corner of Bolivia to be told they had run out of tea. I then said that I had tea if they could provide the hot water. They then found that they did have tea - what they meant was that the highly concentrated tea made in the morning had run out. Thankfully. Coca leaves are for sale practically ubiquitously, and drunk as tea.

Jakenorrish
2007-Jan-19, 03:06 PM
Define "blazing hot day." :)

Well, in Wales, we define a blazing hot day as one when your tea doesn't freeze at some point! :D

Ivan Viehoff
2007-Jan-19, 03:42 PM
They forgot to mention that the actual tea is made with lukewarm water and a bag. :)

Ok, they wrote hot water and lose leaf which is still wrong, it should be boiling water, then it's ok to use a bag if it's fresh.

Boiling is a myth. Green tea and white tea should be made with water about 80C. And for black and oolong tea, boiling is not necessary, actually better just before boiling as you boil the free oxygen off. If you have ever drunk tea at altitude where the water boils at 80 or 90C, you will find the tea is still fine.

It is the making of tea with tepid water that is the abomination. Or using an unwarmed teapot with high heat capacity, so the water cools down too much on being poured in.

yaohua2000
2007-Jan-19, 03:59 PM
I found Western-style restaurants always provide people sugar with tea. Here in China, native Beijing people never drink tea with sugar. (not quite sure about other part of China) Personally, I dislike sugar in tea, which tastes bad. Do you always drink tea with sugar in it?

Doodler
2007-Jan-19, 04:25 PM
I found Western-style restaurants always provide people sugar with tea. Here in China, native Beijing people never drink tea with sugar. (not quite sure about other part of China) Personally, I dislike sugar in tea, which tastes bad. Do you always drink tea with sugar in it?

Typically, yes. At least something. Tea's pretty bitter without it, though I imagine that may have more to do with the kind of tea you're referring to.

EricDerKonig
2007-Jan-19, 05:41 PM
I found Western-style restaurants always provide people sugar with tea. Here in China, native Beijing people never drink tea with sugar. (not quite sure about other part of China) Personally, I dislike sugar in tea, which tastes bad. Do you always drink tea with sugar in it?

I never do. It tastes fine to me without sugar, which just makes it disgustingly sweet.


gwiz - I bet they gave you Lipton. Its made from the dregs of the tea plant, and is utterly horrible.

Fazor
2007-Jan-19, 08:53 PM
I happen to like lipton tea thank you very much! you have insulted my taste and therefore I have no choice but to challenge you to a duel! Pistols at dawn, m'boy!

J/k. I like lipton but I'm not a big tea drinker so not much else to compare it to.

Doodler
2007-Jan-19, 09:16 PM
Lipton is to Tea, what Yugo is to Car.

It gets the job done. (Yeah, I do drink Lipton, I'd drink water strained through lawn shavings if I were desperate enough).

Van Rijn
2007-Jan-19, 09:24 PM
Well, in Wales, we define a blazing hot day as one when your tea doesn't freeze at some point! :D

Here we define "blazing hot day" as one when iced tea starts boiling at some point. ;)

Seriously, water is boring, and iced tea is a good soft drink on a hot day. I can understand that you may prefer hot, however. I've had iced coffee, but never cared for it much, though I do like an occasional good cup of hot coffee.

Van Rijn
2007-Jan-19, 09:29 PM
I use Lipton loose tea when making iced tea. The flavor isn't as big a deal with iced tea anyway. For hot tea, I pick other brands that taste quite a bit better. I do use sugar to block bitterness, and I am extremely sensitive to bitter flavors.

Casus_belli
2007-Jan-19, 10:07 PM
Twinnings assam for me. Im constantly awash in tea, drinking at least a dozen mugs a day.

Funnily enough when Im off-shore I drink coffee more than tea but wont touch the stuff when on-shore.

Tried iced tea while living in Texas, never did like it. It must be an aquired taste like peanut and jelly sandwiches:eek:

Van Rijn
2007-Jan-19, 10:19 PM
Twinnings assam for me. Im constantly awash in tea, drinking at least a dozen mugs a day.


Is that a loose tea? I'm not sure where you'd get that here, but I do like Twinnings Darjeeling tea bags. There's a lot more selection in tea bags than loose tea unless you go to a (rare) specialty shop here.



Tried iced tea while living in Texas, never did like it. It must be an aquired taste like peanut and jelly sandwiches:eek:

It also does depend on how it is made. I generally avoid restaurant iced tea. By the way, I do like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Gillianren
2007-Jan-19, 11:51 PM
We have a store in downtown Olympia called "The Tea Lady." One of our local New Age bookstore-type-places also has a good supply of bulk herbs and teas.

Jeff Root
2007-Jan-20, 05:37 AM
I do use sugar to block bitterness,
For years I have been mystified as to why sugar seems to negate
the tartness (sourness) of acid foods. Now you inform me that it
can also negate bitterness! Does sugar actually alter the pH to
somewhere closer to the middle of the range? Or what?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

JohnD
2007-Jan-20, 10:17 AM
The obsession is not the British with their tea, but with the American belief in the British over fondness for the drink.

In the UK tea and coffee are drunk in almost equal quantities.

See this report on the UK branded cafe market. Of adults who drink 'hot beverages' at home or away, 60% drink tea and 44% coffee. http://www.igd.com/cir.asp?menuid=67&cirid=2042
They commenetd that people drink tea at home, but coffee away.
NB This report was about CAFES - Starbucks etc. There may be a bias.


See also this page, which summarizes a commercial market research report (This is a problem in responding to this point. All the work done is commercial, and to buy the report will cost in excess of £500 ($1000))
Quote:"The market is dominated by instant coffee (representing 41.2% of total value) and leaf tea in bags (at 37.1%)"
http://www.scottishfoodanddrink.com/view_item.aspx?item_id=49320&list_id=list1-18694&list_index=87
NB This page is from Scottish Food and Drink, so you may say what has that to do with Britain? But the report is from Key Note Market Research and refers to the UK.

There may be a small majority that prefer tea, but it wouldn't be a landslide in a general election.

John
(A tea AND coffee drinker! Bags, leaf, ground and instant. I also drink Coke, beer, lager (they are NOT the same!), water/whisky in various dilutions and wine. Does it matter as long as you enjoy it?)

Van Rijn
2007-Jan-20, 11:07 AM
For years I have been mystified as to why sugar seems to negate
the tartness (sourness) of acid foods. Now you inform me that it
can also negate bitterness! Does sugar actually alter the pH to
somewhere closer to the middle of the range? Or what?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

I'm no expert, so I can only guess, and my guess is that it affects the perception of flavor in the nervous system, it isn't a chemical change. Just sour or just bitter is more obvious than a combination of flavors, because the nervous system is receiving data on multiple flavors at the same time. Keep in mind that salt and umami flavors are also sometimes used to mask other flavors.

Lianachan
2007-Jan-20, 12:31 PM
NB This page is from Scottish Food and Drink, so you may say what has that to do with Britain?

The last time I checked, Scotland was still part of Britain. Watch this space though!

Jeff Root
2007-Jan-20, 12:46 PM
For years I have been mystified as to why sugar seems to negate
the tartness (sourness) of acid foods. Now you inform me that it
can also negate bitterness! Does sugar actually alter the pH to
somewhere closer to the middle of the range? Or what?
I'm no expert, so I can only guess, and my guess is that it affects the
perception of flavor in the nervous system, it isn't a chemical change.
Just sour or just bitter is more obvious than a combination of flavors,
because the nervous system is receiving data on multiple flavors at
the same time. Keep in mind that salt and umami flavors are also
sometimes used to mask other flavors.
I doubt that is the correct explanation, but I'm sure my guess above
was wrong. Adding sugar to something sour usually makes it taste
better, but it still tastes sour. My experience with things that taste
bitter is less extensive, but I think it is probably exactly the same.
Cocoa and tea taste awful to me without any sweetening. I guess
that at least part of that awfulness is bitterness. Maybe all of it.

Similar kind of thing with onions. I love cooked onions as much as I
hate raw onions. Cooking changes the sulfur-containing compounds
which give onions their characteristic bite into sugars.

Okay, to some extent I still have baby tastes. Goo. :razz:

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Gillianren
2007-Jan-20, 08:04 PM
I doubt that is the correct explanation, but I'm sure my guess above
was wrong.

Well-established fact of cooking, I'm afraid. It's true. There's a limit to how much it works, but yes. One flavour will distract your tongue from another.

Jeff Root
2007-Jan-21, 12:42 AM
Well-established fact of cooking, I'm afraid. It's true. There's
a limit to how much it works, but yes. One flavour will distract
your tongue from another.
A fact of cooking, I do not doubt, but a fact of biochemistry?

Will Alton Brown back you up on this?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Gillianren
2007-Jan-21, 12:46 AM
Will Alton Brown back you up on this?

Yes, as will What Einstein Told His Cook.

Sam5
2007-Jan-21, 01:07 AM
What I know about what the British (or is it English) drink is what I see in the movies. They seem to have several “tea-times” every day. They stop work for tea time. They stop crime for tea time. They stopped WW II for tea time.

Here in the US I’ve lived all over the country and I think ice tea is about the most common lunch-time drink (other than a soda) and coffee is more popular for mornings and break times.

JohnD
2007-Jan-21, 11:44 AM
Sam,
Obsession Alert!
Either in your mind or some films you've seen!
Made (as most are so made) in America!
This is how stereotypes are amplified and persist.

Cleanse your mind of this obsession!
And make yourself a nice cup of really HOT tea.

But note, that was a joke. A JOKE!
It was made by that quintessential Englishman Douglas Adams, whose quintessseniality included the self-mocking, self-depreciating quality that is typical of English humour. It was also a dig at certain nations' obsession with iced tea. Yugh!

OK, I'll stop now.
I need some coffee.

John

Jakenorrish
2007-Jan-22, 11:01 AM
Yep, for anyone wondering how to make the perfect cup of tea, 'The Salmon of Doubt' by Douglas Adams gives you all the information you'll need.

Sam5, the British don't necessarily have set times to stop work for tea, but if you offer us a cup, its 'down tools' time for sure!

weatherc
2007-Jan-22, 02:25 PM
I'll get unsweetened iced tea at most places when I go out to eat in New Jersey. Most places will give you the sugar to sweeten the tea yourself, but I never use it.

I enjoy a good southern-style brewed sweet tea. But it has to be brewed with the sugar in it. There are places here up north that try to claim they have sweet tea, but it comes out of the same machine as the soda. This is not sweet tea. This is "sweetened tea," and it's absolutely disgusting. Sweetening tea with corn syrup and having it come out of the soda fountain is a crime against humanity. Or at least it should be.

Genuine sweet tea is brewed in large batches with very large tea bags. The sugar is added while the tea is still hot, and therefore dissolves completely. You have to make the tea especially strong so that it doesn't get too watered down when you put ice in it. In restaurants in the southern U.S., particularly in Georgia (at least any restaurant you would want to eat at), sweet tea is served the same way water is in restaurants elsewhere. If you get through more than half a glass of it before it gets topped off by the server, then you know you're in a bad restaurant. You should never be able to leave a restaurant in Georgia without consuming at least a quart (litre) of sweet tea. Sweet tea is the perfect beverage to have with a good meal of fried chicken and hush puppies, or a good low country boil.

I also like a good sun tea.

On the rare instances I drink hot tea, I take it with a little milk, and a tiny bit of sugar. However, I drink coffee every day, black, no sugar. During the summer, I like a good iced coffee with cream (real cream -- I like the way it swirls slowly in the coffee when you pour it in -- it's hypnotic).

Donnie B.
2007-Jan-22, 03:36 PM
Speaking of beer temperature (which nobody has been for awhile, but oh well)...

It seems ironic to me that the darker the beer, the warmer it's served (as a general rule). Thus the pale, watery stuff they've started calling American Style beer is served ice cold, which makes it taste even less strong; whereas bitters and stouts are generally served much warmer, making their already strong flavors even more pronounced.

My only conclusion is that Joe Average American doesn't really like the taste of beer. He just wants a way to absorb a dose of alcohol with as little impact on his taste buds as possible.

Donnie B.
2007-Jan-22, 03:46 PM
To add my two cents to the original topic, I drink tea but no coffee. I don't often make hot tea at home, but I'll make a cup or two of tea at work each day.

My default 'thé de table' is Lipton with Splenda. Hey, I'm trying to drop a few pounds, all right? I use the equivalent of about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

I love Earl Grey, too, but not on a constant basis. I'll have unsweetened green tea once in a while, or Constant Comment (orange flavored) for a change of pace.

I also drink a lot of iced tea. Most times I have a carton of Nestea sugar-free in the fridge -- saves a lot of labor and doesn't taste too bad.

Never used milk or cream in tea, though I've long been aware of that strange habit. The only thing I've tried along those lines was a Thai iced tea with milk. I found it excessively sweet and, uh, creamy. I'll leave the milk and cream to those who grew up on it, but thank you for asking.

Mister Earl
2007-Jan-22, 07:11 PM
Tea isn't strong enough for me. Flavor wise it isn't bad, and I do like iced teas, but as far as a main drink goes, I looove coffee. It's think, it's dense (the way I make it!), it provides a decent caffiene boost, and there's enough varieties for it to never become dull.

Blob
2007-Jan-22, 07:18 PM
Hum,
i think it all went downhill in America when they started mixing perfectly good tea with Boston's harbour water.