I know. I don’t really know where to start with this one but when I heard about an “innovation” in the making of tea on the Food Programme on Radio 4 last week my ears pricked up.
As you know, I am a huge lover of tea. Our Sage Appliances tea maker is one of my most treasured possessions. This time a year ago I was breaking my ankle falling down concrete steps in Greece in the pursuit of a cuppa. We have a whole cupboard devoted to different types of tea: white, green, black, flavoured, you name it we have it.
And now we have a can called “No More Tea Bags” that claims to dispense 20 cups of tea from one canister.
Which leads me to ask “why”?
I am really sorry, but just why? When did tea bags become the devil? When did those little bags that are bio degradable or compostable become so heinous that their replacement with a metal can was deemed more efficient?
What could be more natural than loose leaf tea dropped into a tea pot and boiling water poured over it?
When it is empty what happens to this can?
I just can’t get my head around making tea by squirting a brown liquid into a mug. There is a certain ritual to making tea, isn’t there? And even if we are not talking full blown Japanese tea ceremony I do still enjoy “making the tea”. Measuring out the loose tea into the tea maker, watching the basket rise and sit as the tea brews before lifting itself out. Or indeed just dropping three tea bags into the pot, along with “one for the pot” before putting a tea cosy over the top for five minutes. It all adds to the art of making tea and, I am sure, to the flavour of the resulting cuppa.
With this can you simply “squirt” the liquid into a mug and then pour boiling water on top of it. So granted there is no mess to clear up, which means on a camping holiday maybe it wins, but then the downside is that it is heavier than twenty teabags (which, let’s face it, weigh nothing).
And more expensive. This works out to about 25p a cup. Great if it is an alternative to buying a cup of a tea from one of the great tax avoiding coffee shops on the high street, but not so great when you work from home like I do, drink a lot of tea, and buy it in sacks of 1500 bags from the cash and carry for about a tenner. Or loose by the kilo from gorgeous tea shops that have shelf after shelf of loose teas to tempt you.
I have to admit it does taste good. Not the best cup of tea I have ever had, not by a long way, but it is passable.
If you ignore the fact it resembles cappuccino because of the froth it creates when the boiling water is poured on it.
So guys, 10 out of 10 for effort but seriously, if a tea bag aint broke, don’t fix it.