Thats a new drink

Thats a new drink

I heard someone during the week ask for a “large skimmed, extra wet, extra hot latte”.  What the hell is that I asked the barista once the lady had been served and she told me “I gave her a hot latte” I did chuckle but it got me thinking about what it was that the customer was really looking for.

Breaking down the drink, firstly the milk element – All mammals produce milk as a means of nutrition for the young. Around 87% of milk is water, then it’s made up of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.   Milk for our daily coffees generally comes from cows, although these days a wide choice is available depending on requirement and health –  it doesn’t even have to be milk as we know it as alternatives are available. The customer requested Skimmed milk, this is done by separating the fat content out by spinning in what’s called a centrifugal separator. The remaining liquid contains an average of only 0.1% fat content once it’s spun through this process. Compare this to whole or full fat milk which contains 3.5% fats.

Second part of the lady’s drink choice – Extra Wet? Ever wondered what this is all about? Wet & Dry are terms describing how much foam is present in the drink and as far as I’m aware only relevant to cappuccinos and introduced by the Americans.

“Wet” has more milk and less foam than a “dry” beverage that will contain pretty much all foam. Extra Wet I am struggling with so assuming she wanted a large cup of hot semi skimmed milk!!

Finally, she wanted it extra hot. I can only guess she had a long drive ahead of her and wanted to give the drink to someone else when she arrived!! Burnt milk smells bad and tastes bad. To get the best from the espresso the milk really should be at 70 degrees Celsius allowing the proteins and sweetness to enhance the espresso and allow good foam to form for a great end result.

The take-away cup was full to over flowing, the lady then added a couple of sugar to it, which I found ironic, gave the steaming liquid a stir, put a lid on it, grabbed a sleeve to ensure she did not blister her hand and off she went!! Most bizarre!

It’s all subjective & the customer is always right apparently.  I can understand why the barista gave her a latte.  Did the customer know what she wanted or was it the barista knowing the customers’ needs better?

Whether its Almond, Coconut, Rice, Semi, Full fat, Skimmed, cow, goat or any other mammal, without milk the world would be without a large skimmed, extra wet, extra hot latte’s and without quirky customers keeping the industry alive.

I ordered a cup of tea!

Pub Quiz

Pub Quiz

So much information about tea out on the web and whilst brushing up on a bit of knowledge I became distracted on some of the fun, pub quiz, pop master type information. You never know when you will need to shout out loud that you know the year Iced Tea was invited or the origin of the little tea pot song a few of my favourites nuggets of information

Tea Bags invented over 100 years ago (1908) by an American Thomas Sullivan.  He would place loose leaf teas in a silk bag to give to potential customers as samples. Instead of these bags being opened and used directly in tea pots the customers, accidently, would simply put the bag in the pot or cup and add the hot water. Tea has moved on a lot since then but happy say Novus tea continues to use silk for its pyramid teas.

Tasseography is the correct names for reading tea leaves. Not a common word so when those fortune tellers approach offering you your future destiny for a few pennies you can impress them with knowledge.

High Tea was introduced by Queen Victoria when the evening meal was followed by taking tea at a physically high table

Earl Grey was in fact the British Diplomat to China during the 19th Century who apparently never set foot in the country.  Various tales and legends of heroic deeds, water hardness and gifts being presented for saving peasants lives are around, so I’m not entirely sure!! The scented oil Bergamot was apparently initially added to imitate some of the more expenses Chinese teas before importing.

Lemon curdles milk so you should never have these both in the cup. Plus, I presume tastes awful.

1877 – An Ice tea recipe was published in a House Keeping magazine.

Formal Tea Service included a “slop” bowl. This was used to discard water used to warm the pot. As we know warming the pot, using freshly boiled water, clean equipment and crockery is recommended for a perfect cuppa

The song “I’m a Little Teapot, Short and Stout” was written in 1939 by Clarence Kelley and George Harry Sanders. It was created to assist teaching children overcome a challenging tap dance routine as the rhythm gave the correct beats to move to.

It was only in 1717 that women could drink tea in coffee houses in England. These cafes were all men only and it was only when Twining’s opened the Golden Lion that welcomed women. Twining’s has the oldest original commercial logo in the UK.

The average person in the UK drinks 16 cups per week. 11 at home and 5 at work

As long as you maintain your leaf tea in ambient, air tight and dark it can last for up to 2 years. Naturally it will deteriorate over time, but as a rule the larger and tighter leaf ie Oolongs & Pearls, the longer they will last. Green and White teas tend to lose flavour quickest due to the natural oils within them, and black tea due to the process are the longest. Tea bags 6 – 12 months.

I’m parched, the sun is shining and fancy a nice refreshing Egyptian Mint to get back to the day job.