Last week while browsing a military magazine, I found this little gem from a 1942 booklet entitled ‘Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain’.
“The British don’t know how to make a good cup of coffee. You don’t know how to make a good cup of tea. It’s an even swap.”
And 70 years later, how times haven’t changed. It is still difficult to get a good cup of tea, or even a cup of tea at all, in America. And as an ex-pat Aussie (we love our coffee), I can confirm that most of the coffee sold in cafes around the UK is repellent stuff.
Personally I love both. The main think that other nations get wrong when making a cup of tea is to pour the water first. Fail! The hot water needs to be poured over the tea bag or leaves. Of course there are loads of rules about how to make the perfect pot, but really, the only rule you need is bag first, then water, then jiggle. Easy!
Coffee is marginally more complicated depending on how you like it brewed, but the simplest thing is just to find your favourite type of grind and then use a cafetiere (or plunger, as I less elegantly call it). Avoid wretched chains like Costa, Starbucks, and Nero at all costs.
The difference between a coffee pot and a tea pot is that a tea pot is normally short and fat to allow the leaves to circulate, while a coffee pot is tall and thin to allow the grounds to sink to the bottom.
Now Tea, Coffee… I think it is time to hug and make up.