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Archive for the ‘tea’ Category

Hot beer? Not hot any more

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‘Then,’ said Mr Codlin, [waiting to get food, informed that it would take some time] ‘fetch me a pint of warm ale, and don’t let nobody bring into the room even so much as a biscuit till the time arrives.’

Nodding his approval of this decisive and manly course of procedure, the landlord retired to draw the beer, and presently returning with it, applied himself to warm the same in a small tin vessel shaped funnel-wise, for the convenience of sticking it far down in the fire and getting at the bright places. This was soon done, and he handed it over to Mr Codlin with that creamy froth upon the surface which is one of the happy circumstances attendant on mulled malt.

From Charles Dickens:  The Old Curiosity Shop, chapter 18.

I have read a lot of English classics which describe this and that from daily life in the 18-19th centuries. Many kinds of more or less forgotten food and beverage are thus remembered by me.

Still the above scene struck me unusually when I read it the other day. Actually there was a habit of heating the ale on request, not just serving it luke-warm as it still sometimes is done? I have not noticed such an instance before, not in Dickens, Scott, Austen, Gaskell or others of their kind. Compare with mulled wine which was and is still well known!

Most people like a hot drink when feeling cold, wet and tired. Before the industrial age wine, tea and coffee were expensive, I believe, so what could people of lesser means get, if they were not content with just hot water? In the countryside they might collect local herbs to make a tea substitute, but in town? Beer.

Some more practical information here, to complete what is told by Dickens, who is always eager about visual details.



Written by svensays

June 30, 2013 at 15:10

Posted in beer, coffee, Dickens, tea

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Iter Japonicum

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I was out of green tea, so I went to JFK for a supply.


Then I visited Kungsträdgården (Royal Garden, old name, it is municipal since long) to inspect cherry buds.
Our Sakura Day is in a week. We keep hope!


Written by svensays

April 13, 2013 at 16:36

Posted in Japan, spring, Stockholm, tea

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“Little Miss Sophe”

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That name could be from Dickens, but it is the blog name of Sofia from Sweden, who is now a university student in London. She is a skilled photographer, and I also like what she writes in her blog. I only wish she could blog in her own English beside the Swedish. Google Translator is OK if you stick to normal Swedish, but if you use irregular phrases the result in English may be odd. Enjoy her pics anyway!

Written by svensays

October 13, 2010 at 10:28

Posted in London, style, tea

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This is where I buy curry powder

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Taj Mahal

and the ingredients of garam masala, as well as many other useful things!

Written by svensays

July 25, 2009 at 15:05

Posted in India, meals, Stockholm, tea

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It is winter in Sweden now. Snowy, windy. I will not be surprised if the temperature switches to plus in a few days, but right now it feels really cold. This calls for more hot drinks! Tea or coffee? I like them both.

At work I have more coffee than tea, and at home more tea than coffee. Why is it so? Because in our country coffee is the social thing. The “coffee break” is a firm institution at workplaces. Of course you are not obliged to drink coffee, but it is called coffee break all the same. Those who prefer tea at such occasions are an almost invisible minority. Also after lunch there is the kaffe på maten, “coffee on top of the food”. All lunch restaurants offer both coffee and tea, but coffee is the common choice.

At home I always have a stock of 1) black tea, excellent with the breakfast, 2) green tea, mild and soothing in the afternoon when I tend to feel tired, and 3) red tea, that is rooibos (which is not a tea in the narrow sense, but you use it as if it were!), the proper choice for a calm evening. I consume some coffee at home too, but very little, simply because it would be too much coffee for me, considering the habits at work.

Written by svensays

November 23, 2008 at 18:15

Posted in coffee, meals, Stockholm, tea

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Hot water kettle with adjustable temperature

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Do not ruin your tea or coffee with boiling water. The water should be just slightly bubbling. And for green tea, something between 70 and 80 centigrade. This is what I use, and I really recommend it:

Written by svensays

September 16, 2008 at 07:53

Posted in coffee, meals, tea

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