Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.

We’ve been drinking the same ol’ Folgers Columbian coffee for 4 years now, and for some reason I was sparked by a little trip down memory lane to buy my own Flavia machine, the “personal” model.

Flavia uses these dinky little pouches with a little valve at the top. It superheats some water, injects it into the little pouch bringing out the flavor (and caffeine) of the drink and causing the bottom of the pouch to open. Then it flushes more water through the pouch to fill the cup.

It produces fantastic aromas and the drinks are superb. Its a little on the stingy side – a dial on the machine goes from a strong 8oz drink to a weak 12oz drink. But there’s a fairly wide variety too.

At a cost of about 45c per pouch it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s been a little moment of excitement for atleast three of us today (Killer, Animal, myself; not sure if anyone else was as pleased with this little novelty).

It was fun discovering that if you get a beverage machine to brew you a personal cup of hot drink and you take a sip out of it without waiting, the drink invariably tastes of burned-tounge. The first round of drinks were a little bit of a dissapointment – they all tasted watery. Then we worked out that you need to give the drink a minute to do the brownian motion thing (or a good, vigorous stir) and the drinks are really very pleasant.

Makes a very nice cup of Earl Grey – it actually tastes of bergamot rather than bergamot flavor.


I have been looking for a personal machine. This sounds interesting.

Their instructions recommend cleaning the machine and filter thoroughly before using it, Killer got impatient tho, and the first round of drinks left a few of us feeling a bit woozy.

The hot chocolate still rocks tho.

Reading Bartle on Bergamot…no accounting for taste. Jacksons of Picadilly pwns Twinings Earl Grey, which tastes and smells like insect spray. Ugh. But the best tea ever is a nice cup of Taylors of Harrogate Scottish Breakfast; the only tea that will give you a caffeine hit like coffee. Doubtless those Scots know how to grow hair on their chests.

Did you find a nice Arabica? :)

I actually work for a small Norwegian firm who makes their websites, working on a calling center that integrates with the web right now.

Thanks for the help on the coords btw. :p

Laccy – they actually don’t have arabica in their list, can you believe that?? They do have Sumatra, but not arabica. Heinous!

ha! Cretins.

Coffee is meant to be drunk from the Starbucks Barista Home Coffee Maker, from grounds you keep in your freezer.

Komodo Dragon bean coffee from the land of Java = Indonesia, including Sumatra.

The arabica bean is grocery store, military shiny burning scalding coffee that gives you the shakes and the runs (I drank quite a bit on night shift in the Air Force).

Pay the $100 for the Barista, and save yourself $3.00 for every cup of Starbucks coffee you have at home, and not at Starbucks.

Stop being a member of the rebel alliance. Come back to the Empire.

P.S. Earl Grey tastes and smells like my grandmother’s perfume *shudders*.

We got a rail of Choco today, brought in some bottled drinking water (Bedford water is foul) and half-and-half. Now we have beverages that don’t make 8 hours seem like an awfully long punishment for whatever it was you did.

Ummm – people seem very jumpy or hyper around the office today. Methinks that maybe there is some caffeine in these flavia packs.

the only tea that will give you a caffeine hit like coffee.

Errr… it’s been a while since chem, but I recall tea has more caffeine per mL than coffee, at least as long as it’s brewed strongly.

Actually, I’m wrong. I just looked it up and coffee is indeed twice the amount (per 7oz serving, 115-175mg, tea has only 60mg).

Of course, after I hit submit, I remember why I thought that.

When we precipitated caffeine, we used tea – but tea that we had steeped until it was practically tar. When prepared in a way to make it undrinkable, it’s got more mg than coffee does – it’s just that extracting all of it from the leaves is a bitch. :)

If Earl Grey tastes like your grandmother’s perfume, then you’re drinking “Bergamot Flavored” Earl Grey. The real deal, made with oil of bergamot, is just different ;)

Incidentally, Flavia don’t seem to sell Darjeeling anymore either :(

I’ve always been fond of lapsang souchong, personally. The flavor really picks me up.

Green / Jasmine tea FTE; proper Chinese / Japanese branded stuff from the chinese shops, not the poxy “posh branded” teabags from the supermarket. All else pales into insignificance.

For readily available black tea, I like Punjana:


I’ve never gone for flavoured teas, especially Earl Grey – my parents drink it and I just can’t get into the flavour.

I had a couple of failed attempts at Lapsang and never really felt inclined to try it again ;) Personally I like a nicely made pot of Ceylon or Assam – can’t quite remember which. Friend of mine, James Grinter, introduced me to it once, made properly in a pot with leaf tea, pretty nice beverage :)

The odd thing is, particularly with my mother being German, my parents were real coffee drinkers, but I generally find coffee to be dull; its not that I can’t see distinctiveness between coffees, but its in a spectrum that just doesn’t do anything for me.

Of the various Flavia rails I bought, the Italian roast has gone most rapidly, followed by Columbian, Kenyan and Sidamo Gold. The English Breakfast Tea has been dissapearing at a rate of knotts – probably the first time that any of the guys here have really gotten a taste of what Brits aspire to when they talk about tea. (Animal took a sip and said “Sh*t, *this* is what you wankers were talking about all this time? Ok, that’s a whole different ball game than the crap you get from teabags”)

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