Vulture Central's pursuit of the ultimate cuppa is set to enter the final straight as we prepare to decide once and for all what constitutes the pinnacle of cha perfection.
Followers of our resolutely no-IT-angle-whatsoever path to tea heaven will be aware that we've already established a brewing methodology, based on input from our beloved commentards.
The debate on just how to knock up a cuppa proved lively, but we were able to arrive at a consensus which, we stress, is not a reflection of how you might necessarily personally quench your your thirst for tea, but is instead designed to set the uninitiated on the path of righteousness.
So, those of you who prefer an exotic loose-leaf blend rolled on the thighs of Assamese virgins and infused in a hand-crafted Peruvian clay pot will have to stick a sock in it as we throw a teabag in a mug and stick in the boiling water thus:
- Tea format: Teabag
- Mug or cup: Mug
- Pre-warm mug/pot: Yes
- Brewing time: 3-4 minutes
- Milk: Yes
- Milk type: Semi-skimmed
- Milk in mug before or after tea: After
- Sugar: No
With the parameters set, we now need to choose a selection of widely available off-the-shelf teabags for the final cha deathmatch. Readers are cordially invited to stick the kettle on and share their personal preferences, from which we'll draw up a shortlist.
One brand already on said list is Yorkshire Gold, since the teameister's PR outfit kindly sent us a box of bags, evidently keen to pitch for the ultimate cuppa crown.
Rest assured, such generosity won't sway the judging panel, since its members will be testing the rival brews in a blind test. The elite team who'll be doing the swilling is the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) squad, who'll assemble in Spain in September for a quick rocket-powered spaceplane mission.
Accordingly, we thought we'd take the opportunity to put the palates of these tea-drinking professionals to good use in the name of science.
Now we just need the contenders, so it's over to you ... ®