Care for some beef, old chap?
May 28, 2010 2:10 AM   Subscribe

I say! Professor Elemental, pith helmeted explorer of the outer reaches of steam-punk hip-hop feels moved to write a letter - deploring the behaviour of a young fellow named Mr B.

As it happens, there is a much better quality version of "Fighting Trousers" on the Professor's page.

Mr B has occasioned comment in these circles in the past, here and here.

Professor Elemental seems a more whimsical fellow - more H G Wells than P G Wodehouse, if you will. Follow him in building a flying machine ("Penny Dreadful" at his steampunk site), celebrating tea or just performing disturbing experiments on our animal brethren!

Meanwhile, Mr B has been heard to pass some cutting remarks about Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood.

Will the Professor's challenge pass unanswered? Has chap hop parody spawned that species of lively creativity and backbiting that marks a genuine artistic movement? Will Americans ever learn to make a decent cup of tea?
posted by lucien_reeve (26 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is full of pith and vinegar.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:56 AM on May 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Mr. B is awesome... much better than this other fellow.
posted by Spacelegoman at 3:41 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Prof. Elemental seems to attract to him some unsavory fellows.
posted by ardgedee at 5:27 AM on May 28, 2010


I would that they sally in the court of Lord Whimsy to settle said dandy donnybrook.
posted by eccnineten at 5:33 AM on May 28, 2010


I think the claim that Americans cannot produce a good cup of tea is patently ridiculous. There are a few of us who are quite capable of this feat, but we do exist.
posted by Severian at 6:14 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's all about the banjolele.
posted by lowlife at 6:26 AM on May 28, 2010


I think the claim that Americans cannot produce a good cup of tea is patently ridiculous. There are a few of us who are quite capable of this feat, but we do exist.

That Americans are given to saying things like "why would it matter if I boil the water in a kettle, making it lukewarm in a microwave is just the same!" does not bolster your case. Nor the fact that most of what is sold as "tea" in America appears to be flavourless dirt.
posted by Artw at 6:34 AM on May 28, 2010


Wassup Holmes? And Ginger Baker agrees, artw.
posted by usonian at 7:00 AM on May 28, 2010


y'all got beef but there's worms in ya wellington
posted by FatherDagon at 7:23 AM on May 28, 2010


Straight Outta Surrey!!!
posted by analogue at 7:33 AM on May 28, 2010


"making it lukewarm in a microwave is just the same!"

The longest exchange of "no you can't" / "yes you can" style arguing I ever had was not with one of my nieces, it was not with my nephew and nor even was it with my sister. It was with a 65 year old American woman who was letting me stay in her house for the summer. Flush from her success in convincing me you can't make pastry using English methods with American ingredients, she tried following through on the tea making methods of the English. She won the pie taste test but I kicked ass with the tea.
posted by vbfg at 7:36 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't expect people who drink tea to have so much control over the undead!
posted by lucien_reeve at 7:45 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the claim that Americans cannot produce a good cup of tea is patently ridiculous. There are a few of us who are quite capable of this feat, but we do exist.

So tea is to America what coffee is to the UK then?
posted by acb at 8:22 AM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


While I'll grant the UK has better tea, don't get me started on their coffee or their beer. It's as if there was an electric fence around the country that dehydrated beans and disintegrated hops.
posted by dvorak_beats_qwerty at 8:35 AM on May 28, 2010


I think the claim that Americans cannot produce a good cup of tea is patently ridiculous.

I think the claim that there is a good cup of tea is patently ridiculous.

That's the real reason it all went into the harbor, y'know.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:35 AM on May 28, 2010


dvorak_beats_qwerty - I see a real ale night in our future.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on May 28, 2010


While I'll grant the UK has better tea, don't get me started on their coffee or their beer. It's as if there was an electric fence around the country that dehydrated beans and disintegrated hops.

I'll grant you coffee, but beer? Are you insane man? Clearly been having one too many lager shandies, and not enough proper booze.
posted by djgh at 11:10 AM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


He's been hanging out in Brighton with students.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on May 28, 2010


I am a US/UK dual citizen,. born in the UK, raised in the States by a British parent and an American parent. Hopefully this will render me, if not unbiased, at least equally biased in both directions.

I grew up drinking tea rather than coffee. Even now, living in the birthplace of Starbucks, I start the day with a pot of tea. I buy my tea loose, I have an electric kettle autographed by Neil Gaiman. When I went on a 2-week road trip, we brought a teapot and our real tea. I am a Tea Person.

Me and the husband honeymooned in the UK, so that he could meet my family. We stayed in quaint bed and breakfasts, one fancy hotel, and the nicer end of hostel situations, in Bath, the Cotswolds, Cambridge, and London. Inevitably, there was an electric kettle with tea makings available in the room.

Just as inevitably, it was the worst cup of tea I'd ever had in my life. The tea was patently awful; this was tea that wanted to be Lipton when it grew up and got fancy. There was milk provided, in tiny tubs -- I should say "milk," because it advertised itself as "skimmed milk with non-milk fat added." The resulting beverage was more tea-colored than tea-flavored, and needed significant amounts of sugar to make it drinkable. It was just horrid. At no time in the UK, not even at a 30-quid "high tea," did I have a cup of tea that was up to the same standard as the tea I brew for myself every morning at home.
posted by KathrynT at 11:35 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Inevitably, there was an electric kettle with tea makings available in the room.

ROOKIE MOVE!
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


At no time in the UK, not even at a 30-quid "high tea," did I have a cup of tea that was up to the same standard as the tea I brew for myself every morning at home.

That's because you have a kettle signed by Neil Gaiman - that must be a +3 Blessed Kettle, at the very least.
posted by BinaryApe at 12:29 PM on May 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Eh. Mild props.
posted by cashman at 12:38 PM on May 28, 2010


Tea making tips
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:31 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I make about 4 cups of tea an hour when writing, so I guess if I had any appliance signed by Neil Gaiman the kettle would have to be it.

(Sometimes i'll get up and make a new tea without finishing earlier tea's. All part of the weird compulsive work-avoidance routine that is trying to write something)
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on May 28, 2010


At no time in the UK, not even at a 30-quid "high tea," did I have a cup of tea that was up to the same standard as the tea I brew for myself every morning at home.

I should probably stress that that last line was a throwaway joke!

As far as UK cups of tea go, I have had some cups of extremely variable quality. Peyton and Byrne do a terrific Earl Grey and the Pump Room in Bath generally serves exceedingly nice stuff.

Then again, some of the nicest green tea I have ever tasted comes from Australia, so who can say? (I gather that the Australians also do terrific coffee).
posted by lucien_reeve at 2:22 AM on May 29, 2010


A Nice Cup of Tea - Binnie Hale
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:15 AM on May 29, 2010


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