The teabag should be used sparingly: how to make the worst brew possible

MAKING a good cup of tea is a fine art, which means there are lots of ways it can go wrong. Create the worst brew possible with these tips:

Choose your teabag

Don’t splash out on high-end pyramid bags, go for Co-op’s own-brand shit. If possible, leave them in the back of your cupboard for a few years until they lose all taste. If you’re feeling brave, use Earl Grey or mint teabags instead. Only the hardcore should mess with the disgusting flavour of rooibos tea.

Get the temperature right

Gas-powered catering urns found in takeaway vans outside football grounds can produce water hot enough to leave your tongue singed and unusable for weeks. If accessing one isn’t possible, go straight for room temperature water. It’ll taste refreshing.

Grab a mug

Preferably a novelty mug with a handle so small you can barely grab it with two fingers. Make sure you haven’t washed it for a few days either. Like a wok, an unclean mug will retain the essence of its previous outings and deliver a deep, seasoned flavour that tastes horrible.

Monitor the brewing time

Less is more. Hold the teabag about an inch above the water, and think carefully about putting it in. The reflection of the bag in the water alone usually delivers the perfect strength. Dip it in for a fraction of a second if you absolutely must, nothing longer.

Pour milk

Whether plant-based or dairy, find a way to make the milk almost go on the turn. Not properly gone off with lumps bobbing in it, that would be undrinkable. You’re looking for sour enough that it will leave a faintly tart aftertaste with every sip.

Offer extras

If you’re entertaining guests, go the extra mile and leave a small deposit of silt in the bottom of their mugs. Was it a ripped teabag? Limescale? A nasty bit of gunk the dishwasher left behind? Keep them guessing.

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The boring-as-f**k stories local newspapers lose their shit over

NOT enough news happens each week to fill a local paper dealing with a dull Midlands town. That’s why they lose their shit over these boring stories:

Changes to speed limits

Editors will spike a political scandal if a juicy scandal about a country lane bumping up its speed limit lands on their desk. The increase from 40mph to 60mph will dominate the front page, complete with a tortuous pun of a headline and a blurry photo of the speed limit sign. Readers will be genuinely enthralled.

Small drugs bust

It would be understandable for a local newspaper to cover a story about a drug-smuggling kingpin getting busted in their area, but this never happens. Instead they have to make do with police seizing a single bag of low-quality skunk from a teenager, who they will make out to be the next Pablo Escobar.

Restaurant closure

The closure of a small-town Indian restaurant will be handled with all the tact and reverence of an episode of Hell’s Kitchen. Hacks will speculate whether it went bust due to an infestation of plague rats or behind-the-scenes money laundering, when in reality the owner simply decided to piss off back to Hyderabad where there are fewer drunk twats. 

Exam results

Every year on results day, papers dedicate a ludicrous number of pages to students celebrating their below-the-national-average GCSE and A Level grades. Girls will be photographed jumping for joy, boys will be roundly ignored, and journalists will churn out column inches because all their mums and dads will be buying the paper. 

The weather

The weather is an endless source of fascination to local papers. Temperate days will be referred to as ‘scorchers’, while a blustery shower will be held up as evidence of catastrophic climate change. Seasonal change catches them by surprise each year, and if it snows before press day the editorial will be the written equivalent of going off in your pants.