While I was at Womadelaide on Sunday, I bought a hat. I’m not much of a hat person but I figure I should have one or two for hot weather. Today I went for a walk with my new hat on, mostly in order to find out if I could wear a hat in public without being overcome by embarrassment. (Also out of an awareness that if I make excuses not to wear it, it’ll never get worn.)
I felt mildly apprehensive, but hopefully there’s not really anything to be embarrassed about in going outside looking like this . . .
In other news, I recently did some investigating into how much milk I like to put in a mug of coffee. Generally I just pour in the milk until the colour looks right, but I wondered what I’d discover if I tried to quantify that as a ratio of so much instant coffee to so much milk.
To decide scientifically what coffee-to-milk ratio makes for the best taste, I would have to do the experiment blindfold, which presents problems when you’re dealing with hot water. I suspect my discernment would be relatively poor. So in practise, my judgement of how much milk to put in is based not directly on the flavour, but on the colour that I associate with that flavour. The colour, moreover, is very likely to influence my perception of the flavour. Psychology is like that.
But the pot thickens, because we’ve all experienced the optical illusion whereby a medium colour next to a dark one looks light, yet the same colour next to a light one looks dark. When I started the investigation I hadn’t thought of that, but as it turns out a coffee-to-milk ratio of 1:2 looked pretty good in a white-rimmed mug, but a tad on the light side in a black-rimmed mug. Similarly, a coffee-to-milk ratio of 2:3 looked pretty good in a black-rimmed mug, but decidedly too dark in a white-rimmed mug.
For the sake of giving some kind of an answer, though, I’m declaring that the perfect ratio of coffee to milk is 0.5625:1. (That’s three-quarters of a teaspoon of instant coffee to four-thirds of a teaspoon of milk, with the mug then filled with hot water. My brand of choice, by the way, is Moccona – either Intensity or Indulgence.) I admit to being somewhat tongue-in-cheek in declaring such a precise result, but it’s a pretty good ratio all the same.
The experiment is harder with tea, because I don’t have a way to measure how much tea I get out of the bag. But with the teabags I used (Tetley All Rounders) I got a satisfying result using about three millilitres of milk.