Teas anyone?

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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 10th, 2015, 8:13 am 

It is not true "tea" but its the best! All kinds of tree bark, flowers, odd and ends in them. They do have special cups with a strainer on top and you can effectively get 4-5 cups out of it easy.

There are layers of flavours, its almost like having 3 quick separate sips of different drinks in one. Like I have said it is hands down the best I've ever had and I'm English! :)
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on April 10th, 2015, 8:25 am 

If you like it, then you should definitely do what I do and experiment on your own with homemade versions. Reverse engineer it I say !

It's fun, educational, and $$ liberating, to do such things.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby vivian maxine on April 10th, 2015, 8:37 am 

Darby, please talk about white teas. I'd never heard of white teas until recently. What are they made of and how do they taste? Who makes them? You mention black teas being bitter and that is my problem with tea. Maybe white teas would be better. Thank you and I like your post above.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on April 10th, 2015, 9:08 am 

vivian maxine » April 10th, 2015, 8:37 am wrote:Darby, please talk about white teas. I'd never heard of white teas until recently. What are they made of and how do they taste? Who makes them? You mention black teas being bitter and that is my problem with tea. Maybe white teas would be better. Thank you and I like your post above.


I penned an overview of tea varieties back on Feb 23rd.

There are also certain high end regional varieties of both green and oolong that resemble white teas in flavor/style that can be pretty delicate and wonderful too ... one of my favorites being Quangzhou Milk Oolong (a light unflavored oolong from Quangzhou China that has a naturally occuring milk-like flavor & subtle sweetness).

Be advised - with high end loose white and oolong teas, you're competing with hundreds of millions of aficianados thoughout asia, so once you ascend past a certain minimum point of high quality, you start to get what you pay for, plus whatever iterative markupa get tacked on by all the trademen between you and the bush they came from. As with high end wine, finding and enjoying undervalued selections becomes a skill in and of itself, which is where self education on regions and varieties can really help.

As for black tea ... if excess tannin is an issue, you have two techniques that can help you. One is to cut your steeping time from 5 mins to 3, and the other is to pre-seep for 20 seconds and discard the liquid before doing the 3-5 min steep for consumption. The presteep removes about 2/3rds of the caffine and cuts back on the tannin as well, leaving a more floral and lower caffinated cuppa. Personally, I like the full 5, but that's just me. You could also try switching from assam/breakfast teas to darjeeling, which is inherently a bit less tannic and more floral in style, even though it is still technically a 'black' variety.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby vivian maxine on April 10th, 2015, 10:04 am 

Thank you, Darby. Is this perhaps what Teavana sells? They are in all the malls but I've never tried them. Also, would regular grocers have white teas? I've also never asked them. Just went my bitter way never thinking about it..

I only steep it for three minutes. I'll try the pre-steep method and see how that helps.

Thanks again. Appreciate it.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on April 10th, 2015, 10:59 am 

You're very welcome.

vivian maxine » April 10th, 2015, 10:04 am wrote:would regular grocers have white teas?


I think you may have missed the essential gist of what I was suggesting in my blub about liberating oneself from commercial 'dustbag' teas and taking the plunge on becomming familar with really fresh premium loose teas ... most, but not all, grocers tend to only carry mass market brand bagged teas that sit on their shelves for many months or years, and which are not that good even if you can find them fairly fresh. Even small fancy tins of loose tea by outfits like Taylors or Twinings, although a modest step up in quality over bagged tea, are often nowhere as good as what you can find in a good specialty store, and often involve very little in the way of selection ... it's still just bulk tea in a fancy tin. You're better off finding a local large ethnic market or (better yet) a regional gourmet coffee/tea store specializing in same.

White tea in particular should never be bought in dustbag format, because you chances of having a really good experience are next to nil.

Use the internet to locate a tea shop in your area, and make a pilgrimage, and as soon as you smell and taste a few samples of what they have to offer, everything will become a lot more clear.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby vivian maxine on April 10th, 2015, 11:08 am 

Right you are, Darby. I've been reading about Teavana's. It is not near the kind of company I feared. Apparently it is selling quality teas. Do you have one in your area? It sounds like a very reliable company - founded in Atlanta and now spreading all over the country. And they sell loose teas. I haven't seen loose teas in years. A friend in Texas has been bemoaning their disappearance. Apparently we've just been looking in the wrong place. I even tried our English store but they've (England, that is) gone American in more ways than one. :-)

An education I truly needed and I do thank you again and again.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on April 10th, 2015, 11:27 am 

Welcome as always.

Again, the point of my suggestion is simply using a gourmet store as a tool to educate one's palate on the sort of varieties and grades of tea that are almost never seen in local everyday groceries. After doing so, you are by no means obliged to continue buying from either the former or the latter ... the goal is to learn what's available and what good quality actually tastes like, so that you can recognize and grab onto it wherever you subsequently happen to encounter it (and hopefully at good prices).

For my day to day assam tea, I usually buy in loose bulk (ex: 900 gr foil bags) from a large indo-pak market in my area, and vaccum seal the majority of it in glass. For more perishable white or green tea, I'm always on the prowl for new sources, and I only buy what I can reasonably expect to use within a few short months, and again store most of it in vaccum.

A good premium loose white tea is a special occasion tea, and I usually only no more than 4 oz at a time. Just like certain varieties of delicate dry herbs, it's very perishable (much more so than black tea), and loses much of it's complexity in fairly short order. Once you've had your first really good one (if you can find one), everything will click, trust me.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby vivian maxine on April 10th, 2015, 11:49 am 

I understand. Thanks.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on April 10th, 2015, 2:27 pm 

I was just elaborating for the benefit of onlookers and subsequent readers who may be following along.

I'm only talkative on subjects I'm passionate about ... otherwise I'm just a bump on a log most of the time. :-)
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby vivian maxine on April 10th, 2015, 2:32 pm 

I tried the pre-steep and it did work! Magnificently. Still not my favorite taste - meaning it isn't chocolate - but the bitterness is gone. That helps. Now to find the white tea. Keep educating us. :-)
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on April 10th, 2015, 3:27 pm 

The technique is similar to the Swiss Water Decaffination process used for coffee.

It works, but it does have the drawback of diluting some of the other more desirable flavor components in tea that dissolve as fast or faster than the caffine and tannin.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on April 21st, 2015, 12:39 pm 

Color me happy ... a new tea lounge opened up about 15 mins from my house that has some modest but very good selection of rare high end teas at decent prices, and most importantly the proprietor is a genuine tea aficianado who actually knows her stuff (she travels back and forth to china and/or india every yearly, to visit tea plantations and tea houses).

I brought my wife there yesturday. Being Irish, she stuck with Assam (the basis of breakfast teas), but I went for not one but two varieties of Puerh tea (a lightly fermented Sheng style, and a more deeply fermented and baked Shu style ... the latter being my preferred veriety), and I was very happy to see it served Gongfu Style, so that I could slowly enjoy the entire flavor arc of both with many small infusions. It's the only way to really enjoy Puerh.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby vivian maxine on April 21st, 2015, 1:00 pm 

That sounds so much better than the list of teas I was just sent. Among them was Tazo's Cucumber White. Cucumber tea?

Enjoy your new tea bar.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby andreamartinez on July 29th, 2015, 7:21 am 

I love chamomile tea. I will try to drink your suggestions.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Ursa Minimus on July 31st, 2015, 7:02 am 

Watson » February 21st, 2015, 4:25 pm wrote:Some teas are good for digestion, others for mental alertness, etc. I go between coffee and tea and on tea at the moment. A lemon green to be specific.


Consider "gunpowder" green teas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_tea Generally high quality teas, and fun to watch unfurl as they steep.

I would suggest adding lemon or ginger or other flavors yourself, and not buying flavored teas. Better flavor, more control over the level of flavor that way.

I am partial to Iron Goddess of Mercy (which is a cool name, aka Tieguanyin), but that's an Oolong gunpowder.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on July 31st, 2015, 7:36 am 

If you like gunpowder, and lack a local tea shop with some good inventory with good turnover, this is a decent brand you can buy in bulk on amazon for about $1/oz.:

Image

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EVK ... ge_o05_s00
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Braininvat on July 31st, 2015, 1:26 pm 

Aha! I long suspected that Darby's 900 postings, laced with wit and insight, were just a smokescreen. He's a tea spammer!

MMM (Homer Simpson voice), Spam-flavored tea!

Seriously, I think some of my former tea aversion was due to supermarket "dustbag" tea. My mother used to get a loose tea, an Earl Grey that supposedly helped with some medical issue she was having. (the oil of Bergamot - can't recall ATM what its healthful effects are) It wasn't bad.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Darby on July 31st, 2015, 5:48 pm 

If I recall, Bergamot is an extract of a bitter variety of orange (seville spain ?) ... it supposedly has aperitif/digestif properties. Decidedly bitter and astringent.

Dont care for it personally, but plenty of people like it.

Oh, and don't get me started on the Spam song ... it took me years of therapy to cure myself of that.
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Re: Teas anyone?

Postby Braininvat on March 31st, 2016, 1:08 pm 

Hiya, spambot! I see you managed to get your spam link up in your profile! Thanks for enriching our website!
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