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Errant Gin Monks
Oct 2, 2009

"Yeah..."
- Marshawn Lynch


Yeah I bought 2 air tight containers for the two tea blends. 8oz of each tea... one tea was like 60 bucks the other was 30 bucks. The two containers were 10 bucks each but they were pretty. And an iced tea pitcher with a strainer lid I paid way too much for but looks great.

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noodlesinabag
Dec 25, 2009



axolotl farmer posted:

I have this packet of tea:



A pile of them appeared at my former office and I don't remember who brought them there. I asked one of the Chinese people and was told that it was a very good 'Iron Buddha' tea, which I after some googling realize is Tieguanyin (鐵觀音).

It's actually whole leaves rolled into spheres, and they unroll and inflate in hot water. When I tried it at the office I just put some in a cup and poured hot water over it and let it steep for a long time.

Very fragrant stuff. I usually like bitter and plain black teas, like Ceylon teas, but this one was really nice.

So a couple of questions:

- What's the proper way of preparing this tea?
- If I would like to get more like it, what should I ask for?

I wrote glowing remarks about seven cups a few posts back (an online retailer and distributor that sources all of their teas from individual farms in China) but they have two styles on their site,

http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/O...ulong-2011.html

http://www.sevencups.com/tea_shop/H...ulong-2011.html

You'll find all of the specific information on the respective webpage about the time harvested, picking conditions, etc.

I'm kind of curious to try the high mountain ti guan yin.....
As for how to brew, like DurianGray said, just put boiling water onto it, and let it infuse for 2-3 minutes for your first steep.

AllTerrineVehicle
Jan 8, 2010

I'm great at boats!


I use cellulose-based tea filters for travelling (and also at home because oh god I'm so poor) and they seem to work pretty well. It's like 7 bucks for 100 of them, and the base folds out so the leaves can expand. Scoop tea into filter-bag-thing, place in cup, add water, wait impatiently, enjoy.

I buy the tall ones so I can sort of hang it off the side of the cup and not worry about fishing a soaking wet blob out of near-boiling water.

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


Thanks for linking A Cup of Brown Joy, I had forgotten all about it.

I know long steep times are standard for black teas, but I encourage anyone who is new to tea to try steeping for a variety of times, even down to 60 seconds for black teas. Typically the longer you steep the more of that bitter tannin taste comes out. I don't usually steep more than 2 minutes for any black tea. Find the way you like to make tea and don't let anyone tell you it's wrong.

I use these mesh strainer/infuser things to make single cups with loose tea:

It rests in the cup, so you can measure your loose tea out into it while the water boils in the kettle, pour the water in, steep and lift out when finished. Before I got it I would rarely use loose tea because of the extra effort.

For loose tea, my usual choice is Red Rose.

$3 for 8 ounces, and it keeps fairly well.

When I'm in a hurry and need a bag I go with PG Tips or something from Bigelow.


Lemon Lift is one of my favorites from Bigelow. It has very calming, almost sedative effect. Cinnamon Stick and Plantation Mint are good too, along with the classic Constant Comment.

I'd love to hear more from anyone who's actually grown and processed tea. I looked into it a few years ago but decided to wait until I wasn't renting. It seems like you can either start from seed which will take 3 years before the first harvest, or you can buy 2-3 year old plants, but they only ship when the plants won't be harmed by temperature extremes. Can anyone recommend a supplier for tea plants? I may just go with Territorial Seed since they're closer than the other sources I've seen.

angor
Nov 14, 2003
teen angst

axolotl farmer posted:

I have this packet of tea:



A pile of them appeared at my former office and I don't remember who brought them there. I asked one of the Chinese people and was told that it was a very good 'Iron Buddha' tea, which I after some googling realize is Tieguanyin (鐵觀音).

It's actually whole leaves rolled into spheres, and they unroll and inflate in hot water. When I tried it at the office I just put some in a cup and poured hot water over it and let it steep for a long time.

Very fragrant stuff. I usually like bitter and plain black teas, like Ceylon teas, but this one was really nice.

So a couple of questions:

- What's the proper way of preparing this tea?
- If I would like to get more like it, what should I ask for?

As mentioned, you have a fairly high quality Oolong.

I would recommend keeping the water below boiling (aim for about 190).
The great thing about rolled oolong is that it you can steep it multiple times, and each time you get a slightly different flavour as the tea unravels. Give your tea as much free space as you can to let them open up completely. You should be able to get 6-8 steepings out of a single serving with the 3rd/4th being super awesome.

There are tea strainers you can buy that have a pressure release thing at the bottom, so when you put it on top of your cup it strains out. These are especially great for things like flowering teas, oolongs, pu-erh tuo cha, or any other tea that needs a ton of room.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NbccRf29u0
http://www.amazon.com/Adagio-Teas-1...f=pd_sim_dbs_k1

angor fucked around with this message at Sep 23, 2011 around 08:36

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

I have a pretty good tea strainer



Most spring loaded strainers are way under dimensioned to loose leaf tea. This is actually big enough to make an entire pot of tea and give the leaves plenty of room to expand.



This is my current breakfast tea. Very plain coarse cut loose leaf black tea without any added flavorings. Nice and bitter.

Boxman
Sep 27, 2004

Big fan of


I drink coffee first thing in the morning year round, but when the weather turns chillier, I start drinking tea through the day and at night. I always have to dig around the back of my cupboard to find my ingenuiTEA, but it's a welcome sight.

Cpt.Wacky posted:

Lemon Lift is one of my favorites from Bigelow. It has very calming, almost sedative effect. Cinnamon Stick and Plantation Mint are good too, along with the classic Constant Comment.

I just bought a box of this and tried it yesterday. Not too bad at all, and for a brew with "lift" in its name, it makes a good nighttime tea.

Also, seconding the "ingenuiTEA is good" for people who don't have other tea paraphernalia already. I don't know enough about tea to really say whether having a lot more room to steep is all that necessary, but I do know that, without fail, I go every time I use the thing.

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005




Watch out for this stuff. It is literally soaking in cinnamon and orange oils. A friend took a whiff a little too close and deep and was retching for a few minutes.

angor
Nov 14, 2003
teen angst

Boxman posted:

Also, seconding the "ingenuiTEA is good" for people who don't have other tea paraphernalia already. I don't know enough about tea to really say whether having a lot more room to steep is all that necessary, but I do know that, without fail, I go every time I use the thing.

The reason I suggest it for oolong, especially what axolotl farmer's got is because each of those balls is a full tea leaf. You'd be surprised how much they open up. A teaspoon of that stuff will fill about half of the Ingenuitea thing after the 5th steeping or so.

For most other tea, I just use it cause it's convenient as hell

Sudoku
Jul 18, 2009


I'm relatively new to the whole tea scene (only really got into drinking it a year and a half or so ago). I get my stuff from either Adagio or Upton (I think Upton has better prices).

I use an electric kettle for heating water that automatically shuts off when it reaches boiling and tea bags/strainer, making a single cup at a time. I do have an ingenuiTEA if I have something really nice I want to EXPERIENCE instead of just drink. It's a little annoying to clean out but it does what it does perfectly.

Adagio's tea bags tend to change the flavor of the tea to something really "off", despite their claims that it doesn't do so. Maybe I got a bad box or something, I dunno. I use them for cheapish daily morning-breakfast tea, but I don't think I'll get more once I'm done with this batch. Not recommended.

I present a question to you all: When you drink tea, do you usually eat anything with it? I know there's tea cakes and cookies and crumpets and all, but would you drink it with, say, a fast food meal, a pizza, anything of that sort? I tend to have mine by itself without food (I go to soda for that) since I find the preparation time to be a hassle when I'm wanting to eat.

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

Black tea for breakfast. For me that's usually a couple of slices of toast and sometimes a piece of fruit.

Green tea goes well with Chinese or Japanese food.

Digestive Biscuits go great with tea as a snack. Look in the British section of the International Foods aisle.

Arnold of Soissons
Mar 4, 2011

by XyloJW


When I was in India I picked up some whole-leaf Darjeeling Earl Grey that was really fantastic and not only better tasting but just at a casual glance obviously a much higher quality than something like Twinnings.

Where can I get something similar to that, in the States? Obviously the flavoring means that the tea itself can be of a less-perfect grade and not really be noticeable, but starting with good tea made it a million times better.

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


Most larger cities should have a tea shop. That would be the best place to look and sample. Other than that you'd have to find a good source online.

Sudoku posted:

I present a question to you all: When you drink tea, do you usually eat anything with it? I know there's tea cakes and cookies and crumpets and all, but would you drink it with, say, a fast food meal, a pizza, anything of that sort? I tend to have mine by itself without food (I go to soda for that) since I find the preparation time to be a hassle when I'm wanting to eat.

With whatever is for breakfast, sometimes lunch, and in the evenings with apple slices, cheese and buttered toast (marmite or vegemite is a plus) or cheese and crackers. And with pie.

Just get in the habit of starting the kettle first, putting the tea in the cup, and then prepare whatever else you're having. Waiting for the tea to cool down so I don't burn my mouth usually means I actually drink it near the end of the meal.

Cpt.Wacky fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2011 around 23:19

Magicmat
Aug 14, 2000

I've got the worst fucking attorneys

What's the most convenient way to quickly brew tea in the morning? I usually only have, at most, 10 minutes of free time in the morning to eat or do whatever else before I leave, and that's not long enough to boil water, steep tea, and then drink it.

I would love to have the convenience of a coffee maker -- just wake up and there's a fresh kettle of hot tea waiting to drink and/or put in a thermos to go. Would also force me out of bed on time. I've looked at the TriniTEA and Breville automatic tea makers and they look cool, but are very expensive (especially the Breville -- $250!) I'm also worried that they'd have enough drawbacks (especially in terms of being hard to clean) that I wouldn't use it.

Does anybody have any comments on these tea makers? Or better yet, know of a good procedure for quickly and conveniently making tea in the morning?

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Magicmat posted:

What's the most convenient way to quickly brew tea in the morning? I usually only have, at most, 10 minutes of free time in the morning to eat or do whatever else before I leave, and that's not long enough to boil water, steep tea, and then drink it.

I don't know much about automatic tea makers. I personally find that the most time consuming part of tea is actually drinking it. About 10 minutes usually gives me enough time to boil water and let the tea steep, but if I'm in a rush I'll just pour the tea into a thermos and take off. If time is really tight I'll just boil the water, put some tea leaves in a disposable tea bag and steep it later when I have time.

Sudoku posted:

I present a question to you all: When you drink tea, do you usually eat anything with it? I know there's tea cakes and cookies and crumpets and all, but would you drink it with, say, a fast food meal, a pizza, anything of that sort? I tend to have mine by itself without food (I go to soda for that) since I find the preparation time to be a hassle when I'm wanting to eat.

I'll usually drink it on it's own, but if I do eat anything with it, it's usually some sort of baked treat. I could only imagine that most foods, especially the greasy sort of things like fast food or pizza would more or less overpower and nullify any flavor you'd be getting from the tea. Sweet tea is probably the only exception.

Arnold of Soissons posted:

Where can I get something similar to that, in the States? Obviously the flavoring means that the tea itself can be of a less-perfect grade and not really be noticeable, but starting with good tea made it a million times better.

I just googled around and found a few websites selling it. This site is actually in the States and it's an Earl Gray Darjeeling. The rest of the sites at least on the first results page were all either British, didn't have the Darjeeling Gray, or had had their servers recently hacked.

Culinary Bears
Feb 1, 2007



Magicmat posted:

I would love to have the convenience of a coffee maker -- just wake up and there's a fresh kettle of hot tea waiting to drink and/or put in a thermos to go. Would also force me out of bed on time. I've looked at the TriniTEA and Breville automatic tea makers and they look cool, but are very expensive (especially the Breville -- $250!) I'm also worried that they'd have enough drawbacks (especially in terms of being hard to clean) that I wouldn't use it.

I actually have the Breville, and it was totally worth it for me. Coffee's hard on my stomach so I use it for automatic morning tea (and also all the drat time otherwise). It's really fast and the clean up is really easy actually - I've rarely had to do more than just dump the leaves and rinse everything. Only real drawbacks are a comically short cord, having to do at least around 2 cups at a time (unless you want to steep outside the machine), and uh... the holes might be a little large for teas with very fine leaves/fragments, but you can just stick a filter in the basket and the size is what makes stuff not get horribly stuck in it anyway.

But yeah, it's pretty expensive.

If you just want black tea in the morning, I used to do a slightly ghetto but fast method. Add your leaves to a mug, pour over with water, stick it in the microwave for... 2-2.5 minutes? (depends on your microwave, I'd test with a thermometer I guess). Let it steep a little (not as long as normal since the leaves were steeping while heating up), then put a tea seive over another mug and pour it in to drink.

Nothing wrong with microwaving tea water as far as I know. If you don't want to nuke it with your leaves you can do it separately. It's just not consistent enough for something you'd want to be brewed at a particular temperature. For that, I don't know, maybe some kind of fast variable kettle and a timer you can pay attention to if you want a more budget-friendly option.

Culinary Bears fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2011 around 01:59

Spuckuk
Aug 11, 2009

Being a bastard works



Are bog-standard electric kettles not an everyday household item in the US/Canada then? Literally every house and office here has one, it's as essential as a toaster.

The very idea of not having a cuppa available is a little terrifying to me

To add to the discussion, get thee some Yorkshire Tea, it's far from fancy, should be brewed strong and sullied with full fat milk

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


Electric kettles are very uncommon here, but available at most stores that sell appliances. I had to buy one for the work lunchroom since the hot tap on the water cooler isn't hot enough.

Sudoku
Jul 18, 2009


Goddamn posted:

Nothing wrong with microwaving tea water as far as I know.
I wonder if microwaving water would help get it to the right temperature for greens/white teas easier? A bit of patience with a thermometer and surely you'd eventually figure out how many minutes/second it takes to get it to X degrees. Write the time down and there you go.

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


Spuckuk posted:

Are bog-standard electric kettles not an everyday household item in the US/Canada then? Literally every house and office here has one, it's as essential as a toaster.

It's bizarre, practically nobody over here uses an electric kettle. They all have kettles that heat on the range and usually permanently take up space there. I guess it's to do with the voltage, since 1000-1500W kettles are kind of anemic, but they're still really convenient. My grandfather and dad both always used to put a UK transformer adapter in new kitchens so we could run 3000W electric kettles.

Sevn
Oct 13, 2008

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Just curious, how many of you tea drinkers have tried some of the stuff from Taiwan? We get a ton of types of tea here, including the Tie Guanyin. There are a hundred tea shops in every city, not to mention the drink shops you can buy tea at. Taiwanese people tend to add a ton of sugar to their tea if they buy it at the tea vendor (understandable because it is very bitter), but I have come across a few oolongs and greens here that are pretty good.

According to Wikipedia, "Oolongs grown in Taiwan account for about 20% of world production." And I have definitely had some great oolong tea here.

Edit: One thing, before I came here, I had never heard of "oolong green tea", but I tried it when I came here. It is just oolong tea and green tea mixed together, though I am not sure of any ratios.

Edit2: Little trivia for you guys. In Chinese, green tea is, aptly named green tea. Oolong tea, on the other hand is 烏龍, which is "black dragon" or "dark dragon" tea.

Sevn fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2011 around 17:20

Thoht
Aug 3, 2006



Sudoku posted:

I wonder if microwaving water would help get it to the right temperature for greens/white teas easier? A bit of patience with a thermometer and surely you'd eventually figure out how many minutes/second it takes to get it to X degrees. Write the time down and there you go.

I think you'd have a tough time getting a consistent temperature for a given time due to stuff like hotspots in microwaves. I guess if you always measured out exactly the same amount of water and always nuked it in the same spot you could get pretty good results.

Fuzzy Pipe Wrench
Nov 5, 2008

MAYBE DON'T STEAL BEER FROM GOONS?

CHEERS!
(FUCK YOU)


Any sweet tea drinkers out there really owe it to themselves to try cold brewing a batch. It's so incredibly good. Even with the bag tea I used.

esquilax
Jan 3, 2003



Sevn posted:

Just curious, how many of you tea drinkers have tried some of the stuff from Taiwan? We get a ton of types of tea here, including the Tie Guanyin. There are a hundred tea shops in every city, not to mention the drink shops you can buy tea at. Taiwanese people tend to add a ton of sugar to their tea if they buy it at the tea vendor (understandable because it is very bitter), but I have come across a few oolongs and greens here that are pretty good.

According to Wikipedia, "Oolongs grown in Taiwan account for about 20% of world production." And I have definitely had some great oolong tea here.

Edit: One thing, before I came here, I had never heard of "oolong green tea", but I tried it when I came here. It is just oolong tea and green tea mixed together, though I am not sure of any ratios.

Edit2: Little trivia for you guys. In Chinese, green tea is, aptly named green tea. Oolong tea, on the other hand is 烏龍, which is "black dragon" or "dark dragon" tea.

When dealing with tea, Taiwan is usually known as Formosa, just like how Sri Lanka is always called Ceylon.

I've bought two Formosan teas (both oolongs), but I didn't think either were remarkable enough to deserve a second purchase. Do you have any recommendations?

jerman999
Apr 26, 2006

This is a lex imperfecta

My family is Chinese and whenever we would drink tea, we'd just throw leaves into a cup and pour water over it and keep refilling the same cup with water because...we didn't care so much. All this talk of steeping makes me feel like we've been doing it wrong...?

COOL CORN
Jun 1, 2003




Buglord

jerman999 posted:

My family is Chinese and whenever we would drink tea, we'd just throw leaves into a cup and pour water over it and keep refilling the same cup with water because...we didn't care so much. All this talk of steeping makes me feel like we've been doing it wrong...?

If you make tea in any way and it tastes good and you enjoy it... you're doing it correctly.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


jerman999 posted:

My family is Chinese and whenever we would drink tea, we'd just throw leaves into a cup and pour water over it and keep refilling the same cup with water because...we didn't care so much. All this talk of steeping makes me feel like we've been doing it wrong...?

That's pretty much how you drink tea from a Gaiwan from what I understand (that is, if you don't decant it after it steeps). It's not wrong, it's just a different style of drinking tea.

pnumoman
Sep 26, 2008


jerman999 posted:

My family is Chinese and whenever we would drink tea, we'd just throw leaves into a cup and pour water over it and keep refilling the same cup with water because...we didn't care so much. All this talk of steeping makes me feel like we've been doing it wrong...?

Nah, that's what I usually do with loose leaf teas. And if you drink pu erh, you're supposed to rebrew a few times anyway. (after the initial wash)

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


It's been my experience that most Western stores calling Taiwan oolongs "Formosa" are not selling anything at all representative of the amazing variety of dong ding, baozhong, high mountain, etc. available. Something like this would probably be a good starting point for the more boutique high mountain oolongs. This store specializes in high quality Taiwan teas.

jerman999 posted:

My family is Chinese and whenever we would drink tea, we'd just throw leaves into a cup and pour water over it and keep refilling the same cup with water because...we didn't care so much. All this talk of steeping makes me feel like we've been doing it wrong...?

http://www.marshaln.com/whats-grandpa-style/

TVarmy
Sep 11, 2011

like food and water, my posting has no intrinsic value



I tried coldbrewing some tea using a Lifehacker recipe that suggested 1 tea bag per four cups for 12-18 hours, but it produced green water with green tea. I haven't tried this recipe with black tea.

Any suggestions for cold brewing green tea, and would this recipe be okay for black tea, or is there a better way to cold brew tea?

Fuzzy Pipe Wrench
Nov 5, 2008

MAYBE DON'T STEAL BEER FROM GOONS?

CHEERS!
(FUCK YOU)


TVarmy posted:

I tried coldbrewing some tea using a Lifehacker recipe that suggested 1 tea bag per four cups for 12-18 hours, but it produced green water with green tea. I haven't tried this recipe with black tea.

Any suggestions for cold brewing green tea, and would this recipe be okay for black tea, or is there a better way to cold brew tea?

This is what I used to make cold brewed sweet tea. http://www.theteafaq.com/recipes/co...d-iced-tea.html

Metanaut
Oct 9, 2006

Honey it's tight like that.

College Slice

When I cold brew tea or coffee, I leave the container on my kitchen counter. Is there a good reason to put it in the fridge? Doesn't the water get a bit too cold?

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I would think that it just takes longer in the fridge.

When I was younger, my family would make sun tea during the summer. Just stick some water and tea bags in a big glass pitcher and leave it outside for a few hours. Voila, not-so-instant tea. Ah, sweet nostalgia

To that end, does anyone else have weird/interesting tea traditions in their family? Jerman999 already mentioned his/her Chinese family leaving the tea leaves in the cup while you drink it.

adventure in the sandbox
Nov 24, 2005



Things change




Spuckuk posted:

Are bog-standard electric kettles not an everyday household item in the US/Canada then? Literally every house and office here has one, it's as essential as a toaster.

The very idea of not having a cuppa available is a little terrifying to me

I am in British Columbia, Canada and in mine and my spouse's families, we are almost constantly drinking tea. Mainly black tea - orange pekoe, Earl Grey, English Breakfast. It is very common and normal to have an electric kettle.

I have expanded to herbals and green teas. Black teas will always have my heart but I do love my genmaicha from David's Tea.

adventure in the sandbox fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2011 around 16:51

MongolArcher
Jan 2, 2009


DurianGray posted:

To that end, does anyone else have weird/interesting tea traditions in their family? Jerman999 already mentioned his/her Chinese family leaving the tea leaves in the cup while you drink it.

Dunno about traditon, but my daughter eats tea bags, if I leave them in her cup, and has done this all her life. She's pretty well adjusted otherwise, normal for most of the rest of her life, just... yeah. Eats the tea bags. I don't get it.

Good thing most of the time I brew tea loose leaf in the pot.

Bees on Wheat
Jul 18, 2007

I've never been happy


Buglord

Just the tea inside, or the bag itself? Maybe she has an odd tea-based form of pica. Some people are just compelled to eat things that aren't food, and paper is pretty common amongst them.

Back to tea talk, I really miss my IngenuiTEA. I have no idea where it went since I moved several times since I bought it. It was kind of a pain sometimes, but it made decent tea and was fun to use. Unfortunately, mine was an earlier model with an opaque black base instead of the clear one so it could only be used with clear mugs, unless you wanted to risk having your cup overflow.

I used to get tea from DragonWater, because they had a wide selection and a tasting club, but they closed earlier this year. They had a nice Ti Kuan Yin, and green chai, too. Thankfully, Adagio is still around and they've never steered me wrong! I've been craving some of their citron green for a while..

MongolArcher
Jan 2, 2009


The whole thing - leaf, bag and all. Ever since she had teeth and could snag an unsupervised tea bag, glomp and devour.

On a happier note, Dobra tea in Madison has some wonderful, amazing brews to sample. I can spend hours there, and they encourage it!

coyo7e
Aug 23, 2007

by zen death robot


Eating tea can give you the shits.

Also I hope she's not eating the staples and bag itself. I'm assuming she's older than 3 or 4 year old?

MongolArcher
Jan 2, 2009


coyo7e posted:

Eating tea can give you the shits.

Also I hope she's not eating the staples and bag itself. I'm assuming she's older than 3 or 4 year old?

She's 14. Yes, she eats the bag but not the staple, string, or the paper. Like I said, I switched to leaf infusion because of the whole bag eating thing, but I still want a cup of Bigelow cinnamon stick once in a while.

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Jenkin
Jan 21, 2003

Piracy is our only option.

I'm going to be in Beijing and Shanghai soon and I want to get some tea for my girlfriend. She's pretty into tea and I don't know a ton about it; does anyone have suggestions for what I could look for that would make a nice gift? I realize this is a bit broad. Also, thanks for all the good info already in the thread.

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