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axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

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?

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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.

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.

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

neogeo0823 posted:

I know when I was browsing through the store, they had these large jars of GERMAN ROCK SUGAR! Made from BEET ROOT EXTRACT!! The only way to sweeten your tea WITHOUT CHANGING THE FLAVOR!!


Most sugar sold in Europe is made from sugar beets, which is just a variety of the same species as beet root. It's chemically identical to cane sugar.

The unrefined rock sugar just has a little bit of raw sugar taste, but it's all marketing bullshit.

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

When you drink green tea that's good for several steepings, what do you do with the leaves between servings? You don't really drink 5 cups of tea in a row.

Do you just let the wet leaves sit out in the strainer or pot or put them in the fridge?

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

Lavender Philtrum posted:


Would you guys suggest I go and find a cafe where I can get a good cup of tea and see if I like it first, or just drop some cash on some good, quality tea and make it myself? Apparently Adagio operates very close to me, maybe I could go do some shopping there?


Go to a good sushi place and order green tea with your meal. That's the only decent tea you will get served at a restaurant or cafe. Usually you just get a cup of tepid water and a tea bag.

If cafes serve loose leaf, it's usually crammed into a too small strainer and you won't get a good extraction.

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

GenericGirlName posted:

Does anyone know of any good loose tea shops in NYC?

Head to Chinatown and go into one of those gigantic cluttered stores that sell food and household goods. They will have great loose leaf tea in unglamorous glass jars that you scoop into plastic bags and buy by the ounce.

Get some Lapsang. Mmmm...tarry.

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

GenericGirlName posted:

I know of one place in China Town that is right next to my favorite restaurant. Will the tea be not horrible? I don't know anything about tea or what it takes for a tea shop to be good or bad I just don't want to waste money on stale leaves or something? But I guess it won't REALLY be a waste its China Town, it will be hella cheap.

If you are in Chinatown and the tea is sold out of big jars, it probably means that they sell a lot of it and the leaves should be fresh. Avoid places that look touristy.

Always smell the tea you're buying

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axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

DurianGray posted:


I just noticed recently that at least with some of the honeys that I have, the locally made/unprocessed ( and of course more expensive) honeys tend to do better with mixing and not crystalizing than the more processed, cheap, store-bought honeys. Just wondering if anyone else has found that to be true in their experience.

Crystallization have very little to do with the quality of the honey, and more with the composition of sugars and how the honey has been treated. There are products that can't legally be called honey that have added sugars from other sources that keeps the honey liquid.

In Scandinavia, nearly all domestic honey is sold as smooth but crystallized. It's pretty much impossible to keep in a liquid state just from the composition of the sugars that are determined by the plants that the bees have harvested.

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