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neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


.Z. posted:

The bottles of American Ito En I've tried have uniformly been overbrewed. They all had that bitter taste that comes from too long of a brew. Which was irritating because I like their Japanese market versions.

Gonna second this. I think the only flavor I like of that stuff is the blueberry, which is only because the sweetness helps to drown out the bitter.

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neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


While I know how overpriced Teavana can be, I have to say I really like their samples of the mix of strawberry lemonade and blueberry bliss. It's like drinking fruit juice, but without all the weird chemicals or concentrates. I asked them how much their smallest size would be and they quoted me at $35, which is absolutely ridiculous, considering you get about as much as tea as you would in a box of Twinnings tea bags.

Can anyone recommend a comparable set of teas that aren't as expensive?

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


DurianGray posted:

Also, what the gently caress is SUPERFRUIT ENHANCED supposed to be (besides a marketing gimmick)?

I have no clue, but it sounds like it's riding on the hyped up "superfruits" of the moment. It probably means it's got some extract of(or in Teavana's case, probably just the same chemical/nutrients as) acai or pomegranate or something. Hell, it could just mean that it's flavored like them.

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!!

The jar was around $30. I wouldn't buy a $30 thing of sweetener unless it cooked all the foods it would also be sweetening, while it was sweetening my tea and cooking my food.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


I had taken a trip to Niagara Falls Ontario for New Years Eve(I live in buffalo), and one of the stores there had ice wine tea. I couldn't afford it, but my one friend's mom could and she gave me a couple bags to take home. I wish I could remember the name of the company because holy poo poo, is it ever good. I know it's ceylon tea and I think pieces of the grapes used in ice wine, but I'm not sure. Anyone ever come across anything like this? All I remember is that it was in a red box.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


It's getting to be hot on the regular now, and I'd like to make some iced tea that isn't the "traditional" orange pekoe steeped to death and sweetened to hell variety. However, I'm also not looking to spend a ton of money on quailty loose leaf because I'm poor. What would you guys recommend in the way of either cheap-as-hell loose leaf or bagged brands to make a decent sweet iced tea?

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


I recently went to on vacation and brought back some very delicious loose leaf tea. I don't have a ton of it, and I'd like to keep it going as long as possible. Since it's summer time, I'm basically only using it to make iced tea by brewing hot, doubling the amount used, the time steeped, and then chilling and adding water and sugar to taste. I've heard of people keeping loose leaf after steeping and reusing it. What's the procedure for that? Obviously I don't want anything bad growing in the tea between uses. What do I need to know to not die and/or not steep the tea to death?

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


DurianGray posted:

One exception would be flavored teas, at least in my experience (both artificial like chocolate orange or blueberry or whatever and the more 'natural' processes like the smokiness in a Lapsang Souchong). Those are usually only good for one steep unless you don't mind subsequent cups being super bland/weak in comparison.

I think this is what I ended up with, yeah. I resteeped the tea a second time and it was extremely weak compared to the first time. I'm wondering if I shouldn't just cut the first steep into the second, or even brew double water, to even it out some.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


Currently, I make iced tea in bulk using these paper filter bag things, but they always open up midway through steeping and I end up having to filter all the leaves out. My wife mentioned wanting to get me one of these tea makers for my birthday. Does anyone know anything about them? Teavana has these in a gift pack with some sugar and a tea tin for $35, which seem OK given that that thing's $30 on it's own. However, I see reviews saying the seals leak. I found a similar one from Adagio that has much better reviews, but it's the same price as the Teavana one and listed as 28 oz instead of the 32 oz. Does anyone have any opinions on these? Or maybe a better recommendation?

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


Thanks, that's good advice. I don't put any stock at all in Teavana as a company, but hey, a sale's a sale. I'll take another look at the Adagio one and think it over.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


Yeah, probably my favorite Teavana tea is the Blueberry Lemonade mix they make with Blueberry Bliss and... I think Pineapple Kona Pop? I don't shop them for "actual" teas, but their fruit teas can be really good.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


Over the weekend, I stopped at a Bulk Barn while on a day trip to Ikea and picked up a couple small bags of loose leaf pomegranate lavender green and hibiscus rosehip black teas. I'm sure they're not great, but I ended up spending less than $5 on tea that would have cost me nearly $15 for the same quantity back home, so I'm not complaining. Can someone refresh my memory on the best practices for making iced herbal green tea? I know you either use twice the amount or steep twice as long, steep in... hot water, or cold? Hot then pour into an equal amount of ice water, right? And sweeten while it's still hot, right?

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


You guys'll recall me asking about brewing iced green tea a few days ago. I forgot to post about it, but i tried both brewing hot and chilling, and brewing cold overnight in the fridge. Between the two, brewing hot produced a stronger, slightly bitter tea(almost definitely slightly over-steeped), and the cold brew produced a much milder, floral tea that was overall better, but didn't take to sweetening via simple syrup as well for some reason.

Anyway, I've got a few sample size bags of loose leaf black, rooibos, oolong, and white to try as well. Do the same general rules for cold brewing apply as well to all of those, or are they different between the different types?

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


Cold brewing is great. It's what I've been doing for the last couple months for drinks at work. I haven't been using anything special or fancy, either. I've just been heading to Bulk Barn once a month and buying some of whatever smells good. So far, I've tried and loved a pomegranate lavender green, a tropical coconut oolong, and a pink lemonade rooibos, among others. Method's the same for all teas, I do half a gallon at a time, so ~8tsp of leaves in a strainer, into half a gallon of cold water for 8 hours, drain into another container, refill, and steep for an additional 8-12/whenever I remember tog et it out of the fridge. Mix the two steepings and sweeten to taste with a simple syrup made from the tea, so as not to dilute it further.

Actually, this is a good opportunity to ask if there's any faster way to cold brew. I love the results, but it literally takes me 2 days to prep a gallon of the stuff between work. I kinda wonder if I could, say, use very warm tap water or something to start the steep and possibly pull out more of the flavor more quickly. If I could get the whole thing done in a day, that'd be much better.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


coyo7e posted:

I often start my sun tea with hot tap water, doesn't hurt anything. Just be sure to refrigerate after it cools.

I can't imagine trying to cold steep herbal teas though.

But how much does that shorten the steeping time? Cold steeping herbal seems to work just fine. Or at least, the more heavily herbal teas I've done have been fine. First steep tends to be very fruit/herb forward, second tends to be mostly the tea flavor, which makes it perfectly fine to combine the two steepings.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


AmericanBarbarian posted:

https://yunnansourcing.com/collecti...price-ascending

Yunnan Sourcing has a oolong tea sale going, I'm going to pick up some greener oolongs and see what they are like. I've never drunk oolongs before, any recommendations for what I should look for?

I have mixed feelings about the first tea listed on that page.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


So now that Teavana's finally closed up shop, I've got a small problem. I bought a small bag of their Weight To go tea when it was on sale, and I really liked it. Looking it up, it seemed to be a huge mix of various teas, with hints of strawberry, mint, berry, sweet chocolate, etc etc. Anyone know of anything comparable?

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


So, a few months ago, a new asian supermarket opened up on the other side of town. I only got around to visiting it this past weekend, and ended up buying this to try:





Now, a quick google tells me this is probably not actually prestigious, high quality tea that wikipedia tells me it should be, so what did I buy? I mean, it smells really good, and I'm still gonna drink it, I'm just curious on what exactly I got here.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


It doesn't smell smoky at all, but I'm used to Twinnings' lapsang souchong, which yeah, is like drinking a campfire. I like that on a nice cold fall day, or toward the end of a long winter, but this ain't that. This stuff smells... sweet, almost like chocolate, but more sweet than cocoa. Definitely no smoky smell at all. I guess lemme try brewing up a quick cup and seeing what I've got here.

EDIT: Went the fast route. Steeped 1tbsp of tea in ~1 cup of water for 30 seconds, tossed that, then did a second steep for 45. Sweetened with a bit of sugar. Here's a quick pic for the color:



As for taste, I don't consider myself anywhere near enough of a connoisseur to pick out the delicate flavor notes or any of that poo poo. What I taste tastes kind of like a slightly better quality generic black tea. Admittedly, this could be due to a number of things; I didn't steep it correctly, I over/undersweetened it, I'm not good at tea yet, or, and this is probably the most likely, it's just regular old tea that I got for $7.50 for the jar.

neogeo0823 fucked around with this message at May 23, 2018 around 00:58

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


Kilometers Davis posted:

Trying my first cold brews today. I知 excited. Not sure what to expect. One bottle has Gunpowder and the other Citrus Mint Green. I used 2 tsp for each 16 oz of water. Wish me luck! I値l try them in about 12 hours.

I can't speak for the matcha, as I've never had matcha, but any loose leaf will do best at around 24 hours, I find. Sure, you can test at 12, but I've only ever been disappointed when I forgot that I had tea cold brewing and left it in the fridge for over 36 hours. Protip: if you like your tea sweet, instead of adding sugar to the cold tea, just use some of the freshly steeped tea to make a simple syrup and pour that back into your pitcher or whatever you're using. This way you won't water down your tea or overflow your pitcher.

Love Stole the Day posted:

There you are! I remember playing a game with you a few years ago and you said that that was your favorite tea. I remember the line about "drinking a campfire." Never saw you again after that, but that line resonated with me. Forgot the name of the tea, so now that I know what it is again I'll definitely give it a try sometime soon hopefully.

Oh hey, which game was this? If I had to guess, I'd say... amaranthine?

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


Kilometers Davis posted:

No matcha, just standard greens. This and this. I think I値l take your advice and stretch it to at least 20 hours. (I知 impatient and excited! lol) I do prefer my tea on the strong side so maybe it will be exactly what I want out of cold brew.

Thanks for the sweetness tip. I知 glad though, I致e been drinking tea, uh, 澱lack since I got into it properly. Never thought I could do that before.

Update: I decided to try the citrus mint green at 21 hours. After my first sip I knew I was going to drink it all. Two glasses later I知 pleasantly surprised how well that turned out. Less aroma but such nice flavor. Zero bitterness and an amount of natural sweetness I never expected. I知 not a good enough taster to pick out precisely how it differed from a hot cup but there was a lot going on. Smoother, more subtle. I admittedly drank those cups much faster than I should have but the experience was so beautiful.

I put the leaves back into a bottle for a second steeping. I致e never resteeped tea in general so this should be a fun test. Again, thanks for the advice on the 24 hour mark.

I知 starting to understand how tea as a hobby works. There are so many different ways to enjoy it.

For some reason, whenever I read 'gunpowder', my mind instantly travels to matcha powder. I don't know why. But, I'm glad it worked out well for you. I've never tried resteeping a cold brewed tea. I suppose I should try it out, but I typically make a gallon of tea and that lasts me for at least a few days, so I don't know how well the leaves would keep in between. My typical method is: saturday mid/late day: begin steeping tea. Sunday same-ish time, take out leaves, make simple syrup. By monday morning, its cold again and ready to drink for the week.

My experience making a tea both hot and cold is that the hot tea tends be to stronger, but less sweet, all things equal, while the cold brew tends to be lighter, and more floral. I chalk it up to the different parts of your tongue that work better at different temperatures, allowing you to pick up different nuances of the tea at those temperatures.

One other thing I can recommend is to find a local tea shop, if there are any, and just buy an ounce of whatever smells good. I go to mine every month or so and walk out with usually 2-4 ounces of things for less than $15, and they're all great. Hell, if you're in Canada, go to Bulk Barn if you've got one. It's obviously lower quality tea, but that means it's just that much easier and cheaper for experimentation. Their tropical coconut mango oolong is amazing cold brewed. I'm on a huge lavender kick right now, and one of my favorites is a lavender earl grey. I saw the link that david_a posted up the page for an earl grey oolong, and I am salivating waiting for my next paycheck to go buy some.

neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


Kilometers Davis posted:

Alright tea babby question time. I知 learning the notes and aromas etc pretty well considering I致e never been 堵ood at figuring that kind of thing out. It痴 quite fun. Something I知 picking up on lately in the Irish Breakfast and Earl Grey is a certain punchy smell and flavor. I知 assuming it痴 the bready malty notes in the assam even though the earl gray is made with ceylon. Would that be correct? It痴 not my favorite smell or taste lately and I知 wondering what black teas would have less of that. I知 grabbing some Chinese black tea very soon. update: bought


Thanks! Resteeping didn稚 really work. Just produced some seemingly super weak tea. Oh well! I知 in Florida and it痴 getting into daily 90f high humidity weather so it looks like I値l be cold brewing quite a bit. I知 excited to perfect it.

That seems accurate, yeah. I値l throw some blacks into the water today and see how that turns out just for fun. I知 hoping the earl grey comes out how I知 expecting.

Unfortunately there痴 nothing like that around here that I know of. I知 happy with Adagio痴 offerings for my basics though. It works. The points system is already paying off (holy poo poo I知 buying a lot of tea) and I値l have to check out their subscription system.

Huh. Good to know on the resteeping front. I had assumed, apparently correctly, that 24 hours in the drink would basically take everything the leaves could give. For me, the main draw for earl grey is the slightly citrus note from the bergamot, backed with that strong black tea background. I can't speak much for irish breakfast, as I never really took to that variety. I guess I just had way too much of it while first learning to brew tea, and that soured my taste for it. If you wanna try something that's not black teas, I recommend any sweeter or tropically flavored oolong. Oolongs tend to be sweeter in general than black teas, and the more golden ones tend to have a sort of honey aftertaste that's just amazing. Definitely one of my favorite cold brewed teas was the previously mentioned tropical coconut mango oolong from Bulk Barn.

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neogeo0823
Jul 4, 2007

NO THAT'S NOT ME!!


T-... Try lighting it on fire. With one of those long BBQ lighters. Outdoors, with some sort of shielding between you and it.

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