THE tea thread

Feel free to post anything unrelated to wet shaving or men's grooming (I.e. cars, watches, pens, leather goods. You know, the finer things of life).
brothers
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Post by brothers » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:55 am

Rob, I don't have any suggestions, that would add anything to the links listed above. Will you remember to come back and post about your findings, when you've had a while to work your way through the samples? I'm interested in your results.
Gary

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:04 am

Rob I drink tea daily, usually the black varieties, and didn't use any sweetener until a friend of mine, an allergist, suggested I add a small amount of locally produced honey. He claimed it would help build up a resistance to allergies. We now use honey when making sweet iced tea, the house wine of the South.
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Squire

Rob

Post by Rob » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:03 am

Squire wrote:Rob I've found tea samplers in the 'English' stores in larger metropolitan areas, the type that have imported British, Irish, Scottish goods including foodstuffs.
Squire wrote:Rob I drink tea daily, usually the black varieties, and didn't use any sweetener until a friend of mine, an allergist, suggested I add a small amount of locally produced honey. He claimed it would help build up a resistance to allergies. We now use honey when making sweet iced tea, the house wine of the South.
Ahh, I didn't think of English-style stores. I wonder if we have any in the STL area? I'll take a look. It's *very* Germanic here, so if I can't find any English stores, surely I could find some German stores that carry varieties of teas. Your allergist is a smart Doc. My wife and I ingest local honey a few times a week for the very reason your Doc mentioned. So far, so good on our allergies. Heh, house wine of the South, indeed!
Sam wrote:Rob, I still have not gotten off the Diet Cokes with Limes. However, I do have a camomille tea for bedtime, but hot tea is not my bag, lol.
I do find that the better Italian restaurants in Memphis make a great, strong glass of iced tea. Can't seem to have less than 4 glasses at dinner.

I did try something, a nice mango tea at a Mexican place in Atlanta Atlantic Station, and they gave me a side of simply syrup. Just a little bit really sweetened it up and the waiter said it is better for you than putting in two packets of sugar or one SweetnLo. Don't know if that is true, but it sweetened it up right without having to use a lot.
I know the feeling, Sam, about not being able to get off the sodas. Right now I am drinking a Mello Yello. *sigh* Hmm, I've never tried camomille before. I'll seek some out. I don't even know what camomille is, I guess I'll have to Bing/Google it. Syrup as a sweetener is an interesting idea. Was it plain ol' maple syrup, do you know?
Quarterstick wrote:Contrary to Sam I only do hot teas, no iced, but I have found any tea can be enjoyed either way per your preference. I can find a lot of options at stores like Trader Joes, Cost Plus World Market, Wholes Foods (not sure what is in your area). There is usually some sort of sampler from the various tea companies these stores carry.

There are a number stores that specialize in teas. I am not a tea guru, but I know people that are into tea and these are the types of places they frequent. This is not a recommendation, but a quick online search found this in the St. Louis area:

http://www.teavana.com/

Looks like some sort of chain, so it may be more like an Art of Shaving to draw an anology, but could be a decent starting point.

Hope it helps.
Wow, thanks! We have a World Market just a few miles down the road. I never knew about it. Teavana sounds interesting, we'll have to make a stop there sometime. Thanks for the info, Andy.
Thalay Sagar wrote:Rob, here is a link with a mountain of vendors: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/367181. I've bought from silkroadteas.com, teavana and adagio and been very happy.
Wonderful link, thanks Chris. It's always nice to have a central location for tea links.
brothers wrote:Rob, I don't have any suggestions, that would add anything to the links listed above. Will you remember to come back and post about your findings, when you've had a while to work your way through the samples? I'm interested in your results.
You can count on it, Gary. I'll be sure to update the thread as I progress in my tea-quest, the latest of my acquisition disorders.

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Post by bernards66 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:45 pm

Tea is one of my 'things'...every bit as much of an obsess....er...interest as quality shave goods and toiletries. I've done long posts on tea here at SMF in the past. One can get as deep into it as one chooses...which estate, from which picking, on which side of the mountain?...it can get to that level if you want to get into it ( ex. Namring estate, second flush, TGFBOP Cl meaning, 'tippy golden flowery broken orange pekoe..clonel ). I'm not into tea on that level...not anymore. What I look for are top quality consistant blends. The only loose tea I drink daily anymore is my morning pot. Morning means straight Assam for me. For years I drank mainly Fortnum & Mason Tippy Assam in the AM. But there are no longer any US sources and the 'carriage costs' from F&M in London are astronomical so I had to let it go. I've mail ordered some Assams from Uptons that were good and pretty consistant, but currently, I talked the owner of the local 'British store' into stocking Taylor of Harrogate loose Assam. I'm probably her only customer for it, but bit by bit I will buy any that she orders and she knows it. For the office and at home at night I've degenerated to Twinings Darjeeling tea bags. Kind of lame, I admit, but ordering tea bags just became too much of a hassle and that one Twinings offering isn't really too bad, so I get by.
Regards,
Gordon
Last edited by bernards66 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ouchmychin » Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:29 pm

I have been into "high end" loose teas for quite a few years now. I have many online sources, but one of the better ones has already been suggested here: specialteas.com. My current favorite is uptontea.com. They carry so many estates in their catalog from every tea growing region that it can be pretty intimidating. And trying to plow through the pursed lips smog of sound-alike information on each is just about impossible. Still they do print my name on every label, pretty impressive. I have many online accounts, but a couple I can recall are Capital Teas; Tea Geschwenden; Holy Mountain Tea & M&P's Tea. I used to like darjeelings, but lately I want a thicker tea and drink mostly assams for blacks. Also got into China teas too and I like a new tea they have called "Golden Jade". It is a blend of green and black teas and has an interesting flavor. So now its out. I am a fanatic and whether it is shaving or teas or coffee, I have to go "all the way". I also have a coffee roaster and haunt coffee forums too. Buy my beans green from particular farms all over the world. Recently almost went mad trying to roast a decent cup of Kona. Those are the strangest and fussyest beans I have tried. And they are spendy too.
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Post by Sam » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:59 pm

Rob, the camomille tea was from Walmart. I have linen spray that I spray on my pillows - suppossed to make you sleep, lol. Lavendar is recommended and so is camomille. Well, the tea is a bed time tea. I dont drink hot drinks, never really into coffee and I had maybe one cup of hot chocolate this past winter.

The simply syryp was just that, a syrup that sweetened it. Not as thick as honey, but not a true liquid either. I had heard of it from cooking shows but never had I seen it or used it until the meal in Atlanta.

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Post by rustyblade » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:27 pm

bernards66 wrote: I've degenerated to Twinings Darjeeling tea bags. Kind of lame, I admit, but ordering tea bags just became too much of a hassle and that one Twinings offering isn't really too bad, so I get by.
Regards,
Gordon

Gordon, you should be given a medal. How do you make it through the day?
Richard

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Post by bernards66 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:52 pm

Richard, God knows!....tell ya what, it ain't easy buddy.
Regards,
Gordon

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Post by Squire » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:54 pm

Rob, I dug this out for your consideration. This contraption is what my Grandmother's called a "tea ball", which was used in times past to brew one cup of loose tea at a time.

Image

Image

They come in larger sizes and are currently available.
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Squire

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Post by brothers » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:33 pm

I'm admittedly ignorant about the socially acceptable devices for making tea at the present day. We use tea bags at our house. Is there a consensus that things like the "tea ball" are deemed currently out of favor among the "in" tea crowd? :lol: If we're not approving such things for one another, then what would be a good one for someone hoping to be accepted into the circle?
Gary

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Post by Squire » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:08 pm

I suppose that depends on which circle you wish to be admitted to Gary. Rob expressed an interest in getting into tea and obtaining samples. The tea ball is a nifty item for brewing small amounts of tea for sampling rather than committing to an entire pot. Of course this presupposes one is brewing with loose tea rather than the bagged variety.

Both of my Grandmothers were born in the 1890s and they knew lotsa neat stuff.
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Squire

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Post by Aztecface » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:31 am

Squire, I use the tea balls as well. Very appropriate as I seldom brew an entire pot.

Edit: For larger and longer tea sessions I use a Samovar.
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Jani

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Post by brothers » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:34 am

Would the french press work as well with loose tea as with coffee, or no?
Gary

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Post by Aztecface » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:35 am

brothers wrote:Would the french press work as well with loose tea as with coffee, or no?
Gary, the brits use them for some teas. Irish Breakfast comes to mind.
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Post by Thalay Sagar » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:56 am

Gary, a French press works fine, just don't press it all the way down as the pressure may release some bitter flavors into the tea. My favorite method of brewing a cup is the Ingenui-Tea from Adagio which is a bit like a French press but backwards. The alleged knock on the tea ball is that it doesn't let the tea leaves expand fully, so you don't get full extraction of the flavor. My unsophisticated palate cannot tell the difference.
Best,
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Post by Squire » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:45 am

Anything that will brew coffee will brew tea. The no frills way is to bring some water to boil in a sauce pan, remove from heat, throw in appropriate amount of loose tea and let it seep for about five minutes.
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Squire

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Post by Ouchmychin » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:54 am

One knock on the tea bag is that most companies use finings to fill them. Finings are the leftovers of the tea world. They have been evaluated over the years by Consumer Reports and found to be inferior in flavor to the loose tea versions of the same company. Most loose teas are either whole or broken. Both can be very good. China teas can be enjoyed both for flavor and the appearance of the whole leaves in the strainer. Some of my favorits are so tiny that they are picked only from new shoots that appear for a few days in early spring. A wierd one is Dragon Well (I forget the Chinese name but it is something like Lung Ching). It is picked only at a festival held in a tiny region and immediatly taken to the road beside the orchard where woks are heated on small campfires and the leaves are toasted. A flavor that I like a lot (but my stepson hated).
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Post by brothers » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:15 am

Squire wrote:Anything that will brew coffee will brew tea. The no frills way is to bring some water to boil in a sauce pan, remove from heat, throw in appropriate amount of loose tea and let it seep for about five minutes.
That's good to know. I've enjoyed coffee made in the old fashioned boiling method (only as needed, such as camping or making coffee on a gas range during power outages) for as long as I can remember as a kid who started drinking coffee at age 4, thanks to my dear mom, who still enjoys her coffee, and always offers me a cup when I'm at her house. When visiting my grandparents' home in rural OK, that's how grandma made coffee for all occasions, if memory serves correctly.

Anyway, thanks for confirming my theory that I could do it easily for tea, if necessary.
Gary

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Post by suffolksupplies » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:02 am

You do need boiling water for Tea though. So coffee gizmos don't use hot enough water, not for a proper cup anyway. I have a mini teapot for making just one cup.
Image

I used to drink a wonderful Tea, Irish Breakfast by Taylor's of Harrogate.
Very strong, black Tea which always seemed to produce an excellent cup.
However Taylor have recently discontinued the loose leaf version & I can't stand tea bags.
I am currently searching for a replacement, but I have been unsuccessful so far.
Beware if I end up selecting your favourite brand this will also soon be for the chop.
Best regards,

Paul



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Post by TRBeck » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:11 am

Paul, that's bad news about Taylor's discontinuing the Irish Breakfast. That's a favorite of mine, too. I usually drink their Assam, but the Irish Breakfast is very fine stuff. Wish I'd known it was going to be discontinued; I'd have bought another box.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

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