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Thread: Tea? TEA!

  1. #61
    Activated Node CWalker's Avatar
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    If I don't drink a cup of tea a day, I cease to function properly. It doesn't matter who makes it, or where it's from, as long as it has milk and two spoonfuls of sugar, I'm happy. That said, when I was in France, I was forced into having it milkless and sugarless, and it was ruddy delightful. So, yes, tea.

  2. #62
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    I have recently discovered that Kenya Milima Estate is one of my favorite black teas of all time. Sweet, rich, with virtually no bitterness, I really can't recommend it highly enough if you enjoy black tea. Oh, and it ices really well, too.
    Ices well, you say? Hmmmm. All the teas I have at home are delicious hot, but pretty awful iced unless you put a lot of lemon and sugar in (at which point I stop and ask myself why I didn't make lemonade instead). Could do with looking this stuff up.

  3. #63
    Obscure Node Plankton's Avatar
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    I am a tea fan too. No milk, no sugar. Sugar creates this bad feeling and taste in my mouth after a while, blergh. If you need milk in your tea then it's probably just too bitter for my liking.
    I tend to pour the boiling water into my tea pot or my pint tea-cup and let it rest for a minute and only then put in the tea (unless its herbal or fruit or rooibos then its straight into the boiling water). It's almost always loose leave tea im drinking. In winter I drink more than in summer.
    Loving green tea in particular. Got enamoured with the taste of Green tea because of a bag of unlabelled tea I found in the cupboard. Pretty sure it had some other ingredient in it as well that gave it a special flavour. Since then I've been on the search for that green tea. Haven't found it yet. There was another really great green tea my brother brought back from his vacation on Sri Lanka (he bought a full kilo). It created this nice bit of foam, kind of like coffee does, when you poured in the water. No idea why I can't seem to find a kind of green tea like that over here either.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plankton View Post
    Loving green tea in particular. Got enamoured with the taste of Green tea because of a bag of unlabelled tea I found in the cupboard. Pretty sure it had some other ingredient in it as well that gave it a special flavour. Since then I've been on the search for that green tea. Haven't found it yet. There was another really great green tea my brother brought back from his vacation on Sri Lanka (he bought a full kilo). It created this nice bit of foam, kind of like coffee does, when you poured in the water. No idea why I can't seem to find a kind of green tea like that over here either.
    I've had problems finding green teas that foam properly too; they don't seem to taste like they should if they don't foam. I don't know if it's partly because the kinds you can get here usually aren't too fresh or something. Some of the ones I've tried have been really horrible too. I usually stick with Chinese gunpowder tea now.
    I usually pour the tea from the pot into another pot or bowl from a good height and back again a few times to get as much air into the tea as possible. That seems to help. I also have a small whisk I use and that can make all the difference for the taste.


    Aside from a bit of green tea from time to time, I mainly just drink some variant of Earl Grey (or what they call Earl Grey, anyway) because it's hard to find anything else here, unless you want to resort to teabags, which I don't. I do prefer the simpler black teas, though. No sugar, milk or lemon or anything. Earl Grey with jasmin is about as complicated as I like to get, but then, I do drink about 5-6 liters of tea a day and it's hard to find fancier tea blends that I can stand to drink that much of.

    I got all spontaneous the other day and bought 'licorice tea', black tea with anise. Smells sort of like boiling pastis when you make it, but it's much more mild when you drink it. Nice for a bit of variation.

  5. #65
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    Morning: English Breakfast tea, boiling water, steep for 4 minutes, add a splash of milk and honey.
    10:00 a.m.: Regular black tea, boiling water, steep for 1 minute, splash of milk and a spoonful of sugar.
    Afternoon: Earl Grey, boiling water, leave the teabag in as it's good at all strengths, add a tiny bit of sugar.
    Evening: Chamomile tea, not-quite-but-almost boiling water, leave the teabag in, drink as is or add a bit of honey.
    Around noon I also usually drink a glass of my homemade iced black tea with some sugar.

    And yes, I use teabags. Mostly because it's impossible to find anything loose locally (tea shop closed its doors last year :( ) and because it's convenient.

    I ran out of English Breakfast so I tried some coffee this morning. Now I remember why I quit coffee (only a couple months ago); it's like drinking liquid tar, puts me in a bad mood, it's addicting, and totally throws my digestion out of whack. Sigh.

  6. #66
    Lesser Hivemind Node DigitalSignalX's Avatar
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    I actually prefer my tea with ice and some sugar. But then again, as an American, where you have to go out of your way to find tea that quite literally isn't the crap that falls on the floor when they're making real tea, my tastes run a bit simple. Three or four really large tea bags from Lipton in a four quart jug, steep all day on the porch till it's the color of black molasses. Then just store in fridge, mix half/half with cold water when you pour a glass. It lasts about a week.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalSignalX View Post
    I actually prefer my tea with ice and some sugar. But then again, as an American, where you have to go out of your way to find tea that quite literally isn't the crap that falls on the floor when they're making real tea, my tastes run a bit simple. Three or four really large tea bags from Lipton in a four quart jug, steep all day on the porch till it's the color of black molasses. Then just store in fridge, mix half/half with cold water when you pour a glass. It lasts about a week.
    Yeah it's hard to find quality tea here in Arizona unless you're lucky enough to find a specialty shop. And every time I complain to friends about the lack of real tea they just give me a funny look and ask me what the heck I'm talking about, there's a perfectly good can of [syrupy] iced tea right behind you on the shelf.

    For my iced tea I just throw some Bigelow (sp?) black tea bags in a glass jug and set it outside to steep for a few hours. I usually just put lemon and sugar in mine, though. Never tried half and half, though.

  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    I've always held that if you leave tea leaves or tea bags in too long it gets "stewed" - oversteeped and bitter. Partly because it's been brewing for too long, and partly because more bitter chemicals such as tannins and less of the "good stuff" comes out at lower temperatures, which is why you should use boiling water when making tea and never, ever put the milk into the cup with the teabag and then add the water.
    However I know nothing of the making of iced tea, and since you're the ones who are drinking it I suspect you're doing it right.

    I do know that America, as a whole, has a reputation for brining you a cup of hottish water and a teabag on the side. What is wrong with you, stereotyped America?

  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by President Weasel View Post
    I've always held that if you leave tea leaves or tea bags in too long it gets "stewed" - oversteeped and bitter. Partly because it's been brewing for too long, and partly because more bitter chemicals such as tannins and less of the "good stuff" comes out at lower temperatures, which is why you should use boiling water when making tea and never, ever put the milk into the cup with the teabag and then add the water.
    However I know nothing of the making of iced tea, and since you're the ones who are drinking it I suspect you're doing it right.

    The tannin issue certainly applies to icing tea as well. That is, steeping black tea for "hours" to make iced tea will result in profoundly bitter iced tea. Then again, if you're using Bigelow or Lipton, it's going to be bitter anyway, so it's entirely possible not to notice. As far as cheap bagged black tea for icing goes, Luzianne is (IMO) much better.

    I do know that America, as a whole, has a reputation for brining you a cup of hottish water and a teabag on the side. What is wrong with you, stereotyped America?
    Most people don't know the difference. It is, however, entirely possible to get very tasty flavored teas from bags in this country (Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice being a prime example). For straight black tea, though, you're wildly better off with something loose.

  10. #70
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    For straight black tea, though, you're wildly better off with something loose.
    I thought Red Rose was pretty decent (also, little ceramic figurines!), but I haven't had it in years. Nostalgia factor?

    I do remember Trader Joe's Earl Grey being surprisingly poor, though.

  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus President Weasel's Avatar
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    A favourite fact of mine is that British armoured vehicles (such as the Challenger 2 MBT) come with a Boiling Vessel as standard equipment, to ensure the troops can always have a cuppa.

  12. #72
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    I was talking to someone earlier who makes her tea with soya milk and six sugars. SOYA MILK AND SIX SUGARS, I ask you. She is clearly NUTS.

  13. #73
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    I thought Red Rose was pretty decent (also, little ceramic figurines!), but I haven't had it in years. Nostalgia factor?

    I do remember Trader Joe's Earl Grey being surprisingly poor, though.
    Yeah, qualify everything I said there with "usually" and "in my experience." I've not had Red Rose, so I couldn't comment.

  14. #74
    Activated Node P7uen's Avatar
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    At work they only have Lipton's English Breakfast, my friend says I should be bringing Yorkshire in at my own expense.

    We also don't have milk, we have little plastic pots of chemicals. I was told it was 'Half and Half', but when I asked what the halves were, I received a blank expression. So I buy my own milk.

    As only bagged is practical at work, what do you seasoned drinkers recommend?

  15. #75
    Obscure Node Plankton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tossrStu View Post
    I was talking to someone earlier who makes her tea with soya milk and six sugars. SOYA MILK AND SIX SUGARS, I ask you. She is clearly NUTS.
    Challenge accepted, I'm gonna try this!

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kody94 View Post
    Yeah it's hard to find quality tea here in Arizona unless you're lucky enough to find a specialty shop.
    The Internet will help. Buy your tea online!

    I get delicious Republic of Tea tea (maté and vanilla almond), which I fell in love with when I lived in the US, shipped in bulk to the UK (500 tea bags for ~$70).

    Also, in Chicago there's a lovely chain of tea shops called Argo Tea, and you can buy their loose tea online (though they won't ship internationally, the scoundrels). If you like maté, their maté laté is the best, with almond and cocoa.

    Of course, there are bound to be numerous other online tea sources too.

  17. #77
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    Thanks, I'll have to look into those sites. I've heard the Art of Tea is a good site to shop at, but I believe they only sell loose tea (which isn't a bad thing, I just have no way of making it at the moment).

    Due to my lack of English Breakfast I resorted to Bigelow black tea with honey this morning. It was surprisingly very good.

  18. #78
    Obscure Node Plankton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kody94 View Post
    Thanks, I'll have to look into those sites. I've heard the Art of Tea is a good site to shop at, but I believe they only sell loose tea (which isn't a bad thing, I just have no way of making it at the moment).
    Make sure you check your supermarket. Over here we have DIY-teabags for loose leave tea next to all the coffee filter shenanigans.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plankton View Post
    Make sure you check your supermarket. Over here we have DIY-teabags for loose leave tea next to all the coffee filter shenanigans.
    I do remember seeing empty teabags at Fry's a while back, before I drank tea. I'll have to check those out some time. Are the tea bags portable or do you have to use them immediately after you prepare them?

  20. #80
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    There are also things like the Sharky that Anthile posted on the third page, or 'tea submarines' - essentially a reusable metal teabag.
    Good side: They're portable because they're solid; they look awesome.
    Bad side: You still have to fill them with loose tea, so you'd need to bring a bag of tea and a spoon to work; they're too expensive to buy a few and fill them up at home.

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