Whats favorite tea and how do you prepare it?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Northgun, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Northgun

    Northgun Second Unit

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    My wife and I just started really getting into tea. We have been pretty limited in what we have tried so far because we have only used tea bags (that you can get from meijer). We have tried samples at a Teavana and thats what has motivated us to get more into the world of tea. Currently my favorite is a berry tea by meijer and my wife's is a jasmine green tea. I have done a bit of research and talking with some other tea drinkers and they have been pointing me towards a cast iron tea pot and a hot water heater that has multiple temperature settings.

    What is your favorite tea? How do you prepare it? What are your thoughts on cast iron tea pots vs other types of tea pots?
     
  2. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    I enjoy just regular "English" style tea. Your basic Earl Grey, etc.

    I've tried many of the strange teas available, but most of them taste like you're drinking juice from weeds. Yuck.

    Chamomile, a Ginger/Lemon mix, Huckleberry and many others. The only non-traditional tea I enjoyed was made from roasted dandelion root.

    I suppose there are "proper" ways to make tea, but I've never been to picky. Very hot water poured over tea bags in a cup, 3-4 tea bags in a small coffee pot on the stove, it always tastes fine. I do watch the temperature, no boiling water, but other than that, tea is very forgiving.
     
  3. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    Stan, you should always use boiling water for tea (but not coffee, or so my wife tells me!). The big question is, should you pour tea over milk (black tea) or put the milk in after?

    I like mine with two sugars.
     
  4. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    I guess the very hot, but not boiling water is a family trait I inherited.

    Milk always goes in after, never before. :)
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I think the boiling water is an English (or British) thing. Asian hot water pots tend to have settings just below boiling.

    My advice is to find a local Asian grocery or market. The selection there will probably blow away a mall shop like Teavana. I'm sure there are good online sources, but I don't usually buy online.
     
  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I did not notice Keith's location before my last post, but now I see what's going on! :)
     
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  7. Northgun

    Northgun Second Unit

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    found a website called Enjoying Tea (enjoyingtea.com). Their prices seem pretty good, especially on some of their cast iron.
     
  8. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    I like jasmine green tea as well. Lots of herbal teas (which usually have no "tea" in them) and pretty much any kind of green tea, although I won't turn my back on black or white teas. I'm not picky about how I make it...either bags or loose. I don't own a tea pot. If I'm using loose tea, I have a couple of different strainers and infusers.
     
  9. Northgun

    Northgun Second Unit

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    My wife really enjoys green teas. I enjoy them too especially if them have some sort of a berry in it. Have u tried a flowering green tea yet? I had my first flowering tea a couple weeks ago. I was quite impressed.
     
  10. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Zojirushi water boilers make tea stupid easy.

    Had the 4 liter, bought a 2nd 2.2 liter. Two of them is quite nice. Keep the 4 liter full of 208 water. Use the smaller for the other three. Big difference in "reaching" 140.
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Jacob, I just happened to be visiting HTF for the first time in months and saw your post. I own a well established online tea retail business, theteatable.com, so I can give some feedback.

    Electric kettles are great. I recommend getting one. By far my favorite is the Cuisinart CPK-17, which sells for $90-100. It's the only one I've tried with temp controls that actually work. We don't sell those, BTW, so it's an honest suggestion. With premium teas, temperature control is extremely important.

    Tetsubin (cast iron) teapots are impressive (and expensive), but for something practical that you can actually use, I'd go with a nice, functional, ceramic teapot with a good infuser. The good infuser is the toughest part, since a lot of them aren't great. Actually, it's best to have at least two teapots, for flavored and unflavored teas. Never clean them with detergent, BTW.

    One retailer you mentioned is a great place to lighten your wallet, but if you prefer not to pay 3-5X what their tea is worth, there are dozens, even hundreds of better options.
     
  12. Northgun

    Northgun Second Unit

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    I am leaning very heavily towards this particular electric tea kettle. I found it on amazon a bit ago and loved just about everything it had to offer. Its good to hear from someone who actually has it.

    Thanks for the pointer on getting more than one tea pot for flavored and unflavored tea. We were planning on getting two, but not for that reason in particular. We were looking at getting one cast iron tea pot and one glass teapot. The cast iron one we going to be for the majority of our tea and the glass tea pot was going to be for the flowering teas. I found some really good deals on cast irons that get great reviews so adding another one of this would not break the budget by any means.
     
  13. Northgun

    Northgun Second Unit

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    Today is the day I take the plunge. I will be purchasing the Cuisinart CPK-17 for 75 from Yonkers and will be getting a cast iron teapot along with a glass tea pot. Then I'll be ordering some tea from teavana.com along with enjoyingtea.com. I'm looking forward to enjoying all sorts of new teas.
     
  14. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Exactly how does a change of 2 degrees (for example) make any difference in the taste of tea? I have a Cream of Earl Gray from David's Tea that states to steep for 3-5 min. @ 98 degrees C. Boiling is 100 degrees C. I highly doubt that I would be able to detect a taste difference between tea steeped at 98 or 100 degrees C.
     
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  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Jacob, you didn't ask, but Teavana is the Monster Cable of tea with one difference. There are so many better options. There are plenty of options where you are paying mostly for the actual tea rather than marketing & executives.

    What I'm trying to say is, their teas are grossly overpriced. Mediocre teas at premium prices.
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    It actually can make a difference. Tea turns astringent pretty easily and that seemingly small difference between boilING and boilED (caps intended) can be critical. I never fully boil the water when making black tea.
     
  17. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    By astringent, you mean it gets quite bitter? I have to admit I've never tried to heat the water to a specific temperature. I've always just boiled the water.in an old stove top kettle. The other way I've prepared it is using the loose coffee ground insert supplied with Cuisinart K-Cup coffee maker. The second method works but I don't think it really makes a good cup of tea as it seems weak to me.
     
  18. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Well, yeah, though I tend to think of astringent as a little different from bitter. Tea should never be bitter. If it is, then something was done wrong or it might just be bad tea. Usually it's because too much tea was used the water was too hot or it was steeped to long. Making tea using a K-cup probably needs more tea since the water passes through too fast. I've never actually used those, though. I heat water for black tea to 200F, which is about the time bubbles start actively forming on the bottom of the kettle, but before an actual boil.
     
  19. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Owner
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    John, I'm a big customer of yours. I drink iced Casablanca like it's my job. We also love your black teas and oolong blends. I make my tea in a 1.5L Bodum French press and use a digital thermometer for water temperature.
     
  20. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Yeah, Dave, I knew that. Thanks for your business
     

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