Tea Snobbery

Apparently, people like to eat.

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eSOANEM
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:20 pm UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:suppose maybe the more science-centric tea snobs here can help me out-
for years, i have enjoyed the tazo chai latte drinks from coffee shops, but to my dismay, they are quite expensive.

but for the life of me, i cannot recreate them at home, not sure what i am doing wrong. i sourced the tazo chai mix that they use, followed the directions, and... less than spectacular results.


Have you been checking the temperature of the water?

I ended up being given a taster set of different teas from a very fancy company with two of each flavour. The first time I tried the Jasmine it was the best I'd ever had, the second time it was ok. The difference was that the second time the water used was hotter.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby EchoRomulus » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:53 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Tomlidich the second wrote:suppose maybe the more science-centric tea snobs here can help me out-
for years, i have enjoyed the tazo chai latte drinks from coffee shops, but to my dismay, they are quite expensive.

but for the life of me, i cannot recreate them at home, not sure what i am doing wrong. i sourced the tazo chai mix that they use, followed the directions, and... less than spectacular results.


Have you been checking the temperature of the water?

I ended up being given a taster set of different teas from a very fancy company with two of each flavour. The first time I tried the Jasmine it was the best I'd ever had, the second time it was ok. The difference was that the second time the water used was hotter.


In addition to that, he might be using bags.

I've heard that 190-F is the perfect temperature for bagged black teas. 180-F for Green.
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Tomlidich the second
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Tomlidich the second » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:36 pm UTC

EchoRomulus wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
Tomlidich the second wrote:suppose maybe the more science-centric tea snobs here can help me out-
for years, i have enjoyed the tazo chai latte drinks from coffee shops, but to my dismay, they are quite expensive.

but for the life of me, i cannot recreate them at home, not sure what i am doing wrong. i sourced the tazo chai mix that they use, followed the directions, and... less than spectacular results.


Have you been checking the temperature of the water?

I ended up being given a taster set of different teas from a very fancy company with two of each flavour. The first time I tried the Jasmine it was the best I'd ever had, the second time it was ok. The difference was that the second time the water used was hotter.


In addition to that, he might be using bags.

I've heard that 190-F is the perfect temperature for bagged black teas. 180-F for Green.



for temps, no, no checking has been involved.

its not a bagged tea, either, its a sort of pre mix they use. this stuff. same brand, packaging, etc. the coffee shop uses, same ratio of milk/mix, of course i don't have a latte machine, but i try my very best with my countertop stove.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby EchoRomulus » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:06 pm UTC

Well if temp isn't the problem, though it probably is, then we'd need more information about what specifically is wrong, i.e.. too bitter, too sweet, too thin.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Tomlidich the second » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:55 pm UTC

EchoRomulus wrote:Well if temp isn't the problem, though it probably is, then we'd need more information about what specifically is wrong, i.e.. too bitter, too sweet, too thin.


it very well could be the issue.

i dunno, it seems a tad too sweet and the "mouthfeel" is not the same. i guess i would say it seems to be too thin, and "flat" i guess you could say.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby EchoRomulus » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:39 pm UTC

Flat?

Do you know which milk the starbucks used? Are you using the same milk? You may be using 2% instead of whole.
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Tomlidich the second
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Tomlidich the second » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:39 pm UTC

EchoRomulus wrote:Flat?

Do you know which milk the starbucks used? Are you using the same milk? You may be using 2% instead of whole.

won't touch the stuff, its always whole milk for me.

but that is an interesting question, i don't know what type milk they use.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby freezeblade » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:02 pm UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:
EchoRomulus wrote:Flat?

Do you know which milk the starbucks used? Are you using the same milk? You may be using 2% instead of whole.

won't touch the stuff, its always whole milk for me.

but that is an interesting question, i don't know what type milk they use.


Unless you specify otherwise, starbucks will always use 2% milk. At least, they are supposed to, if they were out of 2% they might get lazy if there is a rush on and grab the whole/nonfat or do a mix.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby EchoRomulus » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:00 pm UTC

Does anyone try to add fruit to their tea? I highly recommend making a syrup out of fruit and using it sparingly.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby joek » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:58 pm UTC

EchoRomulus wrote:Does anyone try to add fruit to their tea? I highly recommend making a syrup out of fruit and using it sparingly.


I tend to dislike fruity teas. When it's cold, I'll add some ginger to black tea occasionally, and I have been known to make mint tea with gunpowder and fresh mint leaves. But otherwise, I find flavoured teas too sweet, and that the flavours detract from the glorious teaness.

Now, I have just acquired some white tea (Pai Mu Tan) and am about to start it. The woman on the stall I bought it from suggested I cover the leaves with cold water, and then add boiling water on top of that, to avoid scalding the leaves. I knew that quality white/green tea should be brewed with sub-100C water for best results, but my question is:
Is this way better or worse than turning off the kettle before it quite reaches boiling? As I have no fancy variable temperature kettle, I think it will certainly be easier to do it the way she suggested, but will it impact the taste?

Question the second: I buy my tea from a local tea shop, which gives it to me in brown paper bags. I then store the tea in metal tins like this:
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One of my tins has previously been used to store Lapsang, and I don't want to keep anything else in it until I have got the smoke-smell out of the tin. (I don't anticipate restocking on Lapsang for a while: I tend to only have a few teas on hand at any one time). Is there a good way of getting the smoke smell out, or should I resign myself to having a tin only suitable for Lapsangs?

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Роберт » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:25 pm UTC

joek wrote:I tend to only have a few teas on hand at any one time). Is there a good way of getting the smoke smell out, or should I resign myself to having a tin only suitable for Lapsangs?
You could use it for other teas that are meant to be smoky. Depending on how snobby you want to be.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby dubsola » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:25 am UTC

First guess would be fill it with water and a little white vinegar. Vinegar is pretty good at getting smells out.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby joek » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:31 am UTC

dubsola wrote:First guess would be fill it with water and a little white vinegar. Vinegar is pretty good at getting smells out.


Yeah, I considered a little vinegar. I'll go and see what we have and try that...

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Роберт » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:50 pm UTC

Just make sure you get the vinegar out afterwards. :)
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby EchoRomulus » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:20 pm UTC

There are two reasons to use sub-boiling water.

1. You are using tea bags.

2. You are using non-black tea.

You are reason 2. Personally I watch the kettle and pour some out into a mason jar with a thermal probe when I think it's around 85 C and use it if it gets that hot. But using the cool water will probably help.

But do not pour the boiling water directly onto the leaves or the cold water won't protect them well.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby joek » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:20 pm UTC

EchoRomulus wrote:But do not pour the boiling water directly onto the leaves or the cold water won't protect them well.


Yep, I managed to get that far :P

Do you think your method -- pour the water before it boils -- gives better results? I don't currently own a thermal probe -- I am a university student; I don't have lots of the kitchen equipment I would like -- and in any case it feels like it detracts from the ritual of making tea. If it makes for significantly better tea, though, I am willing to acquire one.

I don't drink tea from bags unless forced, anymore. I switched completely while at university (while I was in VIth Form I would drink looseleaf tea as much as possible, but my family tended to have bagged teas), and I avoid the stuff if at all possible. If my parents visit me while I'm at uni, they always claim that my tea is much better than theirs, and in the holidays I just supply tea for the whole family...

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby EchoRomulus » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:10 pm UTC

I do think it produces better tea. My yardstick is the fact that I've been able to cut the added sugar by about half since I've begun using this method.

I suggest going to thrift stores, garage and estate sales to find kitchen equipment. I've found a lot of good things very cheap that way.


However 99% of the tea I make is Iced tea. I've got my family drinking it instead of pop or kool aid. And I am forced to use teabags unfortunately...but since cold masks many of teas flavors regardless, I am not loosing much by using them.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Nath » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:50 am UTC

Forced by whom?

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby EchoRomulus » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:20 am UTC

Krogers. They don't sell loose tea at mine.

My parents. They still haven't gotten around to getting to the only store in my area we know of that DOES sell loose tea. I'd go there myself but I still haven't gotten my driver's license. (Basically I'm scared to death to drive a car. I didn't realize you need to slow down to enter a turn until Mario Kart came out on the Wii.)
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Tomlidich the second » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:42 pm UTC

they have some intriguing loose teas at thinkgeek.com that i have been wanting to give a shot.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby joek » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:45 pm UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:they have some intriguing loose teas at thinkgeek.com that i have been wanting to give a shot.


As far as I can tell, you can only get samplers of four different teas (well, three teas and some kind of infusion), and both earl grey and jasmine tea are readily available elsewhere. It's not entirely clear what's in the zombie chai, so that might not be as easily accessible, but from what I can see, I wouldn't bother. 4oz of tea for $18 seems a bit steep, although you might think it worth it for the tins. If you just want the teas, thinkgeek appear to buy their tea from adagio.com, and you can certainly buy the earl grey and jasmine green tea direct from them. (The other two teas are custom blends, so are more difficult to get elsewhere...) If you think the ThinkGeek tins and the two custom blends are worth it, though, it certainly looks like they are actually good quality teas...

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Tomlidich the second » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:16 pm UTC

i have some lovely teas that a girl i went out with got me as a christmas present!

its an assorted big box of them from disney, yes, technically bagged, but not objectionable.

this shall be my office supply stash for awhile.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby BoneHead » Wed May 28, 2014 12:14 am UTC

After having spent a year in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), I don't think I could live without Chimarrão (also called Mate) anymore. The great thing is, you prepare it once (which is super easy and takes like two minutes) and then you can just keep putting in water from a thermic bottle and it lasts for pretty much ever. It has a pretty neutral taste, so you can drink large amounts, and above all it looks cool.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Quercus » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:51 am UTC

Jasmine silver needle tea is bloody amazing. That is all.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby SpaceMammoth » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:10 pm UTC

I'm actually trying to grow some tea, looking on the internet its fairly easy to make green tea from fresh leaves. However at the rate my trees are growing it'll be years before I have a cuppa - I tried earlier this year and the result was indistinguishable from hot water, need more leaves.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:42 pm UTC

Where did you get the plants?
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby freezeblade » Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:24 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Where did you get the plants?


I don't know about the OP, but I got my tea bushes from ACE hardware, their garden section at my local one is really good, and they special ordered it in for me. If you ask them for a "tea bush" they'll look at you like you have three heads, but if you ask for the latin name Camellia sinensisthey can order it in pretty easily. Granted, you never know exactly what type you get, but judging by the leaf size and shape, you can take a guess (I'm pretty sure mine is an indian variety, not the chinese variety, which has smaller leaves).
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby poxic » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:02 pm UTC

NECRO (teacro?)!

I'm still allergic to tea. The one I found a couple of years ago, made from apples/almonds/beets, is out of play now because the apple allergy has resurged.

I worked up the courage to go back to David's Tea and look for another leafless tea. They had Banana Nut Bread, which has no leaves and no apples! So I got a big tin of it. Aaaand there's nevertheless something in there that I react to. Goddammitsomuch. (Might be the currants, might be the "natural flavours".)

It got me thinking though. I have almonds and hazelnuts, and various dried fruit, and spices. I bashed/chopped/sprinkled some of each and put the bits in a tea steeper, then added a small amount of the bought tea minus the currants. It works! I can has tea (sorta)!

This not only gives me hot things to drink, it's also a new thing to experiment with in the kitchen. Would allspice be yummy or bleh? How about a bit of barley? (Already tried some oats. Not really a hit.) Not having a working oven/stove really cuts into my creative cooking time, so this will scratch that itch for a while.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Zohar » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:57 pm UTC

Yey for creative solutions! I hope you find delicious combos!
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Bane Harper » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:03 am UTC

I love teas all of them……….a good lesser caffeinated break time for late nights work :wink:

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Angua » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:43 pm UTC

Sorrel is made from hibiscus flowers and would go well with allspice.

Sorrel the drink is made ( at least in nevis) from sorrel, cloves, ginger and allspice but I bet you'd be fine with any combination.

Due to the lack of allspice leaves in England (and buying thr berries online too much of a faff) I put a bunch of the ground powder inside a rolled up paper towel that I shove in a small tea strainer on a chain. It works pretty well.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby poxic » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:19 pm UTC

I'm allergic to hibiscus (because of course I am), but I haven't tried a piece of clove yet.

My current batch has these things, in roughly descending volume: almonds, hazelnuts, dried figs and dates, dried cherries, dried blueberries, flaked unsweetened coconut, crushed cinnamon stick, crushed allspice, whole cumin, and a pinch of maple sugar added at brewing. It's pretty good but it takes half an hour to bash and snip everything into a decent state of teableness (~three cups of plant matter at a time, lasts me a couple of weeks).

The hazelnut and maple together make me think of this as tree-flavoured, but it's probably more fruity than anything.
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