Tea Snobbery

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby parkaboy » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:39 am UTC

sherbertfox wrote:Yogi Organic Mayan Cocoa Spice +1



i ALMOST grabbed this last time i saw it. now, with a recommendation, i'll have to try it.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby PictureSarah » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:03 am UTC

It's pretty yummy. Lately I've been trying to cut myself off from sugar in my tea, and Mayan Cocoa Spice is really good with or without sugar, so it's been helpful for that.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kithplana » Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:46 am UTC

My favorite tea is Twinings peach black tea, but I think I might be developing a fondness for some lemon rooibos of a brand I cannot remember. I've wanted to try looseleaf for a while, and there's a tea shop near my workplace, but I haven't found the time or money...

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:54 am UTC

Kithplana wrote:My favorite tea is Twinings peach black tea, but I think I might be developing a fondness for some lemon rooibos of a brand I cannot remember. I've wanted to try looseleaf for a while, and there's a tea shop near my workplace, but I haven't found the time or money...

Well if you work it out per-bag... loose-leaf tea tends to be cheaper on average than bagged tea. Even crappy bagged tea. KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby williamager » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:18 am UTC

I usually drink breakfast tea in the morning and Prince of Wales in the afternoon, both from loose, unstrained Twinings. I've never understood why there are so many people who are averse to unstrained tea, as the leaves simply sink. Bagged tea is generally rather unpalatable, and I so tend to avoid it unless it's the only option available, as it so often seems to be now.

Ideally, tea must be made in a pre-warmed teapot, with boiling (notice boiling, not boiled) water. It must be left for 4 minutes before taking the first cup. Tea must always be added after milk. Ideally, tea must be drunk with a nice slice of fruitcake, with a good book in hand.


These, I fear, I must repudiate as only beliefs and preferences. I nearly always add either heavy cream or milk afterwards (I've never used sugar), and don't find that it makes any significant difference; however, it is significantly more convenient when drinking multiple cups, and also allows one to more finely discern the amount of cream that needs to be added. There is a vague memory that drifts about in my mind, not wholly recalled and yet not forgotten, suggesting that this is a point of considerable debate among some segments of society.

As for the warming of the teapot, it is my understanding that doing so is a precaution to prevent damage to porcelain teapots, and thus I skip this step with the silver teapots I usually use. I haven't found it to make any difference in taste, though I continue to prewarm our porcelain and bone china teapots on the infrequent occasions when I use them.

I generally prefer to accompany my tea with conversation, rather than books, and of the comestibles I would think to have with my tea, fruitcake has not figured prominently, or indeed at all; I may have to try the combination. I generally prefer to have good scones (the ones that are so fleeting, and scarcely last an hour), Welsh rabbit, or a wide variety of other things with names I cannot easily recall, and may never have really known.

Kizyr wrote:
Kithplana wrote:My favorite tea is Twinings peach black tea, but I think I might be developing a fondness for some lemon rooibos of a brand I cannot remember. I've wanted to try looseleaf for a while, and there's a tea shop near my workplace, but I haven't found the time or money...

Well if you work it out per-bag... loose-leaf tea tends to be cheaper on average than bagged tea. Even crappy bagged tea. KF


Tea shops can often have absurdly inordinate prices, at least in the US. I generally purchase tea on the internet.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Moo » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:36 am UTC

I myself wondered about the validity of the milk before tea / tea before milk debate so I Googled it a bit. I went home and specifically tried the two; I can't tell the difference but the explanation offered by a well-known tea producer's website (I forget which) made sense. When you add milk to tea, the first drop of cold milk hits the whole cup of hot tea, has its temperature almost instantly raised and thus scalds. The other way around, the first drop of hot tea to hit the cold milk lowers in temperature but this has no significant effect on it; there is lots of tea so the whole cup's temperature doesn't get percievably lowered and the milk warms up gradually since there was more of it in the cup than tea for the first few moments.

I still don't know what's so bad about a few drops of scalded milk though as it all tastes the same to me (I am no tea connoisseur).
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:30 pm UTC

Ideally, tea must be made in a pre-warmed teapot, with boiling (notice boiling, not boiled) water. It must be left for 4 minutes before taking the first cup. Tea must always be added after milk. Ideally, tea must be drunk with a nice slice of fruitcake, with a good book in hand.

This... is pretty silly advice, in general. Different teas go well with different things; there's no one way to drink all the thousands of varieties of tea out there. Not all teas are served with a teapot. Some teas (long jing, e.g.), should not be brewed with boiling water, but with a small bit of cold/room temperature water, then hot water.

...I'm realizing that if I go on, I'm going to get into a really long post. And my code's finished compiling, so I don't have an excuse to slack off at the moment for that long.

Maybe another time. KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Moo » Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

(I think he meant English/Darjeeling/Ceylon type tea)
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Nebuduck » Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:58 pm UTC

Yes, sorry, I should have clarified. I drink, 95% of the time, english breakfast teas of various descriptions. What I say applies mainly to those. I wouldn't pretend to have enough experience of any other type of tea to offer an opinion on something so important as how it should be made.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:56 pm UTC

Moo wrote:(I think he meant English/Darjeeling/Ceylon type tea)
Nebuduck wrote:Yes, sorry, I should have clarified. I drink, 95% of the time, english breakfast teas of various descriptions. What I say applies mainly to those. I wouldn't pretend to have enough experience of any other type of tea to offer an opinion on something so important as how it should be made.

Well then...
...we're in agreement. Thanks for the clarification, and sorry for the misunderstanding.

Although, I've added the milk both before and after and never have noticed a taste difference. (Though with Ceylon tea, half the time I don't even add milk anyway and it's still rather good.)

williamager wrote:Tea shops can often have absurdly inordinate prices, at least in the US. I generally purchase tea on the internet.

It greatly depends on where you go and what quality you're looking for, though. But I do agree that a lot of specialty shops are rather overpriced, although there're a handful that are pretty good, I've found. I'll go between those few stores and ordering online, generally.

Bagged tea has widely varying quality, also. Celestial Seasonings and Bigelow (two of the major ones in the US) have pretty poor quality, generally. Twinings and Numi I've found to be pretty good. I really think it has more to do with the quality of the leaves than whether or not it's bagged. KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby zombie_monkey » Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:28 pm UTC

I am of the opressed minority who consider milk an abominable substance. At least, definitely when it comes to adding it to tea. I am confronted about this daily.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Midnight » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:25 pm UTC

Barry's is good (or is it Bailey's? i can never remember). it's in the pyramid-shaped bags, and it's pretty.. geh, light but heavy at the same time explains it well. Perhaps heavy/dark with light/floral aromas works better.

I add a strong tablespoon of sugar, a dash of cream (i used to use milk, but i had to use more of it and it compromised the flavor, i feel) and i leave the teabag in.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:18 am UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:I am of the opressed minority who consider milk an abominable substance. At least, definitely when it comes to adding it to tea. I am confronted about this daily.

It's a matter of taste, really. Depending on the tea, it can go well with milk, cream, honey, sugar, mint, some combination thereof, or none of them. And even then it depends on taste.

For me, milk (usually evaporated milk) goes well with most black teas. It doesn't go with anything less oxidized, generally. It affects the taste, and it's a different drink, but still a good drink if you like the taste of it. There's nothing wrong with adding little or nothing, though; that's why milk/sugar are usually on the side when tea is served.

The thing is, a lot of teas are blends of something or other (e.g., earl grey being bergamot+black tea). So preparing tea usually involves mixing something somewhere along the way. KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Savoy_Truffle » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:16 am UTC

Ahh tea... I'm not much of a snob really though, as I don't really dislike any tea/brand but for peppermint (which simply tastes like watery toothpaste to me, but maybe I steep it too long). I used to be a big fan of Earl Grey too, before I decided to cut caffeine from my life completely (I can count the times I've benefitted from the drug on one hand).
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:40 pm UTC

Midnight wrote:Barry's is good (or is it Bailey's? i can never remember). it's in the pyramid-shaped bags, and it's pretty.. geh, light but heavy at the same time explains it well. Perhaps heavy/dark with light/floral aromas works better.

I add a strong tablespoon of sugar, a dash of cream (i used to use milk, but i had to use more of it and it compromised the flavor, i feel) and i leave the teabag in.


To be honest, Bailey's and tea would be pretty weird.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby SomeoneElse » Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:51 pm UTC

I can't drink tea with anything but milk and sugar really.. I can do without sugar, but its not quite the same. Sugar makes it less "dry" to the mouth as well as the obvious function of making it more sweet. Milk is an essential though - it completely transforms the taste of it.

The thing is with tea is that it is a very delicate flavour. One wrong maneuver and it tastes like shite. Coffee you can do pretty much anything with and the taste is so overpowering that it'll be essentially the same, but tea is hard to get exactly right. If you put in one drop too much of milk, it'll be too weak. Not brewed for long enough or for too long - you're fucked.

I suppose it does depend on the type of tea you're drinking really, but I pretty much exclusively drink "regular" tea (ie, English Breakfast). You really can't rush a good cup of tea.. i nearly always get fidgety and impatient when waiting for my tea fix to brew, and i end up pouring it out of the pot too early, or quickly pouring a cup by itself without the pot. Its drinkable, but nowhere near as satisfying.

For the perfect cup though, it needs to be brewed in a pot for about 5 minutes, then slowly poured into the cup. Pour a splash first to check on the colour of the tea, and once you're sure it has fully brewed, pour the cup. Oh, and don't use the dregs at the bottom of the pot. I always add the milk in last, as I find it easier to see how much milk i need to put in. Everyone says that you should add the milk in first, but I always end up adding too much milk that way.

How does everyone else make their tea, and ensure that its perfect?

PS. Yes, Baileys in tea is weird. As is cream. And honey?! I suppose it has to be the right sort of tea to make it work.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Seven » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:31 am UTC

I drink my black tea with only milk.

I drink my herbal teas with honey. :D

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby PictureSarah » Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:53 pm UTC

I drink black teas with milk and sugar, or sometimes just sugar. Sometimes with neither if they're more mild. I drink herbal teas with nothing. I drink green teas with lemon and honey, or with nothing.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Midnight » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:53 am UTC

hmmm... bailey's and barry's.


i must test this.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Enid » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:32 am UTC

I started reading this thread and realized that I had not yet tried a cup of the awesome jasmine tea my ex gave me for Christmas. He got it when he was in China so I couldn't tell you a brand. After a bit of a break, I'm back with my delicious hot beverage, sweetened with a bit of honey. I use honey for green teas and for black teas I generally use a splash of milk and, depending on my mood, 1/2 to 1 1/2 spoons of sugar.

I'm not really a tea snob, but I love it and am getting progressively snobbier. I love iced tea, but as a bit of a heretical southerner, I think most restaurants over sweeten it so I prefer to make my own. As hot teas go I mostly drink Twinnings Lady Grey or Darjeeling or some variety of jasmine tea. Of course, I have a huge mound of tea boxes in my kitchen from which I sometimes pick something a bit different. For the moment they are all bagged tea, but I'd like to try loose and also explore some types of teas I havn't tried. The same guy who gave me the jasmine tea insists that I need to try bubble tea but the idea seems kinda strange to me.

I also have this gorgeous black and green teapot with four matching cups, but since I got it not too long ago and I generally drink tea alone these days (*sniff*), I havn't had a chance to try it out. When drinking tea by myself I just make a cup or mug. I need someone to sit around drinking tea with...

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Heather » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:35 am UTC

I am quite the tea-a-holic. I usually have a cup of English Breakfast in the mornings (milk + 2 sugars). Sometimes I'll have a bit more. There's a fantastic chain of shops here in Australia called the Tea Centre, which has walls and walls of fabulous looseleaf teas. I currently have some Chai, some Mandarin Oolong, and a flower bud of white something-or-another. I plan to raid the store sometime soon when I have a bit more cash to spare, for both tea, and teapots. There's also T2, with a very similar but more new-age/modern sort of vibe to it. Bit expensive, but you get what you pay for.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Moo » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:51 am UTC

Advice needed: rose tea. Please?

So I have all these beautiful little dried rosebuds but I'm not sure what to do with them. I had about 5 in a mug of hot water with honey, which tasted like water with honey (the friend who gifted them to me said to use 1 or 2!). Googling is surprisingly unhelpful. There are no other leafy bits, just the buds.

What now?
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Nullcline » Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:22 pm UTC

I usually only drink tea to calm my stomach after I've poured nothing but double strength black coffee and whiskey into it for a week or so. I used to have a thing for chrysanthemem tea, but I haven't had it in years.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

Moo wrote:Advice needed: rose tea. Please?

So I have all these beautiful little dried rosebuds but I'm not sure what to do with them. I had about 5 in a mug of hot water with honey, which tasted like water with honey (the friend who gifted them to me said to use 1 or 2!). Googling is surprisingly unhelpful. There are no other leafy bits, just the buds.

What now?

Well... I don't particularly like rosebuds in tea. I find them rather bland. However, I have seen them mixed with both green tea and rooibos. You can try mixing it with one of those.

Perhaps try rosebuds + lavender, and mix that with either green tea or rooibos (loose-leaf, of course). I'm thinking perhaps use about 1/16ths as much of the rosebud+lavender part as the rooibos-or-green tea part. As for green tea, long jing is sort of the standard, but I think anything on the lower end of oxidation for green teas would be ok.

Note that I can't really guarantee the taste of any of this, since, like I said, I generally don't prefer rosebuds in tea. But I think these might work out.

EDIT: It occurs to me that it might also go with spearmint, if you like mint that is. You could probably use a higher ratio (like 1:8 instead of 1:16). KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby parkaboy » Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:43 pm UTC

i just (like, 20 minutes ago) read an article about tea plantations in india, work conditions, picking wages, benefits and such... i think when i buy tea i'm going to start checking out the backgrounds of the companies that produce them. I've never had moral qualms about any food items before, but i've never much paid attention to how things i eat get to my table. i didnt realize it can get as bad, or worse, than textiles and other every-day mass-produced items.

anyone have any info on tea growers that i should not buy or that i SHOULD buy based on ethical reasoning?
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Seven » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:13 am UTC

Moo wrote:Advice needed: rose tea. Please?

So I have all these beautiful little dried rosebuds but I'm not sure what to do with them. I had about 5 in a mug of hot water with honey, which tasted like water with honey (the friend who gifted them to me said to use 1 or 2!). Googling is surprisingly unhelpful. There are no other leafy bits, just the buds.
I've recently run into more info on roses when I was researching tincturing. Try looking up "rosewater" and recipes... Usually the rose petals - without the green bits - are boiled for a time. I don't think just dropping dried rosebuds in a cup with boiling water would be enough (when tincturing in alcohol, you have to leave it sit for weeks).... Also, from what I read, I understand that too much rose flavoring tastes "soapy"...

Google rosewater and take a look at the 'related searches' at the bottom of the page, like rosewater recipe and rosewater uses.

I also just Googled rosewater tea, and there's all kinds of stuff!

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:30 am UTC

I grew up not drinking much tea, probably because all my mother ever drank was Celestial Seasonings samplers. I remember liking the peppermint because I thought it was like candy.

I've always loved the tea served at decent Chinese Restaurants; some people tell me it's straight Oolong and some say it's a blend of Oolong, Jasmine and/or Green tea. I suppose it varies from place to place.

At some point I visited England and discovered why people would ever put milk or cream in tea. Damn, that stuff is strong! Not my thing at all. I think a sizable cup of Earl Grey with a spoonful of marmalade is just about the best thing ever, as far as tea is concerned.

But I'm still not huge on tea.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

Seven wrote:Try looking up "rosewater" and recipes... Usually the rose petals - without the green bits - are boiled for a time. I don't think just dropping dried rosebuds in a cup with boiling water would be enough (when tincturing in alcohol, you have to leave it sit for weeks).... Also, from what I read, I understand that too much rose flavoring tastes "soapy"...

Oh yeah, definitely true. I've had drinks with too much rosewater before and it had a very weird "sweet soap" taste too it. Not enough to put me off, but enough to be noticeable. I mean, it was still good, but the 'soap' taste was really strange.

Rosewater is used in a lot of things. As far as tea goes, rosewater is sometimes mixed with Moroccan mint tea. Moroccan/North African mint tea is a bit difficult to make right (particularly getting the proportion of green tea to mint right), but if it's made well, a little bit of rosewater really improves the taste. KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby cephalopod9 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:27 am UTC

Currently enjoying: Decaf green tea steeped in a plastic mug, and some oreos. I don't think that counts as snobbery.
I also like earl grey, some English afternoon tea my parents brought back from a trip, and I've tried some of the Starbucks teas and other coffee places, but I don't put stuff in it.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kineticka » Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Currently drinking a nice cup of peppermint tea and taking a moment to myself. :)

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Sartorius » Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:51 am UTC

I enjoy peppermint tea as well! I have some peppermint tea that's apparently made from a company in Germany called Teekanne. It reminds me of some fresh-picked and home-brewed peppermint tea that I had in Germany. I especially like it because I don't need to add sugar.

I found some good tea herbal (or tea that I really like, I should say) at the dollar store of all places. It doesn't need sugar either, and you can smell the herbs through the package.

Twinings Early Grey with evaporated milk and sugar is my staple tea, though I'm not sure I can really call anything my "staple tea" because I like to try many different kinds of flavors.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby awm22 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:58 pm UTC

predisposed wrote:Don' forget in the true working class tea blend - one cup 3 sugars - strong enough for the spoon to stand - and only suitable to drink whilst wearing the standard high visibility jacket. Thisd breed of tea drinker can be found ionside the local cafe of most council estates



chuckle chuckle!

in fact if you can't prepare "builders tea" you can forget the plumber/builder/electrician ever doing a decent job first time around let alone coming back again !

I recall having workers in the place ask specifically for "real tea please" after I accidentally served Earl Grey.

whenever my mother-in-law visits she also complains about the strength of tea, so she gets a "builders special" (sans sugar.)



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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby socynicalsohip » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:09 pm UTC

I had a part time job whilst at High School working at Whittards of Chelsea where I had to undertake tea and coffee exams. If you get the chance buy from there do so, never settle for any of that Twinings crap. English Breakfast is by far my favourite blend but the Ceylon and Gunpowder varieties are pretty good aswell.

I agree with previous tea comments that the chinese are truly the masters of the tea ceremony and I have yet to have a bad cup of tea in China. But this is the tea I hanker after is this http://www.teavana.com/Monkey+Picked+Oolong+Oolong+Tea/keywords=oolong/page_no=1/edp_no=4489/shop.axd/ProductDetails....

The high price is apparently because it only grows on the top of particularly procarious cliffs and is hard to pick [hence the rather romantic image of Monkey Tea Pickers].

Anyhow best pretend to do some work, to close however: in short I still cherish my cetificate I received when I was 16 proclaiming "I love Tea"...
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:05 pm UTC

socynicalsohip wrote:I agree with previous tea comments that the chinese are truly the masters of the tea ceremony and I have yet to have a bad cup of tea in China. But this is the tea I hanker after is this http://www.teavana.com/Monkey+Picked+Oolong+Oolong+Tea/keywords=oolong/page_no=1/edp_no=4489/shop.axd/ProductDetails....


I was tempted to try this the last time I was at a teahouse. I think I went with one of the other oolong varieties instead. Perhaps I'll go for this next time... KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby reflectia » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:18 pm UTC

For tea bags, I go for the Twinings Peach Black Tea, Twinings Earl Grey, and Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Spice.

But usually I just have a cup of Jasmine Tea.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Dr.Beardface » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:59 am UTC

I <3 Tea

I still love coffee but at home I drink tea, usually the English breakfast variety but sometimes Assam or mate tea if I fancy something different. I always buy coffee when out hough as people invariably offer you a cup of hot water with a bag of ming in it and point you towards some week old milk. I'll have to go to a proper tea house sometime.

As for decaffeinated tea or coffee: bleh.

P.S I always take my tea with milk but no sugar as I think it wrecks the taste.

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:21 pm UTC

Who else here likes Coca tea? I brought some back from Bolivia, and it's pretty good, tastes best with sugar but no milk.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:35 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Who else here likes Coca tea? I brought some back from Bolivia, and it's pretty good, tastes best with sugar but no milk.

I tried it in Cusco once. Very good and mild flavor, and smooth texture. I'd think it's better when you're at high altitudes, though, and without any additives.

Although any side-effects from it are mild, I still wouldn't drink it before expecting a drug test, and definitely wouldn't bring any back into the US. Dunno how UK customs are with it, though. KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:07 pm UTC

They didn't notice, but it's not illegal in any case.

Additives?
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:45 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:They didn't notice, but it's not illegal in any case.

I had a feeling that might be the case. I'm not sure how US law is, but I'd imagine that it's in a legal gray area. Someone else with more expertise might be able to answer that question more definitively.

bigglesworth wrote:Additives?

I should clarify, sorry. I'm using "additives" in the general sense, as in anything that's not a coca leaf. Mostly I mean sweeteners (like sugar),

My memory is a bit fuzzy on how it tastes, but from what I recall, it has some resemblance to how some oolong teas taste. Given that, I think honey might work better than sugar (I prefer oolong/green teas without it, but between sugar and honey, honey tends to work better with either). KF
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