Tea Snobbery

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kangaroo » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:43 pm UTC

Ah, tea is what makes the world go round (and chocolate). However, the only real tea I drink is green tea - the others are herbal teas and rooibos, which I discovered just recently. The best I've had hitherto is the herbal teas from Yogi, and to make it perfect I add a spoonful of honey and drink it together with a piece of dark chocolate.

I've never been able to put anything else than honey in my tea, and since I'm allergic to milk that really isn't an option. Although, it says on the Yogi tea that soya milk would give it a nice taste I had to throw it down the sink.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby the_stabbage » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:51 pm UTC

I've found possibly the manliest tea in existence: Lapsang Souchong. It's smoked over a fire, so you can guess what it's like in your mug.

Actually just out of curiosity I've had 3 different Lapsang Souchongs, and only one tasted heavily like smoke, the other two were a little more balanced.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:05 pm UTC

I'm really not a fan of lapsang souchong... it's too much like drinking a barbecue. While that might appeal to some folks, the smoky taste is way too overwhelming for me. I prefer something much mellower.

It's definitely something to try, though, and see if you like it, since the taste is very unique. KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Gentlelady » Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:49 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:However, I drink sweetened iced tea. I live in Georgia, and it's pretty much a staple here. People are weaned on it when they hit two years of age. Some restaurants can't do sweet tea right. It has to be nearly sweet enough that it makes your teeth curl, and your diabeetus start up.



I live in Texas and I'm sure I have drank enough sweet tea to sink a boat. Though if I want it I prefer to make my own at home. I have about four boxes (each box has 100 tea bags) in my cupboard. And I make it a gallon at a time and it is gone by the end of the third day. There is only one good place here that makes good tea and that is Dairy Queen.

But I do love other teas.

I try to buy different loose leaf teas when I can. The last time I bought a loose leaf tea it was Silver Needle, a white tea from China. It had a light and mellow taste. Though I don't really like the fruit flavored teas.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

To avoid kidney stones, I have to stay away from dark teas, and that is certainly not a pleasant thing to avoid. Luckily, there are other options available to attempt to fill that void. I've been playing with herbals, and I am really enjoying a ginger tea. has a very strong bite.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:17 am UTC

I've had Lapsang Souchong--I find it too strong to drink regularly, the charred bbq taste is interesting but not something I choose to have often in my tea. I usually have it when visiting a male friend of mine who has a huge collection of tea.

Most of my tea is rooibus or black. I occasionally drink green tea. I find matcha very bitter though. Herbal teas can be good but most of them smell much better than they taste.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:21 am UTC

I'm not huge on tea, but Sarah and I have been taking ballroom dance lessons and at the first one a few weeks ago they had some sassafrass herbal tea, iced, that was really good. I remember trying it hot a couple months ago when Sarah and I were at the tea shop in town and it was the tea of the day, and not being as impressed. So everyone be on the lookout for some iced sassafrass tea, I think. I recommend it.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:32 am UTC

Speaking of iced teas:

What is everyone's favourite tea to ice?

I'm a fan of this green tea with coconut that is excellent chilled (either sweetened or not). My almondy rooibus is also good cold.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:10 pm UTC

clockworkmonk wrote:To avoid kidney stones, I have to stay away from dark teas, and that is certainly not a pleasant thing to avoid. Luckily, there are other options available to attempt to fill that void. I've been playing with herbals, and I am really enjoying a ginger tea. has a very strong bite.

What causes this; do you know? Is it the tannin content? Is green, oolong, and white tea ok?

Rinsaikeru wrote:Most of my tea is rooibus or black. I occasionally drink green tea. I find matcha very bitter though. Herbal teas can be good but most of them smell much better than they taste.

Matcha I think is definitely an acquired taste (particularly the kind served at ceremonies, grainy and all). I really love it, but it's not something I'd offer to anyone else unless I knew they already liked it.

Rinsaikeru wrote:What is everyone's favourite tea to ice?

Thai iced tea (of course)
Black tea with sugar - classic Southern sweet tea
Rooibos with honey, sometimes milk also

That's about it. I generally prefer tea hot, and I'm not much of a fan of fruit-tasting iced teas (like the peach tea or pomegranate tea they sometimes serve at restaurants). KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby cephalopod9 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:33 am UTC

The mall over here just got a new shop called Teavana. Anyone heard of them? It seems kind of neat, but also kind of ...awful. My mom has probably spent over $100 there. They've got some pretty tea sets, but so far all the teas I've sampled were sickeningly sweet, and about half of there selection seems to have fruit chunks of some kind in them.
I kind of wonder if some of the combinations aren't the beverage equivalent of steak with ketchup.
Tho' I would have to admit to not knowing a lot about tea.
Is it acceptable to ice the matcha stuff? Because that stuff is good, but it's in the mid 90's here (nice and unseasonably cool).
Kizyr wrote:
clockworkmonk wrote:To avoid kidney stones, I have to stay away from dark teas, and that is certainly not a pleasant thing to avoid. Luckily, there are other options available to attempt to fill that void. I've been playing with herbals, and I am really enjoying a ginger tea. has a very strong bite.
What causes this; do you know? Is it the tannin content? Is green, oolong, and white tea ok?
Seconded, my mom has had problems with kidney stones, and probably ought to know if black tea is a bad thing to be drinking 2 or 3 times a day.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby poxic » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:00 am UTC

I have a problem I'd like to bring to the tea-drinking xckders. It might be unsolvable.

I've become allergic to tea. All tea. All of it. If it's plain black, I can maybe drink 1/2 cup twice a year without suffering. Anything more, or any other kind of tea, and I start to get the hot, itchy throat and slight tummy ache that bedevil so much of my gastronomic life. :cry: The last thing I was able to drink, a few years ago, was pure fennel seed steeped for a minute or two in hot water. Now even that's out. (Chamomile immediately sets of the "Oh me yarm hayfever" reaction. Rosehips and hibiscus are the most common offenders in mixed herbals. Rooibos is out, too.)

My stomach is starting to rebel against coffee. Even if it weren't, it's useless for evenings and other uncaffeinated times of day. Does anyone with a crazy number of (mild) food allergies have something tea-like they can drink regularly? I'd be interested to know...
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Gentlelady » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:05 am UTC

Have you tried hot water and lemon with honey? I'm trying to remember on the post that you listed your allergies if you were allergic to them or if your gastro thing can handle it. You might want to try mugicha. Or if you want something like iced tea try some barley water. I have an old recipe book from my paternal grandmother (she is a medicine woman for her tribe) and I will take a look to see if I can find something for you.

Edit: Ignore the lemon water idea.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby kellsbells » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:16 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:The mall over here just got a new shop called Teavana. Anyone heard of them? It seems kind of neat, but also kind of ...awful. My mom has probably spent over $100 there. They've got some pretty tea sets, but so far all the teas I've sampled were sickeningly sweet, and about half of there selection seems to have fruit chunks of some kind in them.
We have one of these in my local mall. I actually had a friend who worked there. It's lovely to look at, but as much as I'd like gorgeous shiny tea sets, the prices scare me off rather quickly.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby poxic » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:33 am UTC

Barley water sounds awesome. I've never even considered using grains for tea (I'm fine with all grains, I think).

Thanks! This will likely send me off on a search that will include many, many grains and/or beans, boiled and tasted. (Most will likely cause a yuck face, or at least a bored one. I like barley, though. :thinkponderplan: )
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Gentlelady » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:48 am UTC

Barley Water Recipe

Spoiler:
2 quarts water
1 cup hulled barley
1/4 cup honey
Directions
Place the water and barley into a medium saucepan; cover, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the barley comes to a boil, decrease the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. While the liquid is cooking.

After 30 minutes, strain the barley water through a fine mesh strainer into the pitcher. Discard the barley. Add the honey and stir to combine. Refrigerate until chilled.


Just flavor it with whatever you aren't allergic to. You might even try horchata.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby poxic » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:56 am UTC

Tea made from almonds? :shock:

Why did I not think of this? My gawds, I have been enlightened. Manymanymanymanythanks. I shall report back with my successes, when they happen. :wink:
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Gentlelady » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:03 am UTC

Please do! And if you get the chance to ever make their version of a Rice Rocket, you should. It is really amazing.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:22 am UTC

Howbout Chicory?
http://coffeetea.about.com/cs/coffeesub ... hicory.htm

I don't know where you live, but it grows ALL OVER the place here. Like, along the road and stuff. I've never actually dug up the roots and roasted and ground them, but I had a neighbor who used to, and she loved it and said it was quite tasty.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:23 am UTC

Horchata is really amazing. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be that widely available outside of Mexican restaurants, or groceries that carry a bunch of Goya beverages and whatnot.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby poxic » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:37 am UTC

Hmm. I'm suspicious of chicory only because it's a non-grain, non-bean plant. Pretty much anything in this category seems to cause me trouble, at least for tea.

I'll keep an eye out for fresh chicory, though. I do wonder if it's the drying process that makes me allergic to frickin' everything to do with tea -- introducing dust and/or mold would be a large amount of counterproductivity.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby cephalopod9 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:38 am UTC

Google tells me tea can raise your oxalate levels, which is bad if you have those kinds of kidney stones. (my mom doesn't, so good news there).
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:17 pm UTC

Horchata is easy to make at home, especially if you have a blender.
* 1 cup long grain white rice
* 2 cups skinless almonds
* 1-inch piece cinnamon bark
* 8 cups water
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Ice cubes

Directions

Wash and drain the rice. Using a spice grinder (an electric coffee grinder works well too), grind the rice until fine; combine with the almonds and cinnamon bark. Add 3 1/2 cups water and let sit overnight, covered. Blend rice mixture until smooth using a blender. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and continue blending. Add sugar and vanilla extract. Strain horchata into a bowl first using a metal strainer and then a double layer of cheesecloth; finish with up to an additional 2 cups of water until it achieves a milky consistency. Serve chilled or over ice.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Rinsaikeru » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

I recently got a thermal travel tea container I really like.

It has a strainer basket that locks inside--so you can lock matcha or herbal teas beneath the strainer (so they don't get in your teeth) or you can put black tea or rooibus in the strainer and take them out once steeped.

It keeps tea hot for about 6 hours--I've tested that on a trip where I forgot about my tea for a while.

http://www.itsamainething.com/p-47-joemo-teabrew-mug.aspx
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Kizyr » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:48 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:The mall over here just got a new shop called Teavana. Anyone heard of them? It seems kind of neat, but also kind of ...awful. My mom has probably spent over $100 there. They've got some pretty tea sets, but so far all the teas I've sampled were sickeningly sweet, and about half of there selection seems to have fruit chunks of some kind in them.

Ahh yes, Teavana. Some of it is good, some of it is awfully overpriced.

In general, stick to "pure" leaves, not blends, unless you've tried them already. So for instance, their ceylon or darjeeling tea is pretty good (and usually not much more expensive than average, given the quality). Their "Thai iced tea" blend is a ripoff though and doesn't even taste right. (I spent $60 last time I was there--$30 on tea that did turn out to be a good deal, and $30 on a bunch of the Thai iced tea. I should've known the latter would be a waste, but I think I was distracted by the cashier or something...)

This advice holds for any new tea shop. Blends aren't always bad, but they're easy to overdo or screw up.

poxic wrote:I've become allergic to tea. All tea.

That's... unusual. I know people who are allergic to tannin (so they can at least drink herbal tea, including chicory, and sometimes white or oolong if their allergy isn't that severe). Have you found out yet what it is in particular that sets you off? KF
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby poxic » Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:31 am UTC

Kizyr wrote:That's... unusual. I know people who are allergic to tannin (so they can at least drink herbal tea, including chicory, and sometimes white or oolong if their allergy isn't that severe). Have you found out yet what it is in particular that sets you off? KF

No idea. It might be mold or dust that gets into dried things, or the fact that dried things are concentrated. The allergy "syndrome" I have is based on hayfever; food allergies start to build on that based on how similar the food proteins are to the hayfever-inducing ones. (In other words, I seem to be allergic to "green". :evil: )
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby LinuxPenguin » Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:50 am UTC

It's been a long while since i've had a really really really good cuppa tea. Lately i've been drinking the dreck they call tea you can get from the local coffee shop. Medium Dreck, milk & sugar, please! Thank you. :P
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Rheum » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:18 pm UTC

No milk, no sugar, and I must be able to see the bottom of the cup. Preferably a few tea fragments too. :P
But if it's made with a tea-bag, so strong and sweet it will put hairs on your chest!

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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby LinuxPenguin » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:19 pm UTC

I'll drink peppermint tea black. But, just about any other tea i drink has got to have milk in it, if not milk & sugar.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Enuja » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:33 pm UTC

poxic, have you tried ginger tea? My favorite implementation is 1) cut chunk of fresh ginger root 2) put in mug 3) add water 4 microwave and, finally 4) add honey. I drink this mostly when I'm feeling sick, but it tastes good at just about any time. Depending on the size of the chunk of ginger, you can re-use it lots of times.

Back when Barnie's Coffee & Tea Company made their own herbal tea, my favorite tea was "Philosopher's Blend". I still have the ingredient list (one side of a box), and it was Lemon grass, peppermint leaves, comfrey, alfalfa, and rosehips. I've regularly considered making my own version, but I've never gotten all of the ingredients together. Just last year or so, I started buying fresh lemongrass, and I made tea from the green ends of stalks that weren't useful for much else, but it was actually pretty hard to get the taste into the water from the dried leaves. I recently found lemon grass tea in the Hispanic spices section of the grocery store, and I'm a happy camper. I don't even remember what Barnie's Philosopher's Blend tasted like at this point, but I'm betting I'm getting much of the joy from my cheap, available lemon grass tea.

I also really like Japanese Genmai-cha (green tea with brown rice) although I did buy too much, drink too much, and get sick of it, I like it again.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Amarantha » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:44 am UTC

I love genmaicha with an unholy passion, and found an incredibly delicious one at Lupicia. Tragically, it has recently begun to give me painful gas :( So I until it's used up, I shall continue to have a pot whenever I crave it hard enough, and then cop the consequences. But once it's all gone I probably shan't buy any more. Maybe I should give the rest to my Dad - he likes it too.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby poxic » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:06 am UTC

I haven't tried ginger tea, mostly because I'm ambivalent about the taste of ginger. Gingerbread, yes. Ginger as a small component of a stir-fry sauce, very yes. A small hunk of ginger accidentally chewed while eating stir-fried veggies, not so much yes. I can't get past my childhood impression of the taste of soap.

That said, maybe it's time to try it as tea. I did learn to like the taste of bell peppers simply by forcing myself to eat one one day, so I could maybe do the same with this. I'll try it, if an opportunity comes up, and it's convenient, and I'm not in a bad mood, and ... ... ... ...
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby dubsola » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:22 pm UTC

Why did Karl Marx only drink herbal teas?

Because property is theft.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:05 pm UTC

How long does fresh ginger last? I bought a big hunk of it about two weeks ago, made some tea from it and enjoyed it, then totally forgot I had the ginger. It's been in a ziploc bag in the fridge the whole time, and I'm not sure whether that's good or bad...
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Enuja » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

If it's still firm (not soft or spongy), moist, and not rotten, it's good. It depends on how old the ginger was when you got it and the microclimate in which you kept it: I've had ginger that lasted less than a week and that lasted nearly two months in a fridge.

The ziplock bag is good for staying moist, bad for getting moldy. It's likely to be still good, but I'd check it if I were you.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

Yeah, I'll check it when I get home. Mmm, hot ginger tea with honey.

I burned out on tea about two weeks ago after an extended tea binge in the hopes of conquering pregnancy nausea. I was quite happy to never see or touch the stuff again...but I'm coming back around now. Ah, Twinings, we meet again.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:45 pm UTC

I'm accumulating loose leaf tea at an alarming rate--faster than I can consume it anyway. I don't really think there's a way to make it stop either. Fortunately the result is plenty of very tasty tea.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby 01000011 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

I drink all of my hot drinks now milk and sugar free (If they have milk I find they're too thick and I struggle to swallow them and sugar just ruins the taste imo :cry: )
I'm currently on either green tea with orange and lotus flower (Absolutely fantastic <3) or just plain ol' Tetley tea without milk or sugar in it - everyone thinks I'm weird for that though :lol:

My chemistry tutor (also my friend's mum O_o) actually went and bought new fruit teas when she started teaching me (bless :3) and always gives me the box and lets me choose which one I want each week :lol:
For those wondering, my username is binary for C, the C is for Courtney. Refer to me by any of the 3 names.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:07 pm UTC

I can drink most teas without milk or sugar--but not tetley or red rose, bleargh.

Fruit teas can be lovely though.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby PictureSarah » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

I share your tea accumulation problem, Rin. We have an absolutely fantastic loose leaf tea shop in town, where they have daily samples of different kinds of tea, and the woman who owns it usually recognizes me. The pumpkin rooibos is one of my all-time favorites.
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Re: Tea Snobbery

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:06 pm UTC

Oh, that does sound tasty. I recently got an almond rooibus that smells a bit like marzipan, I quite like it. And a floral green tea with coconut and rose.
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