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Free-for-all tea thread!

IsmiLiora

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I read this thread on another message board, and I thought it would be fun to follow suit and post it here. I got a lot of recs for tea from those threads, and I enjoy reading about other people and their opinions of tea. :)

So, do you love tea or hate it? What are your favorite types and brands of tea?

Hot/iced? Sugar/milk/none of the above? How often do you drink it?


---
As a child, I never liked tea. I would have to choke it down when I got sick. Thanks to my hippie freshman-year college roommate and my husband, I drink tea on a daily basis now. I'm still kind of a newbie to drinking it, but I've tried a lot of teas in the past few years.

I can only drink it hot. I really don't like sweet tea (AND I'm in the South, too! It's practically blasphemy). For anything cold, I can only stomach the sugary sickly sweet Lipton's tea.

My current favorites are any brand of peppermint and ginger tea (probably because I'm nauseous constantly, but I love the taste, too), Stash Double Bergamot Tea, Twinings Lady Grey, Tazo Passion Tea (My go-to when I meet someone for a coffee date at Starbucks), Archer Farms Fruit Sangria, and Teavana Strawberry Lemonade. I'll occasionally sweeten black tea with a sugar cube or honey, but I usually don't like adding sugar or milk to tea.

I'm not a big fan of green or rooibos tea at all. I only drink Yogi's Super Antioxidant Green Tea because it tastes like Fruit Loops, am I right?.

I generally stick to herbal and black tea. I also drink health teas for digestion, female issues, and colds. I feel like it does make a difference and provide some immediate relief.

Besides tea shopping at the grocery store, my husband and I buy stuff at local farm markets and health stores. Last year, someone introduced me to Kungaloosh (Kungaloosh Tea - http://kungaloosh.com/), and I order their sampler packs every once in a while. It's a great way to try several kinds of tea at once! 

We also have a Teavana locally, but their aggressive salespeople are just horrid. I applied there for a job once and I got to know their sales model. I always have to be on the defensive when I go in. Even though the sales clerks know me and my preferences, they STILL try to sell me the $200 tea machine every time I go in. I normally would never even give such a place my business, but their tea is so stinkin' good.

I'm always open to recs! What kind of tea do y'all like?
 

biro

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I like tea a lot. I haven't been to Teavana in a while. I have a metal and glass brewing thing I want to use.

I like strong flavors, the more roast-y the better. I don't like Rooibos, though.

Did you look for a Teavana website? If you can order online, maybe you won't have to deal with the clerks.
 

FormerReformer

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I enjoy a good cup, especially when I can get loose-leaf.  My standard go-tos are Earl Grey or Lapsang Souchong, no sugar or cream, though I also enjoy other blends.  I occasionally like what is called in my family "Indian tea" as my grandparents brought the recipe back from their missionary trips to India- standard orange pekoe brewed with half water half milk and a bunch of sugar.

As far as cold tea goes, that's gotta be the one good thing about living back in the South- when I order a glass of ice tea it's automatically made the way God intended- with sugar!  When I lived in a studio in Chicago for a little over a year I had a tea lounge literally right next door to me that I frequented about every day (not kidding, if I didn't make an appearance I'd get friends I'd made while hanging out there knocking on my door wondering what was wrong!  Being broke was no excuse), the employees got so used to me drinking my hot tea without sugar that when summer rolled around and I requested iced tea (they brewed it on the spot and then ran it through a martini shaker with ice) that I just about blew their mind when I not only requested sugar but that the sugar be put into the shaker!
 

biro

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Just did a search. You can indeed order tea from the Teavana site. Saves you a trip to the store.  :)
 

Iconodule

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Teavana is way overpriced. I urge you to look for other loose-leaf vendors in your area. Maybe if there's a Chinatown near you or something.
 

Iconodule

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I enjoy most varieties of wu long. I also love earl grey and the Moroccan style mint tea.
 

IsmiLiora

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Even though I knew that Teavana had a website, I never thought of buying there because I like to be very specific about my oz amounts and they always try to sneak in extra ounces (while saying with a sugary sweet voice, "Oh sorry! My hand slipped. Is 5 oz okay?") so they can jack up the prices.

I guess they wouldn't do that online, though! Duh. (Neurons misfiring again, apparently).

Ozgeorge - Turkish Apple Tea is awesome! I misplaced my box, though. :( (Found it in a gourmet shop in Atlantic City, haven't seen it before or since.)

FormerReformer - I agree, who can drink ice tea WITHOUT sugar? I don't get it. And thanks for the serendipitea website! They have.5 oz sample sizes, which is fabulous. I think my next paycheck is probably going to them...


My hometown is smack in the middle of Asian-town, NJ, and I am just too scared to try the tea there because many of the words on the tea boxes are in Chinese! I have no idea what I'm drinking (sometimes the English translations are just as confusing as the Chinese characters), and I am not quite that adventurous yet. I should pick up a few small sizes and just sample them, though.
 

IsmiLiora

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Iconodule said:
I enjoy most varieties of wu long. I also love earl grey and the Moroccan style mint tea.
Moroccan mint tea was the first type of tea that I actually enjoyed drinking. Which brand do you prefer?
 

Cognomen

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I love tea.

No offense to some, but green tea is about as appealing to me as green meat.  

I'm pretty traditional with my teas, drinking a lot of iced (no preferences other than unsweet really, it's iced) and hot teas.  My favorites tend to be the Ceylons, Assams, and various blends containing them.  I drink a lot of Taylor's of Harrogate Yorkshire and Yorkshire Gold (a wonderful, full English blend with Ceylon).  Unlike the South Yorkshire English football club I support, Taylor's Yorkshire actually puts out a quality product.

I also like an assortment of the Ahmad Classic Tea range, particularly their English Tea No.1, Afternoon Tea, but also an occasional Earl Grey or Darjeeling.

Edit: Had to clarify that I can't do the sweet tea thing.
 

IsmiLiora

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HEY!  ;D

Go join the toll house thread if you are bored.  :p
 

Iconodule

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akimori makoto said:
I admit I kept up my green tea drinking in an attempt to appear more Asian
Do you do this with your face painted yellow and a kimono on?
 
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Iconodule said:
akimori makoto said:
I admit I kept up my green tea drinking in an attempt to appear more Asian
Do you do this with your face painted yellow and a kimono on?
Teeehee.

They need to make skin-yellowing cream and offer nose-flattening surgery for us transracials.

Ideally I would be half-asian, I think.
 

Alpo

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ozgeorge said:
LOL! No such animal! Tea and coffee were popularised by the Ottomans.
Or even worse, by *gasp* a pope!

Wikipedia said:
Coffee aficionados often claim that the spread of its popularity is due to Pope Clement VIII's influence. Being pressured by his advisers to declare coffee the "bitter invention of Satan" because of its popularity among Muslims and it being a sort of antithesis or substitute for wine (which was used in the Eucharist), upon tasting it he instead declared that, "This devil's drink is so delicious...we should cheat the devil by baptizing it."
 

Iconodule

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akimori makoto said:
Iconodule said:
akimori makoto said:
I admit I kept up my green tea drinking in an attempt to appear more Asian
Do you do this with your face painted yellow and a kimono on?
Teeehee.

They need to make skin-yellowing cream and offer nose-flattening surgery for us transracials.

Ideally I would be half-asian, I think.
Look, it's cool that you enjoy our culture and all that, but please don't make it into a fetish.
 
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Iconodule said:
akimori makoto said:
Iconodule said:
akimori makoto said:
I admit I kept up my green tea drinking in an attempt to appear more Asian
Do you do this with your face painted yellow and a kimono on?
Teeehee.

They need to make skin-yellowing cream and offer nose-flattening surgery for us transracials.

Ideally I would be half-asian, I think.
Look, it's cool that you enjoy our culture and all that, but please don't make it into a fetish.
I'm not as bad as I make out, I promise.

(I'm sure you realise I was joking about the skin cream and surgery?)
 

FormerReformer

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Iconodule said:
akimori makoto said:
Iconodule said:
akimori makoto said:
I admit I kept up my green tea drinking in an attempt to appear more Asian
Do you do this with your face painted yellow and a kimono on?
Teeehee.

They need to make skin-yellowing cream and offer nose-flattening surgery for us transracials.

Ideally I would be half-asian, I think.
Look, it's cool that you enjoy our culture and all that, but please don't make it into a fetish.
Waitaminute- a bad haircut, a little skin darkening, a kimono, and squinting doesn't make one look convincingly Asian?

Sean Connery lied to us.
 

orthonorm

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Cognomen said:
I love tea.

No offense to some, but green tea is about as appealing to me as green meat.  

I'm pretty traditional with my teas, drinking a lot of iced (no preferences other than unsweet really, it's iced) and hot teas.  My favorites tend to be the Ceylons, Assams, and various blends containing them.  I drink a lot of Taylor's of Harrogate Yorkshire and Yorkshire Gold (a wonderful, full English blend with Ceylon).  Unlike the South Yorkshire English football club I support, Taylor's Yorkshire actually puts out a quality product.

I also like an assortment of the Ahmad Classic Tea range, particularly their English Tea No.1, Afternoon Tea, but also an occasional Earl Grey or Darjeeling.

Edit: Had to clarify that I can't do the sweet tea thing.
Have you prepared green tea properly? And there are many varietials. With some varietials, you only steep for 45 seconds maybe at 165F.

With your non-fermented teas, you do need a decent thermometer (better yet a thermocouple) to get a knack of how long it takes the boiling water to cool (and yes cooled boiled water is better than water heated just to the right temp) and a careful eye on the clock.

I've disabused many of their distaste for the greens by proper prep and using less "grassy" varietials.
 

orthonorm

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biro said:
I don't like Rooibos, though.
This could go into the irony thread. There is no Rooibos tea nor any "herbal tea". They are just boiled plant matter of some sort, unless they are actually mixing it with leaves from the tea plant.

Tea snobbery over.
 

orthonorm

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IsmiLiora said:
FormerReformer - I agree, who can drink ice tea WITHOUT sugar?
Me.

And it is a great way to make great tasting tea with much fuss over temp and time, especially for the whites and greens.

Some of the greens when cold steeped are fantastic and when cold steeped you can get two or three infusions from them. With quality blacks 4-5.
 

IsmiLiora

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I do have to admit that I am not at thermometer stage yet. My friend's mother actually caved at Teavana and brought her one of the expensive automatic tea kettles. Not going to lie, the tea was absolutely amazing -- I drank 5 or 6 cups a day. Still, too much money, despite the time it saves. You don't have to pay attention, just put in the number and voila!
 

orthonorm

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IsmiLiora said:
You don't have to pay attention, just put in the number and voila!
It would be one less outlet for my neurosis if I had one.

I don't use a thermometer anymore, you just know. Westerns just are going to over-steep whites and greens (and Americans make blacks too weak) because of having not grown up preparing the stuff.

Thermometer is needed at first for most. Again a thermocouple is better. Every kitchen should have one or two.
 

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My favorite green tea is Gen-mai cha with roasted brown rice. I also like cranberry, cherry, and peach teas--hot or cold. In the summer, sun tea brewed out in the sun, on the back steps, with sugar and plenty of lemon. I also confess a weakness for iced Peach Raspeberry tea with sugar.

 

genesisone

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Yerba mate. There are several ways to prepare it. In a few minutes, I'll be enjoying it as tereré (cold) while sitting outside reading.

Good in the morning prepared as mate cocido (boiled a bit) then sweeten (I prefer honey) and add a bit of milk.
 

elijahmaria

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orthonorm said:
biro said:
I don't like Rooibos, though.
This could go into the irony thread. There is no Rooibos tea nor any "herbal tea". They are just boiled plant matter of some sort, unless they are actually mixing it with leaves from the tea plant.

Tea snobbery over.
Tisane or ptisan for the herbal snob.
 

deusveritasest

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I like many kinds. One of my favorites is called "monkey-picked", a variety of oolong tea.

 
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