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Something new is brewing in the world of tea


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#1 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 10:37 AM

article from the Independent UK

The subject of tea always makes me nervous. Tea fans, like wine buffs, tend to have firm views on their subject and like to use terms such as FOP (Flowery Orange Pekoe) and SFTGFOP (Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe) when discussing the niceties of different leaf grades. In recent months, increasing numbers of different teas have been appearing on the smartest menus - and not just as a drink, but often used to flavour food too. Not any old teas, but rare and unusual blends such as the dark 35-year-old Lu TieBing (Puer) from Yunnan, China, or the finest green Gyokuro from Japan.  Clearly, if we wish to retain our foodie savoir faire, we're going to have to educate our palates in such matters ...


So, what exotic tea blends have you tried lately? anything rare and unusual? :cool:

Pleased beyond expectations? :biggrin:

Disappointed in not finding the tea more exotic? :sad:

Have you broadened your tea drinking tastes lately? or does a cuppa Lipton work just fine for you? :laugh:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#2 andiesenji

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 11:00 AM

First of all let me say that I have never been able to understand what people see in Pu-Er tea. To me it tastes like leaf mold smells.

I often buy the "bespoke", "estate" and limited edition teas and visit Chado in Pasadena as often as possible. Devan Shah is extremely knowledgeable about teas and with James Norwood Pratt, founded The Nilgiri Tea Society.

The tearoom itself is rather plainly furnished (as is the original in Los Angeles) but this is a place for serious tea drinkers. Their food is excellent and the servings are very generous, particularly when compared to the more "frou-frou" tea places that are heavily into Victorian ambience and believe that a couple of thumb sized scones and a 2 inch sandwich constitute appropriate accompaniment to a cream tea.

The world of tea is extremely complex, and there are far more varieties than there are of coffee. Whenever I hear about someone complaining about the cost of a POUND of Jamaica Blue Mountain, or similar rare coffee, I mention that an OUNCE of one of the rare teas will sell for 3 times as much. :shock: :wacko: :huh:

I am picky about the tea I drink in restaurants and carry my own with me and am careful about giving directions as to how I want my water for tea (near boiling and fresh, not out of an urn) and I tip accordingly. In places where I am known, they know my habits and the first thing they ask is if I am having tea today and go off to put the kettle on, then come back and take my order.
I have converted several of the servers in Coco's, here in Lancaster, to drinking tea after they tasted the good stuff.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#3 madziast

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 11:44 AM

I am picky about the tea I drink in restaurants and carry my own with me and am careful about giving directions as to how I want my water for tea (near boiling and fresh, not out of an urn) and I tip accordingly.  In places where I am known, they know my habits and the first thing they ask is if I am having tea today and go off to put the kettle on, then come back and take my order. 
I

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me too! am very picky about tea and do carry my own. most restaurants in nyc (and other big cities) that i go to have decent to great loose leaf teas but you are right about the directions for the staff. i sometimes forget to tell them so i generally stick to black tea when out.

i get most of my tea from Mariage Freres, Ten Ren tea shop in vancouver's chinatown and most recently i discovered L'Epicier in Hawaii. i like some flavored teas, right now drinking a lot of muscat, cherry leaf and shiso from l'epicier.
no Lipton for me :raz:
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#4 jpr54_

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 04:34 PM

I tried several different types of puerh-
I have not found one that I enjoy-if it is an acquired educated taste to like it- I have failed-
I have though been enjoying my tasting of oolongs-I have discovered which oolongs I enjoy the most-
green-lightly oxidized/fermented oolongs from taiwan/formosa-
i have sampled almost 20 different kinds of oolong from a variety of websites-
the best are directly from taiwan-www.teahomeusa.com and www.floatingleaves.com
i also enjoy the teas from www.shanshuiteas.com-
joanne

#5 madziast

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 04:46 PM

joanne, pu-erh is definitely an acquired taste. i didn't like it at first but then i tasted some more and i guessed i developed a taste for it. i also like it chilled with lychee fruit and a bit of lychee syrup from a can on a hot day

thanks for recommending the websites. alas, i couldn't find teahomeusa.com
Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.
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#6 KatieLoeb

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 06:04 PM

We have some very excellent teas at my restaurant that we purchase from House of Tea which is a local and excellent tea purveyor. Although I am more of a coffee drinker most of the time, I occasionally get the urge for a good cup of tea. We have press pots at the restaurant and I'll usually make myself a cup of Vanilla Rooibos or Earl Grey. For at home I've purchased their Earl Grey with Violets and it's very delicate and tasty as well as the Four Red Fruit for Iced tea in the summer or the Russian Caravan which is incredibly fragrant and warming. The store is conveniently located just a few blocks from my house, so I'll walk over just to smell the place and buy one or two teas. It smells so good in that shop!

Katie M. Loeb
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#7 madziast

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 06:16 PM

I'll walk over just to smell the place and buy one or two teas.  It smells so good in that shop!

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when i first smelled Bel Ami tea from mariage freres i thought "i'd wear it if they ever made a perfume smelling like this" LOL! it's green tea with mysterious tiny red flowers, possibly some vanilla
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#8 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 08:39 PM

joanne, pu-erh is definitely an acquired taste. i didn't like it at first but then i tasted some more and i guessed i developed a taste for it.  i also like it chilled with lychee fruit and a bit of lychee syrup from a can on a hot day

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article on pu-erh teas .. thank you for leading me to learn more about this type of tea and its health benefits!

All teas have a wide spectrum of health benefits, but Pu-erh has an extra one. Drinking Pu-erh tea can help reduce cholesterol, according to scientific studies. By helping digestion (particularly of fatty foods), Pu-erh is the perfect tea after a heavy meal.The brewed tea is darkly red, and has a bold, earthy taste.

Now I will definitely order some, a very small amount, because you have piqued my curiosity! :biggrin:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#9 jpr54_

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 09:55 AM

joanne, pu-erh is definitely an acquired taste. i didn't like it at first but then i tasted some more and i guessed i developed a taste for it.  i also like it chilled with lychee fruit and a bit of lychee syrup from a can on a hot day

thanks for recommending the websites. alas, i couldn't find teahomeusa.com

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http://www.teahometw...lishCatalog.htm

you can also find their teas on ebay-
if you send them an email they will resppond promptly to any of your questions-

joanne

#10 madziast

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 10:09 AM

[article on pu-erh teas[/b][/color] .. thank you for leading me to learn more about this type of tea and its health benefits!



aaaaaa! thanks gifted gourmet - i didn't know about the cholesterol lowering properties. now i just have to get my husband to try it. we just had a check up and his is above norm (a shock as he doesn't eat a lot of animal products/fried stuff in general) while my cholester is laughably low and i'm always stuffing myself with foie gras, cheese and chocolate. must be all the wine i have with it :wink:
Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.
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#11 madziast

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 10:12 AM

http://www.teahometw...lishCatalog.htm



what a great website, thank you!
(now i'll never get any work done. maybe just as well, such a nerve-wrecking day)
Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.
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#12 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 10:38 AM

After checking out the websites for pu-erh teas, and noting with some dismay that the tea is often referred to as "Camel's Breath", I am reviewing the situation more closely! :laugh:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#13 madziast

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 11:03 AM

After checking out the websites for pu-erh teas, and noting with some dismay that the tea is often referred to as "Camel's Breath", I am reviewing the situation more closely! :laugh:

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:laugh: oh, just have some! do you like lapsang souchong?
Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.
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#14 ghostrider

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 12:56 PM

I had a taste for Pu-erh teas in the 1970s & 1980s. Then I just kind of lost it, along with my taste for Chinese teas in general. I still appreciate their excellence but don't buy them much.

I have been awash in Assams, Ceylons, Darjeelings, & the occasional Nepal & Sikkim, ever since.

My current faves are the Doomni & Meleng Assams from Upton. Can't imagine a morning without them in the tea cabinet.
Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

#15 jpr54_

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 02:51 PM

I'll walk over just to smell the place and buy one or two teas.  It smells so good in that shop!

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when i first smelled Bel Ami tea from mariage freres i thought "i'd wear it if they ever made a perfume smelling like this" LOL! it's green tea with mysterious tiny red flowers, possibly some vanilla

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if you enjoy the teas from mariage freres you probably will enjoy the teas from www.lepalaisdesthes.com

#16 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 03:02 PM

:laugh:  oh, just have some!  do you like lapsang souchong?

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What part of the camel does that smell like? :shock:

Actually, my husband is very into teas (but not teasing, sadly :sad:) and he actually has some LS in his collection ... maybe that is LSD, gotta go check the label more carefully :huh: ... :laugh:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#17 madziast

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 08:31 PM

:laugh:  oh, just have some!   do you like lapsang souchong?

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What part of the camel does that smell like? :shock:


oh, it's more about a strong, distinctive flavor than any camel parts... but it certainly doesn't smell of ass...see mango_jones'post on the Yuck! thread. sorry no clue how to make it a link :-(
Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.
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#18 intraining

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Posted 02 November 2004 - 08:35 PM

one that comes to mind a while back was stinging nettle tea!! i've never had a mint tea quite like in morocco. and how about a nice tea stew? courtesay of nan.

just remembered hearing if you are a coffee drinker and you switch to green tea, you can loose weight.

oh, and my soft drink of choice is the jasmine green tea with mandarin by az

Edited by intraining, 02 November 2004 - 08:38 PM.


#19 chromedome

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Posted 03 November 2004 - 07:40 PM

I'm pretty loyal to Assams, generally, and don't really get too far afield into specialized estate teas. At my night job, though, we've recently gotten into seriously specialized custom blends. In fact, our beverage menu has eight pages of teas. Oy!

Drove the servers crazy, at first, trying to figure out which was which.
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#20 skyflyer3

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 09:20 PM

I really like Damman Freres, another french import that you can find at The Teapot in Seattle - www.seattleteacup.com. Lovely blends, and very potent and smooth earl grey called La Russe Douchka is my current fave. In Pursuit of Teas has nice stuff, too. Oh, and I like the Perennial Tea Room's Rooibos blends - the Kimberly and Rainbow ones are quite good.