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Everything posted by baroness

  1. I brewed an orange pekoe of the Lipton ilk and throughly chilled it as a comparison to the Classic. The OP tea seemed flat/one-dimensional and not noteworthy. It might be helped with some lemon or lime, but was NOT in the CITea league at all. Finished off the Yin Yang last night. It was a very nice tea, but I don't agree with the decision made to flavour it. As soon as I smelled the dry tea I knew it was mango. As far as the flavour goes, it's a fine mango tea, but I felt that any green tea/black tea contrast that might have been there was lost. I'm not sure that the combination makes a more effective base for the mango flavour either. I have had my share of mango tea with a base of just black tea, and I don't think that the flavour came across any better using the blend. I do think that if it had just been green tea though, the flavour would have tasted somewhat off. I started by brewing a sample of the tea hot to taste it. Then I let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge overnight. I tasted it in the morning by itself, and then over ice. The black tea in the base came across, though a little lightly thanks to the addition of the green tea, and it had a very mango-forward flavour. I followed the same procedure for the rest of the tea, and kept it in a pitcher in the fridge. Very nice all around, and very refreshing, especially on one of the warm evenings we've been having here. I'm just not sure that the yin yang concept makes much of a difference with the flavouring they chose. I'd be very interested in tasting this tea unflavoured. I didn't feel the Yin Yang was mango flavored; to me it was fruit punch, i.e. pineapple with perhaps a bit of guava. The fruit flavors, whatever they were, pretty much obliterated the tea flavor notes.
  2. I'm also a fan of their Snapea Crisps. I see they now are offered in Caesar flavor as well; no experience with these.
  3. I let all 3 teas cool naturally, then refrigerated them for almost 24 hours. All were sampled black and unsweetened. Yin Yang - The odd fruit flavor (reminiscent of Hawaiian Punch drink) remained. I wanted to like this tea, but I just don't. I drink my teas black. With sweetener added, this tea might appeal to drinkers of bottled iced teas. Oolong - This brewing was a bit light to enjoy cold. It is a delicious tea, however, and I will try brewing it stronger to drink cold/iced. Classic Iced Tea - This tea truly surprised me - it was so bright, crisp, and refreshing. I had the lemon ready, but didn't want to alter the natural flavor. However, I think brewing this any longer than 5 minutes and/or brewing it in concentrated form (as many do for iced tea) would push it into the undesirable bitter/tannic/supermarket-type tea flavor camp.
  4. Left to right: YinYang, Yunnan Bai Yun Oolong, Classic Iced Tea These were brewed 'Western' Style, 2 silverware-type teaspoons per pot (heaping for the first 2, scant for the Classic due to considerably smaller leaf pieces). One pint of Brita-filtered water for each pot; just off the boil c195F for the first two; just boiling for the Classic. All were brewed for 5 minutes. These leaf/water proportions are where I would start exploring a new tea to be enjoyed hot. As the weather here is cool and rainy, I do not anticipate needing or wanting much ice when the teas have cooled. Of course, I had to taste them hot: The Yin Yang leaves have a distinct tropical fruit aroma. I found the fruit taste a bit odd; this is a bit unusual as I do drink scented teas fairly often. The Oolong was toasty and pleasant but a bit on the weak side. I'll need more tea-to-water to make this one ice-able. The Classic Iced Tea is a hearty, slightly malty black tea. I think it will stand up to the addition of lemon or lime nicely. Notes on iced tastings to follow.
  5. Re: vegetables @ breakfast: savory items may contain mushrooms, tomato, onions, spinach...
  6. King Arthur Flour has several recipes HERE on their website for ice cream sandwich cookies. Perhaps they will give you a starting point.
  7. KA sells many attachments; one that hasn't been mentioned yet is the grain mill. I've not used it, but DO second the reco for the BeaterBlade.
  8. Yes, the show was over-dramatic. It was fun to see Joe Bastianich be the 'bad cop' / hard-to-please cast member, rather than Gordon.
  9. So far, I have 308 books on my EYB bookshelf; only 65 of those (that's 21%) are indexed. Another 56 books aren't in their library, and I have countless older and foreign texts that lack ISBNs. About 6 boxes of older books to go...I'm trying to be optimstic!
  10. I tried the Saemidori 'western' style today. Brewing water temp to 153F for 'western style'; 2 grams leaves to 6 ounces water. Brew 1: Tasted at 60 sec; needed more time to develop. Total brewing time 1.5 minutes. Pale to medium olive color; very clear. Less aggressively vegetal notes compared to gongfu style. Reminded me of my favorite (#3) brewing in the other manner. Brew 2: Immediate pour at 160F. Deeper color and a fair amount of sediment. The flavor is beginning to fade a bit. Of the two, I vastly prefer the Kabusecha. Thanks, Richard and yuuki-cha.com for the opportunity to try these teas.
  11. Hmmmmm. I'm not so sure that superfine sugar would be at all gritty by the time the frosting is complete. You may need to use 'normal' granulated sugar instead.
  12. The canned dolmas are fairly tasty, as noted above. Indian-style entrees would be edible at room temperature, too, such as these from Kohinoor or other brands such as Trader Joe's.
  13. Steam the florets til barely done, then toss with a dressing of equal portions rice vinegar, dark sesame oil, soy sauce, and honey. Top with roasted sesame seeds. Add bite-sized pieces of shrimp or chicken, if desired.
  14. A quick look at King Arthur Flour's website offers this shaping advice: "Flatten each ball into a 3 1/2-inch circle. Make them slightly concave in the center. Place 1/2 inch apart on a well-greased baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with vegetable oil, and lay a piece of plastic wrap over the buns. Cover the wrap with a cloth towel. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. "
  15. I don't have the recipe in question, but here are my general observations: First choice is the fat. The recipe calls for either shortening, butter, or margarine. In a yeasted dough, the flavor will be different; no real effect on texture. Lemon extract or zest? I would think that the only downside of zest is possibly having some pieces remain. I *hate* the taste of lemon extract; I think it bears NO resemblance to real lemon zest. However, if you wish a commercial bakery flavor, the extract will provide it. Whole milk, buttermilk, or powedered milk? Buttermilk will give it a slight tanginess I would imagine, but is there a difference between using powedered or whole milk? Powdered milk generally gives a lighter, higher rising dough. Finally, the recipe calls for AP flour or bread flour. I know in breads, the higher protein and gluten or bread flour is desired for structure and texture, but, with cinnamon buns, I would think that one would want a dough that is more tender which would be better provided by the AP flour....or, does it not even make much of a difference given the amount of fat in the dough? As you suspect, the fat will encourage a tender dough with either BF or APF.
  16. And, I tried a 3rd brewing, after the above notes, for 3 minutes at 153F. Still pleasant, but beginning to fade both in color and strength of flavors.
  17. It's been torrid here; the Thermopen is registering almost 100F on just opening it... Since the (lukewarm) drinking temp has been unpleasant, I bumped the brewing water temp to 153F for 'western style'; 2 grams Kabusecha leaves to 6 ounces water. Brew 1: Tasted at 60 sec; needed more time to develop. Total brewing time 2 minutes. Pale to medium olive color; very clear. Vegetal notes, touch of mineral; very slight bitter note. Brew 2: Immediate pour. Deeper color and still quite clear. The bitter note is totally gone and the tea developed a richer and more balanced flavor. Both of these cups were quite enjoyable!
  18. There's a non-gadget way to prevent those tangles as well, if the ties are long enough: Taking both ties as one, fold them in half. Then tie a loose overhand knot with all four strands. This knot will hold through washing and drying, but still is easy to remove. Of course, this works for robe belts (2 strand knot) and the like as well.
  19. I'm not a fan of cookware sets; I DO have a few pieces of analon and am happy with them. I think your idea of trying a piece is very smart.
  20. Some of my favorite Ceylons from TeaSource (.com): Lumbini Estate, FBOP New Vithanakanda Estate, Ex. Special If you like scented teas as well, their Currant Event and Moon over Madagascar are delicious, too.
  21. Yeast bread, jasmine and other aromatic rices, toasting nuts, particularly fragrant teas...
  22. No, Richard. I drink genmaicha fairly regularly, and senchas as well as the Chinese greens now and then.
  23. One of the morning shows on National Public Radio today was about Trader Joe's. It was spurred by an article in Fortune magazine: You can read it here! Enjoy, fans of TJ's!
  24. In fairness, I would like to state that my general tea preferences rank as follows: oolong, black, green, then white/yellow. I found these 2 teas quite different from the greens I have enjoyed previously. First, I tried the Saemidori, 1 gram leaves per ounce of Brita-filtered NYC water at 158f. The leaves were a vivid dark green, starting out looking like needles but gradually unfurling as the brewings continued. The aroma reminded me of VERY ripe apricots. Brew 1: 30 sec Aroma of cooked peas; color a light spring green; quite clear; reminiscent of a light vegetable broth. Brew 2: 10-12 sec Cloudier; darker color; heavier body with hints of spinach and artichoke. Brew 3: 30-45 sec This was my favorite. Clearer than #2, lighter color; flavor more pleasing and balanced. Brew 4: 90 sec, 5 degrees hotter This was my next favorite. In appearance like #1, with an emerging sea aroma and mineral notes. Brew 5: 3 min, another 5 degrees hotter Similar to #4 overall. Then I tried the Kabusecha; same water and general leaf appearance as above, but the leaves' aroma was more like spinach and/or seaweed. Brewing temp was 149f . Brew 1: 30 sec Pale olive color; quite clear. Notes of the sea and asparagus. Brew 2: Immediate pour Deeper color and somewhat cloudy. Slightly bitter but a richer and more balanced flavor. Brew 3: 30 sec This was my favorite; color as #2, bitter note is gone and a full, rich taste. Both teas were tasted alone (without food). I enjoyed the Kabusecha that way; not so much the other. I think I would enjoy the Saemidori more with light food such as sushi, sashimi, or even rice crackers. On its own, it kept bringing images of miso soup to mind! Another issue for me was the temperature of the brewed teas; much cooler than I would normally drink...this did not add to their appeal for me. ---------------- I plan to try to brew them "western style" next to see what flavor notes appear, and will report back on those results.
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