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Found 389 results

  1. I hear a lot of talk about the amount of caffeine in the second steeping of tea, and I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the hard research data on the subject. A number of sites deal with this issue and I will eventually list more. But this is a good place to start the discussion http://39steeps.blogspot.com/2009/07/tea-myth-busted-90-of-caffeine-comes.html
  2. So I've been brewing a lot of green tea in a pyrex measuring cup and straining it out into my mug (my tokoname kyusu is en route). I've been using measured amounts of tea and water, and precise timing. Until a couple weeks ago, I never did this, I just threw tea in a pot or in a strainer inserted in my mug, waited a minute for water to cool down a bit, then splashed water in. With the more measured approach, I've noticed that the leaves hold on to a LOT of the water. This never seemed to be an issue when brewing with a strainer directly in the mug. I'd say from 200ml of water put in, about 150ml came out only, just 75%. So if the instructions for the tea say add 4g leaves for 200ml water, would you add more than 200ml and the same amount of tea to get 200ml of final product, or would you add more of both?
  3. What I want is probably not a reality, but I'd like to have a convenient mint flavoring for tea, hot or iced, that is not carried via simple syrup. I don't want the sugar. Of course, with fresh mint, I can add that to the tea while it is steeping, but I don't always have fresh mint around. I know that I can make a mint syrup by infusing simple syrup with fresh mint and it will keep for a good while. What I like is a way make an addition to the tea that I could keep in the fridge. Any suggestions. JudiJ
  4. A wonderful thing happened today. Cafe Kubal opened in Eastwood, a neighborhood of Syracuse. Four blocks from our house. They're doing small batches of coffee in a 1904 roaster and serving a nice, basic set of coffee drinks and teas. They also serve pastries that are made by some Austrian guy in Geneva, NY. To get those pastries, they bring coffee beans to a customer in Weedsport and this person, who goes regularly from the Geneva pastry-maker's place to Weedsport, hands over pastries. Because Cafe Kubal is run by it's owners, the cafe is able to cater to local tastes, pay attention to important little details, and still offer coffee that is quite possibly superior to anything else being currently roasted in Syracuse. (Lots of pictures in the slideshow here) My question: We travel for food and coffee. Where are the other truly great cafes in the Northeast... outside of New York City? (Okay, include it if you must.) I'm looking for places from Toronto to Buffalo to Albany to Boston, and maybe up and down the Hudson Valley. Into Pennsylvania or northern New England would be fine, too. Anyone have their take on Muddy Cup? They're expanding rapidly! Lonnie
  5. Richard Kilgore

    Tea/Tisane Tasting: Lemon Myrtle Rooibos

    Kyle Stewart at The Cultured Cup is providing their new "Lemon Myrtle Rooibos" for this Tea (Tisane to be more accurate) Tasting & Discussion. Kyle is providing 10 gram samples to me and three other members of the eGullet Society. The three free samples are reserved for members who have never received free samples for any previous Tea Tasting & Discussion and who also agree to the following. The three free samples are available to members who 1) will do at least two brewing sessions from the sample, 2) will report on their experience and participate in the discussion within 7 days of receiving the sample, and 3) who have previously posted at least ten (10) substantive posts (questions, answers, comments that add to discussions) in the Coffee and Tea forum. The 10 g sample is enough to brew four first infusion cups in a small teapot or infuser cup (about 2.5 g to 6 ounces of water). More brewing suggestions to come. As always, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion, whether or not you receive a sample. As I have mentioned in other topics, I have known Kyle Stewart, co-owner of The Cultured Cup, for some time now, having bought tea from his shop for many years, at least 10 years I believe it is. And for the past four years or so Kyle has been instrumental to my tea education through the T-Bar Club at The Cultured Cup. Kyle attended the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas last summer and completed his three years of training with the Speciality Tea Institute to become the first Certified Tea Specialist in Texas. I have had many pleasant times with Kyle and his staff - Adam, Kelly and Sam, trading teas and sharing new tea discoveries. More than just a tea merchant I happen to buy tea from, Kyle is a culinary friend as well as a tea friend - the wonderful tea pairings at Sharon Hage's York Street restaurant and a shared interest in Asian food. Please PM me now if you would like to receive one of the the free samples and participate in this Tea/Tisane Tasting and Discussion.
  6. Lee Bowman writes for the Scripps Howard News Services: - Decaf, but not caffeinated, coffee may cause an increase in harmful low-density cholesterol, but may also be beneficial to some overweight people, according to a new study. The study was lead by Dr. Robert Superko at the Fuqua Heart Center in Atlanta. Interestingly, part of the complex picture that is only alluded to at the end of the article is different beans for decafe vs cafeinated. So are the effects due to the different process used on the different beans, or on some component in the beans? Or something about how the body responds when average weight vs overweight? Or all of the above.
  7. Kim WB

    tea discrimination

    Welcome to the new forum and new moderator. I've had a long standing compaint. When dining in many restaurants, even those considered high end, there is a distinct difference between the coffee and tea service. The coffee drinker might get a caraffe( at brunch, for example) or at a minimum, a refill. There is usually a selection of types of coffee as well. A tea drinker gets a cup of hot water, and a tea bag in it. A higher end place might have a selection of tea bags in a pretentious wooden box, and will serve tea in a glorified creamer with a lid. Oh, there are a hanful of places that do it right, and I've been to them: a small china or ceramic pot that has enough for two or three cups, perhaps an infulse or strainer with loose tea, or at a minimum tea bags that are FRESH, and actually begin to infuse the water when it makes contact! I drink coffee,a nd when I'm skipping dessert I'll order a coffee instead, sweet and light. But when I have dessert, or during breakfast or lunch, I prefer black teas. Any tea drinkers feel similiarly discriminated against?
  8. Schielke

    Teabag Brewing

    I just picked up a big box of TenRen green teabags for use at work during the day. The directions on the back of the bag say to pour boiling water over tea bag and let sit for 2-4 minutes as desired before removing the bag. While these directions are fine for those in zero G environments, I think I would have a big mess on the floor if I didn't use a mug. Also, 2-4 min is an awful big window. At what point does the tea start to become bitter? I also remember hearing that green tea should be prepared with water just under boiling temp. What is the best way to brew green tea from a bag? I would buy loose and do it old school style, but I dont know if the management would dig a tea ceremony going on in the break room. For what it's worth, each bag holds 2g of tea. Thanks! Ben
  9. Verjuice

    Old or expired tea

    At the risk of sounding incredibly ignorant... I am traveling with a Ziploc baggie of PG Tips that I packed at home in the US three weeks ago. Since I've been visiting family in the Emirates, I bought a new box of PG Tips upon arrival for drinking here. I worked my way through 40 tasty cuppas, then ran out last night. This morning, I didn't feel like heading to the market for a new box, so I dug into my Ziplog baggie of tea bags from home and brewed it the usual way. But something was definitely wrong with the flavor and aroma. How can I describe it? It tasted metallic, bitter, musty... smelled a little rusty and very faintly like raw egg. A little fishy, even, after the milk was added. Thinking it might be the milk, I tossed it and brewed another cup a few minutes later, adding fresh bottled milk this time: same thing. I am completely grossed out. The tea bags I packed were from a brand new box of tea that I had just opened at home. Are these the typical taste markers of tea that's way past its prime, or are my taste buds playing tricks on me? Thanks for any help figuring this one out.
  10. Three tea merchants are contributing teas for this Tea Tasting & Discussion: Greg Glancy (norbutea.com), Kyle Stewart (theculturedcup.com) and Bill Waddington (teasource.com). While the tasting is open to all members who have posted at least 10 substantive posts (simply a matter of questions, answers, comments that add to discussions) in the eG Coffee and Tea forum, preference will be given until midnight Monday August 23rd, 2010 to those who have not participated in the last two tastings. The free samples are available to members who 1) will do at least one brewing session with each of the three teas, and 2) will report on their experience within one week of receiving the sample and participate actively in the discussion. As always, everyone who does not receive a sample is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion. More details on the individual teas and brewing suggestions to come. So, please PM me now for details if you would like to receive the free samples and participate in this Tea Tasting & Discussion. (EDIT: Date correction. The period for giving priority to those who did not receive free samples in the last two TT&Ds was August 23, not July 23. It has been extended to midnight, August 25th.)
  11. phaelon56

    New tea Lounge in Syracuse NY

    The Roji Tea Lounge opened some months back right here in my hometown and I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't yet visited. Imagine my chagrin upon discovering that one of the owners is the brother of a young woman who works for us in our espresso cafe! I'm impressed that a place with this sort of dedicated approach to aesthetic issues and beverage quality has opened in a small city like this and hereby vow that I'll get in there sooner than later and report back. Are tea lounges becoming popular in larger metro areas and just now appearing in smaller cities such as ours or is the entire trend itself one that's relatively new in the US?
  12. Wholemeal Crank

    Tea Processing

    How does C sinensis provide teas as diverse as white, black, green, oolong, puerh? I was browsing wikipedia the other day, and came upon this great chart, that shows the different steps in processing tea, and how different combinations of them result in very different types of tea. It's brought a lot of information together in a way that helps me keep it all straight, more simply than several books and many articles & web pages. So the chart shows how oolongs and black teas both go through some bruising and oxidation, steps that white, yellow, and green teas skip, which steps help develop their fruity & spicy complex flavors, with black tea going 'all the way' and oolong varying from almost green to very near black tea. It also clarifies the relationship between puerh and green tea, making clearer why some young puerh appeals to me most when brewed as though it were a green tea (low temp, short infusions). Of course, if I had just looked at the chart without reading those books & articles & web pages, it might have been pretty confusing itself. So this seems like a good idea for a topic, to discuss tea processing, and link to good sources for information about it. For example, I have a link to a great video of hand processing sencha in Japan that I will try to find & post next.
  13. Richard Kilgore

    Your New Tea Discoveries for 2009?

    We have been exploring many teas from all parts of the world this year in the eG Forums. What new teas have you discovered and what are your favorites? For me the biggest surprise has been the Japanese leaf green teas as well as powdered matcha. Although I have been drinking sencha for a few years, I had planned to start exploring Japanese teas more seriously in 2010. But the Tea Tastings & Discussions featuring Japanese teas from The Cultured Cup spurred me to jump in sooner. The gyokuros and matcha have been a revelation. There is more, since I have been exploring far and wide, but I'll hold some for a later post. So what were your best tea discoveries in 2009?
  14. Richard Kilgore

    Tea Tasting: Two Chinese White Teas

    Kyle Stewart at The Cultured Cup is providing free samples of two Chinese white teas for this Tea Tasting & Discussion, the second comparative tasting we have done. I will mail up to three sets of two 10 gram samples of the teas to members of the eGullet Society. Here are the two Chinese white teas. Please follow the links for more information on each of these teas and for initial brewing suggestions. Pai Mu Tan (White Peony) Yin Zhen (Silver Needles) The sets of two free samples are available to members who --- 1) will do at least two brewing sessions from each sample, varying the brewing parameters, 2) will report on their experience and participate actively in the discussion within ten days of receiving the samples, and 3) who have previously posted at least twenty-five (25) substantive posts (simply questions, answers, comments that add to discussions) in the Coffee and Tea forum. As always, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion, whether or not you receive a sample. As I have mentioned in other topics, I have known Kyle Stewart, co-owner of The Cultured Cup, for some time now, having bought tea from his shop for many years, at least 10 years I believe it is. For the past four years or so Kyle has been instrumental to my tea education through the T-Bar Club at The Cultured Cup. And I have reciprocated by doing presentations on Yixing tea pots and on Japanese Wabi-Sabi style teaware for the T-Bar Club. Kyle attended the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas last summer and completed his three years of training with the Speciality Tea Institute to become the first Certified Tea Specialist in Texas and one of only 32 in the world. I have had many pleasant times with Kyle and his staff, trading teas and sharing new tea discoveries. More than just a tea merchant I happen to buy tea from, Kyle is a culinary friend as well as a tea friend - the wonderful tea pairings at Sharon Hage's York Street restaurant and a shared interest in Asian food. While the tasting is open to all members who have posted at least twenty-five (25) substantive posts in the eG Coffee and Tea forum, preference will be given until midnight (EDST) Friday, May 7, 2010, to those who have, in addition, not participated in the last two tastings. Please PM me now if you would like to receive one of the the free samples and participate in this Tea Tasting and Discussion.
  15. It seems like organic & Fair Trade tea are more easy to produce in countries that follow the "plantation" model of production (India, Sri Lanka, etc.), because it is easier to monitor the crops and the workers. Kenya and China (state farms excepted), seem to both follow the "small holder" model, where a bunch of small farmers produce tea that are then pooled at the factory. This seems like a bit of a regulatory headache when it comes to getting proper certification... On the one hand, in Kenya at least, there is a push towards consolidation of tea production (http://www.emoinvestments.com/News_inner.php?id=21), however, there has also been a counter-trend in the past towards more small-holder work, as tea from small-holders is usually less expensive to produce (because of the ability to side-step expensive environmental and labor regulations). In China there are a few people trying to produce Fair Trade tea under the small holder system (Yi Select under Wang Geda, Dazhangshan Organic Tea Farmer Association, etc.) Do you think this trend will continue? What about dealing with the Chinese State Farms? Bureaucratic nightmare? I'd be really interested in hearing from someone more familiar with the situation in China... What about Kenya? Most of its tea goes to the UK, which has a keen interest in Fair Trade... I've seen news articles saying that they're making it work, but I'm not quite sure how... Thoughts? *Edit: Ah, through legal loopholes, apparently.
  16. VacheRadioactif

    Starting an online tea shop

    Hello all, I'm starting an online tea store and would appreciate your input. What could we do to ensure you had an exceptional experience every time you shopped there? Thank you!
  17. This past Sunday's NY Times ran a big article about New York's coffee "renaissance," which is all well and good, but I have a concern and wondered how everyone else felt about this. My problem is that I can't seem to get a properly (to me, at least) drawn espresso or doppio at the cafes that I've been to. The shots are too short, not hot enough, and they're friggin' bitter, but not in a good espresso way. Some of these cafes are pulling ristrettos (triples even - seriously, who drinks a triple ristretto, 20 or more grams of coffee to make 1 ounce of "liquid?"), which I wouldn't mind if they were good ristrettos. The other day I was in one of the cafes mentioned in the article, and I asked for a double drawn a little long - I was told that it couldn't be done that way (so they've never heard of a lungo, a double drawn to about 2.5 ounces) , but the barista said he could pour two ristrettos into a cup...he did, it sucked. Last week my wife and I were at a fancy cafe, where I went to watch the barista make our doppios - everything was at the ready (the $15,000 espresso machine, the scale for tamping, the great beans, etc.); the barista actually pulled a shot or two first to get into the groove of pulling an espresso, then drew our two doppios - they sucked. My set-up at home is a PIDd Silvia/Rocky combo. I pull mainly Black Cat or Kid-O, both from Intellegentsia. My coffee hits the cup at around 172 degrees. I pull a 1.5 - 1. 75 ounce shot in 25 - 30 seconds, using 15 - 18 grams of coffee - depending on which basket I happen to have in my portafilter. The shots are delicious - the equal we've had anywhere in Italy on a number of trips (my point of reference). So, what's going on in all these fantastic cafes? Do the baristas really know what an espresso should taste like and how hot it should be,or are they pulling all their shots based on how they'll be in milk based drinks (my guess), when the temperature of the shot doesn't really matter. How can I get a decently pulled shot when I go to one of these cafes participating in the renaissance? That's what I want for my $3 - a true espresso, served hot; not something that's meant to be diluted with 5 ounces of steamed milk...it's also why I bought the Silvia and rarely have espresso outside of my kitchen.
  18. Anyone have any pointers for discovering more on the history of kombucha? The internet so far has been less than helpful, either pointing to Japan (this is a mistake based on the fact that Japan has its own kelp tea named kombucha), or to a mythical past in North East Asia going back thousands of years (despite the fact that black tea was not invented until the 1600s). I suppose kombucha could have originally been made with green tea, but that's not the way I typically encounter it. I've also heard that the drink originated in Russia in the 1800s (teakvas), which sounds a bit more plausible, but am at a loss for where to go from there. Any help?
  19. I'm well familiar with the advantages of buying fresh roasted coffee orm roasting your own - the idea being that one knows exactly when it was roasted and can be sure of using the roasted coffe in the optimal time window (2 - 10 days after roasting). The issue of deterioration and rapidly declining qualities is well known and proven - for some of us freezing by means of careful packaging, thawing etc is a good means of ensuring that we always have a supply of good fresh beans on hand. I'm baffled by loose tea. How significant and rapid is the deterioration when it's exposed to air? Will vacuum packing (e.g. with one of those machines that vacuum packs and seals in your kitchen) preserve freshness? Would freezing make a big difference? Also.... does one simply rely on the integrity of the vendor or the assumption that they have plenty of product turnover to ensure that the freshest possible product is being purchased> Sorry if this seems rather elmentary to you tea aficionados but many of us are clueless about this and in need of some educating.
  20. i have a bit of fresh mint left and want to try to make mint tea with it, Any recipes, ideas anyone? Would appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.
  21. Shalmanese

    All the tea in China

    Theres a Wonderful article in the guardian about the history of tea in China, Britain and around the world.
  22. slkinsey

    Show us your coffee rig

    Since the tea people have been posting interesting shots of their wares, I though it would be interesting to see what everyone is using for coffee. Should be an interesting contrast, since I expect coffee brewing setups to be more industrial and high tech whereas tea brewing setups tend to lean artisanal and low tech -- for the fanatics, anyway. The must obvious comparison would be a tricked out espresso machine versus a yixing teapot. This contrast is not universally true, of course. I'm sure there are some high tech tea brewing setups, and some coffee lovers use a simple cone filter. But it seems more or less accurate in a general sort of way. Speaking of tricked out espresso setups, here is mine. Relatively humble compared to many other machines, but does the trick for me. On the left is a Rancilio doserless Rocky grinder. The machine is a Rancilio Silvia hacked with a dual-setpoint Watlow 96 PID controller that regulates both the brewing and steaming temperatures. This was fairly tricky to install, because you have to partially remove the front panel of the machine to gain access to the steam switch (you also have to remove the front and internal splashplates and the top and back panels, but that is not so tricky). Once installed, however, it's been sweet. All I have to do is turn on the steam switch like normal and the PID automatically kicks over to the higher setpoint for steaming. The other material modification I did on the machine is to replace the regular steam tip with a three-hole steam tip. As it so happens, I have three portafilters. Overkill, I know, but I acquired them at different times. In the machine is a bottomless portafilter with a La Marzocco triple basket inside. That's what I use pretty much all the time. Over on top of the knock box is a regular (with bottom) double spout Rancilio pro portafilter. I got this when I first bought the machine, because it was considerably heavier than the stock portafilter. This was back before people were doing the bottomless portafilter thing. Also on the knock box is the stock portafilter, retrofitted with a single spout. I really never use this for its intended purpose, and keep it mostly fitted with a blank insert for backflushing. On top are some Miscela D'Oro branded espresso and cappuccino cups. I have cups from a number of different brands, but I like the Miscela D'Oro ones the best because they are the thickest. Especially the espresso cups, which are the thickest I have ever found. Down on the tray are my tampers. On the right is the Ergo-Packer from Espresso Vivace (aka "old busted") and on the left is my new C-Ripple tamper from Reg Barber (aka "new hotness"). As you can see, the whole thing is on some Metro Shelving, and I store some sheet pans underneath. This is really convenient when it comes to cleanup, because I can just sweep away any coffee grinds and the fall through onto the sheet pan, where they are easily dumped into the sink. Who's next?
  23. Gifted Gourmet

    High Time for Tea in America

    article from Businessweek Any particular tea company to which you are especially loyal?
  24. baroness

    "Western" style brewing

    Why is 'Western' style brewing (of tea) so called? It seems likely that in the tea-producing countries (India, China, Sri Lanka.....), most people would use this method, rather than the labor- and equipment-intensive 'gong fu' style. A brief internet search was not enlightening.
  25. Here is the link to the article in the South Bay Daily Breeze on the new exhibit: http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_13207094
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