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Found 389 results

  1. 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?
  2. Jason Perlow

    Keurig B60: First Impressions

    Having never had tasted the quality of the coffee coming out of a Keurig machine, I couldn't understand why people would even think about buying a proprietary coffee dispensing system like the K-Cup, with such a diversity and abundance of Pod coffee on the market. Well, sometimes, proprietary standards also means higher quality and better technology -- and in terms of the quality of product the Keurig can produce, the proprietary system is totally justified. I just tasted the Timothy's Decaf Colombian coffee and Celestial Seasonings Breakfast Blend tea, and they were excellent. The recycle/re-prime on the Keurig is very fast, and the water comes out at a nice 192 degrees (although you can manually step it down to 187 you want to go colder, such as if you wanted to flush pure water thru the system and brew a high quality loose-leaf Chinese tea in your mug, for example) As far as i understand, the primary difference between the B50 and B60 is that the B60 has 3 pour sizes whereas the B50 has two, and the B60 has a lighted control panel and reservoir plus chrome effects. I'm not sure if it justifies the extra $50, but it definitely is one seriously cool looking coffee machine and you can easily tell how high the mechanical build quality of this thing is and how strong the electrical pump is. In terms of ease of use nothing could possibly be easier -- the water tank is easy to pour into, the loader mechanism a child (or a senior citizen in assisted living) could master, and there is virtually no cleanup required. For a small office environment I'm not sure what could possibly beat the Keurig system if you were going the single-serve route. So do I like the Keurig system and K-Cups? It may be premature, but I would say its a resounding "Hell Yes!". I'm really looking forward to more and more K-cups -- hopefully Keurig will make it easier for 3rd parties to produce the cups, or that they will be partner with more companies in the future.
  3. jsmeeker

    Tea service in restaurants

    I'm pretty new to the world of drinking quality hot tea. Until very recently, all of my experience has been at home. In restaurants, the only tea I was ordering was iced tea. I recently returned from Las Vegas where I obviously had a large number of meals in restaurants. While there, I actually ordered tea once for myself and also observed what happened when others at the table ordered tea. What I experienced seems to indicate that tea as a beverage is done as an afterthought. Outside of the dim sum place we went to, it was always done with a pot of hot water and a teabag. Sure, it may have been a good tea bag, but it was still a tea bag. And you were on your own to actually brew it. Is there any hope out there? Any growing trend going on that hasn't made it to Las Vegas where tea service in restaurants is given a bit more thought. I suppose there are some places there doing it well, but I wasn't at them.
  4. Richard Kilgore

    Tea Exploring for 2010 - what's up?

    We have been discussing our 2009 tea discoveries in another topic. So now I am curious - looking forward for 2010, what teas do you want to try for the first time and what teas do you want to explore in more depth? I'm curious just because I am curious...and as a way to inform the Tea Tasting & Discussions for this year. Let me just throw out a few categories: * Black/Red Teas from India (Darjeelings, Assams, Nilgiris, others), Ceylon, China Keemuns, Yunnans and more) and elsewhere? * Oolong Teas? * Chinese Green Teas? * Japanese Green Teas? * Pu-erh Teas? * White Teas? * Yellow Teas? * Blending Teas? * Tea and food pairing? * Cooking and Baking with tea? Please jump in if you are interested, even if you have not previously been active in the Coffee and Tea forum.
  5. jpr54_

    Jing Tea Shop in UK

    I have made several purchases from them and have been happy- My last purchase was finally successful-I purchased a small glass teapot and pitcher- the first order was lost on way to usa but second was delivered via usps and royal mail registered signed for- customer service was excellent. I was impressed with their professionalism.
  6. There were a few posts regarding tetsubin cast iron tea pots (copied below) in the Show Us Your Teaware topic, and opinions about these vessels tend to vary considerably. What's your experience with tetsubin - lined and marketed as teapots, or unlined and traditionally used as water kettles? That's a beautiful pot, but why do you prefer cast iron to porcelain and clay pots and what is it about these cast iron pots that you would want to dedicate several of them to various teas? I'm curious as to the answer, as well. In Japan tetsubin are rarely used for brewing water much less for making tea (and then it's the lined tetsubin that are used). I've always seen the use of tetsubin for brewing tea as a Western affectation, but I'm curious if people really see a benefit (flavour-wise) to using tetsubin. The only benefit I can think of would be that it holds heat longer, but that would not necessarily improve the flavour of the tea (particularly since Japanese teas should be brewed in smaller amounts for best flavour).
  7. This Tea Tasting & Discussion features an interesting young raw loose leaf pu-erh. eGullet Society member Greg Glancy at norbutea.com is providing free samples for three society members and myself. (Image used with permission of Norbutea/Greg Glancy.) Here's some background on this pu-erh from the norbutea website. Used with permission. The three free samples are available to members who 1) will do at least one gong fu cha brewing session from the sample, 2) will report on their experience and participate in the discussion, and 3) who have previously posted at least ten (10) substantive posts (simply a matter of questions, answers, comments that add to discussions) in the Coffee and Tea forum. The 10 g sample is enough for one or two gong fu cha brewing sessions with up to 15 infusions each. Preference will be given until midnight (EDST) Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 to those who have not participated in the last two tastings. As always, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion, whether or not you receive a sample. So, please PM me now if you would like to receive one of the the free samples and participate in the tasting and discussion.
  8. 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
  9. The entertainingly non-metric old British taster's method is to put as much tea as a sixpence weighs in a one gill (Imperial) tasting cup. (~2.83 grams per 142 mL fluid). This makes a fairly agreeable cup of tea. However, when I scale everything upwards, such as using 23 grams of tea in a 40 oz. teapot, the tea comes out very strong, and a bit too much even with milk. Has anyone else noticed this effect? Any suggestions for how to adjust the weight of tea used when making large batches?
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. What is the craziest concoction you have made at work. I sometimes make Indian tea in the microwave. I pour hot water and milk into a cup and NUKE it trying not let it bubble over. I sometimes add spices to jazz it up. The most important thing is after you are finished cooking your tea you must let it sit for a little bit. If you dump your spoon into the mix too soon the tea will burst forth and pour over the sides with great enthusiasm.
  14. Hi, I've just recently been turned onto green tea. I'd like to make up large quantities at a time to keep in the fridge (about a gallon at a time). Whats the best way to do this without getting the tea bitter? I was thinking about just steeping the tea in cold water for a few hours (like sun tea) but thought that might make it bitter. Heating up a gallon of water could work, but how much tea should I use, and how long to steep? Anyway, something tells me that somebody on eGullet does this already and could provide me with some advice.. Thanks in advance! PS...any internet resources for good green tea would be appreciated also...
  15. 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
  16. TeraMisu

    Flavor shots for hot beverages

    I brew coffee, tea and cocoa beans. Seeking suggestions on suppliers of quality flavorings - examples: almond, vanilla, mint. caramel, coconut, pineapple etc. Most of what I find has an overwhelming taste of alcohol, glycerin or artificial flavorings or sweeteners - or just plainly too much sweet, not much added flavor....really not crazy about anything too sweet. Can anyone make any recommendations? perhaps part of the problem is most of what I find is intended to flavor either baked goods or snowcones! LOL thank you.
  17. My wife is a huge fan of Kroger's Private Slection Sweet Cinnamon Spice Tea, see http://www.privateselection.com/artisan-products/gourmet-beverages/teas/sweet-cinnamon-spice-tea-caffeine-free/. The label indicates that the tea comprises cinnamon, ginger root, rosehip, organge peel, and peppermint. Would any of you be able to share a more detailed recipe for this blend? Thx.
  18. 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?
  19. 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?
  20. The other week I was poking around on Aliexpress for tea, and I came across an appealing looking assortment of samples. 30something varieties for somewhere around $7.50. Seemed it was worth the risk. It finally arrived. I intend to taste my way through these and share my notes here.
  21. Here's my question: I pull three or four shots of expresso a night from an older *$'s rebranded Saeco machine (while I save up for an Andreja Premium). I generally turn it off when I'm done, then turn it back on when I want another. Using temperature surfing, I can usually pull a decent shot -- but would it matter if I just left it on? It would be on for about five hours every night. I'm not worried about electricity, just wear and tear on the machine. Thanks for your help, cass
  22. jpr54_

    spring oolongs 2006

    I received my first order of spring oolong from www.houdeasianart.com. I received 2006 Spring Shan-Lin-Shi "Yan Wen" oolong and 2006 Spring Shan-Lin-Shi "Long Feng Shia" oolong both teas are hand harvested I can hardly wait to try them- the next spring teas I will purchase from www.shanshuiteas.com The Korean teas are always very special Joanne R. aka jpr54_
  23. Now that my favorite local tea retailer has closed (RIP Cultured Cup in Preston Center), I need a new source for getting good tea. I know there are many good on-line sources, but I am wondering what the king of on-line retailers has available. Why Amazon? Well, I have Prime membership. And I am traveling every week. I can place my orders in such a way that ensures that they arrive on a specific day of the week when I'll be home (i.e. Friday). I may not be able to get that flexibility with other retailers. So, is Amazon selling any Prime eligible teas worth buying? I am looking for loose tea. Black. I pretty much drink it just in the mornings for breakfast.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.