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  1. My local NPR station is promoting a feature story on tea trading to air tomorrow (9-16-09) during the Morning Edition show. It will most likely be available on their website later.
  2. 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 t
  3. 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? * B
  4. Kyle Stewart at The Cultured Cup is providing their Sencha Select for this Tea Tasting & Discussion. The bag was opened at The Cup just two days ago and this Japanese green tea smells wonderful. Kyle is providing 10 gram samples to me and three other members of the eGullet Society. 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, comm
  5. Tastes in teas - just like tastes in wine, cocktails, pastry and just about anything else culinary - vary widely. A recent post in the "What teas are you drinking today" topic had me thinking about this overnight: I did not care for a particular tea hot, but then tried it iced and liked it a lot. But over the long haul it has been Earl Gray - just too much bergamont in my face. (Add to that a lot of Scented and flavored teas.) However, I have found blends that are not a traditional Earl Gray with less bergamont in them that I enjoy. Any that are "just not your cup of tea"? Any that you did n
  6. In another topic, v. gautam posted an aside reagarding stevia. Anyone else have this experience?
  7. Are there any decent quality loose (or a good quality bagged) tea with added caffeine? I'm a fan of (should I admit this here? I'm new to this section of eGullet...) Celestial Seasons Fast Lane and Morning Thunder black teas. I like tea better than coffee, and I like the more subtle energy boost. I like the Fast Lane, but I'd like something better quality, something I can get loose, or just other options in general. Are there any good ones? What would you recommend?
  8. 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 m
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. Here is the link to the article in the South Bay Daily Breeze on the new exhibit: http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_13207094
  13. I'm just curious. Have you made any changes in your tea brewing and drinking this year? Teas that are new to you? New brewing equipment? New tea cups? New brewing techniques? Pictures welcome!
  14. 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
  15. can someone help in description of teas==
  16. Tell us what tea(s) you're drinking today, and whatever else might be of interest to everyone --- how you brewed, overall impression, aroma-taste-mouthfeel, source. As impressionistic or detailed as you like. For me today it's a ripe (Shu) Puer: 2003 CNNP "Yellow Mark" label tea cake. Sourced directly from China through Yunan Sourcing LLC on eBay. Not gong fu style today, but rather 5 grams in about 150 ml in a Yixing tea pot for 5 minutes for convenience sake. With about five years of age on it, this ripe Puer is smooth, no astringency, moderately full-bodied without off-tastes, pleasant but
  17. Greg emailed me the name of the market where he found this Ding Dong Oolong. It took me a while to find it -- three aisles of various teas and herbal/medicinal teas and it was tucked back in a hard to reach corner -- but persistance paid off. Now marked $7.99, and still a bargain. I also found one lonely tin of another tea that looked promising, but have not brewed it yet. Greg is right. This tea is worth looking for. ← Greg Glancy recently posted ( see above) in the What tea are you drinking today? topic about finding a drinkable Dong Ding Oolong in an Asian market. I tried his recommenda
  18. 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
  19. 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... smelle
  20. Welcome to the Coffee and Tea forum where, not surprisingly, you can discuss every aspect of making and enjoying coffee and tea, from leaves and beans to specialty equipment. Our popular topics include How To Roast Your Own Coffee; the Least Expensive Machine For Decent Espresso; Bagged Teas; and Iced Coffee. To view a complete listing of frequently discussed topics see: Coffee and Espresso Topics and Tea and Chai Topics Not a Society member? You’re welcome to read the eG Forums to your heart’s content, but you will have to join the Society in ord
  21. 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
  22. 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, abo
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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 devel
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