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  1. I am visiting my in-laws who have a Francis Francis X1 espresso machine solely for the purpose of countertop art. To the annoyance of my FIL, I plan to make use of it while I am here and teach myself how to make espresso. I have found 95% of the parts for the machine and have purchased 1/4 lbs of espresso beans had them ground fine. I think the only thing I am missing is the tamper. As I understand it, here is the process for making a cup of espresso with a few questions. 1. Remove the filter holder which has the 1 cup filter disc inside and fill with ground beans... How much do I add for 1 cu
  2. 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
  3. 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, b
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. I read this here: I've check Vitamin Cottage (the local chain of health food stores) and searched online. Looks like Matcha is pretty hard to come by -- I was only able to find VitaLife offering it and/or some Japanese brand of tea. Anybody know where to get matcha?
  7. I've recently discovered that some of the higher quality teas I've been buying really can be reused for several cups of tea. This is working beautifully with oolongs, chinese green teas, and pu-erhs. Some questions that have come up, and my apologies in advance if this is discussed elsewhere, but I can't figure out how to search for this topic without getting huge numbers of irrelevant hits: Why does the resteeping not draw as much bitterness out of the leaves as does a longer primary steeping? How long do the leaves need to rest, if at all, between steepings? And a related but more general q
  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/foodprogramme.shtml this shop is also one of the better teashops to purchase taiwanese tea
  9. 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 respond
  10. Seeking sources, preferably online, of what is sometimes called chrysanthemum tea: Tea leaves bundled and tied, to be used for multiple infusions. I would be interested in hearing about any type of tea, although lightly oxidized is a personal preference.
  11. 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
  12. article from Businessweek Any particular tea company to which you are especially loyal?
  13. 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-
  14. I just succumbed to the hype and bought a purple clay tea pot. My tea still tastes the same Does anyone else use a purple clay tea pot?
  15. Theres a Wonderful article in the guardian about the history of tea in China, Britain and around the world.
  16. 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_
  17. Hi All! I'm new to this section of eG (usually hang with the P&B crowd). Does anyone know of a machine, (home or commercial) dedicated to solely making tea lattes? I was in Vancouver earlier this month and there's a tea shop in West Vancouver called the Urban Tea Merchant that has such a machine. According to them, the only one being used in the country. Thanks
  18. Well, it has happened again. We went to Amsterdam, had amazing coffee everyday, even good on the plane and now I'm back again and my coffee is just not as good. I love the coffee we had in Amsterdam. I've also had really good coffee in Provence, Italy (of course), and Switzerland. Although the styles were all different, they were all similar in terms of not being bitter, overroasted, and too hot. They were instead rich, flavorful, and incredibably aromatic. Why, oh why, can't I get this effect at home? At home I have a Grind and Brew, a percolater, and a Krups espresso maker. Should I p
  19. I am looking for a high quality Japanese cast-iron teapot. I would like to get one of a good quality… something that is well made with good quality enameling. Can anyone point me to a good manufacturer? Any retailers known to carry good quality cast-iron teapots? What should I look for? Anything I should avoid? What about prices? Thank you, $50.00
  20. 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
  21. Hey there..... I'm kinda new to this forum, but not eGullet. I frequently make a pest out of myself in the Pastry and Baking forum, but I felt like bothering another forum, so here I am. I did a coupla searches and read some of the pinned topics on Coffee and Tea, particularly milk foaming techniques for creating latte art. There's still some things I didn't really find info on regarding this topic. I make Lattes and coffee drinks for my friends at work.....we have 6 year old Faema that seems to chug along ok, but by NO MEANS would I call myself a barista. In fact, I think I probably pull some
  22. I am getting ready to head out for the Thanksgiving holiday in a couple days and just realized that the home we are going to does not drink any caffiene. I am planning on bringing tea for myself but my boyfriend is a big coffee drinker. As there are not really any places near where we are to grab a latte in the morning I was wondering if anyone knows of any "instant" coffee / expresso that is not absolutely horrible? I know about Nescafe but am not sure if it is vile or not. Are there any other brands out there that anyone knows about? Tomorrow I am going to head out to Whole Foods and the Me
  23. I'm interested in this group's favorite tea rooms. My favorite was the Old Waverly Tea Room and Exchange in Baltimore, MD. (it's been a while so I might have the name wrong). It closed awhile ago. It was the first tea room I visited and it's still the standard for me. Tea at The Plaza in NYC was great but unfortunately, the smoked salmon didn't agree with my stomach. I have moved from Baltimore but recently found it that the Old Waverly has re-opened under the name "Thir-Tea-First Street Cafe and Tea Room". It has gotten some good reviews. The main webpage I use for finding tea rooms when I
  24. 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.
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