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Found 389 results

  1. [Moderator note: The original What Tea Are You Drinking Today? topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 2)] Morning started with the Yi Mei Ren Wulian Mountain Yunnan Blcak Tea from norbutea.com. Brewed in a 300 ml Yixing teapot reserved for Chinese black teas, and a wonderful improvement over brewing this already good tea in a gaiwan. Followed by the Zheng He Bai Mu Dan White Tea from jingteashop.com. Brewed in a different Yixing, this Bai Mu Dan is light and ephemeral. What teas are you all drinking today?
  2. 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.
  3. Just curious...do you have a favorite teapot? What makes it special?
  4. I am an everyday tea drinker. I came to the US 20 years ago, and gave up tea for coffeefor many years because it was too hard to find tea that didn't taste like vegetable water. My budget is basically very very low. I am laid off at the moment and trying to keep costs down. But here is what i drink, and my strategy for maximum tea, minimum budget. from the Indian Store: Brook Bond ( I think) Green Label. Green Label is Darjeeling. No flushes mentioned, but as long as it is made properly, makes a great cup of tea, for my taste. Tetley Massala Chai bags, decent but not fabulous. For real masala chai i get CTC tea, i like Taj Mahal, and boil it up with cardamom, ginger and pepper. from China Town: Keemun in a little orange tin oolong in a pretty tin (this is not good oolong, but it brews up fine for a quick cup of tea.) I also have some lychee tea in a lovely pink tin, its pretty disgusting, but it was $2 and the tin is cute. On Top of this i have the ends of a bag of Lapsang souchong, this si my favorite and I ration it out. When i get really broke i mix it with assam or something of that nature. I have a little bag of golden tippy assam also from the tea shop. its ok but not worth the money Also i have a box of barry's tea bag, irish brekfast and gold blend, because they taste like home. I always drink my tea with milk, so my choices reflect this. I only put sugar in Massala Chai, but i find that needs it. so there... there are my teas. Cheap and very basic.
  5. 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
  6. Even though I would like to change the situation, the winter is coming. Sooner or later there will be sharp winds, frost and unpleasant moisture. I don't know how you like to warm up at home, but on the first cold day I dust off my home recipe for hot and yummy winter teas. You can use my recipe or come up with your own proposals for fiery mixtures. Only one thing should be the same: your favourite tea must be strong and hot. Ingredients (for 2 teas)Raspberry-orange 8 cloves a piece of cinnamon 2 grains of cardamom 4 slices of orange 2 teaspoons of honey your favourite tea 50ml of raspberry juice or 30ml of raspberry juice and 30ml of raspberry liqueur Add 4 of the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of orange with honey. Add the raspberry juice or a mixture of juice and liqueur to the tea. Next add the honey with orange. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and orange. Lemon-ginger 8 cloves 3 slices of fresh ginger 2 grains of cardamom 50ml of ginger syrup or 30ml of ginger syrup and 30ml of ginger-lemon liqueur 4 slices of lemon 2 teaspoons of honey Add 4 of the cloves, ginger and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of lemon with honey. Add the ginger syrup or mixture of syrup and liqueur to the tea. Next add honey with lemon. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and lemon. Enjoy your drink!
  7. Has anyone else tried Snapple's flavored White Iced Tea? Our local Shaw's Supermarket had 17.5 ounce bottles on sale for $1 each so I picked up a few in necatarine, green apple, and raspberry flavors. Generally, I just think they are delicious! Very nice, soft but good flavors. Also, very refreshing. The stuff is basically tea, water, sugar and natural flavors. It packs 60 calories a serving, with about two servings per bottle. But you're gonna drink a whole bottle.
  8. Oolong tea is a semi-oxidized tea, occupying the middle ground between green and black teas. Combining the best qualities of green tea and black tea, Oolong Tea is not only as clear and fragrant as GreenTea, but also as fresh and strong as Black Tea. If you drink Oolong tea, the natural aroma may linger in your mouth and make your throat comfortable. Anxi Ti Kuan Yin is one of the most famous and typical one among all the Oolong tea. With the new Autumn tea, here I show you how Ti Kuan Yin looks step by step by brewing with Gaiwan teapot. Preparation: The best warter for making Ti Kuan Yin is well water which is very naturl to better taste the aroma. Water should be brought to a boil and transferred to some kind of portable stove to keep it on the edge of boiling. The teapot(Mostly for Ti Kuan Yin, Gaiwan is used) should be clean ready for making tea on the drip tray. The cups and aroma cylinders (the latter only if present) should be also placed face-up on the drip tray. Here is high quality tea tea looks before brewing: Brewings: First round: The first round of brewing begins with filling the Gaiwan full of near-boiling water. The Gaiwan is filled to the brim and excess foam and tea leaves are simply swept aside by the lid before placing it firmly on top. A little extra hot water poured over the top helps keep the temperature high. The tea is brewed for approximately one minute and then quickly transferred to the serving pot to mix it evenly, avoiding uneven flavour from cup to cup. A narrow, metal filter can be used to catch fine particles that would spoil the flavour of the tea. The tea leaf looks after 1st brewing:
  9. Hi All, I'm an espresso freak but my wife loves tea, jasmine in particular. Are there any places online that sell tea that could be given as a gift, maybe packaged in a nice box or something? Thanks for any advice? Joe PS They need to be in bags. Loose tea is not her thing:)
  10. I've been invited to afternoon tea (pronounced "teh") next week at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. I'm looking forward to this... I checked their website, and I found their tea menu. Any suggestions/advice in preparation for the event? I'm partial to Earl Grey or English Breakfast, no sugar, no cream, maybe a little lemon. Why add to perfection, ehh? Hopefully, I'll post my experience ... with photos. Thank you in advance.
  11. I love my son's baby sitter, really I do. She works really hard with him, stimulates him to no end and has him keeping up with kids twice his age. She does great things for us too; she does the laundry, she tidies up, and when she's run out of things to do during his nap, she creates new projects for herself. Yesterday, she scrubbed my tea pot. My beloved tea pot that I've been seasoning for 5 years. 5 years. I didn't know if I would notice a difference, or if the value of seasoning was all in my head, but suddenly my $2 an ounce Ceylon tastes like it cost $2 an ounce. All of the depth of flavor is gone. So, I'm wondering, does anyone has any tips for speeding the reseasoning process? Help. Please.
  12. viaChgo

    yerba mate

    Just tried yerba mate for the first time yesterday. I liked it. The flavor is not my favorite among teas but it was still enjoyable. Maybe I wasn't sure what to expect. And it had a nice, pleasant caffeine kick that was different from a coffee or black tea. Other than being from South America, I don't really know anything about yerba mate.
  13. Since I'm going through this ritual for the umpteenth time with two new varieties of Assam from Upton, I thought I'd inquire whether anyone else has noticed this pattern. Some teas seem to yield their full flavor from the very first pot, as soon as you open the tin, or hermetically sealed bag, as the case may be. Others taste dull & flat at the start. The dry leaves frequently have a good aroma, but that doesn't travel into the cup at the outset. Then, after a week or two of use and openings and closings of the storage container, the flavor of the new tea suddenly takes a quantum leap for the better. A fellow tea aficianado has also noticed this effect. It seems that the leaves need to interact with the atmosphere for a time to develop their full potential. Perhaps the fermentation process that occurs during the drying of the leaves needs to be restarted before they'll brew up really well. Perhaps there's such a thing as the leaves being too dry, and they need to be rehumidified to a certain degree in order to exude their maximal flavor when the boiling water hits them. My friend's approach, when he finds a tea that remains dull after a couple of initial tries, is simply to put the tea away for a couple of months; when he comes back to it, he usually finds that the flavor has blossomed. I'm not that patient or organized, I generally keep the tea in the rotation (I usually have 3-4 morning teas, & a similar number of afternoon teas, available), though I may select it less frequently until it develops. Has anyone else had this experience?
  14. Toliver

    Nestea Ice

    Nestea Ice It's a very...interesting...web site on the new product. I thought about posting this in the Soda Pop section but figured it should go here. There's supposed to be an ingredient in it that creates a cooling sensation in your mouth. Anyone see this product in their area?
  15. Coffee, coffee everywhere but none you'd like to drink. On a recent trip across the USA which started in New York City, went on to Newport, RI then over to Chicago and fianlly on to the left coast to San Diego it became patently obvious that you just can't get a decent coffee in at least 4 States. That celestial chain would have to rank amongst the worst culprit serving a beverage closer to the water left over after washing a stack of very dirty dishes in a lot of water (not that I've ever drunk any but it smells the same). Little wonder it's common to add sickly sweet syrups - anything to hide the taste. I tried brewed, espresso, cappuccino, filtered, regular, double and triple shots - all undrinkable for someone who comes from a coffee culture. Here in Australia we seem to have discovered what the Americans still don't know. You don't just burn the beans for flavor. You can't cook the bejeesus out of the aromatics and expect to end up with any taste you'd enjoy. What I will do next time I'm in the US is go to a roasting establishment, teach them when to stop roasting and introduce the coffee drinkers of America to the rich, deep noted taste of a wider range of aromatics than you can expect from near ashen beans. Good coffee is meant to be enjoyed. You stop. Sit down. Take in the complexity of flavors. Notice the chocolate notes. The toasty roasted characters with their hint of bitterness. There's a fullness of mouth-feel, almost a creamy texture which adds to the satisfaction of drinking coffee. It is certainly missing from the thin, lacklustre swampwater and what Americans call caufee. No wonder they buy it in a rush and swallow it while dashing to work or a meeting or just because life's always in a hurry. I suppose it's also recommended to drink and drive because if you spill some, you don't have to drink as much.
  16. Well it happened again. I was at a local coffee roaster and asked for their darkest roast. I got a withering glare and was informed that they only roast light. Like I had asked for a well done steak or for a vodka martini at a different type of establishment. My main espresso stand uses a pretty light roast and shares the opinion on dark roasts, although they are less supercilious about it. Pretty much every cafe in Australia uses a light roast. I'm getting used to the lighter espresso, especially when brewed well, but I kind of miss being able to go to the dark side. And I find that light roasts are often higher caffeine than I want. Is this light roast fetish an Aussie thing or is it a coffee snob thing? Or just the way they like it, thank you, nothing wrong with that? Thoughts on different roasts. Are preferences regional - is French Roast really a French thing? What do you like and why? Does it vary with brewing method? Am I terminally un-hip?
  17. I love green tea, but have been primarily enjoying only Japanese teas (Gyukuro being my favourite, and Sencha a close second). Recently, after realizing I know nothing of Chinese green tea and seeing that most of the highend Japanese teas carried by the local supplier are imported from China, I thought I'd try and learn more. I've done a lot of reading on various sites found through Google and learned a bit, but I'd like to here from anyone on here who may be paticularily knowledgable about Chinese green teas. I've recently tried gunpowder for the first time, specifically Osprey Organic Gunpowder, and I found it to be a much heavier tea compared to the Japanese teas I am more familiar with. I want to try Dragon Well but will have to get to a bigger city to find a reputable importer.
  18. I know purists that will roast their coffee beans immediately prior to grinding their cup of coffee and drinking it immediately. If a shot of pulled espresso sits around at a Starbucks for more than 30 seconds or a minute, it gets dumped. However, I have a brother-in-law who will walk into my house and if there is cold coffee still sitting in my pot and there are no moldy floaties on top, he'll drink it. As I write this, I'm still sipping on a latte that Shawn made for me when I left for work this morning. He pulled the shots at 7:15 a.m. and it is now 1:30 p.m. I consistently make an entire pot of tea and re-heat cups out of it for a day or so afterwards, despite the fact that I PREFER it fresh, just having it made and ready to heat is often easier on a busy morning. What about you? How old is too old for you?
  19. article from the Independent UK So, what exotic tea blends have you tried lately? anything rare and unusual? Pleased beyond expectations? Disappointed in not finding the tea more exotic? Have you broadened your tea drinking tastes lately? or does a cuppa Lipton work just fine for you?
  20. jpr54_

    tea and 2005

    do you have any new year's resolutions on new teas to try in the coming year? i am going to explore the world of oolongs-to expand the more fermented and oxidized. i enjoy the more green, lightly fermented, low oxidized taiwan oolongs. i order from a variety of websites-my favorites are www.teahomeusa.com, www.enjoyingtea.com and www.jingteashop.com joanne
  21. What's the difference btween Tea and Chai? Is Chai just a special preparation of tea? I couldn't find a definitive answer. What makes it even more confusing for me is that in Russian, the word "chai" means tea.
  22. Anyone out there ever use this website www.kyelateas.com to order tea? I'm wondering if they are still in business. The website will take an order, but it never gets processed (ie. I don't get charged and I don't recieve any tea) and my emails to them have not generated a response. I found this odd as I heard about the site recently in a copy of The Art of Eating "resources' section and I am under the impression that the guy who runs the site also writes about darjeeling for AoE. Any info would be appreciated. I just want to order some tea!
  23. It's true. Heated frothed milk can be simply that or it can be an entirely different substance with not only a different viscosity, mouthfeel and sweetness but the capability for blending with espresso in a manner that yields a drink quite unlike the run-of-the-mill capuccino or latte most folks have ever experienced. I'll quote myself (from the Latte Art Video section of my own web site) as a place to start the discussion: Schomer has a good article on these techniques at his Espresso Vivace website Milk Texturing Basics I have also found the free pdf tutorial offered by Gimme! Coffee to be concise and very helpful Milk Preparation Tutorial I'm no expert.... heck... I can't even pour decent "latte art" despite having a really good machine and plenty of resources to study. What I do know is this: using manual frothers with heated milk is a worthy substitute if you're in a pinch but true microfoamed milk is a thing of beauty and the drinks one can prepare with it really are superior. There is no substitute but few cafes actually produce it. Visit a really good cafe.... JJ Bean or cafe Artigiano in Vancouver BC, Vivace, Vita or Hines in Seattle, Intelligentsia in Chicago, Gimme Coffee in NYC or Ithaca.... you'll find that the difference between a latte and cappuccino is the espresso to milk ratio - lattes get more milk. There's none of this Starbucks style "scoop the extra foam on top and call it a cappuccino". Uh uh.... no sir.... all the milk they serve is microfoamed - it's been prepared so that the milk itself has been transformed in its entirety rather than having a separate layer of foam and milk. I'll welcome and respond to dissenting views but I've had enough first hand experience to feel strongly about this. Here are what I consider to be really "basic basics": Start with cold milk - the colder the better - the longer the frothing time the better developed the foam (within reason) Use an appropriately sized pitcher. Smaller machines in the sub $500 range generally steam no more than 5 - 6 oz of milk at a time properly. $500- $1200 units generally do well with up to 10 or 12 ounces. Best results are obtained when the milk is at least 2" or 3" deep - thus we need a 10 oz pitcher for small amounts and a 20 oz pitcher for larger amounts. Higher milk fat produces more velvety and longer lasting microfoam. I can get passable results with 1% but 2% or whole milk works better. I even know people who juice up their whole milk by adding half 'n half or condensed whole milk. Skim milk creates lots of dry, fluffy and light foam that separates from the milk - exactly what we DON'T want! Purge the steam wand and then start steaming with the tip fully submerged. Immediately lower the pitcher so the the tip stays just under the surface of the milk - feel free to move it around a bit as the milk is "stretching". It will begin increasing in volume from the air being introduced but we're only looking to expand volume by 15% to 25% at most - what we're after is better texture. At about 100 degrees, tip the pitcher or tilt the wand (or both)so that the tip is still just slightly submerged but the wand against the side of the pitcher, more or less parallel to it and get a swirling motion going. This is the process where the larger bubbles initially created are broken into the smaller bubbles of microfoam. At about 130 degrees keep the same swirling motion going but raise the pitcher to fully immerse the tip so it's close to the bottom of the milk. Stop frothing at about 145 degrees. That's pretty close tro the sweet spot - literally. It's the point at which the sugars in the milk have been converted to produce extra sweetness from the milk but well below the level where scorching can occur. Many people forego the use of a thermometer and work by the level of warmth on the outside of the pitcher and the sound that the foaming creates. Maybe I'll be at that level someday but for now I find that having the thermometer really simplifies things and helps me control the process Yes... I know... it seems like a lot of hoo-hah and monkeying around for a coffee drink but if it wasn't worth I wouldn't be here
  24. "Msk" posed a good question in another thread and I believe it deserves some space of its own for discussion.... Wow. This is wide open and there are so many. Plenty more are sure to be forthcoming but here's what I look for and want to know.... ==================================================== What To Look For: 1) Is the portafilter being left in the grouphead of the espresso machine when it's not in use? The thermal mass of the brass portafilter asembly is crucial in retaining heat so the brewing temp does not drop off as the water is forced through the grounds. If you walk into a cafe and see the portafilters sitting on the counter separately from the machine, waiting to be filled and used... fuggedaboudit - chances of getting really good espresso are nil. 2) Do they make a practice of grinding large amounts and leaving the doser filled with already ground coffee? Not good. Grounds sitting in the doser will literally, within an hour or so, start getting flat and losing the potential for creating good crema and superior shots. If they grind to fill the doser every ten to fifteen minutes or so during the morning rush, it's fine but if you walk in at a slow time during mid afternoon or evening and they don't grind the coffee right then for your shot - chances are you just won't get a good shot. Some of the very best cafes use timer assemblies that grind the right amount of reach shot and the beans for every shot are ground when you order the drink - this is the best. 3) Does it appear that they're tamping and doing it well? Usually the mark of a place that cares enough to try for good results. In some places you may see a LaMarzocco Swift grinder - this is the one where the barista actually locks the portafilter onto the grinder and hits a button. In this case the barista does not tamp. The grinder automatically grinds the right amount and tamps. Some purists believe that hand tamping is the best but a Swift can actually do a better and more consistent job than all but the best baristas. A relatively inexperienced barista with a well maintained and tweaked espresso machine and a Swift can produce very good results indeed. 4) Is the steam wand nice and clean and does it get wiped down and purged after each pitcher of milk is steamed? If you see a milk crud encrusted steam wand it's safe to assume that, at the very least, they don't do a good job of steaming milk. More important - it speaks to the big picture. Lack of attention to a crucial process detail like this generally indicates that the owner/manager/staff either doesn't know or doesn't care enough about milk preparation to do it correctly and more likely than not.... that attitude extends to espresso preparation. 5) Is the barista continually adding milk to pitchers that have sat around for extended periods of time on the counter or re-steaming milk that has sat around for awhile? During a busy morning or evening rush it's a resonable practice to steam in the same pitcher for awhile and keep adding more cold milk but the use old milk/warm milk/re-steamed milk means the same thign as the previous comment - lack of attention to process control. What To Ask: 1) Do you roast your own beans, how often is this done and how fresh are the beans you use? They should not be using beans more than ten days past roasting date. 2) If you don't roast them yourselves, where do they come from? In some areas you may find cafes using five pound bags of the popular Italian bar blends like LaVazza. Beans like this can make very good espresso but they have to be coming from a trusted source that monitors dates and has good turnover. Good microroaster beans will still be better in nearly all cases. Other cafes will buy from reputable microroasters. I know of a place in Brooklyn that buys from Caffe Vivace in Seattle. One of Vancouver BC's better local cafes actually has their beans shipped in from Chicago IL in the US! (Intelligentsia Roasters) 3) How many ounces in your double shot? If they say 1.5 to 2 ounces and they really deliver this amount - chances are good that they're trying to do it right. Perhaps they won't be hitting it on every shot - nobody does - but it likely means they understand what's needed. ==================================================== These are only a few but in my experience if any of the above don't meet the right criteria.... chances are slim that you'll get really good espresso.
  25. It's getting warmer, and in Springtime a young man's fancy turns to iced coffee. Today I almost achieved iced coffee nirvana. Tall Glass Fill 2/3with leftover extra-strong presspot coffee Add plentiful sweetened condensed milk Add a slug of U-Bet chocolate syrup Add ice Stir Enjoy The two things that would improve on this, as I see it, would be frozen coffee cubes instead of ice, and some of that Ghirardelli chocolate syrup Alacarte pointed out. Some people like to use espresso as the coffee base, but at the volume I drink I'd be getting something like 14 shots per serving. So...? How do you do it?
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