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Chris Amirault

Tea 101

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Ah.. OK.. I see what you are saying. The over brewing of the subsequent cups.  As mentioned before, I don't really want to transfer to a second pot. So, my plan wouldn't be a good idea.  I guess I got the impression that brewing without any sort of infuser or whatever was vastly superior.

So, maybe an infuser IS the best way to go for me. I can simply lift it out (I assume they all lift out?) and place it on a towel or saucer or whatever for a second infusion later on.   Does that have to happen within a certain period of time?

While not exactly elegant in any sort of Asian way, the "Ingenuitea" is extremely functional. I use the an older model of these quite a bit for brewing Earl greys and such. It allows plenty of room for the leaves to breath, it is clear so you can observe "the agony of the leaf", and when the steeping time is up you simply set it over the top of your mug and the tea automaticly drains into the mug. Perfect for the office...

Check out http://www.adagio.com/teaware/ingenuiTEA_teapot.html

That thing is pretty cool. I'm not really looking to do this at the office, though. At least, not yet. :hmmm:

Still looking for a more "traditional" tea pot setup for home use. They had several kits at Pier One, (pot with cups) but I am not sure I need the cups. I think I just need a pot. Also, none of t he pots I saw there had any sort of infuser basket. They either had a "filter" or nothing.

Gonna hit World Market next, then cruise down to Cultured Cup. If I strike out at World Market with a pot, I'm sure Cultured Cup will have something for me. Possibly a *bit* more than I was wanting to pay, but that's OK. It's nice to support a local specialty store, plus I am going to need tea anyway. And I'll trust Richard that they will hook me up with something that will get me started.

Edit: I DID fine this over at Adagio teas. Something like that seems to be exactly what I am looking for! Wonder if I can find something like it locally?

http://www.adagio.com/teaware/personaliTEA...bced7621995e645


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Jeff - TCC carries the Beehive brand that Baroness recommends uptopic, so you may want to check those out. The staff at TCC is really helpful, so just let them know what features and price range you are looking for. If those options turn out to be more than you want to spend now, don't forget the pots at CM that run about $15 - 20 with infuser. They will be similar to the Adagio pot and about the sme price by the time you get the shipping added on.

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(I left after my last post and missed Richard's most recent one)

So, I made it to World Market. They had a much better choice than Pier One. Lots of neat little Asian ceramic mugs. Tall and narrow, and with a removable ceramic infuser basket.

I would up with a stainless steel pot that included a removable mesh screen infuser. Dunno why, but I guess I like stainless stuff. I went with that over a simple white ceramic pot that had no basket.

Pot in hand (and two more cocktail glasses... :rolleyes: ) I headed down Preston road to NW Highway. Drove into Preston Center. Saw Cultured Cup. hunted for a parking spot. Eventually found one. Walked over to the store. CLOSED!!

Doh!! I didn't bother to check the store hours when I left the apartment. Looked in. No one in there. Looking at the website now, it says they are open 10-6 Mon.-Sat. Dunno what was going on.

So, now I have my pot. But no tea!. LOL.. Too funny. Not like there isn't a ton of places to buy some tea, but if I am in this far, I might as well get it from some place good instead of a getting it at the grocery store.

I guess I'll need to call them next Saturday to confirm their hors before heading down.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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While not exactly elegant in any sort of Asian way, the "Ingenuitea" is extremely functional. I use the an older model of these quite a bit for brewing Earl greys and such. It allows plenty of room for the leaves to breath, it is clear so you can observe "the agony of the leaf", and when the steeping time is up you simply set it over the top of your mug and the tea automaticly drains into the mug. Perfect for the office...

Check out http://www.adagio.com/teaware/ingenuiTEA_teapot.html

I have these in the 32 oz size, (as well as the 16 oz) and I took one on my trip with me and you can see it in the photo below. The 16 oz is not large enough for my purpose as I use an extra-large cup or mug. The "true" liquid measurement of the 32 oz vessel is actually 26 oz, with the addition of the tea leaves. It is 32 oz to the very top of the vessel but that is not workable. I find that with the 16 oz, I can fill a 12 oz mug with brewed tea. (My "regular" tea mug holds 15 oz of tea with room for the addition of milk.)

A large cozy will cover the vessel nicely and will retain the heat long enough for it to brew. A second steeping works fine as the ingenuiTea allows the leaves to retain enough moisture to keep them "fresh."

The 32 oz is identified as the "Iced tea ingenuiTea"

gallery_17399_60_95288.jpg


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Well, I decided I wanted to try out my teapot. So, after I got my big pot of chicken stock going, I went to the local Tom Thumb grocery store to buy some standard grocery store loose tea. The store had lots and lots of stuff in bags. But only TWO choices in loose tea. So, I picked one. Twinings Classic English Breakfast Tea. A 100 gram tin cost $6.75

So, yeah, this isn't ideal. But I think this will actually be good in that it will help me fully appreciate good quality tea from a good tea purveyor.

So, I set out to brew the tea. I filled my pot with hot tap water to warm it up while I brought the water to a boil. Actually, before that, I actually measured out how much water my tea pot held. It was about 24 ounces. So, how much of this tea do I put in? The graphic on the foil cover of the lin suggested two teaspoons for two people, plus one (for the pot??). But how big of a pot do they assume here? And is it a measured tea spoon or is it just your regular table teaspoon?

Anyway, based on the size of my pot, I just guessed at about 3 and a half measured teaspoons. That went into the fine mesh basket infuser basket. That's when I noticed something I wasn't totally expecting. There was a lot of "dust" that came out! I shook the basket a bit and some more came out. Hmmm...

Anyway, once the water came to a boil, I dumped out the tap water, dropped in the infuser basket, then poured the boiling water onto the tea and filled the pot. I steeped it for 5 minutes, then took off the lid, pulled out the basket, and replaced the lid. While the tea was steeping, I pre-heated my cup with some of the leftover boiling water. Now, it was ready to drink.

It tastes like, well, tea. As I mentioned earlier, my experience with hot tea is very very limited. So, really, I am not sure how to evaluate this tea. I think I'll need to have some properly prepared tea first. I'm not totally sure if I did mine right.

Anyway, this is just a start, right? Now that the equipment is out of the way, can you tell me more about preparation? tea to water ration. Steeping times. etc. For now, lets just assume black teas.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Difficult to just let a new pot sit there, isn't it, Jeff?

Twinnings is a good grocery store brand and you can experiemnt with it until you have something better. Leaf:water ratios are just something to play with until you get it the way you like it best. A good starting point is 2.5 g (about one teaspoon) per 6 - 8 ounces, so you're on the right track. You can now try it a little stronger, say 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 teaspoon per 8 ounces. Try 4 minutes instead of 5. Just experiment with ratios and time and see what happens.

Also, pics are helpful if you can post a pic of the dry tea leaves and the wet leaves and the color of the tea liquor in the cup.

When you get to The Cultured Cup again, here are a few suggestions, but tell them you're a tea newbie and let the staff guide you -- take the opportunity to smell a lot of teas.

Just get one ounce of each tea you want to try. An ounce goes a long way (about 12 cups of first infusion - but you'll probably get an average of 3 infusions, so that's really 36 cups per ounce of tea leaves). This allows you to explore and try more teas compared to buying 3 to 4 ounces and being stuck with it for a long time. Even when I am 99% sure I am going to love a tea from the dry aroma alone, I seldom get more than an ounce the first time.

For a black tea: Ceylon Pettiagala Estate, which is good for iced tea, as well as drinking it hot. Or ask if they have a whole leaf version of an English Breakfast Blend - that would make an interesting comparison for you.

For an Oolong tea: Angel Tears (Shui Xian Cha)

For a green tea: ask if a new shipment (the past couple of weeks) of the Japanese Sencha has come in. If not, ask about the Silver Dragon or Lung Ching, two Chinese green teas.

Check out the cup size infuser baskets for making just one cup of tea at a time in a cup you already have.

You also may enjoy sitting at the tea bar at the back of the shop and having them make a cup or pot of tea for you and seeing how they do it. If you do, you can have them make it from any tea in the shop, so try one different from whatever you are taking home.

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So, I have two more questions here about tea.

1) I understand quality leaves can be infused multiple times. My question is, how much time can pass between infusions and how should I store the used leaves beetween infusions. If I want to make two cups of tea on Saturday morning, but that's all I want for that morning, do they keep until Sunday??

2). How long does loose tea keep? (tea that hasn't been infused). It seems that it can keep for some time and that it's not like coffee where you want to use it up within a short time after it's roasted. Weeks? Months? A year?


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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So, I have two more questions here about tea.

1)  I understand quality leaves can be infused multiple times.    My question is, how much time can pass between infusions and how should I store the used leaves beetween infusions.      If I want to make two cups of tea on Saturday morning, but that's all I want for that morning, do they keep until Sunday??

2). How long does  loose tea keep? (tea that hasn't been infused).  It seems that it can keep for some time and that it's not like coffee where you want to use it up within a short time after it's roasted.  Weeks?  Months? A year?

Once the leaves have been infused, I will prepare the subsequent infusions within a few hours. Personally, I would not keep them for 24 hours, however others may be successful with that much time elapsed.

The keeping quality of different teas varies greatly. "Mature" black teas may keep for a very long time if sealed in a container and kept away from moisture, light and heat - or extreme variations in temperature.

They can easily keep for a year or even longer, simply brew a cup and see how it tastes.

Oolongs and white teas seem to lose their strength more rapidly, however I recently brewed some Iron Goddess of Mercy oolong that I purchased in March '07 and it turned out a very nice cup with no loss of the "peachy" tones that I expect in this type of tea.

Other teas may deteriorate far more rapidly and unless you are buying a "bespoke" or single source tea and know the date of the flush or when it was picked and processed, you have no way of knowing how long it was stored before your purchase.

My rule has always been to try a tea, particularly before brewing it to serve to guests and if it tastes good, use it. If it has little flavor or an unpleasant or musty flavor, I toss it into the compost.

Some teas are tossed soon after purchase because to me they have an "off" flavor and I decided that I made a mistake in that particular purchase and make a note not to buy that particular tea again.

I like flavored teas, blended with various herbs, flours, spices and so on. I mentioned on another thread that I will set these aside for a few months (or longer) and find that they mellow with time and a blend that may be harsh and too strong originally becomes very pleasant after some of the stronger flavors have lost some of their potency.

Don't be hesitant about experimenting, dumping out a cup or even an entire pot of tea is not a huge waste (unless it is one of the uber-expensive ones) and by all means order samples from the online vendors.

Harney & Sons, Adagio and most of the others all send generous samples for very reasonable cost.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I look at the shelf life of teas much like andieseji, with a few exceptions. Oolongs on the darker end tend to stay drinkable longer, and some are actually aged. In fact I had an aged one (90s) from Hou De recently. On the other hand I try to drink green teas within a month after putting them in as secure storage as I can.

It is possible to put "leftover" tea in a small airtight glass jar and stick it in the fridge overnight, but some teas will reward this act of tea desperation more than others. I have used the smallest size canning jars.

And triple emphasis to what andiesenji said about experimenting. Think about it as if you were playing with making cocktails, or knocking out a soup, adjusting here and tweaking there. I did this at first with less expensive, but good, teas so that I would not worry about it and inhibit myself from trying different teas and brewing techniques. As you can see in the What Tea Are You Drinking Today topic, I still completely blow a brew from time to time.

Jeff, you also may want to check out the topic in this Coffee & Tea forum on Tea Storage.

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I've discovered a bit of a "flaw" in the teapot I purchased. It seems that brewing a partial pot doesn't really work. Last night, I tried to brew just two cups. (8 ounce cups). I poured 16 ounces of water into the put, but it didn't really reach the level of the leaves in the infusion basket. I had to pour almost another full cup in there. I dunno why. It seems like the basket goes about halfway down into the pot.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I've discovered a bit of a "flaw" in the teapot I purchased.  It seems that brewing a partial pot doesn't really work.   Last night, I tried to brew just two cups. (8 ounce cups). I poured 16 ounces of water into the put, but it didn't really reach the level of the leaves in the infusion basket.  I had to pour almost another full cup in there.  I dunno why. It seems like the basket goes about halfway down into the pot.

A lot of teapots with the integral infusers are made that way. I rarely ever use them, except on the few pots that have a large enough infuser to allow the tea to circulate freely.

I grew up in a household where tea was brewed loose in one teapot and strained into a second for serving. My great-grandmother thought that straining tea into a cup was vulgar, even using a fancy silver strainer and she was the law in the family.

You might find one of the Bodum "Assam" tea presses easier to use for small amounts of tea. The leaves have room to circulate and they come in several sizes and are reasonably priced and the glass is very tough. I have only managed to break one in all the years I have owned Bodums.

They are especially good if you want to re-infuse the leaves multiple times.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I was hoping to avoid using two pots, so I wanted one that included a strainer. If I were to use two pots, I would still need a strainer of some sort. The basket that came with my pot is very fine mesh. But some stuff still gets through! If I were to use my small strainer I use for straining citrus juice and ohter small amounts of liquid, I think ALL of the tea I have would go through it.

Of course, it's possible I will wind up buying a second pot when I order some tea samplers from Adagio. They hade a nice, simple, ceramic pot I liked. Cheap, too.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I was hoping to avoid using two pots, so I wanted one that included a strainer.  If I were to use two pots, I would still need a strainer of some sort. The basket that came with my pot is very fine mesh. But some stuff still gets through!  If I were to use my small strainer I use for straining citrus juice and ohter small amounts of liquid, I think ALL of the tea I have would go through it.

A lot is getting through your strainer due to the quality of tea you are using at this point, Jeff. If you look at the dry tea spread out on a white plate or piece of paper you will see that it is chopped up and has a goodly amount of tea dust in it. This will be much less of a problem with whole leaf teas.

An alternative for now is to use two cups. Brew tea in one and then pour through the strainer that came with your pot into the second cup. Pre-warm the brewing cup with warm/hot water, then pour that into the second cup to pre-heat it while you are brewing in the first one. You can more effectively make a cup in this way than you can make one cup in your three cup ss pot.

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that sounds like a neat tip, Richard. That strainer basket will certainly work in the cups and mugs I have at home.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Since I am not drinking any right now, I'll post here about what I bought today at The Cultured Cup

Ceylon Sultane

French Breakfast

Darjeeling Castleton

Oolong, Blue Spring

I bought an ounce of each. I was assisted by a young employee. High school aged. He was helpful and enthusiastic. I pretty much asked for a recommendation of a few black teas, plus an Oolong. This is what he came up. I bought an ounce of each.

I haven't really inspected these teas closely yet, but just from what I saw when I was looking at it in the large tins/jars at the store, I could clearly see that the the leaves for the black teas were much larger than what is in in the tin of Twinnings tea I bought. And the Oolong? Well, that didn't look like any tea I have ever seen before. It's like little pebbles. Really looking forward to trying it.

Once I start drinking these, I'll report back in the "what are you drinking" thread.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Some oolongs and many greens are pelletized, often labeled as "gunpowder" teas.

The process is thought by many to preserve the tea better and was developed during the age of the China trade when it might take a year to bring a tea to market in England or Europe or America.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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OK.. It's a new day and it's the morning, so it's my chance to try some of the teas I bought yesterday. 

First up is the French Breakfast tea.

1 tsp.  into a mug. Boiling water.  Steep for minutes.  pour into another mug with my little infuser basket from my pot to strain.    Nothing added.

This was pretty good. But not as bold as the supermarket English Breakfast tea I have.  I think the most notable thing about this French Breakfast is that I picked up a sweet chocolate scent in it. That was nice.  Overall, it seemed very "smooth"

Second up is a Ceylon Sultane.

1 tsp.  into a mug. Boiling water.  Steep for minutes.  pour into another mug with my little infuser basket from my pot to strain.    Nothing added.

Tastes like tea.  I dunno how else to describe it.  Nothing really remarkable about this, I don't think.  I don't mean that in a bad way, rather it just tastes like the way I expect a tea to taste. But I can't really pick out anything that says "this is so much better than what I have had before"

But it's still early in the game. I suppose it could take some time and a lot of tastings to appreciate a real quality tea.    Brewing one cup at a time using two cups is a bit cumbersome.  I may need a better method, but I am not sure how often I'll really be drinking like this long term.

Jeff, we may be able to help with this if you can tell us exactly how many ou/ml of water you are using at what temp for how many minutes. All those factors make a significant difference. Also are you using a regular teaspoon or a measuring teaspoon? If you have a scale that will measure to a tenth of a gram that would help, but is not necessary.

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OK.. It's a new day and it's the morning, so it's my chance to try some of the teas I bought yesterday. 

First up is the French Breakfast tea.

1 tsp.  into a mug. Boiling water.  Steep for minutes.  pour into another mug with my little infuser basket from my pot to strain.    Nothing added.

This was pretty good. But not as bold as the supermarket English Breakfast tea I have.  I think the most notable thing about this French Breakfast is that I picked up a sweet chocolate scent in it. That was nice.  Overall, it seemed very "smooth"

Second up is a Ceylon Sultane.

1 tsp.  into a mug. Boiling water.  Steep for minutes.  pour into another mug with my little infuser basket from my pot to strain.    Nothing added.

Tastes like tea.  I dunno how else to describe it.  Nothing really remarkable about this, I don't think.  I don't mean that in a bad way, rather it just tastes like the way I expect a tea to taste. But I can't really pick out anything that says "this is so much better than what I have had before"

But it's still early in the game. I suppose it could take some time and a lot of tastings to appreciate a real quality tea.    Brewing one cup at a time using two cups is a bit cumbersome.  I may need a better method, but I am not sure how often I'll really be drinking like this long term.

Jeff, we may be able to help with this if you can tell us exactly how many ou/ml of water you are using at what temp for how many minutes. All those factors make a significant difference. Also are you using a regular teaspoon or a measuring teaspoon? If you have a scale that will measure to a tenth of a gram that would help, but is not necessary.

I am using a measuring spoon. I just dip into the bag (I need some small tins or something to transfer the tea to) and measure out like I would any dried herb or spice.

I used one measured out teaspoon each time. I didn't measure the water when I made it. I simply filled the mug, thinking it was pretty much 1 cup ( 8 ounces) But just now, I went and measured what the mug held. About 9 ounces. So, I guess I did 1 teaspoon to 9 ounces. Probably not exactly an optimum ratio. I do have a scale, but it won't weigh in down to the gram, let alone a tenth. :) I didn't temp the water (though I do have quick read thermometers). It was at a good rolling boil. The kettle was really whistling away when I took it off heat. I DID brew directly in a mug. So, there was no lid. I did pre-heat the mug.

I do have something to add about the Ceylon Sultane. I enjoyed it more as it cooled slightly. I think when it was really really hot, I could only take tiny sips. But when I could drink larger amounts, I was able to get more of it onto my tongue. I know cold kills taste buds, but it seems really really hot does as well.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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OK.. It's a new day and it's the morning, so it's my chance to try some of the teas I bought yesterday. 

First up is the French Breakfast tea.

1 tsp.  into a mug. Boiling water.  Steep for minutes.  pour into another mug with my little infuser basket from my pot to strain.    Nothing added.

This was pretty good. But not as bold as the supermarket English Breakfast tea I have.  I think the most notable thing about this French Breakfast is that I picked up a sweet chocolate scent in it. That was nice.  Overall, it seemed very "smooth"

Second up is a Ceylon Sultane.

1 tsp.  into a mug. Boiling water.  Steep for minutes.  pour into another mug with my little infuser basket from my pot to strain.    Nothing added.

Tastes like tea.  I dunno how else to describe it.  Nothing really remarkable about this, I don't think.  I don't mean that in a bad way, rather it just tastes like the way I expect a tea to taste. But I can't really pick out anything that says "this is so much better than what I have had before"

But it's still early in the game. I suppose it could take some time and a lot of tastings to appreciate a real quality tea.    Brewing one cup at a time using two cups is a bit cumbersome.  I may need a better method, but I am not sure how often I'll really be drinking like this long term.

Jeff, we may be able to help with this if you can tell us exactly how many ou/ml of water you are using at what temp for how many minutes. All those factors make a significant difference. Also are you using a regular teaspoon or a measuring teaspoon? If you have a scale that will measure to a tenth of a gram that would help, but is not necessary.

I am using a measuring spoon. I just dip into the bag (I need some small tins or something to transfer the tea to) and measure out like I would any dried herb or spice.

I used one measured out teaspoon each time. I didn't measure the water when I made it. I simply filled the mug, thinking it was pretty much 1 cup ( 8 ounces) But just now, I went and measured what the mug held. About 9 ounces. So, I guess I did 1 teaspoon to 9 ounces. Probably not exactly an optimum ratio. I do have a scale, but it won't weigh in down to the gram, let alone a tenth. :) I didn't temp the water (though I do have quick read thermometers). It was at a good rolling boil. The kettle was really whistling away when I took it off heat. I DID brew directly in a mug. So, there was no lid. I did pre-heat the mug.

I do have something to add about the Ceylon Sultane. I enjoyed it more as it cooled slightly. I think when it was really really hot, I could only take tiny sips. But when I could drink larger amounts, I was able to get more of it onto my tongue. I know cold kills taste buds, but it seems really really hot does as well.

Yes, you are on to something important. Most teas will taste better if you let them cool a bit, and some change their flavor profile in interesting ways as the temp slowly comes down.

Here are some suggestions.

1) Using your measuring teaspoon is fine. The Cultured Cup website says to use 1 1/2 tsp per 6 - 8 ounces of water for the French Breakfast Tea, so you could try 2 1/2 tsp of leaf for your 9 ounces...or since you are experimenting, brew less and go for 1 1/2 tsp for 6 ounces.

2) I use my instant read thermometer for tea all the time. Try it at 212F and also at 208F and see if you prefer one over the other. If you have boiled water for one cup, get fresh water for the second, otherwise the tea is likley to taste flat.

3) The Cultured Cup website has a helpful chart on it explaining the different grades of black tea from India and Ceylon that may interest you. You will be able to interpret better the grading code for each of these two teas you have.

4) Not having a lid for the brewing cup, you coud simply place a small plate or saucer on top...anything to hold the heat.

5) Use your kitchen timer. Start with a first infusion of 3 minutes, second infusion of 4 minutes. See how you like it that way. If you think it needs longer, then start the first infusion at 4 or 5 minutes. Just experiment.

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thanks. I did use a timer. After the measuring spoon, the only precise measuring I did. I see that I forgot to put in my steeping times in my previous post. For both teas, I steeped for 4 minutes.

The nice thing about the teas from CC is they print out a little sticker that suggests tea to water ratio, water temp, and steeping time.

I'll add that these leaves sure do open up a lot when they steep. The leaves for the French Breakfast were larger than the Ceylon Sultane when dry. But even the Ceylon opened up dramatically. More than I expected with my experience with the Twinnings.

I need to compare a few more "grocery store" brands. But in this case, what I can pick up from Central Market as opposed to Tom Thumb. I was in the Dallas store again yesterday, and they seem to have a better selection than Plano. Or maybe it's just organized better in Dallas?

What other local tea shops are there? I know of the Teavana stores in the Galleria and Northpark. Actually thinking of heading to Galleria in a bit. Are there any other shops that are dedicated to tea or have a lot of tea, like CC?


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Since I am not drinking any right now, I'll post here about what I bought today at The Cultured Cup

Ceylon Sultane

French Breakfast

Darjeeling Castleton

Oolong, Blue Spring

Is your Castleton a first flush or second? Either way, that's one of my favorites.

I'm not very precise in my measurements. I have a 3-cup pot & a 5-cup, in which I use 2 measuring teaspoons & 1 measuring tablespoon of tea, respectively. I listen to my kettle for the sound that it's boiled to the riight point. I'm not sure what each pot holds in terms of fl. oz. but I know how to get a good brew out of each. From experience, I can determine by eye, based on leaf size & variety, whether I need to use less than a full spoon, a flat spoon or a heaping one, at least as a starting point. Once I've tasted a new tea, I'll adjust my measurements and brew time accordingly.

As the other folks have said, the more tea you make, the more instinctive the whole routine will become. You'll find the approach that works best for you, which likely won't be the same as mine or anyone else's. That's part of the fun. Enjoy!


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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the label on the bag says 2nd flush.

and I'm sure you are right about needing to experiment. That's why I bought several types and am trying to brew just a cup of each at a time to see how I like it (though with an ounce of each, I'll get many cups out of my purchase)


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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While not exactly elegant in any sort of Asian way, the "Ingenuitea" is extremely functional. I use the an older model of these quite a bit for brewing Earl greys and such. It allows plenty of room for the leaves to breath, it is clear so you can observe "the agony of the leaf", and when the steeping time is up you simply set it over the top of your mug and the tea automaticly drains into the mug. Perfect for the office...

Due to this recommendation and a cool video, I bought the 16 oz ingenuiTEA system on Amazon. I love it -- and finally get the "Agony of the Leaves" concept. (I also made a no-cost contribution to the eGullet Society by starting my Amazon search here!)


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I bought the 16 oz ingenuiTEA system on Amazon. I love it -- and finally get the "Agony of the Leaves" concept. (I also made a no-cost contribution to the eGullet Society by starting my Amazon search here!)

Chris,

Would you mind checking what type of plastic the ingenuiTEA is made from (the number inside the triangle)? I like the concept, but am hesitant to pour boiling water into, and steep in, plastic with all the recurring talk of the hazards of heated plastic. Thanks!

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