The Officially Unofficial thread of TEA! :D
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    Thumbs up The Officially Unofficial thread of TEA! :D

    About a month ago I was dealing with a lot of low energy issues and decided to make a few diet changes to fix that. The big one was for me to cut out coffee from my morning routine as I can't drink the stuff without loading a ton of cream and sugar to a cup. As a result of the caffeine and sugar jolt the morning yielded, the subsequent crash by afternoons was hitting me so hard it made working very difficult. However I really wanted to substitute something in the morning and started buying the bagged kind of tea again.

    One day I was discussing my coffee give up to my brother, and he ended up dropping the name of this site he found online that sells loose leaf teas (Adagio Tea). I remember trying some loose leaf teas at a tea bar when I was in Seattle this past January and loved them a lot. So I ended up going to that website, buying a starter kit with some samples, and am now subsequently going willy-nilly buying new flavors. My kitchen counters are practically overrun with sampler tea bags and I haven't even tried all of the various kinds of samplers just yet. D: I still need to try oolong, white, and rooibo teas. They give you so much tea even in the sample packs it lasts you about 8 - 10 cups.

    Does anyone else drink tea? What kind do you like? Bagged? Loose? Flavors? Do you recommend any? I'm interested in trying out a bunch.

    Usually I'm not a black tea fan since all I've ever had before was the bagged kind. It was always far too bitter for me and I liked the lighter teas. I never knew until now that good tea is often dependent on water temps, steeping times, and leaf quality (I thought it was all the same silly me). Now I'm really loving black teas.

    Incidentally, ever since I switched I feel wonderful. No more highs or lows during the day, it seems like my energy level is at a nice constant pace too which makes days more productive for me.

    Last edited by Meli Hitchcock; February 19th, 2009 at 10:00 AM.
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    Fruit teas are fun,and best without milk or sugar. Try apple tea....

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    i prefer NUMI (brand) whole leaf teas, -->http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/n...cgrfnbr=191364
    fresh pure herbs, and real fruits.
    no oils, flavorings or tea dust.
    ...fresh as hell

    good shit


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    Green in a bag

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    I drink tea every day...probably about a quart or more a day. Usually I drink iced tea with a twist of lemon. Sometimes I drink other kinds of hot/cold teas...my favorites are roobios red tea, fruit teas like blackberry or peach, various herb teas, and jasmine green tea. My pantry is full of different kinds of teas. Black teas are usually bitter, which is why most people prefer to sweeten it up. But roobios and fruit teas are not, and you probably can drink it straight without worrying about adding sugar or sweetener to it.

    Most of my teas are bagged...less hassle to brew in a hurry.

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    alesoun
    I'll see if there are any apple teas around and give that a try. Sounds delish!

    kingshaj
    Thanks for the link! I think I've actually seen that brand in my local grocery store, so the next time I'm there I'll pick up a sample box if they've got em.

    Jason
    Green tea FTW!

    Mad Cross
    I'm thinking the next batch I try is going to be the roobio but I need to get these current samples off my counter tops first. There is a bunch of chai packets that I haven't even cracked open yet and I planned on trying some over the weekend. Most of the tea I've had thus far hasn't required any sweeteners due to the flavoring. Every now and then when I make bagged teas though I'll drizzle in some honey for a nice sweet kick.

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    I realize this is tea country over here, but I am a huge fan of Vietnamese Coffee. Tea has never had a strong enough flavor for me.

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    I drink like 3 cups of green tea per day, bagged or leaves depending on my mood. It's a big part of my daily consumption.

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    I've also added Tea to my diet for health related reasons, and am happier for it. Oddly enough, it's not so much an energy boost for me, but it does wonders for my ability to concentrate.

    I have a cabinet full of Adagio teas. After much experimentation I think I'm really more of a White/Green/Herbal fan - which is a damned shame since Adagio uses Black in most of their flavored teas. Although if I have to recommend any Black Teas from Adagio, it's the Valentines, Cinnamon or Darjeeling #22. That bitter aftertaste is masked well in the Valentines and Cinnamon, and the Darjeeling has this "clean" quality to it that keeps the aftertaste minimal.

    What I like most about Adagio is the simplistic Herbal teas, and using them to mix and match with other flavors. For example; Sour Apple + Cinnamon. Lemongrass + Lemonade. Berry Blast + Silver Needle.

    Teavana is another place to try.
    A bit more expensive, but I think the quality's a notch higher than Adagio (or maybe I've just become a tea snob?). I haven't had any of their black teas, but if you want to venture back into the Lighter Teas: I recommend the Snow Geisha or Matte' Vana + Rooibos Chai. The White Tea "Snow Geisha" is light and fruity, if you can get past the oddly misplaced red licorice smell. The Matte' Vana + Rooibos Chai mix is smooth and spicy, perfect with honey and milk.


    I used to use one of Teavana's Perfect Tea Maker, but it got a stubborn bit of mold on the strainer I just couldn't seem to get rid of. Now I just use the handy dandy Filters from Adagio.

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    Last edited by Zilant; October 11th, 2008 at 12:23 AM.
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    I love fruit tea too, espeacially black lemon tea. It make me fresh and i love it's smell.

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    Chai tea is delicious mixed with warm milk and some honey. It's one of the few teas that I really like with milk, other than chamomile and honey tea. Chamomile tea is recommended to help you sleep better.

    Of course, tea is very healthy...a lot better than drinking soda drinks or fruit juices with lot of sugar. I think the caffeine you get from drinking tea gets released into your system slower than it would with coffee, because it is diluted. I do like coffee, but I only drink about 2 cups a day (in the morning and afternoon). Too much coffee makes me jump around like that cuckoo bird on cocaine-lanced Coca Puffs.



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    I'm more lenient toward Asian tea, like green, oolong, and chrysanthemum. The latter is my absolute favorite during all four seasons. Hot for the winter, and chilly with a bit of sugar in the summer.

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    I also drink a lot of that. From black teas I like Earl Gray (it's with aroma of bergamot orange), tea with ginger and the one called Blue Moon.

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    Tea is awesome

    I really like black tea and uasually I drink 5 cups per day. But mostly bagged because its cheaper and needs less work. I don`t add anything to it and the stronger the better because I have a faible for the bitter taste.

    On rare occasions I drink jasmine tea where you throw the buds into the hot water of your cup and they start to blossom in there =)

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    over the past 10 years I've become a real tea lover. I never could get into the whole ice tea thing, or southern sweet tea (sorry to all fellow southeners). growing up in TX I would avoid that stuff like the plague. but my wife introduced me to chinese black teas and puh ehr teas. I discovered the joy of tea during lazy saturday mornings at dim sum. since then my interest has sky rocketed.

    now I'm very partial to Guk Bo, which is puh ehr tea with chrysanthemum flowers and a pinch of sugar. delicious stuff if made right... however in the past 4 years or so I've gone even further toward high quality japanese green teas. favorite of the moment is aged gyokuro... though a close second would be shin sencha... the last batch I tried had the most delicate floral flavor that just kind of lingered. amazing.

    I can't recommend this online shop enough for those of you who like green tea... http://www.hibiki-an.com
    This is a green tea farm outside kyoto that sells some of the best tea I've ever had... and DIRECT from the farm. no middlemen. shipping and customer service are excellent. I get all of my tea from them now.

    there are enough varieties of green tea to keep me busy for the forseeable future... houjicha (bancha) is rather pedestrian but a forever favorite as well.

    ...

    I do like some other teas as well, notably masala chai, indian spiced tea as mentioned by Mad Cross. delicious stuff and pretty easy to make at home assuming you already have most of the spices. (though nothing really beats having it at an indian restaurant after a big flavorful meal)

    chinese jasmine is good in a pinch (if Guk Bo isn't available)...

    Japanese Matcha is delicious, but ONLY IF you get your hands on good quality tea, otherwise it's hideous chalky mess. seriously, as much into japanese culture as I am I couldn't get into matcha no matter how many times I tried it... turns out I was just drinking low quality crap and that's why it tasted as such. but the quality stuff has a surprising mellowness and sweetness, with only a hint of the bitterness I used to associate it with. this is a tea for a special mindset though, and not something I really enjoy on the whim.

    White teas are nice too and refreshing especially during the summer. White tea with infused peach was a memorable experience. takes FOREVER to steep though (6 minutes?! me thirsty now!)

    actually, I enjoy the process of making/drinking tea as much as the flavor of tea. Love the subtle timing and tea amounts one has to juggle to produce the best results. I also love the little complexities in the chinese tea ceremony.... and the reverent demeanor of the japanese ceremony. I've developed my own set of "ceremonies" around tea... many times turning it into an almost meditative activity. (though the wife just likes to drink it and cares nothing for my tea idiosynchrocies)

    Don't care much for indian teas or their english derivatives. oolongs as well do nothing for me. Earl Grey can be good, but I need to mix it with a lot of milk and sugar for it to be drinkable... I now much prefer the "unadulterated" taste of natural green tea. my version of "fancy" is guk bo that only has the pinch of sugar added. I've have no experience with Korean tea... I hear it's good though.

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    What would we do without tea...
    I prefer loose-leaf, it's just so much smoother. My family drinks a lot of rooibos since we're South African (which I love with a bit of lemon - ooh, I have a really nice Chocolate Mint Rooibos loose-leaf too actually), but I also love most asian teas, especially Genmaicha for greens, or a lovely smooth white tea, or a nice jasmine. Also love hibiscus. I'm not a huge fan of most English teas, but I do quite like Lady Grey - I think it maybe has a few more floral notes than Earl Grey - maybe a bit of Jasmine or something (let me know if anyone knows the difference in ingredients between Earl and Lady Grey!)

    Mystery tea can also be fun! I have a favourite at the moment that was just labelled "Arctic Fire", and I have no idea what's in it, but it smells divine. I think it probably has an Assam base. Experimenting with your own blends can be fun too! ^_^

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    I really can't stand overly fruity teas and iced teas.. I prefer the flavor to be extremely strong and bitter. I also prefer Asian teas, but I've recently become addicted to licorice tea, too. Has anyone here tried Egyptian Licorice (by yogi tea, I think)? Absolutely delicious.
    Geckochan, I'm with you on all counts. Loose-leaf tea is definitely more desirable; I like actually seeing what I'm about to drink. Of course I do have some bags lying around...
    English teas aren't my bag, either, but I recently tried Prince of Wales, which I think contains some kind of Asian tea.

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    I went to a couple of Thai restaurants and they serve a special type of sweet iced tea. It tastes weird, but it is strangely enticing. Do anyone know what it is called and if there's a recipe for it? I would like to try to make some.

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    Mint Tea is my fav

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    I got hooked on Chai recently. Chai is freaking awesome, even without any sugar.

    Gonna pick up some of the other flavors recommended in this thread later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Cross View Post
    I went to a couple of Thai restaurants and they serve a special type of sweet iced tea. It tastes weird, but it is strangely enticing. Do anyone know what it is called and if there's a recipe for it? I would like to try to make some.
    Was it orange and white? Then it was probably delicious Thai tea (not a very original name, I know..). Here's a recipe with photos. It's not very hard to make, but the actual tea part can be tricky to get.. try an Asian food store or maybe a really good grocery store.

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    Here's my own chai recipe... not strictly traditional, but it's pretty tasty stuff...



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    Chingwa, that is certainly an interesting combination-- bay leaf and rosemary along with the spices? I think I'll make it right now.
    EDIT: Oh snap! This stuff is delicious. I got really excited while the water base was cooking: the sugar started to caramelize and kinda shlopped off the whisk in that wonderful, sticky way. I used vanilla hemp milk instead of the regular milk and Orange Pekoe tea and ended up with a smooth, creamy batch of chai tea.
    One thing, though.. it was very time-consuming to strain, but I suspect it is my fault. Anyway, I think the occasional fleck of tea or cinnamon adds to the experience.

    Last edited by Psypomp; October 11th, 2008 at 03:31 PM.
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    I highly recommend getting a french press and using it for loose leaf tea, I couldn't live without that and my electric kettle.

    Right now I'm kinda interested in picking up one of those asian tea makers as well.

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    I forget what it's called... Tazo or something like that. The tea they sell at Starbucks, it's the only good thing SB's sells! It's way beyond the quality of any thing else in the store. Really great stuff! You don't have to go to a SB to get it though, they sell it pretty much everywhere. My favorite is "Calm" which is a chamomile tea.

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    psypomp hey really glad you enjoyed it. It's really a flexible drink to make... I made it this afternoon too and added a bit of clove in with the spices... you really can experiment and try lots of different things. when I've had it at restaurants it's been a bit spicier though, maybe I'll add cayenne pepper in sometime... or maybe not...

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    I drink tea, loads of the stuff... but then again I am English.

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    mmmmmh... actually ginger would be a good addition.... a few slices of fresh juicy ginger...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chingwa View Post
    psypomp hey really glad you enjoyed it. It's really a flexible drink to make... I made it this afternoon too and added a bit of clove in with the spices... you really can experiment and try lots of different things. when I've had it at restaurants it's been a bit spicier though, maybe I'll add cayenne pepper in sometime... or maybe not...
    I actually liked your recipe more than most because it was spicier than others I've tried. Maybe I'm just a lightweight *shrugs*
    True, chai tea is really versatile. It's just tea mixed with some spices, but the result is stellar.

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    I amazed that some people drink tea without letting it brew a bit first. If you don't leave it to brew at least 5-10 mins it doesn't taste right. Sometimes I leave it longer... sometimes quite a lot longer

    (Teabag tea that is)

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