chai tea. plain and simple.
add some milk and honey to it if I want something sweet.
or substitute milk with cinnamon for a spicy kick.
there's many other combinations I like to, but these are probably my most used
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There aren't many kinds of real tea I've encountered that I didn't like. I think my favourite is mixing lapsang souchong 50/50 with vanilla-flavoured tea. I also really like genmaicha and floral-flavoured teas (rose, jasmine, lavender) and just about any tea that has the word "breakfast" in the name.
I generally order from Murchie's if I'm shopping online:
I heat all my water for tea now in a japanese tetsubin (yes the authentic unlined cast activated-iron tea-kettle, not the fake enameled teapots you see everywhere). This has two effects a) it changes the taste of the water making it mellower and slightly sweeter which helps bring out the flavor of the tea, and b) it imparts trace amounts of iron to the water. As mentioned before tea can sometimes prevent absorption of iron into the body from foods... this process can help counter act that. (but really, it's just for the taste... the tea is so much better, seriously!)
what's a teabag?Eh. I'm probably gonna get banned from the Tea Community for this, but I rarely brew a teabag for longer than say... 30 seconds?
A bag of tea! Usually lower quality but there are some brands that can be as good as straight from the leaf.
Last edited by Shantih; February 18th, 2009 at 08:41 PM.
wazuqu) tetsubins at my old work for around $120 for a good size one, but we weren't supposed to put them right on the oven. There was a little tray so you could put a candle under it to keep it warm, but I've never heard of ones you can put directly on the oven without ruining em.
I usually brewed in the bone china teapot with water straight from a hot water maker. These german things are convenient but nasty cause you can kind of taste the plastic. Glass pots are nice for seeing the leaves dance but the taste is not as good as from bone china, and I have never actually tried it from a tetsubin!!
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iron tetsubin will be ruined if used on a gas cooktop. natural gas converts to oxygen and hydrogen when it is burned... H2O, water is the result, and the water will quickly rust out the bottom of the iron kettle. eventually it will eat through the metal rendering your water holding vessel useless.
instead of using mine on a gas burner I heat it on a portable induction cooktop. this works really well and boils the water faster than even the high burner on my gas stove.
But to reiterate, I don't steep the tea in the tetsubin, it is only for boiling the water. since this is an authentic tetsubin it isn't lined or glazed on the inside, thus the water it holds is constantly in contact with the active iron interior. if the water stands for an extended length of time it will rust from the inside out. I heat the water in the tetsubin and then pour it into a separate teapot (I use a japanese kyusu clay pot to steep the tea). I make sure to pour all the water out, and the remaining heat contained in the tetsubin will evaporate the remaining water/moisture very quickly.
my tetsubin holds about 1.2L of water. I got it from the Kunzan castingworks in Japan, and with shipping it was about $300 U.S. not cheap by any means but then again not really expensive for a real tetsubin either.
enameled iron "tetsubin" teapots that you see for sale here in the U.S. range from about $40 to $150. these are not technically tetsubin at all, but metal teapots. and they ALL have a slick coating on the inside. This makes them unsuitable for much of anything really. after a while that enamel will start to flake off and then you have problems with the water steeping tea contacting the iron in the pot. rust and holes will be the eventual outcome. and because of the enamel (and quality of the iron) you cannot and should not heat these on a stove. the iron will heat and expand faster than the enamel which will cause enough tension between the two surfaces to crack the thing.
Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to find true tetsubin in the u.s. except through antique stores or a quality import shop.
sb's sb: Crit it! Hurt it! Make it cry!
My fave herbal tea flavours are:
Spiced Apple (kind of like an apple and cinnamon taste).
Peppermint (amazing for digestion after a large meal).
Honey, Vanilla & Camomile (great for when you're feeling ill or when you want to wind down to go to sleep).
The brand I use most is 'Twinings', but I'm not sure whether you can get that in the US?
I also love regular tea and have a cup every evening when relaxing at home.