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Thread: TEA! (because coffee is so western european)

  1. #1

    Default TEA! (because coffee is so western european)

    Figured because you all here are such fine connoisseurs that a bunch of you must drink tea as well as/instead of coffee!

    I personally drink my tea a few ways -- out of an infuser by the mug -- or out of a gaiwan -- or if im lazy and going somewhere, "grandpa style", where its literally leaves + thermos + water.

    Wondering which tea stores are worth looking at around the world with the focus being on oolongs, pu-erhs, and whites being my favorites in that order?

    I haven' had the opportunity to try much, just your meager san francisco offerings and a few here and there.





    So. What do you all do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Carcass's Avatar
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    There are a few tea drinkers on here : ). I admit I haven't explored too much, but I love puer and oolong. I forgot who had a lot of experience on these two, but please, share some more!

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    I'm dull with tea - black breakfast. Best I've had is orange pekoe ceylan from Mariage Freres...even if it is stupid expensive.

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    ^ you know its not teabags tbhat are inherently bag -- its the fact that once people started using teabags as convenience, manufacturers found it easy to put shit tea leaves and hide it.

    thus the slippery slope

    mariage freres ain't bad but ill mail you some unscented black tea -- ceylons are great as are assams depending if you like malty sweet flavors or not.

    black teas run rather orthodox according to region although I have a soft spot for darjeelings. tea is stupid expensive period

    but then so is wine.

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    I put milk & sugar in it...is that sacrilege? I know it is for darjeelings because of the mild flavour.

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    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Cows, you are in luck - girlfriend is a tea fanatic and I will share some of her recommendations with you. But she says that cows are not for eating!
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  7. #7

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    I get my East Asian and Indian teas from some local Chinese and Indian markets. I don't recall the product names, but they have good tea for very little money. Getting really good western teas is kind of difficult, because all of the loose leaf stuff I find is just cheap teabag fodder and it doesn't seem to have the same community in America as fine Asian teas.
    I found a vegan store down the street that sells blossoming tea.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dane View Post
    I put milk & sugar in it...is that sacrilege? I know it is for darjeelings because of the mild flavour.
    I wouldn't say so... darjeelings are BOLD my friend



    Watch this space... at warriors game will update later

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowsareforeating View Post
    I wouldn't say so... darjeelings are BOLD my friend



    Watch this space... at warriors game will update later
    Is it? I tried some ad didn't like, but because I was told not to put milk in to dilute the mild flavour

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowsareforeating View Post

    Wondering which tea stores are worth looking at around the world with the focus being on oolongs, pu-erhs, and whites being my favorites in that order?
    I mentioned earlier in the food thread that I recommend:
    T
    The Art of Tea
    Bellocq
    Tay Tea

    If you aren't too keen on some of the more outlandish prices, Canada's David's Tea is alright.
    I haven't really dealt with that chain "Teavana" but I assume it's similar to David's...I haven't really tried much from them but they turn me off because of their size and gimmick. That, and I am also a strong proponent of organic tea.

    I'll post more as I think of them...
    Quote Originally Posted by Patroklus View Post
    I found a vegan store down the street that sells blossoming tea.
    That's why I hold that vegan restaurants are the best places(generally) to get a good cup of tea. Because vegan wine is much less abundant, as well as there being a fair amount of straight edge vegans (who sometimes also shun coffee), tea really took off as the connoisseur drink.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahimsa View Post
    I mentioned earlier in the food thread that I recommend:
    T
    The Art of Tea
    Bellocq
    Tay Tea

    If you aren't too keen on some of the more outlandish prices, Canada's David's Tea is alright.
    I haven't really dealt with that chain "Teavana" but I assume it's similar to David's...I haven't really tried much from them but they turn me off because of their size and gimmick. That, and I am also a strong proponent of organic tea.

    I'll post more as I think of them...

    That's why I hold that vegan restaurants are the best places(generally) to get a good cup of tea. Because vegan wine is much less abundant, as well as there being a fair amount of straight edge vegans (who sometimes also shun coffee), tea really took off as the connoisseur drink.
    xTEAx

    In all seriousness, I love tea. I'm not against coffee, but I drink it rarely, whereas I have a cup (or 5) of tea (or a tisane) almost every day.

    In SF, my favorite place is Om Shan Tea, a very small place in SoMa with resident teamasters who are very knowledgeable about their offerings, and a tea bar where you can pay a flat fee to drink tea as long as you like, but it is all chosen and prepared right there by that day's teamaster. I also like Samovar.

    My favorite tea house in Santa Cruz (where I grew up, and my parents still reside) is now gone, alas, but Chaikhana is still there, and remains my favorite place to buy tea. I sometimes obtain it from Rainbow (where I shop often anyway) and the above-mentioned tea houses as well, as they're much closer.

  12. #12
    Senior Member munch's Avatar
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    cool. I love tea.
    black and white ones are probably my favourites but I really don't mind a nice genmaicha or sencha or really any green tea.
    herbal "teas" are awesome too.
    you guys got any recommendations for something with coconut? chili? I dunno really. I like tart teas too.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Bodum-Personal-...4770350&sr=8-4

    guessing I really can't do anything fancy in one of these ? no super triple mega infusions?

  13. #13

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    I would suggest Tea House in London also, great place for tea.
    ...bombing the bass, blasting the beat

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ian+ View Post
    I would suggest Tea House in London also, great place for tea.
    chilled green tea on hot days, win

  15. #15

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    I love to drink tea.
    Stopped drinking coffee in the morning because after several years, I noticed that I just don't like it anymore and it is nothing more than a routine.
    Now, I drink matcha tea in the morning and love it (used to drink it before, too, but not as frequently). Just ordered a new package because I feel I still cannot really taste the differences between the qualitys (that being said, I am not drinking a cooking matcha or sth).

    Over the day, mostly herbal tea so nothing as delicate. But still, there are lots of differences between the different manufacturares and nothing is as bad as the tea you can get at the supermarket (artifical flavours, blends you cannot even think of). I prefer loose organic tea, with the herbal leafs being still intact before you scald them.
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    Senior Member Mail-Moth's Avatar
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    Cha jin, rue Pasquier, is a great place in Paris for Japanese teas. A little messy, but beautiful stuff.
    La Maison des trois thés, rue Gracieuse, is unbeatable when it comes to chinese ones - especially pu-ehr. Nice place, excellent service, and an impressive choice.

    Mariage frères is a respectable house, but it is specialised in perfumed teas and can't hold the comparison with the aforementioned adresses when it comes to non-processed products.
    Le Palais des thés really doesn't have anything worth mentioning to offer.

    Both of the first two houses are quite expensive, but their prices are completely justified. Their teas are so good that they still taste great after three or four infusions. Not to say anything about pu-ehrs, which I generally keep using for three or four days.

    Pu-ehrs are the only chinese teas I still drink; I gave up on anything else the first time I drank a real sencha - because, to put it simply, it was not about taste anymore, as for pu-ehr the first time I smelled it. I always found extremely boring and unnatural the way people like to show their appreciation of something by naming the fragrances and tastes they perceive in it. As for myself I don't care if the tea I drink tastes like dried apricot or brioche, because it doesn't tell anything about the reason why I love it, which relates to something far more personal and deeply rooted: to put it simply, the teas I love the most smell and taste like moments, not like food.
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  17. #17

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    Sure -- but purists like naming things and leather codes no?

    I understand your love for sencha -- the umami flavor in certain ones make them so much more fulfilling than other teas.


    @Dane

    So darjeelings are rather full-flavored teas. Ill go as far to guess that your tea was steeped too long or at too high of a temperature. It is supposed to be a little astringent but definitely not harsh or anything of that sort. It has a certain regional fragrance that's relatively hard to pinpoint.

    Now milk and sugar aren't bad persay, simply because the enjoyment of a beverage or food is very personal. However, if you were trying to taste the tea and ONLY the tea (just like coffee) you would refrain from milk or sugar. But hell, sometimes in the morning when I want something milder or creamier but still black I do it too.

    Generally I prefer pure teas. That is tea leaf with no additional blending/scenting/flavoring

    Teas are split into a few general types (from least oxidation to most)

    White (unoxidized)
    Varies
    Green (barely oxidized, only due to processing)
    China/Japan
    Oolong (partial oxidation)
    China/Taiwan
    Black (full oxidation)
    Sri Lanka/India
    Pu-Erh (full oxidation, but different from black; only Chinese)
    China
    Of which I can go into detail later. The regions are just regions of importance where a LOT of great tea is produced. Eg: kenya not listed but has some kickass teas

    @Skye_X Anyways I'll second samovar and will have to check out that other place -- sounds more my style.




    To me, the keys to brewing good tea are

    1. Pure water (bottled or filtered depending on your preference)
    2. Temperature
    3. Concentraion (tea leaf: water ratio: steep time)
    4. Tea leaf quality

    Probably in that order... give or take.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skye X View Post
    My favorite tea house in Santa Cruz (where I grew up, and my parents still reside) is now gone, alas, but Chaikhana is still there, and remains my favorite place to buy tea. I sometimes obtain it from Rainbow (where I shop often anyway) and the above-mentioned tea houses as well, as they're much closer.
    Second the Chaikhana recommendation. I also grew up in Santa Cruz.

    edit: skye, just looked at your bio. "I am a god-free anarcha-feminist vegan straightedge analog cyberpunk". Yeah, you definitely grew up in santa cruz.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you live anywhere near SC, go to Chaikhana and discuss tea with David.

    If you can't make it to Chaikhana, The Leaf is awesome for tea related knowledge (although, some of their "philosophical flights", are.... "not rigorous enough" for my taste). O-Cha is excellent for Japanese Greens, Hou De and Essence of Tea for everything else.

    If you're in New York, go for a tasting at the Mandirin's Tea Room and check out Tim's blog. If you do go for a tasting, tell Tim Trent sent you. We used to discuss tea all the time, he would probably remember me.

    MarshalN's blog is classic, as is Stephane Erler's.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carcass View Post
    I forgot who had a lot of experience on these two, but please, share some more!
    Was it me? I was once just as much of a tea-addict as Marshal, Stephane, and Tim. My interest in tea waned, but its starting to ramp back up (thanks to an excellent 98' shu puerh I tried with David of Chaikhana a week or so ago.)

    For anyone who doesn't know much about real, traditional tea. Read these posts. You'll be intrigued. On trying Qing Dynasty (yes, that old) puerh: 1, 2, 3.
    Last edited by trentk; 12-27-2011 at 05:30 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Carcass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trentk View Post

    Was it me?
    Yes! I'm pretty sure it was. You're conversations with MM really got me researching puerh. I have quite found a steady source of it yet, but a nice sheng has probably become my favorite tea.

  20. #20

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    This thread made me question my use of water. Until now, I used mains water to brew my matcha - knowing that it is kind of hard. So I went to the super market and copped some still water that is low on calcium (<10mg/l) and hydrocarbonate (<20mg/l) and damn - that makes hell of a difference!
    I have dreams of orca whales and owls
    But I wake up in fear

    BBS for sale (Sz 48-52)

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