Author Topic: The Tea Thread  (Read 431850 times)  

Vijaya

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Re: The Tea Thread
« Reply #6800 on: June 25, 2018, 06:03:54 pm »
I have a cabinet full of mint chutneys and various others and pickles....... I love cooking indian food and buy most of my spices from "our guy" as we call him.  ;D

Wow! Then you certainly know that the best snacks are actually little samosas and pakoras. But I am partial to the little sandwiches the British introduced us to.

Uh-oh. I'm digressing from tea. To bring it back around:

How many of you here make spiced tea from scratch? In the stores they have "chai" but it doesn't hit the spot. We buy our own cinnamon and ginger and peppercorns and steep black tea (Assam or even Oolong) and it's the best.

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    Offline crebel

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6801 on: August 09, 2018, 10:29:27 am »
    Who uses a digital scale to measure their tea leaves?  If you do, do you have any recommendations (hopefully with an Amazon link)?

    I'm pretty good at "eyeballing" my tea leaves, but it is more difficult with "fluffy" tea leaves.  I tend to err on the side of too much rather than too little and think I'm wasting some teas. I'd like to be more precise.

    Offline MichelleB675

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6802 on: August 09, 2018, 12:24:46 pm »
    I use this one from Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O37TDO/

    I don't use it often but when I do it works nicely.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6803 on: August 11, 2018, 08:14:01 am »
    That looks like a pretty good one. I had a very small pocket one, not as fancy as that one, its finally dead. Now I use my regular kitchen scale. They are suppose to be that exact on smaller size grams, but who knows. It seems right. I might get a small one just for tea again. And coffee, I weigh that one to. 20 grams to 320-330 ml of water.

    I use my kitchen scale for everything. I have gotten used to weigh food for portion control. veggies, cheese, etc. Everything. For tea I just put the lid of the tea container on, tare it out and then weigh the tea.

    The advantage of the smaller ones is that they do the steps and are very accurate on much smaller amounts than the kitchen scales. I think I might get that one michelle posted. I like the flip lid, which keeps it clean. My old one had a weird snap on lid I lost somewhere along the way and I bet this is why it died eventually. Got dirty and gunked up.

    It goes up to 600 grams so I can actually still use that for most veggie portions that hover around 100 grams and only use the larger kitchen scale for bigger things. This one I can keep out next to the pot.
    I had to look about the lid and according to customers, the lid flips all the way back so lays flat. So I can put a plastic bowl on measure food also.

    crebel, if you do get one, I'd be curious if you notice any flavor changes in the same teas. The fluffy ones are really hard to get right with just scooping. Some of those oolongs are like tree branches.  ;D
    « Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 08:17:29 am by Atunah »

    Offline crebel

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6804 on: August 11, 2018, 08:41:50 am »
    I use this one from Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O37TDO/

    I don't use it often but when I do it works nicely.

    crebel, if you do get one, I'd be curious if you notice any flavor changes in the same teas. The fluffy ones are really hard to get right with just scooping. Some of those oolongs are like tree branches.  ;D

    Thanks for the recommendation, Michelle. I've ordered it and will be here Tuesday. Pretty inexpensive price point to try it out.

    I'll let you know, Atunah!  Now I need to figure out what my starting amounts of leaf per liquid cup (8 oz) should be.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6805 on: August 11, 2018, 08:54:47 am »
    I notice that TeaGschwendner uses 8 ounce cups and Gongfu 6 ounce per teaspoon. I usually use 3 grams per 8 ounce of water. Using 3 grams for 6 ounce is also very good, but stronger tea of course. I figured as long as I like it with the 8 ounce, I'll use that and my tea goes further. But that is a taste issue. Try with the same leaves and make 2 cups at the same time. I have done that before, 2 filters, 2 cups. Same steeping. And then taste them and see which one you like.

    There are some teas I like to use more leaf and others where I have to go down a bit.

    And I just ordered that scale too.  ;D

    Offline crebel

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6806 on: August 11, 2018, 09:28:13 am »
    I notice that TeaGschwendner uses 8 ounce cups and Gongfu 6 ounce per teaspoon. I usually use 3 grams per 8 ounce of water. Using 3 grams for 6 ounce is also very good, but stronger tea of course. I figured as long as I like it with the 8 ounce, I'll use that and my tea goes further. But that is a taste issue. Try with the same leaves and make 2 cups at the same time. I have done that before, 2 filters, 2 cups. Same steeping. And then taste them and see which one you like.

    There are some teas I like to use more leaf and others where I have to go down a bit.

    And I just ordered that scale too.  ;D

    Good to have a starting point, thanks.  I tend to like my black teas a little stronger (always add an extra spoonful 'for the pot') and tend to heap my teaspoons.  I will probably start with spooning out what I normally eyeball for a pot to see what that weighs and adjust down or upward from there to test the differences.

    I've been experimenting with cold brews in a quart mason jar every day recently and am really enjoying the smoother flavor of some of my fruitier teas that I don't enjoy so much hot (the GongFu champagne/rasperberry white and the Tour de France black are great this way).  I still like cold tea sweet, and hate trying to dissolve sugar in cold tea, so I've been adding sugar to the jar with just enough hot (not full boil) water to dissolve it, let it cool down, add cold water from the tap and then my tea leaves before putting it in the fridge overnight.  Works a treat!

    I recently read somewhere that reusing spent leaves from hot tea work well for an additional cold brew.  That's my next experiment.

    Offline Saffron

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6807 on: August 11, 2018, 01:43:38 pm »
    How lovely, a tea thread. I like a strong mix, usually with some ASSAM in it, hot and sweet. When the weather is sweltering, and when I'm travelling the tropics, I like Oolong, (as one of you mentioned) and Lapsang Souchong, with lemon, and drunk out of porcelain, with a touch of ceremony, so you can appreciate its hot smoky aroma.


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    Offline MichelleB675

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6808 on: August 11, 2018, 05:44:14 pm »
    I started making sugar syrup to use in my cold brews. I was just doing the add enough hot water to dissolve sugar but I think I like the sugar syrup better. The fruity teas are much better cold brewed than hot then iced, at least to my tastebuds. But jasmine gets really overpowering and bitter if left too long. I've cold brewed a few teas after steeping and it works quite well. Not as full of flavor as unused leaves, but still enough flavor to make a decent cold drink.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6809 on: August 13, 2018, 02:38:35 pm »
    I got my scale and tested by putting on 3 different pennies. They read 2.5 grams each, so calibration is correct.  ;D

    Drinking some Golden Nepal from TeaGschwendner right now.

    Offline crebel

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6810 on: August 13, 2018, 03:16:05 pm »
    I got my scale and tested by putting on 3 different pennies. They read 2.5 grams each, so calibration is correct.  ;D

    Drinking some Golden Nepal from TeaGschwendner right now.

    That's great!  One of the joys of living in small-town midwest, you ordered after I did but my scale won't get here before sometime tomorrow.  That's okay, with things going on this week I probably won't have a chance to play with it before Thursday anyway.

    Offline HappyGuy

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6811 on: August 15, 2018, 06:19:37 am »
    Funny how one can get "addicted" to following a thread. I don't drink tea very often and don't REALLY have an interest, but I enjoy following this thread. Interesting that some of you actually weigh to the gram you tea.
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    Vijaya

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6812 on: August 15, 2018, 06:31:38 am »
    I recently read somewhere that reusing spent leaves from hot tea work well for an additional cold brew.  That's my next experiment.

    Was it good? Too bitter?

    I make sun tea (let it sit out on the porch for a day, refrigerate overnight) and it's fairly strong but just right when ice is added. Refreshing with a squeeze of a lemon.

    Offline crebel

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6813 on: August 15, 2018, 10:14:36 am »
    Was it good? Too bitter?

    I make sun tea (let it sit out on the porch for a day, refrigerate overnight) and it's fairly strong but just right when ice is added. Refreshing with a squeeze of a lemon.

    I haven't gotten around to that experiment yet!  I can't imagine there would be any bitterness to reuse loose leaf tea originally used for hot tea another time as a cold brew.  I haven't found a cold brew that's bitter yet, even from fresh leaves.

    My digital scale is here, but I haven't opened the box yet ...

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6814 on: August 15, 2018, 10:21:31 am »
    Shiny new toys!!! Enjoy weighing your tea. I mostly eyeball everything.
    I'm going to try your expt. the next time I make a batch of kombucha, which will be this week.

    Offline Saffron

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6815 on: August 16, 2018, 03:08:03 pm »
    I love the discussion about 'builder's tea' in the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, when Judy Dench's character goes for a job at the call centre.

    Do you guys know what builder's tea is?

    If not, I'll tell ya.


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    Offline crebel

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6816 on: August 16, 2018, 05:47:57 pm »
    I love the discussion about 'builder's tea' in the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, when Judy Dench's character goes for a job at the call centre.

    Do you guys know what builder's tea is?

    If not, I'll tell ya.

    It's a good, strong "cuppa"!


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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6817 on: August 20, 2018, 10:32:04 am »
    So I'm having a cup of iced tea that I made from the leftover tea leaves. It's very weak, but still quite pleasant. Not at all bitter. Nice to reuse.



    Offline crebel

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6818 on: August 20, 2018, 11:08:46 am »
    So I'm having a cup of iced tea that I made from the leftover tea leaves. It's very weak, but still quite pleasant. Not at all bitter. Nice to reuse.




    Good to know!  What parameters did you use for your cold brew?  The reading I have done on reusing "hot brew" leaves seem to indicate a larger amount of leaves/smaller amount of water/length of time for a satisfactory cold brew.

    I finally got around to cold brewing leaves from a 6-cup pot of formerly hot brewed plain black tea (GF's Red Plum), so I put all the leaves (18-21 gms or 6-7 teaspoonsful) in a quart mason jar (4 cups), added the cold water, left it overnight in the refrigerator.  It is delicious, very smooth, pretty much 'full strength'.  Since it is cold from the refrigerator, I haven't been adding any ice that would further dilute. YMMV!

    Offline MichelleB675

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6819 on: August 20, 2018, 12:48:37 pm »
    So far the only tea I didn't like cold brewed was Pacific Breeze, the jasmine and citrus flavor get too strong and bitter. I brewed some today the regular hot way, let it cool and put it in the fridge and it is much better.

    in the last few months my tastes have shifted again, I now seem to prefer more black tea than green. It may just be that my tastes are moving away from the vegetal taste of the greens I have. I do still love jasmine green and lavender sencha though. Oolong and herbals are still my favorites.

    Offline crebel

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6820 on: August 20, 2018, 02:19:29 pm »
    I always felt the Pacific Breeze was pretty astringent regardless of time or temperature hot brewed, but was considering getting a small amount again to try cold-brewed.  I'll skip it now if you still think it was bitter cold-brewed.  I think I eventually threw some out after sitting in my cupboard unused for long time.

    My current favorite fruity GF tea for cold brewing is the Lemon Hibiscus (green tea base).  The GF description does say the Pacific Breeze (oolong base) produces a 'dry' profile. Maybe oolong versus green makes a difference in the astringency/bitterness even cold brewed?  I really have no idea, I just brew different ways until I end up with something I'm satisfied with!  ::)

    Although I never could make the Iron Goddess palatable to me ...  :P

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6821 on: August 20, 2018, 03:13:44 pm »
    Good to know!  What parameters did you use for your cold brew? 

    The tea we use for kombucha prep is the cheapie kind (Java BOP). I used the entire amount (about 5 tablespoons) and put it in a half-gallon jug and let it sit overnight at room-temp. then move it to the fridge for a full day.

    I was surprised that leftover tea would be good given that most of the flavors are extracted in the first brewing (boiled). But there's enough.

    Typically, for my cold brews I use about 3 Tablespoons of minty tea (Bigelow) let it sit in the sun all day. Refrigerate overnight. Ready the next day. It's strong enough that I have to add a twist of lime to my cup. Sometimes I dilute it further with ice.

    My current favorite fruity GF tea for cold brewing is the Lemon Hibiscus (green tea base). 

    This I have to try. I love hibiscus anything.

    Offline Atunah

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6822 on: August 20, 2018, 03:27:33 pm »
    I have never made cold brew tea before. Coffee yes, on the counter.

    Tea steeping outside in the sunshine? That wouldn't be cold brew around here in south texas. That would be making hot tea  ;D

    I been in a bad mood the last couple of days. Still grumbling about an "incident". So I been going to my dependable favorites to get my mood up and my inner grumbles down to a acceptable level. Hmpf. I been going from milk oolong to favorite blacks to my diplomats tea. That one made me chuckle while drinking as I didn't feel quiet yet diplomatic yet.  8).

    I get on the different tea binges too sometimes. For a while it was all green, mostly japanese. Until the grass came out of my ears  :P. I always revert back to blacks though. Unflavored blacks are my first love, although have a few flavored stand by's. For some reason all my herbal flavored stuff is growing stale. I just got worn out on them. Just not hitting that spot for me. That ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh spot. I guess I need the tannins or caffeine. Or something.

    And especially when I read some historical, I pull out my darjeelings and my keemuns. Wasn't it keemun that was mostly drank back when across the pond? I think I read that somewhere. No matter, I just feel more in the time when the characters sip some tea and I am right there with them.  :D

    Vijaya

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6823 on: August 20, 2018, 03:35:16 pm »
    Atunah, yeah, it's pretty hot in SC too, but not boiling hot, so it still counts as a cold brew. lol. I hope you feel better with a hot cup of Darjeeling.

    Here's how my friend introduced me and my book for an interview. "Hello, Vijaya, and thanks so much for joining me at my virtual kitchen table. In honor of your characters, I had to sit down with a cup of Earl Grey tea. (There are several cups of tea in BOUND, which already gives you readers a hint of how obviously good it is. I've found that the number of cups of tea is proportionate to the quality of the story. Just ask Jane Austen. ;)


    Offline MichelleB675

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    Re: The Tea Thread
    « Reply #6824 on: August 20, 2018, 04:07:45 pm »
    Crebel, the Pacific Breeze tea itself doesn't get bitter, it's the jasmine, or the citrus oils, or both. They overpower the oolong and take on a bitter pithy taste. Now that I think about it, it is probably the citrus since I'm associating pith with the taste. The tea smells amazing but I probably won't order it again, since it is so hard to find the perfect brew with it. I get it right 1 out of 4 times. That 1 time it is quite awesome. The other 3 I usually end up pouring it out.

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