Any tea experts?

agmss15January 20, 2014

I am using more loose leaf tea recently. I use green tea or lighter black teas. I often add verbena, lemongrass or peppermint. I used the last oolong I had on hand on Friday. I decided to treat myself to an order at Upton teas. Daunting! A huge inventory with incredibly complex descriptions. Anyone got any favorites varieties? I finally came up with an order that was determined by price, mix of black and green and sheer guessing.

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I like buying locally where you can ask questions and maybe get a taste. Since teas and herbal drinks have many health benefits I usually start with what am I trying to achieve and narrow down from there. Lately I've been mixed my own teas together. Like a green tea with an herbal tea (these are technically not teas even though everyone calls them herbal teas).

Happy sipping!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:06PM
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I sous vide tea.

Just kidding!!! LOL

I do use a French Press to make tea. Distilled water in press, add tea leaves, microwave, press and enjoy.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:08PM
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Upton has a nice Formosa Oolong. I also like their Russian Caravan blend a lot, but maybe that's not the kind of thing you like. I've heard good things about their tisanes (don't you love that word?), infusions that aren't real tea. My son recommended the osmanthus, but I haven't tried it.
I like that Upton sells samples, so you can try a lot of different teas.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:45PM
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I like Keemun very much. It is a Chinese black tea. Upton has it.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:53PM
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I love Upton's Teas! I love their big selection, their service, their packaging, their sample packs, etc. etc.

Here are some of my favorites:

Scottish Breakfast Blend - my all time favorite
C.T.C. Irish Breakfast Blend - a stout tea to wake you up
Leadenhall Street English Breakfast Blend - maybe my go-to English Breakfast tea
Kandy OP Ceylon - whole leaf tea, but not huge leaves
Ceylon English Breakfast Select - I love Ceylon tea!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 6:57PM
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I'm certainly not a tea expert but, like TEresa, I like the Ceylon teas very much. I also like the Darjeeling. I don't care for most herbal teas, other than an occasional cup of peppermint tea, and I don't like green tea at all.

I do like the Irish Breakfast from pretty much every company, and now I have to try the Scottish Breakfast, thanks to Teresa!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:24PM
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I'm with Jim - Keemun Fancy is my favorite black tea, and you can get it from Upton, if that is where you are doing your ordering. I used to buy it in bulk from a tea shop in Venice, close to my old house, but I don't go back there so often now. My other favorite is Yamamotoyama Hoji-cha (roasted green tea), and it is now available in tea bags at the Japanese market that I frequent. I used to buy it loose, but I find the tea bags so much more convenient, with no loss of flavor. I also buy Twinings Variety Pack because it has combinations of breakfast teas and Grey teas, although I prefer Keemun. I haven't seen Keemun Fancy in bags in the U.S., however. I drink about two cups of hot tea a day - one before going to work, and one after I get there. At home, I make tea in a teapot that Sherry sent me, and I use two small mugs of water for one teabag.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:27PM
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Wow that was fast. Thanks for the input.

I agree about buying locally but there really aren't many tea sources here. Well except for medicinal herbal teas. I like some herbal teas but not so much fruity teas. I love verveine and mint.
I was going to get some Russian Caravan for my mom. But when I called her she was out to lunch. By the time we got back in touch I had placed the order. I selected some of the varieties you mentioned. I ordered small amounts of seven varieties - by the time one pays shipping it makes sense to order enough for awhile. Here is what I ordered..

Budget selections

Pinhead gunpowder
Turkish blend
Formosa keemun
Orthodox darjeeling

And the rest

Jasmine maofeng
Wuyi oolong
Formosa amber oolong

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Darjeeling all the way for me.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:18AM
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Upton's Gen Mai Cha is a smoky green tea with popped rice kernals in it. It's my absolute favorite green tea.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:24AM
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LOL, dcarch. I figured you did.

As long as we're on the subject, does anyone know of a place to purchase Swee-touch-nee? I am probably spelling it incorrectly. It's a Russian tea or blend (probably black) that my grandmother used to have. I cannot recall the proper spelling.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:18AM
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Amazon has it!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 12:50PM
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Thanks! I found it right after I posted.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:49PM
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(dcarch, haha!)

TTC, Taiwan Tea Crafts, is a real treat. I think they still have free shipping over 25$.
After my morning coffee i switch to tea. I prefer a very tannic green but will try anything new. At work we have at least 50 varieties in constant rotation, so i try them all.
Don't really care for the fruity herbal blends but like to try my own combinations. Love lemongrass and ginger with green tea.
Wish i had more time for the loose tea ritual but get to do that on Sundays.

Matcha is fun to cook with. I made Matcha rice noodles last week.

Here is a link that might be useful: Matcha powder recipes

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 3:29AM
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Thank you for the link. My sister gave me a box of "Japanese Tea Powder (organic baked green tea) for Christmas, and other than drinking it, I didn't realize how many things I could do with it. I also have a tub of Organic Matcha (ceremonial grade - whatever that means) languishing in the cabinet.

I'll drink anything but the smoky teas like lapsang souchong. The smell always reminds me of my cousins home after they had a flu fire and smoky teas are unpalatable, in my opinion.

I have some hibiscus flowers and rosehips I've been blending with tea for the added health benefits and a shot of vitamin C.

Has anyone grown their own tea? I may yet order a couple plants and see if it is a successful venture.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 4:50AM
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I've tried to grow tea. My BIL has a hedge row in SCarolina and gave me a few cuttings.
Very small so they got lost in the shuffle. They needed a bit more love and attention. Or a better labeling system. Similar need to rosemary and i had them in the same pot. DH thought it was a 'volunteer' and pulled it. Oops. Just too small and not established enough.

If i try again i would try this one...

Here is a link that might be useful: Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, Small Leaf Tea

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 4:12PM
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