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74

Upton Sample Buying Spree Tea #14:
Just the green Earl Grey left!
Before anything else, I have to say that I really liked the color of this tea – it was such a nice reddish brown. Or was it brownish red? I’m sure there’s an official name for that color. Possibly to do with wood. Mahogany? No I think that’s darker. Once again the leaves are pretty finely crumbled (or whatever they do to them) so it brews up fast.
On first trying this, the astringency kind of slapped me in the face, but that faded as I drank. Still, I can definitely see why they recommend drinking this with milk. Tough luck, Upton Tea! Milk is for cereal! and oatmeal, I guess. and for making into cheese. mmmm, cheese. Anyway, I stand by my tea without milk stance! It’s very difficult for the human body to digest you know! In fact, the majority of people are lactose intolerant to a certain extent! I read that in Newsweek! Or possibly Wikipedia!
Ahem. Now that that’s out of the way. Nice black tea, certainly pretty to look at, think I liked the Scottish and Irish blends better, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

Reddish brown or brownish red would be “amber” or “chestnut” perhaps? Mahogany is darker. You’re possibly thinking of cherry wood, chestnut or cedar.

A splash of lemon or lime does well against astringency without having to resort to dairy. Just a splash, or you end up with flavored tea.

The majority of people are lactose intolerant because such a huge percentage of the population of the planet is either Asian or African, both of which are gene pools that are almost universally lactose intolerant. Within the broadly “white” (a useless word) population, it used to be extremely uncommon and is slowly becoming more common, possibly because of the mingling of gene pools in our increasingly diverse and mobile society.

Ewa

Chestnut! Chestnut is totally what I was going for there.
I am suspicious of my ability to carry out this “add lemon without adding enough to get lemon flavor” plan. (I am pretty clumsy, you know)
Regarding lactose: even if you’re not intolerant it still does take extra effort to digest (lactose isn’t alone in this, of course. see: red meat). Most of the time, for a healthy non-intolerant person, this extra effort is not an issue, but if one is having digestive issues or energy deficiency it tends to be one of the first things to go. (note: this information comes from a store of knowledge that I like to call “dumbed down explanations that my doctors give me when I come in feeling icky and they have no other explanation for what is wrong with me and probably secretly suspect I am a hypochondriac”)

Jim Marks

You could use a straw or basting bulb to add the lemon a drop at a time?

And yes, I agree, lactose is not the best thing for people to eat. But a few splashes in your earl gray is not likely to be the thing giving you digestive cramps. ;-) Especially if you are the kind of person who gets glassy eyed when someone mentions “cheese”, which it sounds like you are (as am I).

Just don’t like the doctor tell you that you’re allergic to gluten without insisting they do a biopsy that tests positive for coeliac/celiac disease first. It is an increasingly common “spectrum” diagnosis for people who just tend not to feel well most of the time and nothing else is helping, but the actual disease is still quite rare in spite of an explosion of products on the market to aid people who have it.

Ewa

I subscribe to the slippery slope theory of milk drinking. From adding it to your tea it’s just a SMALL STEP to…I don’t know, guzzling entire gallons at a time?

Funny you should mention the gluten thing, my brother is actually gluten intolerant (not celiac though) so I am not about to be swept up by that hype. I have to say despite the paranoia about it now, at least there’s awareness. It took two years for my brother to be diagnosed in the 80s.

Jim Marks

When you realize how much milk it takes to make some kinds of cheese, the idea of drinking a half gallon suddenly isn’t quite so weird. ;-)

So, he’s not celiac, he has a spectrum diagnosis?

Wow, great conversation about tea, huh? ;-)

Ewa

hee hee, tea is the gateway to all kinds of discussion! And it’s about to get even MORE exciting!
He’s got dermatitis herpetiformis, which is another form of gluten intolerance, wherein the lesions formed by the gluten allergy appear on the surface of the skin rather than internally. It’s rarer, but it gives you more leeway in how much gluten you can actually have (some if you can take some itching, rather than none due to internal bleeding) and you can take something to give you a bit of a resistance.

Jim Marks

From what I can gather from Wikipedia (I have a question to the on-staff MD at my office pending without response yet, we were just talking about gluten last week), DH seems to cause coelia, rather than being separate from it, and has its own symptoms in addition to the coelia symptoms. A big problem in diagnosing people with either DH or CD is if the patient is already voluntarily on a gluten-free diet before any biopsies are done, the biopsies may come back negative. This is part of what has led so many doctors to tell patients that they have “a gluten allergy” even with negative test results.

To get back to tea, I thought of a third option besides lemon or milk. Honey! If you get a grade A “dark amber” honey, ideally from buckwheat, it will actually not be very sweet at all, compared to the more typical bright yellow clover or orange blossom stuff. It will be sweet enough to take the “edge” off an astringent tea without actually “sweetening” the tea, and is easier to add in small amounts until you find the right balance compared to lemon. :-)

Ewa

I just want to preface this by saying that I am not TRYING to be difficult.
I don’t like honey either!
Regarding the DH thing, from what I gather it is hypothesized to be caused by a mild form of celiac in the small intestine or something like that. The fact remains that it is some weird form of celiac that doesn’t involve the internal lesions.
In my brother’s case, since he doesn’t abstain from gluten all the time (you can’t expect a Polish person to not drink beer! It’s unnatural!), we have plenty of empirical evidence regarding the appearance vs. lack thereof of the rash to accept that it’s related to gluten in some way. He was diagnosed when he was quite young (4 or so) and basically refused to eat for a while until he was put on the gluten-free diet.

Jim Marks

I’m not a big fan of sweet things, in general. Which is why I like dark amber buckwheat honey. It really isn’t all that sweet. If you can find some to sample before buying, give it a chance. Otherwise, just suck it up and drink your astringent tea in peace! :-)

As to the other, the only clarification I was trying to bring is that it is the coeliac that causes the gluten intolerance, and that the intolerance is itself a symptom of it, regardless of other symptoms present or not either from coeliac or DH. The upshot is, coeliac is the only known cause of gluten intolerance. Someone with DH doesn’t need a gut biopsy, clearly. :-)

Ewa

Fair enough!
And now it is entirely possible I know more about Celiac than tea. Thanks, Steepster!
Thanks for the recommendation. That is an extremely specific kind of honey, but I will try and check it out! I don’t really mind the astringency, honestly, so I’m not going to be super sad if I don’t like it.

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Jim Marks

Reddish brown or brownish red would be “amber” or “chestnut” perhaps? Mahogany is darker. You’re possibly thinking of cherry wood, chestnut or cedar.

A splash of lemon or lime does well against astringency without having to resort to dairy. Just a splash, or you end up with flavored tea.

The majority of people are lactose intolerant because such a huge percentage of the population of the planet is either Asian or African, both of which are gene pools that are almost universally lactose intolerant. Within the broadly “white” (a useless word) population, it used to be extremely uncommon and is slowly becoming more common, possibly because of the mingling of gene pools in our increasingly diverse and mobile society.

Ewa

Chestnut! Chestnut is totally what I was going for there.
I am suspicious of my ability to carry out this “add lemon without adding enough to get lemon flavor” plan. (I am pretty clumsy, you know)
Regarding lactose: even if you’re not intolerant it still does take extra effort to digest (lactose isn’t alone in this, of course. see: red meat). Most of the time, for a healthy non-intolerant person, this extra effort is not an issue, but if one is having digestive issues or energy deficiency it tends to be one of the first things to go. (note: this information comes from a store of knowledge that I like to call “dumbed down explanations that my doctors give me when I come in feeling icky and they have no other explanation for what is wrong with me and probably secretly suspect I am a hypochondriac”)

Jim Marks

You could use a straw or basting bulb to add the lemon a drop at a time?

And yes, I agree, lactose is not the best thing for people to eat. But a few splashes in your earl gray is not likely to be the thing giving you digestive cramps. ;-) Especially if you are the kind of person who gets glassy eyed when someone mentions “cheese”, which it sounds like you are (as am I).

Just don’t like the doctor tell you that you’re allergic to gluten without insisting they do a biopsy that tests positive for coeliac/celiac disease first. It is an increasingly common “spectrum” diagnosis for people who just tend not to feel well most of the time and nothing else is helping, but the actual disease is still quite rare in spite of an explosion of products on the market to aid people who have it.

Ewa

I subscribe to the slippery slope theory of milk drinking. From adding it to your tea it’s just a SMALL STEP to…I don’t know, guzzling entire gallons at a time?

Funny you should mention the gluten thing, my brother is actually gluten intolerant (not celiac though) so I am not about to be swept up by that hype. I have to say despite the paranoia about it now, at least there’s awareness. It took two years for my brother to be diagnosed in the 80s.

Jim Marks

When you realize how much milk it takes to make some kinds of cheese, the idea of drinking a half gallon suddenly isn’t quite so weird. ;-)

So, he’s not celiac, he has a spectrum diagnosis?

Wow, great conversation about tea, huh? ;-)

Ewa

hee hee, tea is the gateway to all kinds of discussion! And it’s about to get even MORE exciting!
He’s got dermatitis herpetiformis, which is another form of gluten intolerance, wherein the lesions formed by the gluten allergy appear on the surface of the skin rather than internally. It’s rarer, but it gives you more leeway in how much gluten you can actually have (some if you can take some itching, rather than none due to internal bleeding) and you can take something to give you a bit of a resistance.

Jim Marks

From what I can gather from Wikipedia (I have a question to the on-staff MD at my office pending without response yet, we were just talking about gluten last week), DH seems to cause coelia, rather than being separate from it, and has its own symptoms in addition to the coelia symptoms. A big problem in diagnosing people with either DH or CD is if the patient is already voluntarily on a gluten-free diet before any biopsies are done, the biopsies may come back negative. This is part of what has led so many doctors to tell patients that they have “a gluten allergy” even with negative test results.

To get back to tea, I thought of a third option besides lemon or milk. Honey! If you get a grade A “dark amber” honey, ideally from buckwheat, it will actually not be very sweet at all, compared to the more typical bright yellow clover or orange blossom stuff. It will be sweet enough to take the “edge” off an astringent tea without actually “sweetening” the tea, and is easier to add in small amounts until you find the right balance compared to lemon. :-)

Ewa

I just want to preface this by saying that I am not TRYING to be difficult.
I don’t like honey either!
Regarding the DH thing, from what I gather it is hypothesized to be caused by a mild form of celiac in the small intestine or something like that. The fact remains that it is some weird form of celiac that doesn’t involve the internal lesions.
In my brother’s case, since he doesn’t abstain from gluten all the time (you can’t expect a Polish person to not drink beer! It’s unnatural!), we have plenty of empirical evidence regarding the appearance vs. lack thereof of the rash to accept that it’s related to gluten in some way. He was diagnosed when he was quite young (4 or so) and basically refused to eat for a while until he was put on the gluten-free diet.

Jim Marks

I’m not a big fan of sweet things, in general. Which is why I like dark amber buckwheat honey. It really isn’t all that sweet. If you can find some to sample before buying, give it a chance. Otherwise, just suck it up and drink your astringent tea in peace! :-)

As to the other, the only clarification I was trying to bring is that it is the coeliac that causes the gluten intolerance, and that the intolerance is itself a symptom of it, regardless of other symptoms present or not either from coeliac or DH. The upshot is, coeliac is the only known cause of gluten intolerance. Someone with DH doesn’t need a gut biopsy, clearly. :-)

Ewa

Fair enough!
And now it is entirely possible I know more about Celiac than tea. Thanks, Steepster!
Thanks for the recommendation. That is an extremely specific kind of honey, but I will try and check it out! I don’t really mind the astringency, honestly, so I’m not going to be super sad if I don’t like it.

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Bio

I’m a Pole who grew up in Texas, is currently a graduate student in California studying Japan. How’s THAT for random?

Being Polish, my family has always drunk a lot of tea, and I am no different. I may drink more tea than water. On the other hand, I can’t say that I’m very particular about it; I’m generally pretty careless with steeping times and water temperature and I don’t even have a proper teapot (mostly because the lid broke during the move to California ;_;).

I always drink my tea unsweetened and I only add milk in the case of the most egregiously chai-ish of chais. (not really a big fan of milk in general)

Given that so many of my entries seem to be about my morning tea, I felt I should add something here about me and mornings: I fail at mornings. I fail at them a LOT. Therefore I often also fail at proper tea making in the mornings.

Location

Santa Barbara

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