It's tea time!!

178 Replies

What a great thing you started, @Jack Layton – RIP 1950-2011! I don’t do Facebook, or Twitter, but sometimes I simply want to make some attempt to connect with you all out here, and this thread is such a great and simple way to do it!

It’s 1:20 PM here, and this morning I made us our daily green, being two parts Bai Sha Lu to one part Huang Shan Mao Feng from Jing Teas Shop, for a full pot; it was tasty. I hope to brew up a sample of a fancy green I got from H&S—and let the leaves roam free, for a change. Looking forward to it.

I have no problem sharing a fancy green with my wife, but with a stranger? Hmmm. If I thought he/she really wanted to try it, then yes. I hate wasting anything, even good tea, and giving tea to someone who would not appreciate it amounts to wasting to me. But, then again, that may be the one time that gets them interested in tea. So, having thought about it some more, yes, I would, albeit reluctantly, share it with a stranger. I feel my world would be a little brighter if someone else was introduced to the joys of tea, and I would feel even more joy if I just so happened to play a hand in it!

MaddHatter said

Well, if someone could teach me to steep green teas properly, I would love to partake in some green tea.

I’d love to help you here, but I can only encourage you to experiment yourself by buying and brewing up some green tea. You can check out the posts here, http://steepster.com/discuss/1869-green-tea-recommendations to get you started.

I believe both Gunpowder and Dragon Well are good teas to start with (both for different reasons). I think the best way to learn is through trial and error. I recommend starting with a few simple guidelines: 1 tsp per 6-8 oz water (the measured amount can vary due to the density of the leaf, but don’t fret about it for now), temp. 170 -180 (I have found most green teas can handle 165 – 185, maybe higher. Any lower than 160 and it may taste flat. But again, so what?), steep time: 45 seconds to 2 minutes (longer and it may taste astringent, but with the two teas I mentioned, their pretty forgiving on this).

(ADDITION) I realized I am assuming you have a way to check the temperature of the water, which you may not. If you don’t/can’t, then you can instead do the following (you may very well already be aware of this method): boil the water, then wait three minutes and pour and taste, then four minutes and pour and taste, and so on until you get the flavor you want. When my kettle has about six cups of water in it and it is boiling, I believe it cools off at a rate of about 3-6 degrees a minute. You may find it is different for you (as there are many factors involved), but it likely will not be that much different.

For example, you could have a number of cups ready to go with tea already in each one, and literally pour at three, then four, then five, then six minutes, then check the results (just make sure to pay attention to which cup is which!). Of course there’s the whole issue of warming up the cups/pot first, but that doesn’t seem to matter as much with green and white tea (shooting for 170). Oh, it just occurred to me that you probably think in metric (being in Canada). So of course you’ll have to make the adjustments from F to C: C = (F – 32) x 5/9. So for example, 170 F becomes 77 C. :)

Then, just do it! Maybe this doesn’t need saying, but allow yourself to make mistakes. It’s OK. If you are afraid of being judged by others, then do it when and where they don’t know, and experiment! Admittedly, I am one of those scientist-minded types, so I love experimenting, but I understand many are not, and do not (my wife is not an experimenter, at least not with tea). But if you try experimenting, in the end you may find the rewards are worth it!

I have just tried brewing the Anji Baicha green tea and we both love it: 170, 1.5 mins, four cups of water for the sample size given. Fresh and light. I was just inspired to write this reflection. I hope will allow me to share this with you:

I imagine my wife and I, having wandered peacefully along a mountainous-forested path, discover ahead a clearing, and finally, a ridge. As we approach, hand in hand, we stop at the rim, and wonder at the beauty of the deeply forested mountain range that stretches away from us, quietly giving way in the distance to a hazy multi-colored landscape as it meets the azure sky. Then, closing our eyes, we take the scent of pine slowly and deeply into our lungs, we feel the firm yet moist earth beneath our feet. And upon hearing a beautiful song, we look out and into the windswept vista before us, where tiny movements catch our eye as we look skyward to witness the graceful song sparrow with her colorful mate, both spinning and weaving, freely trilling out their bliss at the wonder of the day as they soar up, up into the deep blue sky. And we, simple beings bereft of the gift of flight, allow ourselves to be transported with them, sharing in the simple joy of being alive.

MaddHatter said

Thank-you, I stumbled across a video on youtube today about how to steep teas and apparently my LARGEST problem is water temp… Oops!

I’m glad you found a YouTube video that helped. Would you be willing to share the link with us?

SimpliciTEA, I absolutely loved that last paragraph of reflection. How beautiful. You must live somewhere like Montana to write about such breathtaking mountainous places. I must ask, do you write?

MaddHatter said

I’ll repost them here, (videos) if you would like. I think I posted them on “steepsters, how do you steep”? They’re “The Tea Guy” videos.

@Ashley:

I am very honored by your response.

I’ve done lots of traveling to mountainous regions, but we do not live near Montana or anywhere mountainous. Drinking the tea, and then thinking about how I would describe—-in a review—-my experience drinking it is what prompted me to write that tiny little piece. That tea was fabulous; then again, so is my wife, and so the natural world. It all simply came together at that moment.

Thank you for asking; yes, I do write. I am probably more passionate about writing than tea ( for shame! ) I took a hiatus from it for about a year, but joining Steepster has rekindled the fire within.

I may not have even bothered to post that last paragraph you liked had @DaisyChubb not previously mentioned something about another piece I wrote. So you now also spur me on. It is amazing how important support from others means to me. Both of your comments make it much more likely that I will continue to post my more esoteric musings about tea.

Oftentimes there is much more I want to say that is related to some thread of discussion out here, but I am not sure it is appropriate for a ‘tea site’ per se. So I am considering starting my own blog (I know many out here do that).

Again, thank you.

@MaddHatter:

Thank you for that offer to repost. I saw them in another thread. I enjoyed them. I got a few interesting tidbits and a good laugh out of the last one.

MaddHatter said

yes the one from chow is pretty funny, and if you go to youtube and type in “how to steep tea” you get some that are shocking and a lot of variation in what is write and wrong. You’ll even watch some that make you want to scream: “Nooooo!!” because they clearly are doing it wrong!

And I do agree, I enjoy your posts and would most certainly follow a tea blog (or general blog)

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MaddHatter said

It is 12:30 and I am on my second steeping of Nepal Black from DAVIDs. I would share this with anyone! It has a sweet honey flavour that is meant to be shared!

Tea anyone?!

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DaisyChubb said

Aw Erin, I really appreciate your name change.
RIP to an amazing man who I hope inspired our Country to make some changes in the years to come.

MaddHatter said

We can only hope, he is awe-inspiring, to care for EVERYONE’s rights. I also think there was a huge message sent with having a gay married priest preside over his memorial service.

And not to forget: “Have dreams that are longer than a life time, and never let anyone tell you it can’t be done”

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MaddHatter said

9:30pm

Spring Cherry Rooibos, Janet’s tea… I am giving this one a second go to see if I feel any differently about it – Ummmm, I would share this, maybe someone else will enjoy it more than myself.

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DaisyChubb said

8:21 am!
An iced Blazing Strawberries and looking forward to my next cup of Chocolate Rocket to wake me up o_o

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It’s 11:41 am and I just finished a second cup of Vanilla Mint Mate, which is proving to be a mistake. I have an hour and a half until I leave for my interview, and my hands are already shaking. Maybe a bit of Bravissimo will calm me down.

I love sharing my tea with everyone who walks through my door, but like SimpliciTEA said, I would hesitate to share with someone who wouldn’t appreciate it. My mother in law loves Red Rose and judges all other teas by that standard, so I keep a few bags around just for her. But to share my tea with a stranger who might come to love tea as much as I do? Yes, please!

MaddHatter said

I hope the interveiw went well! I’ve had my fingers crossed all day!

MaddHatter said

Here is an interesting note: I was called a “tea snob” by my server this weekend when I sent back the Red Rose she gave me and requested “a tea that is more palpable” … I guess my tone was less than to be desired??

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MaddHatter said

It is some time after 7pm and sometime before 8pm, I am sipping on a concoction of Goji Pop and Lucious Watermelon… This is truly a share with a stranger tea because the taste is reminecient of Freshy or Kool-aid and who doesn’t want to be reminded of happy Summers drinking Freshy and racong full-tilt and screaming through a sprinkler?!

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seule771 said

I jump in every now and again then feel guilty for responding; folks don’t want you around. Anyhow, tea time is daily 7 and twenty-four hours if there could be such a way.

@seule771: I am glad you responded! I, for one, DO want you around! Personally, I like to see activity out here. And I feel a connection to you, since you recently posted that you also drink Trader Joe’s tea. :)

I am currently drinking the last cup of Tea Trekker’s Yue Guang Bai I made this morning. I am writing the review for it—-and for Tea Trekker—-as i sit here, waiting for the hot weather to break so I can start brewing some blacks/reds and oolongs!

I want you around too!

MaddHatter said

A good tea requires many participates. :o)

seule771 said

I am around but folks in real life do things and it is explained as my imagination or that I am not comfortable. Not tea related. Trader Joe is good for the price. I don’t get there as often as I used to, they have green tea, their brand that I like, if not than Demoulas Market Green tea; they also have Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Irish Teas etc…they buy in quantity, bulk so the customer reaps the reward in the low price.

I truly hope you folks don’t turn me off from tea; life is dishing many unpleasant things my way, making me not want to interact. Jason our Steepster commentator emailed me the other day about rudeness as header to message but he was referring to the Tea Show having done something; but it seemed like it was I. Dark Vader and the Conan character being hurled at me but innocent when not from this view point.

I made some comment about not tweeting and it got deleted. So this may well be deleted. One is made to feel certain things and it is your fault for not being strong enough to ignore and not take bait. As I tend to, like now..elaborating somewhat since folks might not comprehend what is bothersome.

Angrboda said

I can assure you that rudeness business had nothing to do with you. Basically there was a misunderstanding further down in the thread that rather blew up, but it didn’t have anything to do with your comment. :)
It blew up to the point where first the thread got locked and a bit later the whole thing was deleted. There is a post now iwth a similar name and body, but that’s not the original post, it’s a fresh copy.

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I am finishing off the last of my third infusion of Yunnan Golden Buds from Verdant Tea, and contemplating whether I should brew another pot of tea. I’m not sure when my daughter will be home from work, but we are supposed to go run errands together… I’d hate to brew a pot of tea and not be able to drink it.

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I’m drinking green tea lemonade from Startbucks. But once that’s done I plan to brew up a new green tea and if it’s any good I’d be happy to share it with whoever stopped over. Btw I love this thread.

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