2 questions from a tea noob (tea pot related)
1) I currently have a ceramic tea pot with a stainless steel infuser. Would it be a waste of money to get a cast iron tea pot as a replacement? I’m relatively oblivious to what materials do what to tea pot quality. All I know is that Teavana treats cast iron like the be-all end-all of tea pots (probably just because they’re the most expensive thing there). Could someone educate me on what makes cast iron so much better?
2) Is there anyone here do has a yixing tea pot specifically for their favorite tea, or is that just a ridiculous waste of money/overkill? Because after nearly 3 months in the whole tea drinking thing, I’ve found my favorite one to be a pomegranate green tea (I highly recommend it by the way, it’s at teavana although everyone here thinks that teavana is the satin of the tea industry) and it is my understanding that Yixing makes a specific tea taste better over time through using it.
Thanks for any answers!
I guess on an unrelated topic: What happens if you leave tea in the water until you’re finished drinking? Even after it’s done steeping I leave it in there. Could that be what’s causing a bitter aftertaste in my teas after a while? If so, how long should i wait to take it out?
Yes, if you leave the tea leaves to continue steeping, the tea will get bitter. Tannins are what causes a tea to get bitter … the more tannins in a tea, the more bitter it will be, so the longer a tea steeps, the more tannins that will become part of the liquid … often creating a bitter tasting brew. I say “often” because this is not true of every tea, there are some teas that are very forgiving and can be oversteeped without bitterness … but, for most teas, I would recommend removing the leaves so that your last sip is as delicious as the first.
Hi, welcome to tea.
1. As for your first question I have several cast iron pots and I do enjoy using them. However, all are not created equal. If you don’t get one that is of a better quality sometimes the inner enamel (if present) will peel off. Though in my personal opinion a cast iron pot is not necessary to enjoy the tea but does enhance the experience.
2. I LOVE Yixing pots and I do have several. I primarily use them for oolong and Puerh teas. I don’t find them necessary for other types. Once the pot is seasoned and takes on the flavor of the tea you are consistently and only using that one type in that Yixing the flavor just gets better and better over time.
3. Last question, yes the reason your green tea is getting bitter since because it is being over steeped. It is especially easy to do with green tea. You can probably get it away it better with oolongs. It’s something I do but I also like my tea strong. If it is a green tea I would probably play with the steep time starting at a mintute thirty seconds and going up according to your preference. However, it maybe even less time depending on the green tea your are steeping.
Hope that makes sense. Good luck on your tea adventure.
I love Teavana – so there are some of us out there. HOWEVER, Davids Tea has really caught my eye and is slowly becoming my favorite.
As for ceramic vs. cast iron…..I currently use ceramic and it works for me. I just got a case iron but haven’t used it yet. Sorry I can’t be more help there.
And yes, on yixing you need to have a separate pot for different teas. I would think since that is a flavored tea you’d really want to keep a pot just for it and not use other greens in it.
I can say that I do sometimes leave the tea in the water while drinking, but ONLY with herbal teas. The length depends on the type of tea (should be on the back of your teavana bag) and it can go bitter if left longer. I usually follow each companies instructions and go from there.
For instance Teavana says 195 degrees for black tea while Davids is 208. So I brew each according to the company – works for me!
I do not have any experience with cast iron tea pots so I can’t answer your question. I had always been quite content with my ceramic tea pot, until I acquired my Breville and that … to me, is the end all, be all when it comes to tea. I don’t know how I lived without it. I’m sure some purists out there would disagree, and I’m sure their argument holds merit. The Breville is a new “fangled” tool, and there is much to be said for the old way of brewing tea, I am sure. But, as for me, I love my Breville.
I don’t have yixing tea pots, but I do have three designated yixing tea mugs that I dedicate to my three favorite types of tea: Yellow, Jasmine, and Ali Shan Oolong. I love them, and I am confident that these types of teas have become better tasting over the couple of years since I’ve acquired my yixing mugs. If you really love one type of tea, if nothing else, it makes it more special when it comes time to brew it to have a special tea pot or tea mug designated just for that tea.
I also wanted to say this about teavana: I don’t like them. But … I do appreciate that they do manage to introduce many people to tea that is better than what they’d find in a grocery store. If grocery store tea is all people are familiar with, it is clear why tea would not be a favorite drink … but teavana has managed to introduce many to loose leaf tea and therefore opened a whole new world of tea to them, so I understand someone’s appreciation for teavana for this reason.
The same is true of Adagio tea. Both of these companies seem to serve as “gateway” companies to the world of tea. There are many MANY better tea companies out there than these two tea companies, but, this is the place where many tea drinkers get their start so I’ve got to give them props for that.
As for teavana’s tea… I have had some good teas from them, I have had some not so great teas from them. It is the same with many other tea companies out there. I do wish though, that they had not completely absorbed SpecialTeas. I don’t like that teavana is going around putting other tea companies out of business. This is what I dislike most about them.
Thanks for all of the answers! My final question for this topic would be one that stems from what Rachel said: Do only Oolong and Puerh teas benefit from Yixing? Or do they just benefit those the best?
I don’t think so. I find that my jasmine teas benefit from using the Yixing. I find that the jasmine notes absorb … and it’s a lovely natural jasmine that enhances the jasmine notes of the tea that I’m pouring into the cup.
I am no yixing expert, but from what I understand, ANY tea can benefit from being put in a yixing. However, people generally use pu-erhs and oolongs because yixings retain their heat well. If you brewed a green tea in one, because the water stays hotter instead of cooling down, it is a little more delicate.
By the way, Teavana has their yixing tea tumblers on sale this month. I just ordered one, so I can’t comment on how it is, but if you want to experiment with yixing it might be a good alternative without spending a lot of money.