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Cofftea said

New Year's Resolutions

What are your New Year’s Resolutions for the tea aspect of your life? Try a new tea, company, teaware? Anything specific? Cut out caffeine? Buy tea or teaware only when it’s on sale?

34 Replies
Janefan said

Well I haven’t tried matcha yet, although my tin just arrived from Teavana. After reading reviews and forums on here, I realize I really won’t be doing it justice unless I prepare it with a chasen. I should have bought a proper set, but was afraid to invest the $ if I don’t like the tea… right now the matcha is on the counter waiting for the right time.

Cofftea said

I’m really looking forward to reading about your eperience! My opinion is that it won’t taste different based on what you whisk it w/. Although drinking it from a bowl is half the fun.;)

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Teaspoon said

Im with Janefan, want to try matcha but im not that brave yet.

Cofftea said

@Teaspoon, I felt the same way. I ordered it at a cafe. That way if I didn’t like it I was only out $2.50, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVED it! Now I can’t go a day w/o it.

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Heyes said

I would really like to get a nice gaiwan. By nice I don’t mean expensive, I just mean pleasant. I’d like to learn how to brew and drink from a gaiwan.

Oh and did I mention that I’d love a sorapot!

Cofftea said

DITTO!

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Carolyn said

I would very much like to try an old Pu-erh that is supposed to be quite good. I want to know what is good so that I can judge everything else that passes my tongue. Unfortunately, the first rule of Pu-erh drinking seems to be that you must already know what is good before you can find it. It’s not really an easy tea.

PeteG said

It is getting difficult to locate ‘old’ pu-erh. And old doesn’t necessarily mean good either. I have some raw(sheng) and that is for the future and I am banking on flavour and true enjoyment then. As for the ripe(shou) I read the reviews listen to others and make an informed decision. I purchase some samples of some older teas when I do my shopping for younger pu-erh. This helps with my decision. I have enjoyed wine that is young and inexpensive and as well the more aged/expensive…and almost everything in between…then I make my decision…my palate may be less/more discerning than another and then it may not…the bottom line is: the joy is in the drinking…begin with one cup at a time and you will come to enjoy what you like…what others feel really doesn’t matter. Take their advice but it is your pocket book and your cup of tea to be enjoyed when it is time.

PeteG said

Check out www.pu-erh.net

Very informative.

Carolyn said

Thank you for the personal information and for the site! The site is amazing. I love the photos of the process of creating a beeng. I put in an order with the puerhshop.com which should arrive soon. (I’m very anxious to try the samples I ordered.) We need a little Teahouse on Pu Corner here on Steepster to discuss the world of Pu.

PeteG said

Carolyn, I agree with you, it would be nice to have a corner for pu. One suggestion though, let’s not take ourselves too serious. I assume because of the potential cost incurred w/puerh tea one may be led to have opions which may be interpreted as ‘gospel’…I try to remember that the tea is the magic carpet on which we ride, not the journey. It’s only tea – expensive tea but tea…yeh, the website it pretty cool isn’t it? The puerhshop delivery is great! I rec’d my pu in five days…and I live in an igloo up here in Canada!!! ; )
Seriously though, other teas fm nameless companies have taken some time to get here but the svc w/puershop.com is great! Enjoy your samples and keep me updated…I am interested to find out how things go…

Carolyn said

Hi Pete, I have a philosophy of life that I work toward (not always successfully). I try to take my pleasures very seriously and spend my intensity there so that I may take life’s grimly serious topics lightly. When I game I pour myself into the game. When I do yoga I focus on it as if the Sun Salutation were the most important thing I could be concentrating on at that moment. And when I engage with tea I try to do it in such a way as if picking the right tea and sensing every nuance had been commanded by heaven. I find my flow in my pleasures so that when I get to work and everything is crazy, I’m calm.

That said, I agree that there is no gospel when it comes to pleasure. There is only the self and the moment. I suspect that I will prefer younger pu-erhs when all is said and done, but I want a good baseline to measure that against.

The pu-erh shop delivers incredibly fast! I just received my package from them and have been touching and sniffing and wishing I dared drink some of it. (But since I don’t want to spend my entire night awake, I will wait until morning.) I ordered a sample of Imperial Concubine Aroma Puerh tea and I am practically bouncing up and down in my impatience to try it.

To distract myself from the pleasures of the tea I may have to go to my wardrobe and choose a suitably elegant outfit to wear while drinking it tomorrow. Afterall, how inappropriate would it be for me to wear my sweats and t-shirt while sipping Imperial Concubine Aroma? I can just picture the lipsticked moues of disapproval. ;)

I will let you know how it tastes.

Cofftea said

Well said Carolyn- I feel the same way. That’s why my reviews (especially my 1st or or if I’m in a particular mood) are the way they are. And why I enjoy matcha daily.:)

Cofftea said

Although I will say that, for me at least, there is something to drinking something very special in sweats every once in a while. :)

PeteG said

Carolyn, I am not too sure what you mean by ‘younger’ puerhs…older than 3 but younger than say…10? Raw or Ripe? … being cooked or not can make a heck of a difference to taste…green/raw/young tea can be quite bitter if not made correctly…saying that, some enjoy bitter…not me…only if it leads to a sweet aftertaste though. I drink puerh right up to I go to bed and at times I steep it in a s/s pot and wait for the glorious leaf to unleash its wonder! Now that you sort of put up a challenge to ‘dress-up’ in appropriate attire to enjoy your pu…I may now have to stay up all night worrying of what to wear!!! I guess my PJ’s won’t do?! sigh

Carolyn said

Pete, While it may be appropriate for you (a gentleman) to wear your PJs to visit with the Imperial Concubine, I fear that my Imperial Concubine puerh will look with disdain at a poorly dressed female sipper. I picture this as the type of tea that Inara of Joss Whedon’s Firefly would brew in her special pot. She always dressed with perfect beauty. It is a great challenge. ;)

I am not certain what I mean either by “younger” puerhs. This is part of the challenge for me. I am finding that Pu-erh appreciation requires arcane knowledge which I am seeking out.

Here is what I know. I tried pu-erhs in samples from Holy Mountain and it was a great mystery to me why anyone would like them. They seemed unpleasant to me and they upset my stomach. But then I tried pu-erhs in mixtures and liked them. Finally, on a trip to a Chicago tea house I had a chance to talk to the proprietor there and he introduced me to a very young puerh that was absolutely divine: I think it was Yunnan Chi Tse Beeng Puerh (Spring Bud). After that I knew that I didn’t just tolerate some pu-erhs but loved them and wanted to try others. But I am a babe in the woods at figuring out the intricacies of this. (And, of course, that complexity and depth of knowledge is part of the fun of puerhs.)

I’m fairly sensitive to caffeine so my guess is that puerh drinking will have to be completed before 3:30 pm each day. If Imperial Concubine Aroma doesn’t pep me up tomorrow morning or late into the afternoon, I may try it one evening. But I suspect that it is in the nature of Imperial Concubines to keep admirers up late into the night. ;)

PeteG said

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I’d like to expand my tea horizons a bit. I am going to visit my local tea shop and start with some loose Milk Oolong and an organic Lu An Gui Pain (green). I’ve had both kinds of teas before, and really like them, but never prepared them myself!

My other resolution is to get a wee electric tea kettle so that I can have my afternoon tea at work. I already have an extra tea pot, but will need an extra strainer (or should I just buy sachets that I can fill myself? Anyone who makes tea at work, I’d love to hear what you do to get the best taste and not too much mess to distract from the work environment) and will wrap the pot in a tea towel until I have time to make a cozy for it. I hope to do this today or tomorrow :) I go back to work on Monday and will be the saddest tea drinker in the world if I have to grab a paper cup of what they have available at Starbuck’s – there is no going back!!!!!

I have an electric kettle at work. It’s not very proper, but I just steep each cup in a mug. Sometimes I use paper filters that I fill myself, other times I use an infuser inserted in the mug. I like this because it’s good tea, not messy, and fast (so I can spend my time on my work). It also means that each cup I drink can be a different tea. :)

PeteG said

JacquelineM, Milk Oooooooolong! yummy. Need I say more?

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Jeremy said

Well besides running 2 Marathons this year, I am going to trade alcohol for Tea, and possibly try growing some of my own. I still have alot to learn about tea, but am very enthusiastic about it.

Cofftea said

Grow your own? Sounds amazing!!!

PeteG said

Jeremy, I have not altogether vanquished alcohol into the deep dark recesses of oblivion but I have reduced my consumption drastically! I must admit my love affair with puerh teas and oolong has caused me to look at life a little bit differently…yah know?

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teaplz said

Plain and simple: drink more tea!

And drink as many varieties as possible. I’m lucky, since I pretty much enjoy every type of tea I get my hands on.

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Cofftea said

My New Year’s resolution is to learn as much as I can about different teawares and how and which teas are traditionally prepared in them in their countries of origin. I have more than enough frequent cup points from Adagio so I will try my best to buy from there when I finally have cupboard room for tea and use my credit card for teaware purchases. I also want to read more books on tea as well as cook with tea more.

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gmathis said

To be content with the supply I have, enjoy the pleasure of steeping and sipping a cup of something I’ve had a hundred times before, and not try to covet anybody’s tea cupboard too much. (Frugality kick…..sigh)

Cofftea said

AMEN! I need to work on not coveting teaware.

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Last year I got several green tea samplers to learn the difference between Chinese and Japanese green teas, and the differences between Japanese ones. This year I’d like to do the same for black teas, too. (Though, that will probably be later in the year, when I’m drinking black tea multiple times a day again.)

Cofftea said

Do Chinese greens all have different steeping parameters like Japanese greens do?

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