Long Lasting Teas?
I’m looking for a tea that I can get a lot of mileage out of. I want something I can throw in my travel mug, go to work, and resteep several times but still get FLAVOR. Everything I’ve tried to do that with lacks punch after the second steep. I’ve never tried an oolong, although it is on my next internet order. I’d love a hearty, flavorful tea. I wish black teas gave me a bunch of steeps, but I know from experience it just doesn’t happen. This is why I’m turning to oolong in hope of finding my perfect work tea.
Any suggestions, anyone? I read a lot of descriptions on websites that suggest a bunch of steeps from one serving of leaves, but I want a personal testimony. I don’t trust companies. (: So far, the only one I’ve heard that gives you a lot of steeps for one serving is Monkey Picked Oolong from Teavana. I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t seem to like that store on this website. For me they are hit and miss.
So anyway, now that I’ve blabbed on… any suggestions?
First, congrats on your desire to resteep! A lot of even loose tea drinkers don’t get that you can/why you would resteep. I unfortunately (for you at least lol) haven’t had as bad of luck resteeping as you have- except for blacks… but even those can surprise you. The Dancong Aria featured today is a good one, but the best ones I’ve had for resteeping is ManTeas’s Beer Tea (12 infusions!) and dragonwell (anywhere from 12-22 depending on the original steeping parameters and how much you increase the steeping time by). Then there are of course pu erhs that can be steeped 12 times no prob due to the high leaf:water ratio.
I don’t know what it is with me and resteeping. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong. I steep, remove the leaves and set them aside (usually with something like a paper towel under the strainer so I don’t get liquid everywhere), and then use the same temp water the next time around with a slightly longer steep time. I’ve had some luck with Teavana’s To Life white tea, but I had to basically remove all the rooibos first by straining it out. I’m going to invest in some Ali Shan tonight and see where that gets me. And I’ll look into… Beer Tea. Hahaha. And dragonwell. Thank you for your suggestions!
Hmmm… then I don’t know what to tell you cuz that’s exactly what I do. I add about a 1/3 of the original steeping length to additional infusions. Get that Beer Tea in the next 2 days while it’s on sale:)
@katers, do you let the leaves dry first? Don’t let them dry! What I’ve noticed is that if you wait too long between the steeps and the leaves dry, it gets really nasty when you try and resteep. Oolong, green and whites generally resteep pretty well. I’ve had some success with resteeping herbal teas, but I’d have to leave it in the water for a long period of time.
You spoke of throwing it into a travel mug. Just be careful not to steep the tea for too long or it’ll get bitter.
As for Teavana, most people see it as a stepping stone into the world of tea. Teavana focuses primarily on fruity floral teas and that’s just not for everyone.
Hmm… Y’know what, Ricky, I TRY to dry the leaves! I figured if it sat around wet waiting for me to resteep, it’d get gross or moldy. I’ll try keeping ‘em wet next time! I also just bought some oolong last night online, so I’ll give that a try with the wet leaf thing in mind.
Teavana’s just easy for me because there’s one two hours away so I can go smell their teas before buying them. Plus, my mom is addicted to their chai, so we can make an order together for cheaper shipping costs.
Also, I have a travel mug with a removable steeping basket. (:
katers, I don’t actively try to dry or keep the leaves wet. I do make sure that they have room to breathe. I also have left my leaves occassionally over nite if I’m in the middle of steeping tea that I know has lots of life yet. Wow, a 2 hour drive to Teavana is “easy” for you?! Mine is an hr and a half and I’ve never been there. But then again I have a shop 20 min away that has 300+ teas, all of which have smelling tins.
@Ricky – I like Teavana’s teas because they are fun and look pretty….and there is one right across the street from me! LOL but I do agree that they are the stepping stone into the tea world and they are REALLY fruity or floral like. I definitley have to be in the mood for a strong fruity of strong floral tea to really enjoy theirs. Their plain teas, such as silver needle doesnt do the trick for me and for the price I can go somewhere else and get a much higher quality silver needle for the same price or even cheaper! I also don’t like that they don’t sale tea in 1oz pouches, actually this really bothers me since they don’t have samples! Sometimes I am purely buying their tea to just “try” it and to do so I have to buy 2oz of it?! Not cool!
You are in luck. I just published an article on Zealong. According to the growers, it can be steeped as many as 8 times. You will find my article about it at http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-12909-Tea-Examiner~y2010m7d8-Chicago-Tea-Garden-first-company-in-USA-to-sell-Zealong.
I rarely post links to may articles on Steepster because I do not like to spam, but this is such great news I really wanted to share it. I am hoping to get a chance to review this tea someday.
In addition to that, The Tea Spot has puers that can be steeped multiple times. I use a lot of tea from The Tea Spot and all of their teas can be steeped at least three times. Bolder Breakfast, for instance, has a chocolate finish in the first steeping, but it tastes rather like a good quality Assam for the second and third steepings. I have never tried steeping it more than three time.
However, I used their lapsang souchong to flavor my New Year’s Day collard greens and then steeped and drank it twice after. To be honest, it is a very smokey lapsang souchong that not everyone would like, but since I love smokey tea, I did not mind at all.
I would suggest trying pu-erhs, especially is you like black teas! This might be up your alley, but the taste of pu-erhs are pretty much you love them or you hate them lol so hopefully you’ll be a lover of the pu-erhs and they will work well for you. Golden Moons pu-erh is really yummy to me ;-)
Shu (cooked pu erh) can definitely be liked to black teas (although it’s a unique tea type of it’s own) as Jessica said, but sheng (raw) is much more like a white or green tea- or even a very green oolong. Both are completely different creatures, if you don’t like one, try the other.
I’ve never had sheng pu-erhs before, but they are on my list to try! But I am quite in love with the Shu ones! I drink Starbucks coffee EVERY morning (now I know why I am so broke! lol) and I have been wanting to get a big tin of pu-erh because I am pretty sure it can be my coffee replacement and save me some money! $5 every morning for a grande soy, caramel macchiato is no bueno :-(
I think it could replace black coffee, but I think you’d be disappointed if you compaired it to a Soy CM. Unless you added milk and caramel and vanilla syrups or creamers. I hate those substitution articles you see on TV where the swap out (whether for cost or health reasons) is nothing like the original. Ok, I’m off my SBUX soap box now lol. :)
Lol I know there is nothing like the original…I just like the taste of the pu-erhs a lot, along with it’s boldness. I wouldn’t put all the other extra stuff in there to try and make it mimic my caramel macchiato. I am just trying to find a tea as my coffee replacement because I am going on 4yrs of drinking a $5 Starbucks drink EVERY morning and if you do the math for just one month it is totally depressing! Anyways, pu-erh is the only tea I have came across that I think will work as a possible replacement… of course I say that and have yet to make the switch from coffee to tea in the morning LOL
This may make this tea community cringe and if bagged tea is not your style disregard, but I love stash peach black tea, I find that I can continue to add hot water to it and still have a nice cup of tea with great flavor. I hope this helps. I have found a roasted yerba mate tends to last over several brews also.
I drink bagged tea, too. If I can find a tasty tea, I don’t care what form it comes in. My grocery store recently started stocking some stash bags, I’ll see if we have any of that!
I’m not sure where you are from but I always find a great selection of bagged teas in the health food section of Hy-vee. (these groceries are in the midwest)(I’m in Kansas City, MO)
I’m from North Carolina. We have Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, Food Lion, Earth Fare and this little health store called Bare Essentials. Buying tea here is hit and miss. But I work at one of the grocery stores and I generally know what we have on hand. Lately we’ve been expanding the tea section. We even have a couple of Twinnings loose teas. (I haven’t tried them. I love English Breakfast, though, so I’ll probably try it eventually.) I’ll check to see if we carry peach black next day I work. (:
Oolong, Oolong, Oo-hoo-hooolong.
In a proper brewing session, a good oolong’s flavor will almost always outlast my will to resteep, and I LOVE my oolongs.
Make sure it’s whole-leaf, though. Broken-leaf leaches out too quickly.
Look for darker ones, while you’re at it – Chinese oolongs.
I’ve had pretty good luck resteeping Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan flowery orange pekoe black teas. I have to admit that I don’t usually resteep more than once, though – I just don’t drink that much tea in a day, and I don’t really want to use leaves that have been sitting around for more than a day. I usually do the first steep for 5 minutes, then about 7-10 minutes for the second steep. The second steep is often a little less strong, but not much.