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Tea Appreciation

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Mandrake9072, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Mandrake9072

    Mandrake9072 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    474
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    A while back I started a thread here on SF in order to become a regular tea drinker. I've definitely come a long way since then. I regularly drink anywhere from 2-4 cups a day (loose leaf of course!).

    My current morning rotation:

    Earl Grey (from AdagioTeas)
    Irish Breakfast (Adagio)

    Afternoon:

    Masala Chai (Adagio)

    Evening:

    Golden Monkey (Tehku, local tea shop at home)
    Lady Earl Grey (Tehku)


    I'm particularly fond of Black teas, but I'm looking to branch out. I would love any and all recommendations. I'm also especially interested in becoming familiar with Darjeelings, so any recommendation for good vendors and leaves in particular would be really helpful.

    Just wanted to stir up a discussion with other fellow SF'ers who are regular tea drinkers. What's in your cup atm?
     
  2. mordecai

    mordecai Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,479
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Mariage Freres makes some really nice ones. I've always loved the Earl Grey French Blue in the morning and Rouge Bourbon at night. I've been buying fresh Chamomile and Lavender and brewing them, but I prefer the dried blends.

    Or, if you're well-heeled, you could just go for T601:

     
  3. cladnin

    cladnin Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    You're missing a great aspect of tea with your lack of green, yellow, white and oolong (IMO). If you truly like black tea as much as you say, get a darjeeling and learn to love it. This is just a small list of what I have on hand right now, but these are some of my favorites on hand right now.

    Green:
    Dragonwell (longjing) - standard green to have around.
    Angel - a premium bold green (and comes with a price tag, and tends to come in larger quantities only, but highly acclaimed). I get mine from Vital in SF. The first 3-4 cups are a kick-in-the-gut-cleanliness (strong); the last 3-4 will be delightfully sweet, citrusy, but still provide the unique feeling of cleanliness - I've found no better tea for detox personally.

    White:
    Peony (bai mudan) is a good start - it's what really brought me to good tea.
    Silver needle (bai hao yin zhen) is a must for any tea drinker, IMO. Extremely delicate / fruity with a background of sweetness.
    Snowbud (xue ya) - I keep this on hand because it's economical, delicate and slightly sweet.

    Oolong:
    Monkey Picked (tieguanyin) - my current oolong drinker. Not as bold as many oolongs, but earthy and fantastic.
    Dancong - Very high in oxidation, giving it a grey-black hue and taste that you would probably like.
    Royal Red Robe - (da hong pao) - I suggest this to you as it is very close to a black tea, and being you have nothing but blacks listed, this is certainly up your alley. 80% oxidation gives it a red, vibrant liquor and taste close to that of black. It's literally one of the most oxidized oolongs.

    Black:
    Get some darjeeling of some kind. Each estate will vary a great deal. Find something you like and stick with it. Greys are great, but darjeeling is like the cognac of black tea. I'm currently drinking a estate 2nd summer that is extremely bold, dark and vibrant. Darjeeling have a very finicky lifestyle - while I recommend savoring all your tea, it must be drank as soon as possible (from the brew), as it will bolt randomly after the first minute.
     
  4. sidamo

    sidamo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    State College PA
    The best tea I have found locally is jasmine pearl green tea from China. The tea leaves are rolled into round 'pearls' by hand and scented/flavored with jasmine. It is available at the local Wegmans for about $75-$80 per pound if I remember correctly. A little pricey for tea, but it is well worth it.
     
  5. mm84321

    mm84321 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Mariage Freres makes some really nice ones. I've always loved the Earl Grey French Blue in the morning and Rouge Bourbon at night. I've been buying fresh Chamomile and Lavender and brewing them, but I prefer the dried blends. Or, if you're well-heeled, you could just go for T601:
    Have you tried Marco Polo?
     
  6. mordecai

    mordecai Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,479
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Have you tried Marco Polo?
    Yes, I thought it was wretched.
     
  7. mm84321

    mm84321 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Yes, I thought it was wretched.

    I enjoy smelling it.
     
  8. mordecai

    mordecai Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,479
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I enjoy smelling feet.


    Well that explains why you like it I guess.
     
  9. mm84321

    mm84321 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    No, it smells fruity...tutti frutti.
     
  10. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    25,411
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Wit' Yo' Baby Momma
    anastasia is nice.

    i like the russian teas though.
     
  11. blahman

    blahman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,559
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    3rd Rock From the Sun
    Have a can of loose tea leaves sitting on my office desk at all times. It's jasmine today.
    And those fancy shmancy new age fruit and spice infusion 'teas' belong in the trash can.
     
  12. ama

    ama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,823
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Have a can of loose tea leaves sitting on my office desk at all times. It's jasmine today.
    And those fancy shmancy new age fruit and spice infusion 'teas' belong in the trash can.


    You do know that Jasmine is no puro, right?
     
  13. Mandrake9072

    Mandrake9072 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    474
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    You're missing a great aspect of tea with your lack of green, yellow, white and oolong (IMO). If you truly like black tea as much as you say, get a darjeeling and learn to love it. This is just a small list of what I have on hand right now, but these are some of my favorites on hand right now.

    Green:
    Dragonwell (longjing) - standard green to have around.
    Angel - a premium bold green (and comes with a price tag, and tends to come in larger quantities only, but highly acclaimed). I get mine from Vital in SF. The first 3-4 cups are a kick-in-the-gut-cleanliness (strong); the last 3-4 will be delightfully sweet, citrusy, but still provide the unique feeling of cleanliness - I've found no better tea for detox personally.

    White:
    Peony (bai mudan) is a good start - it's what really brought me to good tea.
    Silver needle (bai hao yin zhen) is a must for any tea drinker, IMO. Extremely delicate / fruity with a background of sweetness.
    Snowbud (xue ya) - I keep this on hand because it's economical, delicate and slightly sweet.

    Oolong:
    Monkey Picked (tieguanyin) - my current oolong drinker. Not as bold as many oolongs, but earthy and fantastic.
    Dancong - Very high in oxidation, giving it a grey-black hue and taste that you would probably like.
    Royal Red Robe - (da hong pao) - I suggest this to you as it is very close to a black tea, and being you have nothing but blacks listed, this is certainly up your alley. 80% oxidation gives it a red, vibrant liquor and taste close to that of black. It's literally one of the most oxidized oolongs.

    Black:
    Get some darjeeling of some kind. Each estate will vary a great deal. Find something you like and stick with it. Greys are great, but darjeeling is like the cognac of black tea. I'm currently drinking a estate 2nd summer that is extremely bold, dark and vibrant. Darjeeling have a very finicky lifestyle - while I recommend savoring all your tea, it must be drank as soon as possible (from the brew), as it will bolt randomly after the first minute.


    Thanks for taking the time to write up this!

    I'll focus my efforts on Whites and look into Darjeelings.

    Any specific online vendors I should look into? I hear Tea Emporium is good for Darjeelings.
     
  14. clee1982

    clee1982 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,952
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York City, NY, USA
    You're missing a great aspect of tea with your lack of green, yellow, white and oolong (IMO). If you truly like black tea as much as you say, get a darjeeling and learn to love it. This is just a small list of what I have on hand right now, but these are some of my favorites on hand right now.

    Green:
    Dragonwell (longjing) - standard green to have around.
    Angel - a premium bold green (and comes with a price tag, and tends to come in larger quantities only, but highly acclaimed). I get mine from Vital in SF. The first 3-4 cups are a kick-in-the-gut-cleanliness (strong); the last 3-4 will be delightfully sweet, citrusy, but still provide the unique feeling of cleanliness - I've found no better tea for detox personally.

    White:
    Peony (bai mudan) is a good start - it's what really brought me to good tea.
    Silver needle (bai hao yin zhen) is a must for any tea drinker, IMO. Extremely delicate / fruity with a background of sweetness.
    Snowbud (xue ya) - I keep this on hand because it's economical, delicate and slightly sweet.

    Oolong:
    Monkey Picked (tieguanyin) - my current oolong drinker. Not as bold as many oolongs, but earthy and fantastic.
    Dancong - Very high in oxidation, giving it a grey-black hue and taste that you would probably like.
    Royal Red Robe - (da hong pao) - I suggest this to you as it is very close to a black tea, and being you have nothing but blacks listed, this is certainly up your alley. 80% oxidation gives it a red, vibrant liquor and taste close to that of black. It's literally one of the most oxidized oolongs.

    Black:
    Get some darjeeling of some kind. Each estate will vary a great deal. Find something you like and stick with it. Greys are great, but darjeeling is like the cognac of black tea. I'm currently drinking a estate 2nd summer that is extremely bold, dark and vibrant. Darjeeling have a very finicky lifestyle - while I recommend savoring all your tea, it must be drank as soon as possible (from the brew), as it will bolt randomly after the first minute.


    Of the stuff you list, probably Oolong and Darjeeling is the most accessible in the west, decent longjing and Peony are harder to come by. Haven't really seen any good da hong pao in London so far, though definitely easier to buy more variety of tea in London than NYC.
     
  15. twdawson

    twdawson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    +1 on Mariage Frères ; Marco Polo personally...
     
  16. blahman

    blahman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,559
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    3rd Rock From the Sun
    You do know that Jasmine is no puro, right?

    Yup. Fully aware of that. However it still very much has tea as the blend's major component. The 'teas' that I am completely against are the crap that pretends to be tea but does not contain a single speck of tea leaf in it.

    And don't get me started on sugar and milk. [​IMG]
     
  17. Mandrake9072

    Mandrake9072 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    474
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    And don't get me started on sugar and milk. [​IMG]

    While I generally agree, Chai is an exception. I prefer breakfast blends with some milk too.

    It's all preference, even tho I'm in the agreement of drinking tea as is.
     
  18. nestor

    nestor New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    Is anyone here into pu-erh? I have been seriously drinking tea for about six years and I've never tried this until now... I know why, it's very earthy and tastes like no other tea I've ever had.
     
  19. Alter

    Alter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,539
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    +2 on Mariage Freres. Enjoying Earl Grey Imperial and Veranda at the moment.
     
  20. Cordwinder

    Cordwinder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    487
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    I have tea in the Mariage Freres Tea Salon here in Japan.
    Huge selection of tea, I ended up doing the eyes closed, finger twirling, I'll have this one to where ever my finger lands.

    I get my tea from India to make fpr chai. Don't have the equipment or time to make expensive tea taste good.
     

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