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Tea

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oooh. I've never found Twinings Russian Caravan. I special order loose Caravan from Stash on a regular basis. It's my default tea (2 cups in the morning -- Caravan 4-5 days a week). The other days I have various Twining teas - I love their Earl Grey and Irish Breakfast. Also do Darjeeling, Prince of Wales (the current Twinings tea in my canister), English Breakfast depending what I find at the store.

Got a sample pack of white teas with last Stash shipment that my wife has been working through. She was fond of the white peppermint tea.

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Great thread! I love tea and have been a tea drinker for as long as I can remember.

I used to use the infuser method, like Alan, but I have become lazy and impatient and, thus, I am now mostly a tea bag user. I do have a teapot and integrated press that I can use to make two cups of loose leaf tea.

I really like Typhoo Tea. It is a stronger breakfast tea from England, which I usually have to buy at an import store since Marshall Field

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In the hot beverage arena, I'm mainly a coffee man, but there are many times when tea is the only way to go. I grew up with the good old Lipton orange pekoe, and quite often that's what I want when I want tea.

However, we don't have it around the house much for no reason I can think of. I usually go for an English/Irish Breakfast. My wife is a nut for Earl Grey, so we have like 2 lbs of it.

Twinings is usually good, but we found a bulk wholesaler who usually ships to coffee shops; through a special contact we get it from him. It's good stuff, but I can't tell you what brand it may be as it comes to us in large plain plastic bags.

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I am not a Stash drinker because those teas taste a little flowery to me, like I am drinking lavender. I like Earl Grey (Twinings and Trader Joe's), Irish Breakfast (Trader Joe's), and English breakfast (Twinings).

I'm picky about Earl Grey -- it seems to vary a great deal between manufactures. Twinings is the Earl I like. Stash's Earl is indeed too floral. TJ's is acceptable. I've had a smokey version of it at some point, which I liked, but don't think of it as Earl Grey.

BTW, tea is one of the 6 beverages used to trace the history of the world in The History of the World in 6 Glasses. Very nice book.

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Used to be that when I drank hot tea, everyone would know I was sick. Now, I can hardly get enough of it.

I started with the Tazo tea that was sold in our company's convenience store. I loved the Refresh, which is mint tea, and the Calm, which is camomile. I then decided to try Stash tea. I'm never going back to another brand again.

I love, love, love Stash's Peppermint tea. And Licorice Spice. And the herbals. I haven't gotten farther than that, but I plan on trying every non-black tea they offer (I still can't stand black tea--Earl Grey is not for me).

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I forgot to mention, I'm next going to try Stash's Chai sampler. Yum. :)

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I love a good genmaicha.

I am also lately into rooibos - a friend who has spent time in Africa says that it's just cheap-arse bush tea that is everywhere in Africa, but when I'm ready for something in the afternoons or before bed that is caffeine-free, I prefer a nice vanilla rooibos over an herbal tea. I'm not into fruit-flavored teas and not so much the mint anymore, either. I don't really like decaf versions of black teas so the rooibos is a really nice alternative for me.

I am on a quest for the perfect ginger tea. It should be gingery enough to burn the throat a little, hopefully with black pepper, and no lemon or other citrus overtones.

Recently I ordered some chais and rooibos and mate from this place: http://www.culinaryteas.com/. The prices are good and the quality seems good, too, though I'm far from an expert.

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Infusers. We had a sphereical, wire one that was decent. Currently, we have a nice little teapot shaped infuser, which never gets used because the design doesn't make sense for any practical purposes. My sister-in-law brought me a cermic teapot and strainer (I refuse to call it a "tea set") from Korea. I plan one using it one of these days.

Thanks for the tip Alan. Although, if an infuser doesn't leak tea leaves what does your fortune teller read when you have finished your tea.

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Can't stand ginger. Even as a kid I hated gingerbread. And Lipton's was the whole reason I hated tea. :P

As for herbal--no, they really aren't "tea". But then, since I don't care for traditional tea, herbal works for me.

I would like to try white tea, though; it sounds intriguing.

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For infusing I use tea sacs which is then easy to toss the whole thing into my compost bin. Basically an empty teabag that you fill with your loose tea.

As to Lipton (well, orange pekoe in general) I'll usually do without. When traveling I often take my tea with me.

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English Breakfast is the all-time favorite. But I like a good Earl Grey, Rooibos, Lychee Congou or Lapsang Souchong.

We get up to Victoria once a year or so, and always hit Murchie's for the best tea you can get anywhere.

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I really like Typhoo Tea...

Don't mean this to sound the wrong way, but this sounds like a thread by tea-drinking Americans. I seldom see people drinking anything other than PG Tips, Tetley's, or Typhoo over here. We used to be Upton Tea Imports people that would snuffle through the occasional box of Red Rose snuck across the border by Canadians. After moving over here we simply took the hint from the Scots and started drinking Typhoo or PG Tips as often as possible. I do drink rooibos every now and again, and the wife is a big fan of Celestial Seasonings "Bengal Spice." Is anyone here a fan of the Japanese barley teas? Well worth sampling if you ever get the chance, but I can never seem to find them anywhere.

Typhoo makes an excellent decaf, my tipple of choice. I am sure we will be bringing about two suitcases back with us when we leave.

OK, then the OTHER tea: ICED tea.

Is Lipton acceptable for that?

Absolutely. I sure miss Iced Tea.

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I used to drink a lot of Darjeeling and Earl Grey, but gradually green tea has taken over my tea-drinking habit to the point where I now drink nothing else except out of necessity.

Far and away the world's best green tea, as far as I can tell, is [Maeda!] Sen-Cha traditional Japanese green tea. It's so much more aromatic and flavorful than other green teas that it hardly seems like the same stuff; yet it's so mild that I can drink it all day long (my mug is never empty) without bothering my stomach (even when I happen to be fasting, which makes me too sensitive for other teas, at least in quantity).

In a pinch, Salada green tea will do, and Celestial Seasonings green tea isn't bad. But I can't live long without my Sen-Cha.

Edited by SDG

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Sen-Cha is just Japanese for "green tea." I just call it that because that's how Maeda labels their traditional blend; they don't work hard to create a brand identity!

I've tried a number of Japanese green teas, and some are very nice, but I've never found any that comes close to Maeda. I don't know what they do, but I can tell just from the aroma.

I have to admit I have no idea about the yayoi and aoba varieties.

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There is also the experience of doing tea. Finding a good tea (as in the semi-meal, not the drink itself) can be a true pleasure. Favorite place around here is the McCharles House in Tustin (in the OC). The tea there was better than the Ritz Carlton down the coast a bit. Bouchard Garden also had a pretty good tea, but McCharles is still my favorite. If we go to tea, we usually go late and it serves as our evening meal.

One of the good things at McCharles House is that among the sandwiches there are some that they call "Prince of Wales" which has cream cheese and chocolate chips. Any place that has chocolate chip sandwiches is ok by me.

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I really like Typhoo Tea...

Don't mean this to sound the wrong way, but this sounds like a thread by tea-drinking Americans.

That sounds about right.

I seldom see people drinking anything other than PG Tips, Tetley's, or Typhoo over here.

I am placing my order to restock my Typhoo tonight! I was actually introduced to this tea by a Scottish friend about 20 years ago and have been drinking it ever since.

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Where do you get Typhoo? We were basically planning to ship five years worth of tea, digestive biscuits, and various M&S biscuits back.

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Where do you get Typhoo? We were basically planning to ship five years worth of tea, digestive biscuits, and various M&S biscuits back.

I used to get it at an Irish Import Store in the city or Marshall Field's until the Irish shop opened up in our little downtown area. That shop closed its doors this fall, however their main store is about 30 minutes+ away. As of my last post I have found a few places online I may try purchasing from.

Edited by Thom(asher)

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Thanks to those who have made the white tea suggestions and thus encouraging me to pick some up. While Christmas shopping I came across a tin of Bentley white tea and tossed it into the cart. That evening I put on the kettle and had a cup. I was immediately hooked and have had a cup every night since.

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Faves:

Lipton Chai (Yes, Lipton! I've tried a bunch, bagged and concentrated, and the only better chai I've had was home made by a girl from Inida.)

Jasmine, loose leaf

Mate (sweetened with stevia)

Traditional Medicinals Peppermint and Throat Coat

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Like tctruffin, I'm mainly a coffee man. But I do a bit of tea, too. Favourites include:

Republic of Tea Daily Green

any decent jasmine green, usually Choice Organic (bags) and Peet's (loose)

a good oolong when I can find one that doesn't break the bank

Twinings is the prefered Darjeeling

an occasional Irish Breakfast/black

lots of Republic of Tea Cinnamon Cardamom (best decaf option!)

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Hi all! Just started on the boards this week, but i'm sure you all won't be opposed to me tossing in some more tea ideas for you :)

If anyone has been wanting to try out a variety of different tea and for a pretty low cost I would recommend the site www.adagio.com.

I have been using them for awhile and find that it is very enjoyable to just order a few random sampler tins for $2 a pop. They also offer different infuser packages (also where I bought mine from).

If you are reluctant to try out any herbal tea, just go to the site and get any of the fruit herbal samplers. I, and the many people I've had try it, have become addicted to 'Raspberry Patch' and a few other of the herbal tea (though personally my favorite is the Jasmine oolong tea).

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I always add cream to my coffee, but not so often to my tea.

I'll probably skip cream in my tea from now on:

Because milk cancels out a major health benefit from tea.

I wonder if adding cream to coffee has a similar effect. Hmmmm...

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I'm late to this thread so a few comments vaguely replying to various bits.

when to give tea to kids: I was drinking it from birth I imagine. When I hit 20 cups a day I knew it was time to ease off...

Earl Grey: Twinings is the one everyone else tries - and fails - to live up to.

Darjeeling: No better tea. Not for nothing is it called the champagne of teas. There is an unmatched subtlety to it. Twinings good but some direct importers are better.

Brit-teas (Typhoo, PG Tips, et al): The strong, consistent blend (usually from leaf-tips) is a British classic, but these teas are a little ... coarse? uncouth? unrefined? though to be fair most people make a pig's ear of brewing a good cup of tea (there is a deeply disturbing and growing disdain for tea pots in the UK; loose-leaf is already the domain of the connoisseur/tea snob). There are much better blends in the same genre, i would suggest. Taylors of Harrogate have a cracking strong blend called Yorkshire Tea. If you have sufficiently soft water Glengetty is a superb tea, but in a hard water area like ours it's a disaster.

There has been no mention on this thread of the ethical side to teas. The majority of tea-farmers are paid a pittance. I met one in Argentina 14 or 15 years ago who was paid a few cents per kilo when British high street prices were the equivalent of a three or four dollars per kilo. The increase in Fair Trade teas is a very positive development. Sadly Twinings are not doing well with it yet so I almost never buy their teas now. Our day-to-day blend is TeaDirect and occasionally Clipper (whose range is expanding so likely to be using more of their products).

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