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paul
paul Reader
5/30/11 7:12 p.m.

Inspired by the coffee thread...

I've been hooked on PG Tips black tea for the past few years, can't stand the traditional flavorless stuff in the supermarkets.

Thinking of buying loose black tea (possibly other varieties as well), any to consider, or stick to my pre-ground/packaged stuff?

rustyvw
rustyvw HalfDork
5/30/11 7:19 p.m.

I prefer Lipton iced tea blend.

Woody
Woody SuperDork
5/30/11 7:23 p.m.

I just bought PG Tips for the first time last week. It's not bad. I had run out of good stuff and couldn't find anything I liked in the big stores.

I buy loose stuff from Harney and Sons, near Lime Rock. They have lots of good choices and they do mail order.

http://www.harney.com/

Jay
Jay SuperDork
5/30/11 7:42 p.m.

I love tea... For black tea in bags, I like this one:

No idea if you can get it in the US, I buy it in Britain whenever I'm over there.

Pro tip: put a pot of cold water on the stove (1-2 cups), put two teabags in, bring it to boil (watch it or it will boil over), take it off the heat and steep it for 3 minutes, then put it back and bring it to a boil again. It makes it ridiculously strong without becoming bitter. Put a shot of condensed milk in instead of the normal milk. I got that technique from a Hong Konger friend of mine, he says that's how most people make it over there (more or less.)

I have quite a few others around too, the Twinnings Assam tea I have is also good. For loose tea, I have green tea, black tea, Indonesian style ginger tea, and I still have a couple packs of this one (also from Indonesia), which I like a lot:

It comes in little 10x10x10 cm "cubes" like in the pic. It's called Goalpara but it actually comes from Java (I think the tea plants originally came from the Assam region, hence the name) - they make a green tea too (teh hijau) but it's not the same thing. It's really popular in west Sumatera, make it as strong as you want and don't even filter the leaves out. They will sink to the bottom of the cup once it's ready to drink.

Sometimes I have that one with milk, sometimes without. The real Indonesian way to make it is with sugar, which is also good, but I don't generally do that for myself. I'm going to have to find a new source for it soon since my stash is running out...

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade HalfDork
5/30/11 7:45 p.m.

I generally use either Lipton or Diamond, out of Alabama I think. I have to make it by the gallon when I do make it anymore. Sweet Tea doesn't last long.

ransom
ransom Reader
5/30/11 7:46 p.m.

Obviously a matter of taste, but I'm rather fond of Irish Breakfast tea. Haven't had enough of it to have a favorite vendor. I've had good luck with both loose leaf and prepackaged forms.

I'm totally not a tea expert or afficionado.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
5/30/11 7:54 p.m.

I'm working on my second box of Stash Earl Grey. Just starting to get into teas, so I find the timing of this thread to be most fortuitous!

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
5/30/11 8:34 p.m.

I enjoy a cup of Earl Grey in the mornings, I hope to learn more from the insight this thread invokes.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo SuperDork
5/30/11 8:38 p.m.

If I'm making sweet iced tea I use Lipton's. For hot tea I prefer a combo of Peppermint and Cinnamon & Apple Spice. I put one bag of each in a large cup, add hot water and boom, it smells like Christmas.

Woody
Woody SuperDork
5/30/11 8:45 p.m.

I tried to like Earl Grey a few months ago, but it didn't take. Too much orange and spice.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
5/30/11 8:49 p.m.

I love tea, but I've switched to mostly green tea a few years ago because it's a little healthier...

For regular black tea I really like an afternoon earl grey which is lighter than the regular earl grey. As usual with earl grey, either take it with a drop or two of lemon juice or plain - in other words, no milk. One that I really like is Whittard's Afternoon Earl Grey, but AFAIK you can't get that in US (although I haven't asked them re mail order. Fortunately one of my colleagues was nice enough to get me a few packs of that the last time he was in the UK. They also have a very nice Lapsang Souchong for those who like it; IMO it's again a little more flavourful and less kick-in-the-teeth strong compared to a normal Lapsang Souchong. Either way you have to like the smokey flavour.

For green tea, my favourite one is the Jasmine Pearl White Dragon that I found in a small tea shop in Silicon Valley some years ago and have been buying and drinking ever since. And yes, it's a bit HFM? but keep in mind that if you brew green tea properly you can use it a couple of times and just add a few pearls each time.

For the regular office tea I tend to get some Goodearth green tea, either the Lemongrass one or the Jasmine one; IMO the Lemongrass one is the better of the two, but then again I have yet to find a good Jasmine tea in teabags.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
5/30/11 8:53 p.m.
Woody wrote: I tried to like Earl Grey a few months ago, but it didn't take. Too much orange and spice.

That doesn't sound quite right TBH, a regular Earl Grey doesn't really have much spice in it, let alone orange. Trouble is that at the cheaper end you often get "Earl Grey" so strong it'll burn holes in your socks, and that's usually the only use it has.

Lady Grey usually has a bit of lemon peel in it but again it shouldn't be tasting like Christmas, more like something you'd want to drink on a summer afternoon.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy Dork
5/30/11 9:55 p.m.
Jay wrote: Pro tip: put a pot of cold water on the stove (1-2 cups), put two teabags in, bring it to boil (watch it or it will boil over), take it off the heat and steep it for 3 minutes, then put it back and bring it to a boil again. It makes it ridiculously strong without becoming bitter. Put a shot of condensed milk in instead of the normal milk. I got that technique from a Hong Konger friend of mine, he says that's how most people make it over there (more or less.)

I'll have to try this, even though I love a good cup of tea in the morning or before bed, I make terrible tea (my mother on the other hand, makes excellent tea).

Personally, I'm a stickler for Orange Pekoe, I don't like other teas. I don't mind the standards like Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast, but for me regular ol' Orange Pekoe Tetley tea with some milk and sugar is where it is at!

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones Reader
5/30/11 10:03 p.m.

I like long island iced tea. hic.

Taiden
Taiden HalfDork
5/30/11 10:05 p.m.

Anyone have any tips (har har) on a quality tea that is naturally low in caffeine or psychotropic substances?

Gubby
Gubby Reader
5/30/11 10:28 p.m.

I'm lazy...

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
5/30/11 10:53 p.m.

PG Tips FTW. It is what I grew up on and what I stick with.

donalson
donalson SuperDork
5/30/11 10:58 p.m.

after some time outside of london I just love proper tea :)...

twinings tea is what I've found in the US thats good... i'm no expert though... I bought a sampler pack and found I prefer Irish breakfast most of the time... earl grey is OK depending on my mood... I've got both loose and sometimes i'll even mix em.

on ocasion I like some herbal teas... all depends on my mood...

for cold tea though it's the publix brand family decaf... for standard chugging... brewed moderately strong for 4 min (any more and it bitters) with 1 flavored tea bag of choice (raspberry of late... has been mint variety in the past)... a little sugar... (3/4 cups per gallon... I don't do the southern syrup sweet tea)... and she's good to chug... maybe a dash of lemon juice to finish it off.

Wally
Wally SuperDork
5/30/11 11:07 p.m.

I usually just get Lipton, or whatever the deli I'm getting it from has, with a bit of milk.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
5/30/11 11:11 p.m.

We're always asked what we do to our tea to make it taste so well and we have to disappoint the people when we tell them it's Luzianne DECAF that we make in the coffee maker - no coffee has ever been run through this machine.

1 cup of sugar fro a full pot.

Simple, foolproof.

The dedicated tea makers gave us bitter tea, but the coffee pot is just right.

Zomby woof
Zomby woof SuperDork
5/30/11 11:14 p.m.

I drink at least 6 cups of this every day.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver SuperDork
5/30/11 11:18 p.m.

I will have to get a picture and post up my tea stuff tomorrow when I am home. My girlfriend has really gotten me into it and I love loose teas. Yes, I get loose teas from specialty shops. (Tea Cupboard in Cumberland MD, and (insert placeholder) in the Strip District in Pittsburgh PA)

There is definitely more flavor in loose teas from the shops and it does not cost much at all to get into doing.

I tend to stick to black teas with Yinzer black and gold, Blue sky blend, and such being favorites....

Call me what you will, its delicious.

bastomatic
bastomatic Dork
5/30/11 11:26 p.m.
Apexcarver wrote: I will have to get a picture and post up my tea stuff tomorrow when I am home. My girlfriend has really gotten me into it and I love loose teas. Yes, I get loose teas from specialty shops. Call me what you will, its delicious.

I'm there with you. I can drink coffee from Dunkin' or made in a drip pot just fine, but a good loose Green or Oolong tea has ruined me for life on the shaved-tea-in-a-bag that you see in the supermarkets. I still like brewing the bags for iced tea however.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
5/31/11 5:33 a.m.

My local mall got one of these stores, and I made the mistake of having some samples: Teavana Holy crap, is that stuff good. So now I'm rethinking the whole "Lipton bag in a cup of hot water" regimen I've been living. It's kind of like driving VW Golfs for most of your life and then taking a spin in a 911.

townsend7
townsend7 Reader
5/31/11 7:35 a.m.

I'll also jump on the PG Tips bandwagon. I grew up thinking that tea was that nasty, bitter stuff my mom drank. A trip to the UK opened my eyes. I gave up soda, at the house at least, several months ago and only drink iced tea now. I can't always find PG Tips in stores around here so I'm eager to try some of everyone's suggestions.

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