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Old 09-24-2012, 06:04 AM   #21316
orlok
Getting back into it
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Black coffee, no sugar. Too wet here to do anything except stay indoors in the warm .
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:17 AM   #21317
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Coke Zero #2.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:32 AM   #21318
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Nothing. I don't even have an cup.
How very sad.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:35 AM   #21319
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How very sad.
He doesn't have a good nickname either. I suggested several, but he didn't like any of them.

Still Coke Zero #2 in my cup.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:37 PM   #21320
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So I asked a few months back, but I really want to get into tea. I have some bagged stuff sitting in my desk drawer, but it really doesn't do it for me. So, what do I need to get on my way? I live in Florida, so I might have to buy stuff online, but that's OK. We have a Keurig at home, but no tea kettle. Do I need one? What kind of cup/mug is best? I seem to recall a double walled something or other. Where is astra when you really need him?
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:55 PM   #21321
icantbebothered
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Still nothing in my cup.

P.S pdurrant's nickname is Gerald.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #21322
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So, it doesn't take a whole lot to get started. I'd suggest small sizes of a black, an oolong, and a green tea. (Check out online sources. Many will have a "sampler" pack that features small sizes of several of their customer favourites. Peet's, for example, has 6 different samplers, ranging from $12.95 to $45.95, with the $12.95 ones being the more interesting. )

Brewing: Any old mug or tea pot will do, and you can simply let the leaves sit in the bottom, or filter them out with a simple strainer. But give the leaves room to swim a bit! Nothing fancy required. Do pre-heat it to the temperature you're going to brew at, however. Once you decide you're serious, then you can think about spending for a good pot. I'm very partial to the cast iron ones, but they are expensive.

Water: Good water is a must. Up here, we don't have great water, so I used filtered water from a separate tap. (Refrigerator filters are pretty good at removing impurities without removing all flavour.)

Temperature. Yeah, it matters, perhaps more than anything else you can do. General rules: Black teas should be made with water at 205 F. or above, Oolongs are happy at 180-195, and Green teas from about 170-185. There are huge exceptions, of course. Keemun (a black tea from China) is comfortable down to ~195, and some China greens can handle up to 195 F. First flush Darjeelings (and India Black) do not like boiling water, I find 195 F. is a good temperature for them, but others suggest 180-185 F. Generic Darjeeling, as well as 2nd Flush Darjeeling, prefer 205 F. and above.

Some teas are flavoured. "Jasmine" anything. Earl Grey. Others. These have added flavourings which may or may not please. Personally, I have moved away from them, though I started out liking some of them. Other teas have a smokiness that comes from the curing process - Lapsang Souchong, for example.

Blends are a merchant's attempt to make something better out of several somethings less. Some work, some do not. I love my current Anniversary Breakfast Blend, and my wife loves Peet's Pride of Port. But mostly, I prefer single teas, where the full flavour of the specific region, handling methods, picking time, and processing come through to a final product that is unique to the tea.

So, have fun, be bold, and report back. Don't be afraid to say that something didn't work for you. Goodness knows we all have our preferences! I'm quite partial to Darjeelings, both first and second flush. Others here disdain them. I like China Greens, ProfCrash much prefers Japanese Greens. (But if you get a Japanese Green, make sure you keep the temperature down. 170 or 175 is about right. Too hot and the tea turns seriously grassy.)
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:14 PM   #21323
CRussel
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Oh, and a second steeping of Anniversary Breakfast Blend in my cup.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:27 PM   #21324
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A Coke Slurpee.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:00 PM   #21325
dreams
It's about the umbrella
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Got mine on sale at the Disney Store in Nashville. Was $7 I think.
A friend brought mine back from Disneyland because I like purple. But, I need to check out the Tigger one.
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Beer earlier. I go back to work tomorrow.

I am bummed.
Aw, it is always super hard to have to go back to work. I wish you the best in getting use to this new schedule of work and parenthood.

Coffee in my cup.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:12 PM   #21326
ProfCrash
Tea Enthusiast
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Lucas is napping on my chest. The dogs are excited to be outside. I am sitting in my jeans. All is right with. The world.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:17 PM   #21327
Quake1028
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snip
Thanks! Any suggestions for work brewing methods, since that's where I spend so much of my time?
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:43 PM   #21328
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Depends on your work, and what's available. Some places have instant, on demand, hot water dispensers for tea. The ones at Microsoft seem to be about 205 degrees, though I don't carry a thermometer with me. But if that's not an available option, try using good water and nuking it in the microwave until it comes to a boil. Then let cool down sufficiently to get to your brewing temp. (Bring an instant read thermometer with you for a while, until you get the method and timings down to a routine.) If you don't have a tea pot available at work, you can always use a "two mug" method - brew in one, and pour out to a second. Or, with a single mug, the leaves will settle to the bottom anyway and be there for the next steeping. (Good, whole leaf tea can usually be steeped multiple times. )

I found a great gold plated filter that has enough room to let the leaves swim. "Swiss Gold" was the brand, if I remember correctly. I've got a couple of them, and use them to make tea in my 14 oz. mug. A heavy weight, stoneware mug is a good tea brewing and drinking vessel. It holds the heat well, and only slowly cools off. (I use Peet's "Logo Dinner Mug". I have one in Aubergine, and one in Teal. Wish I could get more of the darker Aubergine, but that's just me being colour fussy.)
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:01 PM   #21329
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You can also buy teabags. They are inexpensive and work well.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:49 PM   #21330
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<shudder> OK. I admit, tea bags can be acceptable. Within limits. Though finding good tea bags is much harder than finding decent loose tea. Certainly much of what is in your typical supermarket is not what I would wish. OTOH, most of the online retailers have their own brand of tea bags that include real leaves, not dust, in them. As well, there are tea bags you make yourself, from your own loose leaf tea.
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