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Primal guide to tea...

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  • #31
    Yeah, thereabouts to under fifty cents per cup sounds right.

    Speaking of constant stimulation of the taste buds, I was at a Sheetz gas station tonight. Investigating the drinks section, I thought I'd seek out some Unsweetened tea of some description. Bottled tea is...not very flavorful...but I wasn't in the mood for water. There existed absolutely no unsweetened teas in that place. My choices were Diet (Aspartame or Sucralose, my choice), Sweet, Extra Sweet (!?), Peach and Raspberry.

    M.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post
      Yeah, thereabouts to under fifty cents per cup sounds right.

      Speaking of constant stimulation of the taste buds, I was at a Sheetz gas station tonight. Investigating the drinks section, I thought I'd seek out some Unsweetened tea of some description. Bottled tea is...not very flavorful...but I wasn't in the mood for water. There existed absolutely no unsweetened teas in that place. My choices were Diet (Aspartame or Sucralose, my choice), Sweet, Extra Sweet (!?), Peach and Raspberry.

      M.
      Yep, that's America for ya. *shrugs*
      "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

      Comment


      • #33
        Hurrah!

        Just got some wonderful Lu'an Gua Pian green tea leaves and some Tung-Ting oolong leaves which are fresh from China's new spring harvest of tea this year.
        "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

        Comment


        • #34
          Oh, awesome. Going to be getting some of that myself...

          M.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post
            Oh, awesome. Going to be getting some of that myself...

            M.
            Good, good!

            Got anything specific in mind?
            "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

            Comment


            • #36
              Not just yet. Got myself some more sencha and some kukicha in the mail the other day, though.

              M.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post
                Not just yet. Got myself some more sencha and some kukicha in the mail the other day, though.

                M.
                Oh, very nice. I aim to get some GREAT tea when I head up to see my sister's doctoral graduation next week. It turns out one of the most famous tea shops in the country is located in her college town, she just told me a day or so ago.
                "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                Comment


                • #38
                  Spent the afternoon sipping tea and reading about the life of Thomas Jefferson at my favorite local Chinese tea shop this afternoon. What an awesome way to recover from this morning's extremely hard workout.
                  "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Drumroll View Post
                    Oh, very nice. I aim to get some GREAT tea when I head up to see my sister's doctoral graduation next week. It turns out one of the most famous tea shops in the country is located in her college town, she just told me a day or so ago.
                    Very nice; I wish I had good tea shops near me. I am trying to gather some data to entice some local tea sellers into a better brand, though.

                    Since landing myself an office job around this time last year (an upgrade from retail ) I can consider doing good tea at my desk. It started with locally purchased Yamotoyama brand Houjicha and Heime brand Genmai Cha brewed using a tea ball and a mug, then progressed to thermos-packed tea infused at home, supplemented with these compressed pu-er squares I could also use in a tea-ball.

                    Today I have brought my sencha and my spare kyusu to the office as a part of taking it further. I'll be microwaving water and using a mug still, but eventually I'll get myself a decent electric kettle and some infuser mugs.

                    M.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post
                      Very nice; I wish I had good tea shops near me. I am trying to gather some data to entice some local tea sellers into a better brand, though.

                      Since landing myself an office job around this time last year (an upgrade from retail ) I can consider doing good tea at my desk. It started with locally purchased Yamotoyama brand Houjicha and Heime brand Genmai Cha brewed using a tea ball and a mug, then progressed to thermos-packed tea infused at home, supplemented with these compressed pu-er squares I could also use in a tea-ball.

                      Today I have brought my sencha and my spare kyusu to the office as a part of taking it further. I'll be microwaving water and using a mug still, but eventually I'll get myself a decent electric kettle and some infuser mugs.

                      M.
                      The problem with microwaving water is that it is a very inaccurate method for getting the desired water temperature needed for your particular tea. Unfortunately. And it often makes the water taste "flat" as well.

                      I might more recommend an electric tea kettle. You can get one with actual temperature controls or you can simply get a "plug and boil" model. If you get the latter, let it hit a boil and then cool to your desired temperature.

                      This is recommended because Japanese greens are more fussy with their temperature range and need better quality water than most teas. The Japanese teas are picky like that in order to get the full taste.
                      "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        It's usually advisable to boil water and then cool it down to the desired level, rather than trying to get it to a certain temperature. It'll evaporate some dissolved gasses and other things I don't quite remember.

                        Japanese greens are still rather new to me, as far as greens go. Their steaming method of processing seems to result in a much more delicate leaf, but calls for temps in the mid-to-upper range of what I've seen called for in Chinese greens (~80-85 degrees).

                        M.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post
                          It's usually advisable to boil water and then cool it down to the desired level, rather than trying to get it to a certain temperature. It'll evaporate some dissolved gasses and other things I don't quite remember.

                          Japanese greens are still rather new to me, as far as greens go. Their steaming method of processing seems to result in a much more delicate leaf, but calls for temps in the mid-to-upper range of what I've seen called for in Chinese greens (~80-85 degrees).

                          M.
                          Sencha gets 165-175 degrees (so about 80 degrees C MAX) depending on the variety, brand, and steaming method used. Good gyuokuro is made at temperatures as low as 140 and MAX 160 so WAY cooler than sencha. Only things like the roasted houjicha and twig teas get warmer temperatures than sencha really. Yes, the leaves are delicate.

                          Also, you can boil out the gasses, sure, but you concentrate the non-gas minerals when you boil the water which can make it taste more metallic. The Chinese traditionally describe as many as five different "boils" of water and don't even use the term "final boil" for a full rolling boil. They use it to describe what they also call "turbulent waters" which is about 200 degrees (95 C?). My Chinese friend told me they NEVER boil the water past this point. It concentrates minerals ans makes the water too "hard" (minerally) which prevents antioxidants from steeping into the water and effects the twas flavor by making it slightly metallic.
                          "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Do you have any literature on these different "boils"? I'm going to have to read into those. I've heard things similar (using terms like fish-eyes, crab-eyes to describe the sort of bubbles in water when it reaches temperatures as it approaches boiling). You have to boil water for a good length of time to really lose a considerable volume, though, in order to concentrate it so much.

                            Now as to the Sencha, I am kind of new to them. Chinese greens I have seem to be told to me as optimal between 75 and 85, depending on the various factors. Wild Yunwu types seem to be good at any place along that spectrum, though on the lower end you'd want slightly more leaf and on the upper end slightly less.

                            According to this package I have here in front of me (my first sencha):

                            Den's Preferred Brewing: 3oz @ 180F, 2g of leaves, 60 second steep. (Second cup has a boiling water request and 15s steep).

                            To put those in real numbers, it comes to 1g of leaves for every 45ml of water, which is actually pretty close to "tasting standards" suggested to me, at 1g per 50ml. 180F comes to 83C. I brew this in a 250ml kyusu, so that's 5.5g of leaves per "pot", which I can get about three infusions from.

                            That said, there are people telling me to jump it up to 1g per ounce, or about 8g per "pot" in this case.

                            It's not that I am disagreeing with you - in fact, we are in accord. I have no idea just how this sencha was prepared.

                            Houjicha is best boiled for sure. Genmai also often seems to call for boiling temperatures, as does cheap Jasmine tea. I think this is because the base they're using is low quality, and the boiling water pulls more out of the additives to disguise it.

                            M.

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                            • #44
                              I was in E. Lansing, MI over the weekend and was pleased to find a tea shop with about 7 varieties of organic green tea for the infusion. I had to coach them to cool down the water (they have one of those spouts that's probably close to 200F), but had a very nice Dragon Well. Otherwise it would have been Tazo's "china green tips" from Starbuck's, which is as good as you can get in a bag, I think. I've been enjoying the organic Yun Wu from ArtOfTea.com lately--great price for a very nice green tea. Thanks for the info, Drumroll--when does the book come out? ;-)

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                              • #45
                                Tazo's China Green Tips was my first "full leaf" green tea. Gram for gram, though, it's pretty expensive. Kept the tin - rather pretty.

                                M.

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