[QUOTE=KotikBegemotik;1001485]My recommendation is that you get an electric kettle and save your money to buy good tea. There's a whole tealeafy world out there. From assertive Assams to delicate Darjeelings, from a dark Keemun to a pale magnolia white, and don't even get me started on oolongs. That's it, i'm off tho make a cuppa.[/QUOTE]
Do i need a filter who can i just put the leaves in the kettle?
[QUOTE=drnemer;1001533]Do i need a filter who can i just put the leaves in the kettle?[/QUOTE]
No, you can't just put the tea leaves in the kettle!!! You'd wreck it very quickly indeed. What you need to buy is a teapot to put the leaves in once you've warmed it, then you fill it with boiling water and leave the tea to brew. You can get several cups of tea out of a decent-sized teapot ([url=http://www.amazon.com/Amsterdam-6-Cup-Teapot-Plum/dp/B002FPYIYW/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1352649538&sr=8-9&keywords=teapot]Amazon.com: Amsterdam 6 Cup Teapot - Plum: Kitchen & Dining[/url]). If you don't like tea leaves in your cup, you can buy a cheap tea-strainer ([url=http://www.amazon.com/Online-Stores-Inc-Empress-Strainer/dp/B002Q710ZY/ref=sr_1_33?ie=UTF8&qid=1352649493&sr=8-33&keywords=tea+strainer]Amazon.com: The Empress Tea Strainer: Kitchen & Dining[/url]). Combined, the cost of these from amazon.com would be about $30, including the cost of a cheap kettle. If you want to keep your tea warm in the pot for a while, you could consider a tea-cosy ([url=http://www.amazon.com/SUPERB-QUALITY-GREEN-LEAF-COTTON/dp/B007IL2NMM/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1352649682&sr=8-16&keywords=tea-cosy]Amazon.com: SUPERB QUALITY GREEN LEAF TEA COSY COZY 100% COTTON: Everything Else[/url]), although I feel that they stew the tea a bit too much and make it bitter.
Try the Art of Tea--their Yun Wu is an organic green tea that is not expensive. I use a teapot with a removable wire basket strainer and an electric kettle to boil the water.
Make sure you let the water cool from the boil when you make green tea--there is a big difference in taste between 170F water (recommended for green tea) and 20-210F (right off the boil). I pour mine into my cup, let it sit for a minute or so, then infuse the leaves.
Buy an electric tea kettle and ask for a nice teapot with strainer for Christmas/New Years/Seasonal Holiday of Choice. I'm sorry I wasn't clear on the necessity of the strainer. You could also get filter bags to fill with loose leaf.
May I recommend a good quality sencha as a tea possibility. The color alone is worthy of a try. And the taste....bliss.
[QUOTE=KotikBegemotik;1001633]Buy an electric tea kettle and ask for a nice teapot with strainer for Christmas/New Years/Seasonal Holiday of Choice. I'm sorry I wasn't clear on the necessity of the strainer. You could also get filter bags to fill with loose leaf.
May I recommend a good quality sencha as a tea possibility. The color alone is worthy of a try. And the taste....bliss.[/QUOTE]
Where do they sell a cheap teapot with a strainer? So many sites seem to have one but do you have a preference?
[QUOTE=drnemer;1001700]Where do they sell a cheap teapot with a strainer? So many sites seem to have one but do you have a preference?[/QUOTE]
If your on a budget, why not check the local second hand shops?
Love tea. Especially the bitter ones and the ones infused with other herbs (mint, rose leaves, citrus leaves...). All natural, of course. Traditionally English gal. :p
My recommendation would be to ask someone to get you a Zojirushi water heater for Christmas. It has different temperature settings for the type of tea you're making. Personally, I love the thing... I always scalded my green tea before I got it and I couldn't figure out why my green tea never tasted any good. XD It can also be used to sterilize baby bottles although it's not marketed for that. It's pricey though, so it would have to be a gift.
Wild Rose and someone else mentioned that the temperature can't be boiling hot for green tea or it will be bitter. I keep a Pyrex glass measuring cup (2-cup capacity) near my kettle. I pour the just-boiled water into the Pyrex, and from there into my mug. I've tested with an instant thermometer, and doing that brings the water immediately down to 170 degrees.
Alternatively, just do what someone else here suggested: Pour the water into your mug, wait a few moments and then add the infuser with the tea leaves. If the mug is not warm (if your room is on the cool side), it will probably accomplish what my Pyrex cup accomplishes in bringing the water temperature down.
There are a couple of 4-star electric kettles on amazon for $20 and $25. That could hold you over while wiating for someone to spring for a Zojirushi. ;)
Another tea lover here! To give you an idea, we've got 3 bricks/cakes of pu-erh, 6 oolongs (high mountain baozhong, award winning baozhong, ali shan, etc.), 2 black (assam and darjeeling), 1 green (kukicha), white peony, and a few herbal teas.
I will concur with the many other posters that said you do not need gadgets to make good tea. Water temperature and steep time are much more important. I like my Breville electric kettle with different water settings. I used my kitchen thermometer to test the settings and found it very accurate. You could always just get a cheap kettle and inexpensive thermometer. After a while, you'll get a feel of water temperature without it. I wanted the Zojirushi until I found out they all have non-stick coatings, plus they're more expensive.
That said, we do have one gadget, the [URL="http://luyutea.com/tea_brewer.html"]Tea Master Automatic Tea Brewer[/URL] (scroll to the middle of the page.) It has a small hole at the bottom of the brewing vessel that brews good tea every time. I slightly prefer brewing in my gaiwan but if i just want some tea while working around the house, it works very well and I never over brew.
You didn't ask but the following places are known to have good quality tea for a wide variety of prices:
The Tao of Tea
Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants
Floating Tea Leaves