The Tea thread

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by BlueRidge, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,395
    ITA. My very first afternoon tea was at the Brown's hotel in London. Set a nice standard but the Palace Hotel in San Francisco keeps it up nicely. I am constantly looking for excuses to invite a few gal pals for tea. Guys I know generally roll their eyes at this. Their loss, more for me! :D
  2. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,395
    I used to be hypersensitive to caffeine and if I had a few cups of black tea in the afternoon, I was guaranteed a sleepless night. Now it seems, I have a bit more tolerance.

    As far as avoidance, it depends on how it makes you feel and as long as you don't drink a lot and every day. Everything in moderation. Does it make you feel jittery? Or just gives you a nice boost of energy? Also, I saw a study that depending on your genetic makeup, caffeine can either be your friend or your foe in terms of cardiovascular health. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing one way or another unless you have the genetic test performed. Doubt it's standard of care at the moment, although I think it should be. Could be a great money saver since there many people drinking caffeine and working their way into heart disease. Could be me for all I know.
  3. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,903
    Forgot to say ... I wish I could like the taste of matcha! It's so good for you, but to me it tastes like dirty grass. I'll add some if I'm making a smoothie, but I don't make smoothies that often. The only other way I've found to make it palatable is to add so much sweetener and other stuff that it kind of defeats the purpose!
  4. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,469
    Sorry to hear that, but glad you have the happy memories :) Tea can be something for generations, no? Like professordeb mentioned above in her family?

    As kid I read a lot of English school stories, then later Agatha Christie and other novels, and watched all the British series on PBS with my mom. I was obsessed even then with the idea of Afternoon Tea, and I remember a happy two weeks at the family cottage with my mom, sister and our schoolfriends where we made a new cake every afternoon to have with our tea :) When I finally got to have actual Afternoon Tea with all the trimmings, I found heaven.

    Also barbk missed your post earlier - I think Lady Londonderry is a known blend, but I get mine at a local tea purveyor that sells Metropolitan Teas (Canadian tea supplier). I think if you search around you might be able to find another supplier in the US for mail order.
  5. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,469
    Haven't been to either - would LOVE to do Brown's! - but I always try to have a fancy hotel tea wherever I travel, and have sought out tea rooms wherever I've lived and traveled. There was a simply fabulous tea shop in the neighbourhood where we used to live that sadly closed after about 5 years. The owner did everything right, and before she closed shared her secrets with me - turns out her scones and several sandwiches were from Taking Tea at the Savoy, which I already owned! I've made the scones successfully, but somehow the sandwiches just aren't the same, so I'm continuing to work on that. As anyone in the various FSU food threads knows, I am a collector of cookbooks, and have a shelf devoted to books on tea :)

    Anyway, the best Afternoon Tea within reach of most of us that I can very highly recommend is The Pierre in NY. Unlike many hotels that shove guests through in shifts with dry little scones and sandwiches that have seen too much fridge time, The Pierre is completely fresh, and VERY generous with the sandwiches and sweets, in a lovely setting right across from Central Park.

    As for excuses to go, I think most of my Afternoon Teas have been on my own - I bring a good book, ask for a cosy corner or window seat, and indulge.
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    11,967
    Since you're a fan of the fruity tea I just bought this Republic of Tea Pomegranate Green that might appeal to you.
  7. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    167
    Thanks. I have a few pomegranate green teas that I like, but I prefer fruity green teas iced rather than hot. For some reason, they're just too sweet when hot. So I guess I'm looking for non fruity green teas?
  8. Kruss

    Kruss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2001
    Messages:
    2,117
    I love tea as well. I'm a Twinings fan, and love many of their flavors. Years ago, a co-worker turned me on to Black Current tea - it's wonderful! If you've never had it, it's a black tea with fruit, a very nice combo. I'm a decaf drinker as well, so I was glad to find many of the teas I like in decaf versions online.

    Mostly I make it from a bag for convenience sake, but nothing beats a lovely weekend morning with tea the proper way - tea pot, tea cups/saucers (bought a nice set on ebay), loose leaf tea, strainers, and lumps of sugar with milk. Wonderful!
  9. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,903
    ^ Hardly radical, but jasmine green tea is a combo I quite like. The jasmine adds a slight sweetness, but not as much as fruit. They're not all created equal of course -- I think the last box I bought that was good was a Canadian brand so no good to you.
  10. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,469
    Sounds heavenly! I'm an early riser, so as I sit here at my desk I'm dreaming of the day when it will finally be warm enough to take a nice big mug of tea out to the snow covered deck chair I can see out my window and enjoy that quiet time before the world wakes up.

    I love Twinings jasmine tea - I buy it loose, in the pretty purple tin. I love the smell of it while I wait for it to cool down enough to drink.
  11. Reuven

    Reuven Official FSU Alte Kacher

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    12,144
  12. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,448
    I'm primarily a coffee drinker, but I love tea also. My favorite tea is English Breakfast, with about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar but no milk. I also drink black tea unsweetened but prefer it sweetened, but always drink hot green tea unsweetened. I drink decaf tea when I can get it (also decaf coffee whenever I have the choice.)

    Dunkin' Donuts has very good iced tea and also hot vanilla chai. My favorite bottled cold tea is Lipton Green Tea with Honey. I love Turkey Hill diet green tea and Arizona's Arnold Palmer zero. I prefer real sugar in hot tea but like the diet iced teas. I used to love Celestial Seasonings Iced Delight tea bags but these seem to have been discontinued. That was so refreshing all by iteself - no sweetener needed.

    I've used a number of throat teas and breathe-easy teas, especially Yogi Tea brand. Those are great for when I have a cold or other congestion. Chai is also very good for that.

    Something else I love that I don't think anyone else has mentioned - Green Tea Ice Cream! A few of my favorite local Asian restaurants offer that.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  13. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    167
    I do like jasmine green tea. I think I have Twinings right now. That's going to be my afternoon/early evening tea while working late tonight.
  14. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,469
    Another great way to drink tea - with booze :)

    This is a fabulous cocktail by one of NY's top cocktail masters - I've had (um, many) at the Pegu Club, and also made it at home (this is what we drank the evening of Kate and William's wedding!) - ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Earl Grey Martini.
  15. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,868
    In north Alabama, the height of tea culture is sickeningly sweet iced tea. Some things are slow to arrive here, thankfully we at least have yoga or I would be mad as a hatter.

    My current favourite is Rishi organic jasmine pearl green tea, prepared in a ceramic teapot with a strainer for the tea balls. I drink it hot in the winter, then over ice in the summer.

    No milk, lemon, or sweetener with green tea. With black or white tea, I use a small spoonful of xylitol sweetener or truvia.

    Great thread, btw. I've written down a lot of suggestions and have quite a cart going at amazon.com. :swoon:
  16. Sofia Alexandra

    Sofia Alexandra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    5,722
    My favourite tea right now is a loose black tea flavoured with apple and ginger, from Indiska. I drink it from a bigass mug (this one), infused in an adorable little tea robot. :) I also like Twinings Voyage Indian Chai, as well as their "Söder Te", which I think is called "Tastes of Summer" abroad. It's flavoured with strawberry, orange peel, rose petals, elderberry, elderflowers, marigold petals, and some vanilla, and it's lovely. I have those in regular bags, though. I can't always be bothered with loose leaves. :shuffle:

    Also, I have two teapots, one big and one small (both from Indiska), and I rarely use them - but I still think I need this one, too. :swoon:
  17. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,903
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  18. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    25,023
  19. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,145
    Okay, my favorites list at the The Tea Table consits of:

    1. Bourbon Sunday Blend, which is like dessert in a cup, seriously, particularly sweetened with milk. From TTT: "a black tea blend of tippy Assam teas combined with real Bourbon vanilla pieces, giving it a wonderfully sweet aroma." I used to drink it as a treat on weekends, and stick with my Earl Grey on weekdays. Speaking of which...

    2. Earl Grey Cream. "This blend combines the finest black tea along with Earl Grey's signature bergamot flavor. It also boasts a smooth creaminess with vanilla overtones for a special experience in tea flavor."

    3. Masala Chai, my winter favorite that I may have already linked to earlier, I can't remember. As soon as the first snow fell in Michigan I'd be drinking Masala Chai with a goood book.

    4. Bingo Blueberry, a caffeine-free delicious fruit blend I mostly drank in the summer.

    5. Natural Peppermint, my year-round go-to tea. I never get sick of peppermint tea, ever.

    6. Apple Cinnamon Tea, my favorite herbal tea in the wintertime, spicy but caffeine-free so I would drink it when it was too late in the afternoon or evening to have another cup of Masala Chai!

    7. Casablanca, the best-selling herbal tea on the site. It's not my favorite, incidentally, but it was the tea I would sometimes make when I'd stuck to a routine for a while and wanted something different. "Contains dried apple pieces, hibiscus, rose hip peels, elderberries, raspberry, strawberry, kiwi, and passion fruit pieces, sunflower, cornflower, and rose petals, and natural flavors."

    8. Chamomile Mint tea. I adore this chamomile blend so much. It was always my favorite before-bed tea. The only reason I don't drink it as regularly as I like is that there is some herb in it that tends to stick to the sides of whatever infuser or brew basket I am using and is hard to get off :( But it's so delicious sometimes I make it anyway and put up with the scrubbing and any residue that sticks. What I need to get is a separate infuser just for this tea, lol.

    Yeah, so those are all my favorite. I miss all of these so much. I brought a selection of the earl grey, peppermint, and the almond tea from the ann arbor tea haus with me but I ran out long ago.
  20. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,270
    Wow, you all are inspiring me to try different kinds of teas!

    Been a tea drinker since I guess middle/high school and becoming kind of an Anglophile through reading. My usual daily 2-3 cups are some sort of black tea. Lipton if I get desperate; PG Tips or Yukon Gold are definitely better; Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast when I have it in stock (only get to TJ's every few months, as it's a 1.5 hr drive). I do have some loose tea--hubby gave me some excellent Yunnan Gold and Valentine Tea a couple of years back from Adagio. I generally prefer strong teas.

    I'll try whatever is the house blend at various Asian restaurants, always, but never remember what they're called. I drink some herbal tea, too--Celestial Seasonings is easy to come by (they used to have something called Citrus C or something like that that was FAB--fruity and strong but not too sweet--but I don't think they carry it any more). Green tea scared me for a while because I read somewhere that it increased your fertility, maybe, and I did NOT want to get pregnant again!! :lol:
  21. Kruss

    Kruss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2001
    Messages:
    2,117
    This is my tea set, minus the dessert plates. :)
  22. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,395
    Lady Violet would approve. :D
  23. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,967
    I think it was demonized for a while and so people thought it wasn't healthy. Too much can cause problems but caffeine in moderation actually has health benefits. It can also prevent headaches so I try to have one of my daily cups of tea be one with caffeine. But I drink so much tea that I can't have them all have caffeine as 40-48 oz of caffeinated beverage a day is not moderation. :lol:
  24. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Messages:
    673
    That's true... :lol:

    Have you tried their straight teas? I tried the organic green tea, and didn't really like it. Now I'm a little afraid to try their other organic teas :shuffle:
  25. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Messages:
    11,799
    Love most black teas as long as they are spiced flavored, and not fruity or flowery flavored (which is weird, since I also like straight up chamomille tea). My favorite is classic Earl Gray with a touch of milk and about half a spoon of brown sugar...decadent!! But I also like Lady Gray, Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, Darjeeling, etc...
  26. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    25,023
    I love to skim through the reviews on Teaviews for reviews of different teas and tea vendors. I don't necessarily agree with the reviews because it's ultimately a matter of taste and I know people's tastes vary, but the descriptions are interesting.
  27. skategal

    skategal Bunny slave

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,707
    I'm another tea fan. Grew up drinking Tetley. I love a good strong english/irish black breakfast tea.

    Also love Twinnings English Afternoon tea. YUMMY!

    The French Breakfast tea by Mariage Freres is one of the best teas I've ever had in my life.

    I found it at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill, NC. But if I ever get back to Paris, I am definitely going to one of their emporiums for afternoon tea. :swoon:

    http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/UK/lt blends-of-tea.html
  28. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,469
    Beautiful! I'm not usually a fan of traditional looks, except when it comes to tea sets :)

    I wandered into the David's Tea at my local mall and didn't like the vibe. Felt like a Starbuck's (young hipsters trying to get me to try weird blends), and the look was too cold and sleek. Not my cup of tea I guess!
  29. sap5

    sap5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    7,915
    My favorite teas are those from Tea Forte and Yogi Ginger Tea. I'll also sneak in a Vanilla Rooibos from Starbucks from time to time. ;)
  30. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    25,023
    I've got some Mariage Freres vanilla open at the moment - it's so smooth!! I've got their Marco Polo ready to go when I finish the first tin.
  31. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,926
    I'm a tea-holic, I say as I sit here with my cup of Earl Grey Creme! :)

    I'm a big fan of Teavana. They have wonderful teas and even though they can be a bit pricey at times, I really love the store. Their Earl Grey Creme is amazing! When you open the bag :swoon:. It smells so great! I also love to blend their Matevana with Rooibos Chai...a little bit of sugar and a dash of cream and again :swoon:. That was the combination that got me hooked on their tea. I love Teavana's German rock sugar as well. Again it's pricey, but it lightly sweetens the tea without dulling the flavor. Of course, I'm pretty much off of sugar so I use Truvia, but it's not as great as the rock sugar.

    My favorite teas are black teas. I've recently fallen in love with English tea. I took a trip to London at the beginning of last month and brought back a gift set of English Breakfast Tea, English Tea and English Afternoon Tea. I'm hooked! I've gone through all three tiny canisters and I'm almost out. Luckily one of my friends is in England now and promised to bring me back some. I also love just plain Oolong tea with a light sprinkle of Truvia.

    I'm also obsessed with Thai tea and Chai tea...I love to drink those iced with a little sugar and milk. I do the same thing with Matcha green tea. Teavana sells their Matcha for $20! I wanted to try some b/c I was curious but I didn't want to spend that much, especially if I wasn't sure I'd like it. There's a great farmers market in Atlanta (Dekalb Farmer's Market) and they have a ton of different teas. Instead of $20 I was able to get a good amount for about $6. I found out how to prepare it and now I'm a fan of it too, although I wasn't sure I would be. When you blend the powder with hot water it smells like grass! :lol: But when you add milk, sugar and ice (plus a little vanilla) it tastes great...

    I love Celestial Seasonings too. They have a Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea that is amazing. And Trader Joe's has a Vanilla & Cinnamon black tea that is heavenly. It's a holiday tea but I think you can find it online. I'm a much bigger fan of loose tea, but I found that if you heat the tea bag up with the water in the microwave you get a much richer flavor than just dropping the bag into a mug of hot water...

    Yes, I am a tea-holic! :)
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  32. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,469
    Sleepytime by Celestial Seasonings is one my favourites, and in the same category, President's Choice (Canadian store brand) has one called Feeling Calm. I don't drink they often, but sometimes they are exactly what I need.

    Does anyone do this - save a particular tea for a particular moment because the smell and taste reminds you of something? Last fall I was into Mighty Leaf's White Orchard, which is a peachy - I took to having it in a big mug on my sundeck bundled up in a sweatshirt as it started to get colder, trying to hang on to the last of summer. I haven't drank that tea or used that mug all winter, and I realize I'm holding out for the first day I can enjoy it out on the deck again :)
  33. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,926
    I've started to associate Earl Grey (not Earl Grey Creme) with Saturday mornings in general which equal relaxation time for me. I'll usually make a cup in the morning after breakfast and settle down on the sofa to catch up on shows I missed during the week. That's relaxing to me so that's what I associate it with.

    Also any time I drink English tea I think of my trip to the UK. :) That was the first time I had it and I think that's why I've been hooked on it ever since. I really want to go back and have more time to tour and explore...
  34. Kruss

    Kruss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2001
    Messages:
    2,117
    Thanks for the compliments on my tea set! I thought it was pretty and figured traditional was the way to go for my first set. :)
  35. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    3,214
    I love Teavana's "Citrus, Lavendar, Sage" tea! I dry out the leaves and make another pot! I also love my Teavana single serve teapot thing that goes over your mug. Looking forward to their spring "dragonfruit" blend. Hopefully they will have samples soon!
  36. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,478
    Ever try the instant milk teas? Each bag of Gold Kili brand has the powdered tea, sweetener and creamer, comes in handy for work. I like the flavored teas, especially lychee.
  37. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,395
    I am making a big cup of Irish breakfast tea with milk right now. Few things are more soothing and lovely. :swoon: Yesterday I drank pomegranate green and acai green. The day before white persimmon and white vanilla coconut, all heavenly. Sometimes I drink plain green or plain white when the mood strikes.
  38. 4rkidz

    4rkidz GPF Barcelona here I come

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2001
    Messages:
    9,187
    I love tea.. in our family it is so much more than 'just' tea.. happy news to share - 'put the kettle on'... sad news to share 'put the kettle on'... sick 'put the kettle on'.. glad to see we have passed on our tea obsessions to our daughter too :)

    When eating sushi (love sushi) I love the green tea, waking up I love English Breakfast tea or Yorkshire tea, later in the day I prefer a light tea so either lady grey or earl grey (ditto for night time).. except for the green tea - I just take a drop of milk and nothing else.. for dessert type tea I love a Chai latte..

    When I'm sick i sometimes like the flavoured tea - just black - including blackcurrent and some other flavours.. bad stomach - peppermint tea.. also black chai

    Favourite major treat or activity is 'hightea'.. love that too :)
  39. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    25,023
    Starting the week with a nice apricot tea.
  40. Moto Guzzi

    Moto Guzzi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,732
    I just had some Barry's gold blend that I bought at an Irish shop in a nearby town. Very nice. On my last trip to London, I brought home two large boxes of Yorkshire tea and an assortment of biscuits. The biscuits went fast because I took them to work and shared them with my coworkers. Not many of them were tea drinkers so the tea lasted a long time which was fine with me.

    I have a teapot collection but I rarely use any of them; I heat my water in the microwave instead. I have this that I got 30 or so years ago and a matching set of smaller ones.

    When I go home to visit my parents, my mother usually has a box of Twinings Prince of Wales teabags for me because several years ago I mentioned that I like it. My parents rarely drink tea and then only green tea, but my mother always has a box of tea waiting for me when I come.