New member to the tea-aholics anonymous


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New member to the tea-aholics anonymous

Postby Tea Noob » Dec 24th, '08, 04:42

My name is Jon, and I am a Tea-aholic.

Within the last month or two I have had my eyes opened to the world of tea. Until recently, I thought tea grew in a bag on the plant. I stumbled into a placed called the Urban Tea Loft (Chandler, AZ) and they use the Adagio InginuiTEA pots as well as some nice glass tea cups.

Who knew Tea could taste so good and not be so pretentious? I have been hooked since the first visit there and have made a habit of trying new teas and enjoying breakfast on the weekend there.

Paraphernalia: I also purchased an InginuiTEA for myself and have accumulated a wide array of samples from Adagio (roughly 20). I have been rockin the meat thermometer to control the water temp and less than a month in to making tea at home I am tired of this tedious technique. My girl got me the Variable Temperature Kettle thing that Adagio sells but I have to wait a few more days to to open the gift. I did just pick up a Taylor 9840 digital thermometer for $15 at Ace Hardware today to hold me over because the dial thermometer was just too suspect. I want to limit as much of user error as possible in order to evaluate my tastes for tea and to maximize my experience.

So far, after trying at least 15 teas I have only found one that I feel is truely bad, Genmai Cha. I have enjoyed cups of Silver Needle, Gunpowder, Ti Kuan Yin, Assam and Pu erh. Darker Greens and lighter Blacks seem to be to my liking and that is why I think Oolongs intrigues me so much.

For the Holidays I gave my brother and mom an InginuiTEA gift set and my girlfriend has sent several to her relatives and friends. It really dumbs down the art of tea for Noobs such as myself. Definitely a way to ease people into the realm of Tea without the intimidation factor.

Over the next several months I plan on using the knowledge of some of the veterans of the forum and I apologize in advance for any ignorant statements or questions. I plan on nurturing this habit and look forward to trying new things.

Any and all recommendations for sources for tea, tea-ware, information, or anything associated with tea will be much appreciated. Here in AZ we have Uber-hard water, and I have been cutting it with Reverse Osmosis water to calm it down. What are the desirable parameters for water?

As an aside, if you have made it this far down the post I have a Basset Hound (pictured left) named Montecore. I saw a post about pets on my first visit to the site and I am a huge pet lover. I also have a foster dog named Lefty that is with me right now. THanks in advance for any and all help.
Last edited by Tea Noob on Mar 13th, '09, 15:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New member to the tea-aholics anonymous

Postby olivierco » Dec 24th, '08, 04:49

Tea Noob wrote:What are the desirable parameters for water?



Welcome!

For water, usually it is advised to use water with low mineral contents, but there isn't any written rules.
The best way is to experiment and brew the same tea with different waters.
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Postby Victoria » Dec 24th, '08, 10:42

Welcome, nice to have you with us!
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Postby chamekke » Dec 24th, '08, 12:47

Hello Tea Noob, and thank you for a truly enjoyable introductory post!

Just a comment, I like genmaicha, but I was singularly unimpressed by the genmaicha sample I got from Adagio - which seemed to be 95% roasted rice with almost no actual tea. You might want to try the offerings of some other vendors before writing it off. (On the other hand, if you simply didn't like the flavour of roasted rice per se, write away!)
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Postby Tea Noob » Dec 24th, '08, 15:25

Welcome!

For water, usually it is advised to use water with low mineral contents, but there isn't any written rules.
The best way is to experiment and brew the same tea with different waters.


I have read that Distilled water is bad. Some degree of hardness is desired but not a lot? Here in AZ our tap water can and will exceed a PH of 8.0. Nearly all Arizonans drink bottled or highly filtered (R/O) water. Is there a PH range or hardness range that is optimum or is it just a good practice to limit the TDS?

[ A tidbit of knowledge for some is that nearly all bottled water is just tap water that has been filtered with Reverse Osmosis.]

Hello Tea Noob, and thank you for a truly enjoyable introductory post!

Just a comment, I like genmaicha, but I was singularly unimpressed by the genmaicha sample I got from Adagio - which seemed to be 95% roasted rice with almost no actual tea. You might want to try the offerings of some other vendors before writing it off. (On the other hand, if you simply didn't like the flavour of roasted rice per se, write away!)


It was the popcorn taste that I didn't care for. There is something about drinking something that tastes like something I am used to eating that is weird to my palate. The kettle-corny taste typically isn't my bag.

Well, I need to get my stuff together to head out to my Xmas eve destination. I gotta get my dogs and tea ready. I would like to thank you guys for a warm welcome and I look forward to bouncing around looking for more info.
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Postby Chip » Dec 24th, '08, 18:40

Heh, maybe revisit the genmaicha in a few years then, you may be surprised.

I would never use distilled water for tea. It will likely taste flat. Wow, that ph level is insane.

Welcome to TeaChat and thank you for sharing your intro with us. Please feel free to also visit us on TeaDay and share what is in your cup.
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Postby sheila77551 » Dec 25th, '08, 21:42

Welcome Tea Noob.
I also ordered Adagio InginuiTEA pots for Christmas gifts for some tea drinking friends, aren't they great! I did not care for the genmai cha either, but I did like the residual taste. If I encounter genmai cha somewhere else, I will give it another shot, as my own tasting too, was an Adagio sample.
Enjoy your tastings and I look forward to hearing your thoughts as you sample along on your tea journey. :D
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Postby Tea Noob » Dec 29th, '08, 16:19

I would never use distilled water for tea. It will likely taste flat. Wow, that ph level is insane.


What i do for my tea water right now is to start with mostly R/O or Distilled (depends on where I am) and then I add Tap water. I usually do a 70/30 or 80/20 kind of mix between R/O and Tap. Not sure what the PH or hardness winds up being but it is much less than plain tap, maybe in the 7.2-7.4 range.


I also ordered Adagio InginuiTEA pots for Christmas gifts for some tea drinking friends, aren't they great!


I love 'em. I got one for my brother and my mom. My girlfriend has sent given them to friends of ours and her aunt. I also have a guy at work who got one for his wife, who doesn't like tea, so he can have it. For the price and convenience it is unbeatable from what I have seen.

I have another question for the veteran Tea member here, where is a good place to get a decent container or tin to store the tea? So far I am in sample mode but once I pin down a few favorites I may need to get a few canisters to keep it fresh. I don't even know what to look for in regards to this so any info will help me out.
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Re: New member to the tea-aholics anonymous

Postby gerTEA » Dec 30th, '08, 21:18

Welcome, Jon!

Tea Noob wrote:So far, after trying at least 15 teas I have only found one that I feel is truely bad, Genmai Cha.


Awww, that's one of my all-time favorites - love that nutty brown rice flavor!

Tea Noob wrote:As an aside, if you have made it this far down the post I have a Basset Hound (pictured left) named Montecore. I saw a post about pets on my first visit to the site and I am a huge pet lover. I also have a foster dog from Basset Hound Rescue (AZBassetrescue.com) named Lefty that is with me right now. THanks in advance for any and all help


:D Glad to have another animal lover on board! My girls were rescues too - a gray tiger cat and a sweet pitbull terrier mix.
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Postby Tea Noob » Dec 31st, '08, 01:42

Awww, that's one of my all-time favorites - love that nutty brown rice flavor!


Forgive me for throwing holy water on your avatar, scared me a little bit. :shock:

from what many on here have said, the Genmai Cha from Adagio is subpar to some others. I have a local tea spot I go to and they have a different brand so I may try it there. Since I wrote the into I have also found 1 or 2 other greens that I have not had a taste for. One was Dragonwell and the other was Sencha Overture. One of the two tastes like steamed spinach water. Both of those are from Adagio as well. I am gonna try them all at least twice to see but it doesn't look good.

Very Happy Glad to have another animal lover on board! My girls were rescues too - a gray tiger cat and a sweet pitbull terrier mix.


That is great that you adopted. I could go on all day about my Bassets. With a good person behind them, Pits are wonderful dogs.

don't shop.... adopt.

(Currently enjoying some White Symphony)
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Postby gerTEA » Jan 1st, '09, 15:10

Tea Noob wrote:Forgive me for throwing holy water on your avatar, scared me a little bit. :shock:

from what many on here have said, the Genmai Cha from Adagio is subpar to some others. I have a local tea spot I go to and they have a different brand so I may try it there. Since I wrote the into I have also found 1 or 2 other greens that I have not had a taste for. One was Dragonwell and the other was Sencha Overture. One of the two tastes like steamed spinach water. Both of those are from Adagio as well. I am gonna try them all at least twice to see but it doesn't look good.

Hmmm, does holy water make good tea? :roll:

Yeah, I've had that 'spinach water' experience with a few teas, too, though I'm quickly realizing that quality makes all the difference in the world (looks like these tea chatters are really onto something!)

I ordered a sampler from one company, Enjoying Tea, which has very reasonably priced Chinese and Japanese greens. I found most to be watery and lifeless. I thought perhaps my palette wasn't fine tuned enough to appreciate them. Then I noted how truly cheap they were ($1-2/oz) compared to most of the quality teas others were talking about. I also noted the absence of quality-related terms like 'first flush.'

Last week, I got a sampler from Den's Tea, which specializes in Japanese teas, mostly first flush (first picking, yielding the youngest, most tender leaves). The Sencha Fuka-midori gave me my first introduction to true quality green tea - aroma and flavors of sweet grass, slightly vegetal with some nice buttery notes. And - best part - still very affordable at $3.25 an oz!
That is great that you adopted. I could go on all day about my Bassets. With a good person behind them, Pits are wonderful dogs.

I grew up in the breeder/dog show world (my mom's business), but have found rescued pitbulls/pb mixes to be some of the sweetest, most people-loving dogs out there. My girlie is a joy, and loves the company of both people and other dogs. She loves the cat, too, but the feeling isn't mutual :cry:
(Currently enjoying some White Symphony)

Just finished several cups and a review of Adagio Yunnan Gold....moving on to Sencha next (giving Enjoying Tea another shot).
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