New Tea drinker help


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New Tea drinker help

Postby kamikaze » Jul 31st, '06, 16:38

Well hey guys and girls,

As an intro I guess ill say how I got here. I started drinking tea occasionally from dunkin donuts and the like because when friends ordered coffee I wanted something and I dispise coffee. Then at an internship I have they have a coffee/tea bar and i got into drinking it. I remember Kevin Rose on diggnation talking about this site and his sampler..so bam I ordered it. I have adhered to most suggestions of about 180 degrees and 3 min steeping with around 1 tsp of tea. My questions are...

First off is microwaving the water to the desired temperature worse than boiling? I microwave in a pyrex measuring cup.

Secondly I heard a bit about "multiple infusions" where you steep the tea multiple times before drinking. What does this exactly do and does it improve on the flavor? Or is it merely so you dont waste as much tea as it provides a good cup the second time around as well?

Thirdly would be the tea at my internship while not the best tea just says "orange pekoe" on most of them. This would be considered a black tea? right? Just trying to figure out where that tea fits into the bigger picture.

Thanks for any input, im just trying to find my tea path =P
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Postby procarel » Jul 31st, '06, 18:02

Welcome to the world of fine tea! As far as boiling water in the microwave oven is concerned, the microwave heats water differently than the burner on your stove but I would think that as long as you use a thermometer to check the temp before pouring over your tea leaves I would think it should be okay. Each tea brews best at a certain temperature so just make sure you are close and try to brew for the right length of time. (You can find that information on this site)
As far a multiple infusions go, some teas hold up well to two or three infusions (or more), usually for progressively longer times, just experiment. You might find that you will notice subtle differences in the flavor of your tea after the second and third infusion and of course your tea will go furthur if you infuse it more than once or twice. Try some samplers of various teas to see where your preference lies. Hope that helps.
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Postby Carnelian » Jul 31st, '06, 18:42

On your orange pekoe question, that is just a classification of leaf size. You're probably looking at a black tea if the label doesn't say otherwise.

Most people here will advise you to not buy tea based on the orange pekoe centric grading system because it only focuses on the size and shape of the leaves, rather that the taste.
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Postby kamikaze » Aug 2nd, '06, 14:46

hrmm thought i'd get a little more input than this. and from reading i knew what orange pekoe technically meant i guess, i just didnt know if it spanned black, green, oolong tea etc. Or if it was just a classification for black which it appears to be.

New question is the sampler i got has 2 green teas, one white, and one oolong in it. I have not tried the white yet but ive tried all the others...

it came with hojicha, green anji, silver needle, and ti kuan yin. My taste definitly likes hojica and ti kuan yin the best thus far out of the sampler, green anji was a little to grassy i guess for me. As im perfeting my brewing technics any advice on where to go as far as purchases go from here?
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Postby Amanda » Aug 3rd, '06, 13:26

Since the two greens you like are from China, I can recommend the Gunpowder (a bit smokey) , li zi nutcracker, pi lo chun, green pekoe and white monkey as good green teas to experiment with...these won't have that grassy taste that you don't seem to be too keen on.

Good luck in your quest!

-Amanda
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Postby LavenderPekoe » Aug 4th, '06, 17:41

Since you liked the TKY, you could try Pouchong (a favorite Oolong around here).
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