i need help from those wise about tea!


Completely off the Topic of Tea

i need help from those wise about tea!

Postby Melissa » Jun 25th, '05, 00:52

I am throwing a tea party bridal shower.. and ordered about 5 different tea samples to try them out and see what tastes best. i must be bad at this because i made every single one and they still all taste bland and horrible. they smell great but taste basically like hot water! :shock:
what am i doing wrong? i seaped them for the recommended time, i measured them the recommended way and still.. no flavor! I don't know what to do
and also... how can you make tea in a tea pot? Can you use a tea ball, or will it not hold enough tea? i am soo very new at this and really need help if anyone has any to offer i will drink it up! (unlike the tea i made, which i will throw down the sink)
THANK YOU!!
Melissa
 

one more thing

Postby melissa » Jun 25th, '05, 00:53

how do you make tea for 5 separate tables... at the same time, and keep it hot?????????
melissa
 

Postby Marlene » Jun 25th, '05, 02:32

ok, here is my first bit of excelent advice:
DON'T PANIC!
Feel better? Ok, here's the rest of my sage advice (insert snigger here):
1: the tea samples. Don't steep the tea too much longer. The best way to increase taste is to add more leaves. Do it a bit at a time until you get it right.
If I may ask, what samples did you order? I can get a bit more specific with advice.
2: Making tea. You have a few opitions with this. If you don't have the IngenuiTEA (which I highly recomend) here's what you can do.
A. use a tea ball. not very highly recomended because it doesn't allow the tea leaves to open fully and impart all of their flavor. Use as a last resort. Using the fillable tea bags adagio sells is a little better, but not much for what you intend.
B. use a big strainer basket. you can get these from a lot of tea venders (just not adagio. what's the deal Chris?) This is a fairly good option as it allows the tea to open fully, and you can still remove the tea leaves from the pot once they've steeped long enough.
C. steep in the pot and decant to a different pot. This is the least equipment intensive option, and it allowes for the best steeping too. put the leaves in the pot, add hot water, steep the recomended time, then pour the liqour through a household strainer or even just cheese cloth into another pot.
3: making and keeping multipule tea pots. Ok, once again you have a few options here.
A. tea cozys are very popular to keep tea warm. just make your tea, plop a tea cozy over the pot, and place it on the table.
B. you can use a tea warmer. adagio has some of these.
C. You can make it one large pot at at time and do it buffet style, or have servers keep each table supplied with tea.

Hope this helps!
Marlene
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Marlene
 
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Location: The tea wasteland that is Utah

Postby Guest » Jun 25th, '05, 10:16

oh thank you for your wisdom! (especially the "don't panic" part... although, that will be the greatest challenge for me) the tea samples i ordered were 2 flavored fruit teas (plum and passionfruit) a white tea (white peach) and then Earl grey. I was planning on having Earl grey (brides favorite) and then a fruit tea at every table. a tea strainer you say?? i will look into that. i have something my sister-in-law lent me, it's a glass tea pot with a strainer down the center where you put the leaves in, let it sit and then squeeze them down. i made it first in a personal cup, no flavor. and then in that... no flavor. i will try the more tea leaves thing, but by the time i was finishing up i was using about 2 teaspoons of tea per cup of water... should i do more?? again, thank you so much!!
Guest
 

Postby Guest » Jun 25th, '05, 10:31

also... if i am having a tea party for 35 guests... how many ounces of tea should i order of each flavor i am using? any ideas?
Guest
 

Postby Marlene » Jun 25th, '05, 15:11

It sounds like you were using enough tea, was the water hot enough? The water for black teas should be boiling or just below. Whites require the lowest temp, I've heard of people steeping it at room temerature for 20 minutes or more.
If you are still having problems, you might want to consider that you just don't have a taste for tea. My husband is the same way. Hot water with an funny after taste is exactly how he discribes it.
If that is the case, get someone else to try it for you. For your own personal enjoyment, you'll just have to embark on a quest for the perfect tea. I'm a firm beliver that there is a tea for everyone. But don't do it just because I say so, it's something you have to want to do.
It's a sad state of affairs, but around 25% of the population is a 'sub' taster. I happen to be a member of the 'super' tasters group. Not much of the blessing because everything is over flavored, and I'm very very sensitive to bitterness.
What you've got sounds like a french press, nice little doodads. I don't use mine anymore, but it is handy.
Now, for your second question, Chris would probobly be better able to anwer than I am. I belive a 4 ounce tin of the earl grey would be sufficient, you might even have left overs. If you are serving more than one fruit tea, use the sample sizes. If you are only serving one flavor, use the 4 ounce tin.

By the by, have you seen Adagio's wedding favor tea?
http://www.adagio.com/wedding/index.html
Or, how about the Infamous Harney Boy's wedding tea. I think it tastes like wedding cake.
http://www.harney.com/weddingtea.html

all the best,
Marlene
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Marlene
 
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Location: The tea wasteland that is Utah

Postby maria » Jun 25th, '05, 15:58

You might want to use a tea sock. It is a cloth tea strainer and we use it in our tearoom. I highly recommened the tea warmers for keeping your tea hot. They are simple in construction and less expensive than a tea cozy. I would be happy to supply you with the whatever Items you need or you should check with your local tearoom to find some of these things. I also recommened checking with teas of the world, they have great selection of tea, the peach apricot and pumpkin creme are great flavored teas and I find that most people who try these ones like them. The writer above was right that you should get somebody other than yourself to taste the teas. It does take time to develop you palate. Good Luck with your party- any questions call us at Thyme for Tea 215-362-2466
maria
 

Postby Marlene » Jun 27th, '05, 11:59

maria wrote:I highly recommened the tea warmers for keeping your tea hot. They are simple in construction and less expensive than a tea cozy.


I never understood the expense of the tea cozys they sell online. Melissa, do own a sewing machine or have a friend who does? (notice this isn't a 'can you sew' question. simple cozys are so easy, that it's an excelent fist project, even with a deadline)
Ok, here's the easiest tea cozy on the planet:

Go to the fabric store, buy a pretty fleese and matching thread. You can probobly get 6 cozys out of a yard of 45" wide fleese, more out of 60". If you need help, the employees should be able to help, if the employees are snotty, and you're not shy, ask a customer who looks like s/he knows what s/he's doing.
Once you get it home. Mesure your largest pot, now add 3 inches. Find a bowl with a mouth that diameter. Lay out your fabric, put the bowl mouth down on the fabric (start in a corner) and magic marker around the outside. Once you can no longer fit any more circles on the fabric, cut out the circles.
Here comes the fun part!!! Fold the circle in half, and cut along the bottom. Pin the two sides together. Sew the two pieces together along the curved side, about an inch in, don't sew the flat side. If you want to make a decorative fringe, cut the seam allowance (the inch or so to the outside of your now compleated cozy) into strips. Plop over the nearest tea pot to keep it warm!
It would be a good idea to make one up first to see how well it fits over the teapot before continuing with the rest of the cozys.
You can keep them after the shower, or give them away as prizes!
Marlene
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Marlene
 
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Location: The tea wasteland that is Utah


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