Asian Tea - Tapioca Express


These teas can resemble virtually any flavor imaginable.

Postby Kerrath » Dec 7th, '07, 05:57

It's definitely possible. I dont know if it was here or at teaforums that I mentioned my Qimen being closer to the right taste. It bothers me though that somebody would be a misinformant and say that unequivocally they use Assam.

As for brewing parameters, I've tried a variety, by the book and not, altering temperature between 87 and 100 degrees and for between 3 and 7 minutes, pretty much covering any realistic expectations of the correctness of brewing black tea.

That leads me to think that they may use an alternate brewing method but I can't conceive what.

I've never tried Yunnan or Dian Hong tea before though so it could be one of those as well.

What I was really hoping was that somebody who has worked at TapX or TenRen would respond but the more I think about it, the less a worker there would have want of a forum like this. However, a forumgoer's friend might work there and that'd be just as good if they'd ask for me.

I do appreciate all the advice you folks have given me though and look forward to more.
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Postby Space Samurai » Dec 7th, '07, 11:48

Is it possible they are using an instant powder or mix of some sort? Our coffee bar makes boba tea, and they use an assortment of powders, tea and flavorings premixed, then they use a machine to mix the whole thing up.

Usually companies try to guard this type of information, the specifics on how they make their products, for these very reasons. It would not be for them if just anyone could go home and replicate their product.

Just some thoughts.
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Postby divintea » Dec 7th, '07, 12:54

Ooh, good point Space Samurai! I believe the place I used to frequent was also using a powder!

How do we feel about powder-based teas?
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Postby Kerrath » Dec 7th, '07, 14:37

I've occasionally found bits of tea leaves in the bottom of the cup. Ridiculously small though so it doesn't rule out the possibility of tea powder. You're absolutely right about it being a guarded secret though. I asked one of their employees what brand their tea is.

"Do you know what brand of tea you use? Like, is it written on the bag or anything?"
"Uhhh. Our supplier gives it to us." "So there's one supplier for all of Tapioca Express?" "Uhhh, yeah, that's right."

I'm pretty sure there's not one supplier for the whole chain. Considering first that I read somebody's response in a forum to the end that an individual store had changed their supplier so the tapioca was too hard.

So assuming it's a powder, is it a true tea powder, or is it more like the powder they use for Honeydew Slushes? Also, I wonder what sort of sweetener they use. Unprocessed sugar, white sugar, pre-made syrup, flavored sugar? The possibilities are manifold.

Also, somebody mentioned Yunnan tea or Duan Hong, forgot the name of it, but I'm interested in what the differences are between that between say Keemun and Assam and also where a good quarter pound can be found for under $8.
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Postby Kerrath » Dec 11th, '07, 03:22

I was there this evening with my girlfriend and I noticed in the bottom of the cup bits of tea leaves. No larger than 2/32" across. Pretty much rules out teabags, but it could be not-well-filtered bop, op or dust.
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Postby Antony » Dec 11th, '07, 22:07

I like Tapioca Express, i wish there was one close to me.
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Re: Asian Tea - Tapioca Express

Postby Kerrath » Aug 20th, '09, 05:59

I'm reviving this, because after ages and ages, I still haven't found what I've been looking for. I've ordered about 5 varieties of chinese tea, indian tea and whatnot from specialteas.com and they all had that annoying smoky flavor. I learned to brew it with less of that, but it just doesn't go away. I also tried some generic black tea from an asian grocery store near my house and it was just as bad.

SO, does anyone have any more information on this subject? :D
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Re: Asian Tea - Tapioca Express

Postby Chip » Aug 20th, '09, 13:52

What exactly are you looking for? Is this a flavored tea you are asking about? It seems that you are actually asking about black tea? Or are you asking about tapioca tea ... bubble tea that has tapioca added?

There are lots of non smoky teas out there. Keemun can be a bit smoky, but the better ones usually are not and can be quite good.

Oh, and generally speaking Asian grocery store tea is just that, "bad."

There are many topics on the forum, perhaps if I may suggest, you abandon this very old topic and simply start fresh by reading and posting in more current topics.

For instance, the Darjeeling 2nd flush topic is full of discussion on non smoky black teas.
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Re: Asian Tea - Tapioca Express

Postby Kerrath » Aug 20th, '09, 15:45

It's in the flavored tea section because when I have mentioned sweetening tea in the past, people got pissy about it not being in flavored teas.

The asian grocery store tea was better than many of the more expensive ones I ordered from specialteas. I'm actually using a jasmine tea from the same asian grocery store and I've very pleased with it.

But, I will take your advice and start over.
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Re: Asian Tea - Tapioca Express

Postby figgin » Apr 30th, '11, 16:55

Tapioca Express has very specific brewing times and temperature for each of their teas. Their teas are made from tea leaves and not powder. As for what kind of tea leaves they are I am not sure.
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