Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price


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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby aya_s » Jun 15th, '10, 03:13

indeed, no offense taken here! Different folks will drink different beverages for different reasons.

Just wanted to say that many teas are well under $1/cup and brewing teas with hot water almost never takes more than five minutes. Significantly less, most of the time.

For low caffeine, many steeps for your buck, and fast preparation (30 seconds to 2 minutes) I'm sticking by my suggestion of gong Fu brewing balled oolongs.
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby Proinsias » Jun 15th, '10, 04:39

Matcha or the powdered sencha mentioned sounds like an ideal morning drink for you. You should still get all the health benefits drinking it in a bottle of cold water too as it's more of a soup than a brew.

Keep in mind freshness. If you're buying green or white tea try to find out if it's from the latest harvest - old green or white tea isn't going to be as packed full of healthy thingymajigs as the fresh stuff.
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 15th, '10, 13:45

One thing to keep in mind is that white/green/oolong/black as no significant effect on caffiene! From the studies done of caffiene content in tea what seems to make the biggest difference is how long you brew the tea, how much leaf you use to brew the tea and how hot the water is...I can dig up other threads on the topic if you want sources, I´ve talked about it on teachat before. That white or green tea you´re drinking late in the afternoon might just have more caffiene in it than the black you had to wake up with...especially if you´re brewing that white for a long time (which is common)

To reduce caffiene through the day best thing to do is use tea you can re-infuse many times such as oolong or puerh, the first infusion will have more caffiene than the later infusions so as you drink the tea through the day the caffiene dose will decrease.

You could also try matcha in the morning to get you going...big caffiene shot plus you get all the healthy stuff from the leaves because you drink them.
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby capheind » Jun 15th, '10, 15:02

(all the following is my Opinion and may be considered bullocks if you like)

I kinda hate (on many levels) the herbal supplement and tea as medicine markets, because to my mind they totally devalue tea, and their legitimacy can be found in the stack of legal disclaimers they have to produce.

Tea IS good for you, make no mistake about that, but if your expecting magic weight lost, dramatically improved bodily function overnight, or a disease cured I'd look elsewhere, all tea can do is all any food or beverage can do.

That said if your looking for solely nutritional benefits, and not a magic cure, I'd say go with matcha, really thick matcha. With matcha you get the full benefit of the leaf because your actually consuming it. In my personal opinion Matcha is rather tasty, contains no significant fats or anything else with negative impacts on your body. In fact the greatest benefit of both Matcha and tea in general is not what it is, but what it replaces, a good cup of tea can replace soda, energy drinks, and sugary creamy, chocolaty coffee drinks.

Matchas got other perks too, while a proper tea ceremony takes time, whisking up a quick cup just takes a wisk, cup, powder, and sufficiently hot water, and a minute or two.

as for "edge" I'm not sure what you mean.. It won't magically make you smarter, although I do notice increased clarity after my morning cup, no super powers though.. sorry mate. It'll give you a buzz without a sugar crash though.
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby iannon » Jun 15th, '10, 16:20

siwwy wabbit
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby teaforme2 » Jun 15th, '10, 16:25

Thank you so much for all those insightful comments.

aya_s:
So, good, tea is not going to be significantly more expensive than $1/cup and is not going to take a lot more than 5min, if not less. Got that part taken care of now, thanks! I'll look into the "gong Fu brewing balled oolongs" (is that a type of green tea?)

Proinsias:
Thank you for pointing out how important freshness is, I'll keep that in mind.

So matcha is soupy (I guess since you're drinking the full leaf after all)? So are you suggesting that I prepare it the regular way but then mix it with cold water? It would seem I would have to warm it up at first somehow right to get all the benefits out, instead of just putting the leaf straight into cold water?

capheind:
Yes I realize that it's not going to be a magic cure. And I agree that one of the best things it can do is replace what you would drink otherwise. In fact, that's sort of how I got started in the first place. My mother mentioned one day that she drinks green tea and I saw how she prepared it and I saw that she didn't have to put any milk in there and it needed very little sugar...plus it didn't taste bad. I am avoiding milk and sugar (and trying to avoid caffeine if I can), so I got some of the tea bags she has. Now, after a meal, green tea with one packet of sun crystals satisfies my sweet/dessert craving, plus it replaces coffee/black tea whenever I am craving a nice hot cup.

But, I have noticed that it has helped my acne a bit. Then I did some research and read about how it has so many antioxidants, comparable to eating lots of blueberries (which is one of the healthiest fruits). As I started to drink Green Tea even at Sbux (about the only thing you can get there that is not sugar-based, doesn't need milk, and has lesser amount of caffeine), I realized there were different types and then I noticed "full leaf" teas. I then started researching because I wanted to figure out what the best tea was in terms of health benefits, which led me to this forum.

Entropye:
Thank you for the primer on caffeine in tea, it makes sense. I think the re-infusion idea is smart, I may try that.


It looks like everybody's top suggestion is matcha, especially for the morning tea. Afternoon I suppose could be a sencha, or is it shencha? (all are variations/types of green tea, correct?)

And then the evening could really be anything, as long as I use only part of the leaf (not all) or I don't brew it as long or I don't brew it in as hot water....so basically I can control the caffeine. However, if only a little bit of caffeine is released, what about the health benefits/properties, are those limited then as well?

Thank you once again to each and every one of you!
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby capheind » Jun 15th, '10, 17:04

Matcha also makes a great seasoning, can be mixed with pretty much everything, my favorite breakfast is a small piece of matcha and sea salt coated salmon served with left-over veggies.

And if you don't like the bitterness of thick matcha, you can always stock up on those small bean paste sweets from Japan. A sweet and then a cup of thick matcha is still leagues better than a cup of coffee with sugar.
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby aya_s » Jun 15th, '10, 17:13

Matcha and sencha are both green tea, that's correct. Matcha is the whole leaf, deveined and ground into a fine powder. Sencha is Japanese green tea.

Oolong is in between green and black tea. It's partially oxidized (how much depends on the tea.)

Gong fu brewing means you brew the leaves in small amounts of water for a short time and brew many times. Because oolong teas are tightly rolled, they yield many infusions.

For example, one scoop/spoonful of the tung ting oolong I have now can be steeped 13 times in 1/2 cup of hot water. Steeping time starts at 30 seconds and I play around with it from there. As the tea leaves start to unfurl, I'll increase the steeping times a little bit, up to 2 minutes. It's a lot of tea for one spoon. :D

The advantage (in addition to getting a lot of tea out of one scoop) is that the caffeine levels are not high at all once you are several steeps in. I find that drinking it throughout the day doesn't keep me awake at night.

Hope that helps!
Last edited by aya_s on Jun 15th, '10, 17:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 15th, '10, 17:14

Oolongs are oolongs they´re not green tea or black tea it´s a whole other category just as big. Wikipedia has a little flowchart that explains the differences in processing between different types of teas.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... -small.png
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby teaforme2 » Jun 15th, '10, 21:41

entropyembrace wrote:Oolongs are oolongs they´re not green tea or black tea it´s a whole other category just as big. Wikipedia has a little flowchart that explains the differences in processing between different types of teas.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Teaprocessing-small.png


Wow that's an awesome flowchart. It makes it appear as if all tea leaves are pretty much the same....but in reality the tea leaves themselves are different too, right? And then the process also differentiates them further into green/white/black, etc.

So Matcha, in the end, can really be had just like a piece of food? You're saying that it doesn't have to be put in hot water to "release" all of it's good properties. In water or just plain dry, it gives you the same health benefits?

It seems that may not be the case since some are saying the longer you leave tea leaves it in hot water, the more caffeine you get.

Because if matcha can give you all of it's benefits just by eating it, then on days when i don't have time, I might just eat a nice full leaf! :-)

So now I have been to some sites and they talk about how much sunlight the leaves got and what the elevation was and what not. I also read somewhere on this forum that the different shade/no shade and elevations actually change the leaves in ways to give different levels of theanine, etc. Is this something I should just do more independent research for? Or does anybody know what type of matcha would be the absolute best for health benefits? (not the absolute obviously we don't know, but pretty close)

What about brands? Best brands for matcha/sencha/ and oolong?
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby entropyembrace » Jun 16th, '10, 01:14

They´re all still Camellia sinensis leaves, there´s not a lot of difference between one Camellia sinensis leaf and another one. By far the largest differences come from how it´s processed. The different growing conditions and varietals do have some effect on the end product...but you wouldn´t be able to notice them unless you´ve really started to explore tea deeply.

Matcha isn´t like other teas in that you put the leaves in water and steep them...it´s made by grinding green tea into a very fine powder...you prepare it by putting some of the powder into a bowl, pouring hot water on it and whisking it. Then you drink the resulting frothy mixture.

I don´t think eating the dry powder would be very pleasant. :lol:

Here´s a youtube video that shows how it´s done
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1MP_zaXNOg

btw...I think you´re getting too sidetracked trying to pick out miniscule differences in healthy compounds in tea...all tea is made from leaves from the same species of plant so the chemicals in nutrients in any tea are roughly the same. Do you goto the grocery store and ask them which apple has the greatest health benefits?

The point is...all tea is healthy for you and all tea has roughly the same ammount of caffiene. Drinking tea won´t cause miracles, it won´t melt the fat off your body, make you more intelligent or cure cancer. Drinking tea every day is good for you though, the same way eating fruits and vegetables every day is good for you. It won´t cause miracles but it tastes good and will make you feel good :)

So the important thing is pick teas that taste good to you and enjoy them. :)
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby Tea_Rex » Jun 16th, '10, 13:51

Entropye - I agree with your sidetracked comment. All respect to you, Teaforme2, but I think for most people here, the reason for drinking tea is its flavor followed by an admiration for and enjoyment of tea culture. I think a person is unlikely to stick with tea for very long if he or she is not willing to take some time to learn to brew it and then to take the time to brew it. And I also think that among the health benefits of drinking tea is the actual making of the tea. It slows you down, relaxes you, focuses you in the moment. And if your overall lifestyle is not healthy, then tea will make no difference really.It would be like the people ordering diet sodas with their Big Mac and fries so they can lose weight.

At this point, I would say buy some Maeda-en brand kukicha with matcha (both are green teas), a 16 oz infuser mug, and start making tea. I recommend that tea because it is inexpensive, tastes good, and is easy to brew. But it will take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how long your water takes to boil and then cool down to the right temperature.
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby geeber1 » Jun 16th, '10, 14:10

Tea_Rex wrote:It would be like the people ordering diet sodas with their Big Mac and fries so they can lose weight.

What??? :shock: That doesn't work? :)
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Re: Too overwhelming, teas/effects/methods/equipment/taste/price

Postby capheind » Jun 16th, '10, 15:34

Oh, if you want something cold at the end of work, almost forgot, buy a decent small balled oolong (other types work just as well, but something about small nuggets of Tie Guan Yin gets me every time) toss it in a travel thermos with some water and let it sit in the fridge during the day, then presto chango a nice cup of cool brewed Oolong for your ride home.
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