Flavored black tea.


These teas can resemble virtually any flavor imaginable.

Flavored black tea.

Postby teaforleelee » Dec 10th, '07, 12:38

Hi, I'm looking for a really great flavored black tea-that is a tea that has flavor really coming through, with the black tea not overpowering it. I'm not picky when it comes to flavors, I just want one with obvious flavor. Usually flavored black teas don't taste like anything but black tea to me. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I follow the standard directions. Any tips, or teas to help me out? Thanks.
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Postby LavenderPekoe » Dec 10th, '07, 12:59

Harney and Son's Hot cinnamon spice.
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Postby teaforleelee » Dec 11th, '07, 01:02

I actually have a sample tin of that tea, and you're right. Its really good. I've been meaning to order some more, but I wanted to wait until I had some suggestions as to which other Harney and Sons teas are good, because I've heard some bad things about some of them. Thanks for suggestion. Any of teas of theirs you really like?
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Postby skywarrior » Dec 11th, '07, 02:55

Try Adagio's pumpkin spice and gingerbread. Both are pretty strong.
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Postby henley » Dec 11th, '07, 10:17

I second the recommendation on H&S Hot Cin Spice!:wink: It is one of my favorites, too. I also like the vanilla (with or without added mint) & chocolate mint. You might check the flavored tea section & see what other people are drinking. Also, do you add cream or sugar? It depends on which tea I'm drinking as to what or how much of something I add.

Ordering samples from various companies has been great because I don't feel guilty for wasting money if I happen not to like the tea. Hope you find something you really enjoy.
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Postby teaforleelee » Dec 12th, '07, 01:07

In response to skywarrior's suggestion: I have a sample of both of those, and I do faintly taste the flavor, but its very subtle to me. Am I doing something wrong? Maybe I just need to fool around with brewing times until I get it right.

In response to henley:I add splenda, and with some teas I add a splash of soymilk (I'm vegan).

Thanks for your suggestions. :D
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Postby skywarrior » Dec 12th, '07, 01:55

teaforleelee wrote:In response to skywarrior's suggestion: I have a sample of both of those, and I do faintly taste the flavor, but its very subtle to me. Am I doing something wrong? Maybe I just need to fool around with brewing times until I get it right.



How much tea are you using per how much water? What's the water temp and time brewed?
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Postby teaforleelee » Dec 12th, '07, 02:17

I use one teaspoon per cup. I was doing 5 minutes, recently I've started doing more like 4. I honestly don't know the water temp...I just let it boil until my teapot whistles. Thats probably the problem, yes?
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Postby skywarrior » Dec 12th, '07, 03:54

teaforleelee wrote:I use one teaspoon per cup. I was doing 5 minutes, recently I've started doing more like 4. I honestly don't know the water temp...I just let it boil until my teapot whistles. Thats probably the problem, yes?


Depends on your altitude. Higher altitudes have lower boiling points, so it can't be helped. If you're steeping at 4 minutes and can't taste the flavor (to me, it is so pronounced on the pumpkin spice, I have to cut it with other tea), I'd add more tea or steep until 5 minutes.

Some people really like strong tea. I'm obviously not one of them.
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Postby Kerrath » Dec 12th, '07, 04:37

Even when I am brewing at somebody else's house, I still generally get my tea right simply by tasting it. It seems like this approach is often under rated in favor of using a thermometer and precise time. Also, you generally don't need any special tea thermometer to take the temperature as a simple meat thermometer works just as well. (It says do not use in water, however, it is quite tolerable to insert the stick into a pot of water or a kettle considering most of a roasting animal is water anyway. You simply should not submerge it as they are not airtight and they use a spring coil to accurately read.)

For black teas, there's usually not a problem of going too hot although I like to brew mine starting at 85 degrees centigrade for 5-7 minutes. This doesn't result in weak or bitter tea contrary to what some people would have you believe. In general the tastetest seems to be the most reliable, but even a strong-tasting tea can be severely weakened by flavorings such as sugar and milk. Consider also that the temperature when you are drinking it may also have an affect, the bitter and astringent properties becoming stronger when cold and sweeter when warm or hot.

When commercial companies brew milk teas, they use a blend of whole milk, lots of sugar and black tea. In the case that skim milk is used, the whole drink tastes watered down, even when the tea is strong and with whole milk they still use Very strong black tea.

If you're drinking the tea straight however, and it still seems weak, there are other factors to consider. Besides the temperature and duration, the type of tea should also be taken into account. First, if you are using loose-leaf, you should know which type it is. For black tea this is usually broken down into Orange Pekoe (OP, full leaf), Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP, broken leaves, usually around 1/4" pieces) and dust, which is what is too small to be put into BOP or is left over after the breaking has been done.

If your tea is OP, it will need a longer brewing time and hotter temperature to take full advantage of its flavor as the full leaves provide less access to both the xylem/phloem and its overall lower surface area. Next would be BOP tea and last would be dust. Also, consider the grade of the tea besides its physical condition. Is it tippy? flowery? Flowery could mean it's not intended to have a strong flavor and in most cases is expected to be consumed straight. Tippy also could mean this but is a less consistent indicator as it merely indicates the presence of leaftips in the batch.

In the case that you're using a tea bag, it's hard to do anything wrong, so I'm assuming it's not that, but if it is, God help you.

Hopefully this information will be helpful to you in your teamaking endeavors.
Good luck!
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Postby teaforleelee » Dec 13th, '07, 00:37

Ha! Its not with tea bags, just so you know. Thanks for all of your information, I'm sure it will help. :)
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Postby Kerrath » Dec 14th, '07, 01:27

Also, I remembered this just now. When most tea companies say "cup" they're referring to a 6 oz cup, not 8 oz as is the standard in the US. The easiest way I've figured to measure 'accurately' in that case is 4 teaspoons for 3 cups of water. Works for both my black and jasmine tea.

Quantities are usually given roughly though. If you're following a recipe such as might be printed on a tea package, be aware they could be meaning level or heaping teaspoons. Usually, I just go with a tad above level or with my gut.

If you're going for a sugar-sweetened black tea, if you use proportional amounts of sugar to raw tea, it usually ends up being weak tasting and only slightly sweet. Not very good. My recent experience has been to put 150% as much sugar as raw tea to get the full flavor I was looking for. (Chilled).
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Postby teaforleelee » Dec 14th, '07, 12:17

Thanks! ..I'm going to try making iced tea by the pitcher with loose tea this weekend. I've never done that before. Anyone have any tips on that? Kerrath, I'll keep your sugar suggestion in mind when I make it.
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Postby Kerrath » Dec 15th, '07, 01:31

Considering I've already said most of what I have to advise, I just have this. Make sure you take out the leaves before leaving it to sit. If you decide to filter it, it's best to use either a piece of fabric or something intended to be a filter. In my early days I used paper towels and the gluey stuff, whatever stuck it together, leeched out and made it taste foul. If you leave the leaves in, it won't get stronger, only more bitter, so take out as many as you can. If it's just a little bit or few, no worries, only if there's enough to actually notice without looking.
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