xdunlapx's Tea Blog


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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby jayinhk » Nov 4th, '12, 02:14

Another thing to experiment with is Chinese-style brewing: prewash the teapot and then the tea with boiling water, and then short infusions (starting with 5-10 seconds and going up from there).

You would use a lot more than two teaspoons of tea for that if you were using a teapot/infuser for kung fu-style brewing. I brewed some Tie Guanyin (Iron Goddess) last night and I used about four tablespoons. Still drinking from the teapot now, at 2 pm the day after. :D
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby xdunlapx » Nov 4th, '12, 10:58

What kind of teapot? Would porcelain do? I've read that yixing are best for oolong teas but I'm not sure why.

Thanks for taking the time to help me I appreciate it.
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby jayinhk » Nov 5th, '12, 11:15

Porcelain will do just fine--Yixings are better because they hold heat better and take some of the undesirable 'edge' off and somehow 'improve' tea. Some say the clay will hold essential oils and the like and this is true, but I've seen porcelain take on a coating of its own too, as long as you don't scrub it off.

I thought the whole Yixing thing was nonsense, but I'm amazed at what my good Yixing can do. Finding a good one (especially stateside) is tricky. It's tricky enough for me here in Hong Kong, but fortunately a more experienced member helped point me in the right direction. I have eight 'fake' Yixings and one good one!
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby xdunlapx » Nov 5th, '12, 11:27

Wow 8?? I've been looking at teapots on amazon.com. I've found a few I like. I've been thinking of getting a larger one (probably 24oz) because I'd drink more tea if I didn't have to do the 'ritual' of making tea each time I wanted a cup. I'm a lazy person when it comes to stuff like that. I didn't have any tea yesterday simply because I was too lazy to do it. I don't think you've met a lazier person :P I've always been lazy though. It's just in my genes.

I want to be able to drink tea without the hassle, so I think having a teapot would afford me that.

Here are two I am interested in: http://www.amazon.com/Tea-Services-Soho ... 81&sr=1-77

and
http://www.amazon.com/OmniWare-Three-Fo ... dp_product
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby jayinhk » Nov 5th, '12, 11:36

I much prefer to drink Chinese tea with shorter infusions, but I do dump the leaves into my mug near the end and pour hot water on for longer infusions. We do have some very large pots here, but there's no way I'd use them for myself. :)

The Chinese call people who drink large amounts of tea without regard for brewing technique and skill 'bull drinkers.' Sometimes that's not a bad way to go, but Chinese-style brewing is fun and the results are completely different! You can see the layers within your tea through the infusions.

As for porcelain teapots, I really like Chinese porcelain (Jingdezhen), aka 'blue willow.' :)

Mom has a teapot set like this, but in a different pattern:

http://www.ceramicslife.com/bone-porcel ... arden.html

For Indian tea, a more 'Western' pattern would be more my thing, although mom likes Japanese porcelain for her Indian tea.

Ultimately, though, the beauty of tea is that we all consume it differently. Growing up, I didn't actively seek out tea. I was a coffee guy. The only tea I drank regularly was Snapples and Arizonas!
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby xdunlapx » Nov 5th, '12, 12:01

jayinhk wrote:I much prefer to drink Chinese tea with shorter infusions, but I do dump the leaves into my mug near the end and pour hot water on for longer infusions. We do have some very large pots here, but there's no way I'd use them for myself. :)

The Chinese call people who drink large amounts of tea without regard for brewing technique and skill 'bull drinkers.' Sometimes that's not a bad way to go, but Chinese-style brewing is fun and the results are completely different! You can see the layers within your tea through the infusions.

As for porcelain teapots, I really like Chinese porcelain (Jingdezhen), aka 'blue willow.' :)

Mom has a teapot set like this, but in a different pattern:

http://www.ceramicslife.com/bone-porcel ... arden.html

For Indian tea, a more 'Western' pattern would be more my thing, although mom likes Japanese porcelain for her Indian tea.

Ultimately, though, the beauty of tea is that we all consume it differently. Growing up, I didn't actively seek out tea. I was a coffee guy. The only tea I drank regularly was Snapples and Arizonas!

That's a nice looking teapot. Though I don't appreciate the pictorial scenes as other people might. I prefer the look of a solid color or glass since it's more modern I guess. I'm currently looking for an insulated pot but I don't know if I'll buy one that is insulated. I have a plastic insulated travel mug (not for tea) and it doesn't keep things cold or hot for very long.. So if I do get an insulated pot I would probably get stainless steel. I'm still looking though. I don't want to spend too much though I do want quality, so it's a balance right now.

I could just get a tea cozy if I got a glass or non-insulated pot.

Perhaps amazon is not the best place to look for a good teapot. I'll check some tea sites that are listed in the tea vendor guide here on teachat.
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby jayinhk » Nov 5th, '12, 12:35

Stainless is a good choice IMO, and perhaps the safest: some of the porcelain out there contains dangerous levels of heavy metals in the glaze.

Teapots need to give off steam and let in air, so they won't hold heat forever.

Tea cozies remind me of being a kid. Mom always had our housekeeper put a teapot and tea cozy (and all the fixings) on the dining table for her and dad. I was up earlier since I had to get to school. We even used egg cups for our eggs back then! Memories...

I really like the hand painted Jingdezhen stuff specifically because I've seen a lot in my life, including some from shipwrecks from hundreds of years ago, and it is just so distinctive. I could definitely get into collecting it, but I have too many collections. :lol:

Amazon's not a bad place to start as you can always return stuff. The teapots I've bought over the last few months have all been purchased within ten minutes of my office, aside from the knockoff Yixing I bought on eBay. :(
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby xdunlapx » Nov 5th, '12, 12:56

I went ahead and bought the PersonaliTEA from adagio. I got the green one. My favorite color.

I'll commission mom to make me a tea cozy or I can attempt it in knitting. It'll give me something productive to do. I used to try to crochet but anything I did that was supposed to be square ended up like trapezoid.. So. I gave up after a while with crocheting. I tried it again not long ago and yet again I made a trapezoid. LOL I could try knitting again. Mostly my problem when knitting was the stitches would be too tight which made it hard to knit through the previous stitches. I guess I'm tense when I knit. I'll be looking online for a tea cozy. I guess I could take some fabric and attempt to sew one myself. I wish we had a good sewing machine. Ours needs a tune up or some oil or something.. But it's about 25 years old. I think it's time we get a new one. Perhaps I'll put that on my christmas list. LOL I would like to try sewing things. The only thing I've ever machine sewn was a lining of a purse I made, which was a really crappy first project for crocheting hahaha But that was a LONG time ago.

So I hope I'm happy with my teapot purchase from adagio. I felt it was a good deal. I tried to use a $5 gift certificate I sent to myself on another email address but it wouldn't let me use it.. It detected I wasn't a new customer even though I had signed in with that other email address. :( Oh well. Nothing good happens when you cheat. So that's fine.

OH I got a free sample of the Formosa oolong since I used facebook to promote adagio (though I logged into facebook and didn't see the post it supposedly created..) But so I'll get to try 'oriental beauty' yay.. So that's exciting.
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby xdunlapx » Nov 7th, '12, 15:17

I've been making a cup or two of the Chamraj Nilgiri tea with splenda and a splash of milk each day. I'm really enjoying it that way. It seems like a very good tea. I have yet to use my Irish Breakfast or other teas (all flavored/scented).. So those will be my back up tea, haha!

I will be trying Formosa oolong (Oriental Beauty) today when my shipment arrives from Adagio that includes my teapot. I also ordered a sample of darjeeling (second flush). I'm excited to try that, too! I get to use my teapot today.
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby Chip » Nov 7th, '12, 15:21

I would strongly recommend NOT adding milk nor sweetener to oolong when you receive it. :mrgreen:
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby xdunlapx » Nov 7th, '12, 15:24

Yes, Chip. I always try my tea plain before I add sweetener or milk. I hope the oolong I ordered will be sweeter than the tea I've recently ordered. I prefer sweeter drinks. So we'll see how I enjoy it. So should oolong such as Formosa be steeped at about 210 degrees or lower? I see differing temperatures for oolong. I think the Formosa is a more oxidized oolong.
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby Chip » Nov 7th, '12, 15:38

If you are a bitterphobe, then lowering temp would likely help ... but lowering too much will likely not provide good results. 195* would be as low as I would go (including preheating your teapot!).

Bitter is a part of tea's flavor profile ... well the vast majority of teas anyway. Some people acclimate to bitter right away, for others it may take some time and adjustments.

However adding milk and sweeteners to teas does alter/mask the true flavors. If one views tea as simply a beverage, then that is no big deal. However if one becomes a tea aficionado ... this becomes an overriding factor.

Black teas such as Assam, Irish breakfast are exceptions. Darjeeling (since you mention you are receiving this) is generally recommended to be had unadultered.
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby xdunlapx » Nov 7th, '12, 20:12

Yeah I eventually want to get off of using sweeteners and possibly milk for some teas. I want to enjoy the tea as is. I'm just so used to drinking sweetened drinks (all of my life) that it's going to take some time to get used to not adding splenda to tea.

I have a digital meat thermometer I'll use to test the water temp. I assume it'll work, I haven't tried it yet.

The darjeeling and oolong I got from adagio states (on the bag) to use boiling water. I'll try it first with boiling water and then again with cooler water for the oolong.
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby Chip » Nov 7th, '12, 20:40

... and remember, no added sweeteners/milk means a virtual 0 calorie beverage.

TBH, I have never had Splenda, but I tend to think a tea sans Splenda would be more healthful. I am big on substitution ... subbing a good thing for a bad thing. I have done this numerous times in my life and feel it is critical to positive change. If you catch my drift ...
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Re: xdunlapx's Tea Blog

Postby xdunlapx » Nov 7th, '12, 21:06

I am sometimes a little dense. Do you mean that instead of splenda I should use sugar? I'm confused.. :?: :oops:
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