Hi! Eager to Learn More About Making Tea!


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Hi! Eager to Learn More About Making Tea!

Postby TimeforTea » Feb 2nd, '08, 20:44

Hi!

I am a recent convert from coffee to tea. I have been drinking tea from tea bags and would like to learn more about making tea from lose leaves.

I have a lot of questions I'm hoping you will take the time to answer so I can learn more:

1) What basic equipment should I buy?

2) What is the difference between a tea pot and a tea kettle?

3) What are the differences between an electric kettle and a stove top kettle?

4) What are the pros/cons of buying a tea pot & cups that are glass, porcelein, ceramic, or an iron tea pot?

5) I would like to get a tea pot, cups, etc. to serve 1 or 2. What would be my best choices?

6) Do I need a tea strainer? What is it? Is that so you don't drink the leaves at the bottom of your tea cup?

7) Is a tea warmer necessary? How do you know what size to get to match the size of your tea pot?

Thank you in advance
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Re: Hi! Eager to Learn More About Making Tea!

Postby scruffmcgruff » Feb 2nd, '08, 21:00

Newbee2Tea wrote:Hi!


Hi! Welcome to TeaChat!

Newbee2Tea wrote:1) What basic equipment should I buy?


A good set for a new tea lover should include the following: A teapot (such as the ingenuiTEA or the personaliTEA at Adagio), a kettle (either electric, like Adagio's utiliTEA, or a regular stove kettle), and some cups.

Newbee2Tea wrote:2) What is the difference between a tea pot and a tea kettle?


A teapot is what you use to brew the loose leaf. A tea kettle is used only to heat your water.

Newbee2Tea wrote:3) What are the differences between an electric kettle and a stove top kettle?


An electric kettle plugs into the wall, and tends to be much faster at heating water than a stove kettle. Also, you can bring it anywhere, whereas the stove top kettle requires a stove top.

Newbee2Tea wrote:4) What are the pros/cons of buying a tea pot & cups that are glass, porcelein, ceramic, or an iron tea pot?


If you are just looking at basic wares to get you started, these factors won't matter much. The only thing I would avoid is a porous teapot-- these are usually made of unglazed clay.

Newbee2Tea wrote:5) I would like to get a tea pot, cups, etc. to serve 1 or 2. What would be my best choices?


I would check out the teapots I mentioned earlier-- the ingenuiTEA and the personaliTEA. I have heard good things about both. As for cups, just get whatever you like!

Newbee2Tea wrote:6) Do I need a tea strainer? What is it? Is that so you don't drink the leaves at the bottom of your tea cup?


You may want some sort of strainer, and as far as I know both of the pots I mentioned include them. A strainer prevents leaves from getting to your cup, and also allows for quick separation of the leaves and the brewed tea, so the leaves do not oversteep.

Newbee2Tea wrote:7) Is a tea warmer necessary? How do you know what size to get to match the size of your tea pot?


I have never found the need for a tea warmer-- unless you take a *long* time in drinking your tea, you probably won't either. Since I have never had one, I can't help with sizing should you want to purchase one, though.

Newbee2Tea wrote:Thank you in advance


No problem! Welcome again. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. That being said, please try not to post the same thing in multiple forums, as you did with this one. Just pick the one forum that seems most appropriate-- someone will see it and answer. :)
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Thanks, Scruff McGruff!

Postby TimeforTea » Feb 2nd, '08, 21:36

Dear Scruff,

Wow, thank you so much for answering all of my questions!! I really appreciate your help. I am eager to get the products you mentioned!! And I'm even more eager to actually taste real tea!

Thank you for letting me know that it was bad etiquette to post in more than one forum. :oops:

Best,
Newbee2Tea :D
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Postby Mary R » Feb 2nd, '08, 22:31

It wasn't the best etiquette move, but it's not a big deal. I'll go ahead and remove the extra postings...no harm done. :)

The following was a response to the duplicate posting from our new Norwegian TeaChatter, Selaphiel.

Selaphiel wrote:You should get:

1x Kyusu for your japanese green teas (these are usually glazed inside as well)
1x Yixing Gong Fu Cha pot (to start with, you`ll need different ones for different types of tea)
1x Gaiwan for your chinese green and white teas
1x Cast iron tea pot is nice to have if you`re interested in indian black teas like Darjeeling, they are glazed inside so the aroma doesn`t stick to the pot so you can use it for different teas.

I would recommend getting an electric thermostat controlled water boiler. It`s not necessary but it helps a lot, it did wonders for me. (I have the Royal M9000 aquagrad, which has been very good).
You don`t need any strainers. The Kyusu and Yixing pots have filters in front of theirs spouts so the tea is filtered as you pour it. The gaiwan doesnt have a filter, but you filter with using the lid.

No need for any tea warmers, you don`t usually make huge batches of tea, tea is best when made in small quantities.

Welcome to a great hobby! It is an extremely rewarding hobby that introduces you into a realm of fantastic tastes, esthetics and personal challenge (this is very much a craft that you get better and better at). ;)
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Postby Mary R » Feb 2nd, '08, 22:46

If you're looking into getting some basic teawares and tea, Adagio has partnered with Zarafina for a Valentine's special you might be interested in.

Basically, if you spend $50 at Adagio, you'll get a link to an exclusive Zarafina offer which will give you a free cup-and-saucer set of theirs if you pay the $5.95 shipping. The set includes two 10 oz cups and two saucers, which retail on the Zarafina site for about $40.

I have a set of Zarafina cups myself and am fairly pleased with them. They're pretty good cups. If you don't have a kettle, you could easily get to the $50 mark just by purchasing an Adagio utiliTEA. I have one of those, and it is hands down my favorite kettle.
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Postby forkyfork » Feb 2nd, '08, 23:27

Mary R wrote:If you're looking into getting some basic teawares and tea, Adagio has partnered with Zarafina for a Valentine's special you might be interested in.

Basically, if you spend $50 at Adagio, you'll get a link to an exclusive Zarafina offer which will give you a free cup-and-saucer set of theirs if you pay the $5.95 shipping. The set includes two 10 oz cups and two saucers, which retail on the Zarafina site for about $40.

I have a set of Zarafina cups myself and am fairly pleased with them. They're pretty good cups. If you don't have a kettle, you could easily get to the $50 mark just by purchasing an Adagio utiliTEA. I have one of those, and it is hands down my favorite kettle.


Mary,

I've already purchased a lot of high-priced items off of adagio. I was going to make another purchase soon, but it wouldn't be $50 (probably closer to $20). Are the cups worth it to bump it up to $50? What makes them particularly special?
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Postby TimeforTea » Feb 2nd, '08, 23:50

Mary R wrote:It wasn't the best etiquette move, but it's not a big deal. I'll go ahead and remove the extra postings...no harm done. :)


Thank you for removing my duplicate posting. Again, I apologize for my mistake! Thanks for giving me Selaphiel's helpful response, too!! :D

Newbee2Tea
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Postby TimeforTea » Feb 2nd, '08, 23:54

If you're looking into getting some basic teawares and tea, Adagio has partnered with Zarafina for a Valentine's special you might be interested in.

Basically, if you spend $50 at Adagio, you'll get a link to an exclusive Zarafina offer which will give you a free cup-and-saucer set of theirs if you pay the $5.95 shipping. The set includes two 10 oz cups and two saucers, which retail on the Zarafina site for about $40.

I have a set of Zarafina cups myself and am fairly pleased with them. They're pretty good cups. If you don't have a kettle, you could easily get to the $50 mark just by purchasing an Adagio utiliTEA. I have one of those, and it is hands down my favorite kettle.


* * *

Mary,
Thanks! This is great to know!
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Postby Mary R » Feb 3rd, '08, 10:47

forkyfork wrote:Are the cups worth it to bump it up to $50? What makes them particularly special?


Well, I wouldn't say they're made from some miracle ceramic or anything, but they are quite nice. They're a little bit larger than a traditional 6 or 8 oz teacup, which is nice for prime sippage (at least in my book), and one cup matches the contents of my smallest tetsubin perfectly...so I find myself reaching for them quite a bit.

I'm a fan of the more modern/contemporary design, which has a touch of Asian influence. The cups are handleless, but feel really nice cradled in your hands. The curves fit well and the glaze has a soft, silky feel to it. The glaze is also really, really, really hard to get tea-stained. I've put the Zarafina cups to some mean abuse (not washing them for a day or so, for instance...I have a lot of cups) and they clean up wonderfully.

Their only real detraction in my book is that if you brew tea directly in them with boiling water, they do become too hot to hold comfortably. If, however, you brew the tea in a pot and pour it into one of these cups, it instantly becomes a great sipping temperature.

They're not miracle cups, but they're pretty darn nice.

I'm also a fan of the offset saucers in the Adagio/Zarafina offer. They'd be handy for holding an accompanying cookie or something, if that's your tea boat. I'd probably use them if a friend was over for a cup. The seem like they'd be good "hostess ware," no?
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Postby tseirPsaduJ » Feb 3rd, '08, 10:51

I think the PersonaliTEA http://www.adagio.com/teaware/personaliTEA_teapot.html?sid=b9ecea2fbb94360c08434506d422508d is definitely a good choice for a decent, inexpensive starter or spare teapot. I was thinking of picking one or two up to leave at friends' houses, work/travel, etc. so I don't have to carry my things everywhere and end up forgetting something or breaking my best.

there is also one that comes with four samples http://www.adagio.com/gifts/holiday_personaliTEA.html?SID=b9ecea2fbb94360c08434506d422508d that might be a good place to start.
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Postby Chip » Feb 3rd, '08, 15:07

Scruff flexes his TeaMuscles again...good job!

I just wanted to say welcome to the best forum on the planet Newbee!!!

I hope you hang around and share many cups with us...and while you are at it, visit the TeaDay forum and share what's in your cup!!! It is TeaChat's newest forum and seems to be a hub of activity throughout the day. Participate in the daily poll while you are there. The results are pretty amazing.
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Thank you, everyone! :-)

Postby TimeforTea » Feb 3rd, '08, 17:21

I am really enjoying reading your very helpful replies!! :-)

Today I bought my very first tin of loose tea--a white tea from linens and things. I cannot wait to try it! I am eager to become more involved in the other forums here as well. :-)
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Postby TimeforTea » Feb 3rd, '08, 17:29

tseirPsaduJ wrote:I think the PersonaliTEA http://www.adagio.com/teaware/personaliTEA_teapot.html?sid=b9ecea2fbb94360c08434506d422508d is definitely a good choice for a decent, inexpensive starter or spare teapot. I was thinking of picking one or two up to leave at friends' houses, work/travel, etc. so I don't have to carry my things everywhere and end up forgetting something or breaking my best.

there is also one that comes with four samples http://www.adagio.com/gifts/holiday_personaliTEA.html?SID=b9ecea2fbb94360c08434506d422508d that might be a good place to start.


Hi!

Thanks for your suggestions! I did think about getting the PersonaliTEA. I love the look of it! However, I think it may be too large since I want something that's good for tea-for-one-or-two. I bought the ingenutea starter kit last night with the white tea samples. I will probably get the PersonaliTEA down the road for entertaining.

I also bought some filters with my order so I can make my own tea bags to slip into my purse for tea on-the-go. See, I'm learning so much already! :D
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Postby skywarrior » Feb 3rd, '08, 18:05

Newbee2Tea wrote:Hi!

Thanks for your suggestions! I did think about getting the PersonaliTEA. I love the look of it! However, I think it may be too large since I want something that's good for tea-for-one-or-two. I bought the ingenutea starter kit last night with the white tea samples. I will probably get the PersonaliTEA down the road for entertaining.

I also bought some filters with my order so I can make my own tea bags to slip into my purse for tea on-the-go. See, I'm learning so much already! :D


The personaliTEA will only give you 21 oz, which is 2-8 oz cups and an extra 5 oz. I guzzle tea from a 20 oz tetsubin, which in my mugs decimate at a about 12-14 oz at a time. So unless you're into small amounts (100-150 ml), you may find that the PersonaliTEA may be too small for sharing.

But YMMV. The price is indeed right on that and I'm probably going to give those to my sisters for their birthdays.
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Postby TimeforTea » Feb 3rd, '08, 21:01

I personally think 21 oz is too much for me. However, it is a good price, and I will consider getting it. I'm sure your sisters will like receiving them for their birthdays! :D
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