Discovering the world of teas HELP


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Discovering the world of teas HELP

Postby KleineKatze21 » Jan 29th, '06, 01:18

I recently have been getting into drinknig tea. My boyfriend made me a cup of that " Jasmine #12" and so, I decided to go onto this website and poke around. I bought all this tea, and I have no idea what I'm doing. I know I should have researched it.. but... I'm silly like that. Anyway. This is what I have, and this is what I need help on..
I bought the glass petit tea pot, I think it makes about 3 cups?
I also have the Strawberry black tea, oolong savant sampler, and the apricot green.

The strawberry smells so good, in the can and when brewing.. but when I taste it.. it's bitter! same with the apricot green...
I really have no idea what i'm doing, and I am just wasting the tea.. because I will make a cup and then throw it out.

How much of the loose tea should I put in the tea pot if i'm just making 1 cup? and does that apply to all the teas that I have?
Also, this might be just plain dumb.. but any suggestions on what to put in the tea after it's made.. or do you just drink it straight? I've heard of sugar, honey, lemon.. and even milk and cream.

Should I just go back to crystal light peach tea? HELP ME!
Thanks! :D
-Melissa-
KleineKatze21
 

Postby teaspoon » Jan 29th, '06, 02:39

Hey there Melissa! Not to fear, tea can become unscary quite rapidly.

To answer your question about quantity, generally 1 tsp of tea leaves per 1 cup of water (8-12 fl oz) is the way to go. I have heard of using only 1/2 tsp for some teas, but I don't think that will apply to any of the teas you have. Secondly, are you keeping an eye on how long your tea steeps? For black teas, the rule of thumb is to steep in boiling water for 5 minutes. I have found, however, that adagio's flavored black teas require only 4 minutes. For your green teas, 3 minutes at 180 degrees (not that I really follow the temperature rule, but it's good to know) is the recommended time and temperature. Oversteeping is the reason teas get bitter. If your tea is still too bitter for your taste after only 5 minutes (or 3 for the green), you can experiment with using less tea or steeping less time (that's how I found out that adagio's flavors are best at 4 minutes).

Once your tea is brewed, any type of sweetener or such is cool. It depends on your taste. I'd recommend tasting it first without anything in it, just so you know the original flavor of the tea. Sugar sweetens well without adding its own flavor, but honey goes really well in green tea. Especially when your throat hurts. Personally I don't usually use milk/cream in my tea, but when I do, it's only black tea. Don't know if anybody's put milk in green tea, but it seems like that would be nasty. It does help, though, if you've oversteeped your tea by accident. The milk counteracts the bitterness because it binds with the tannins in the tea and neutralizes them (that's what makes tea bitter... I think... could be remembering that wrong, as it is late and I am sleepy).

I hope you will end up enjoying your teas. Yeah, preparation's a little overwhelming at first, but by following a few general guidelines and experimenting a bit, you can bring it down to whelming. Then you can let yourself be overwhelmed by the glorious taste and fabulously relaxing or invigorating experience of your tea. Wow I sound like a bad brochure writer. But I hope this has helped :D

~teaspoon
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Postby rhpot1991 » Jan 29th, '06, 02:49

A couple general rules:
1 tsp per 8 oz. Fluffy teas could use a little more.

There is a steep time and temperature on the tins, use those. Most greens, whites and light oolongs like their water at 180 degrees. While blacks, herbals, and dark oolongs like their water at 212 degrees.

A few links to help you out:
http://www.adagio.com/info/good_vs_bad.html
http://www.adagio.com/faq/about_tea.html

As far as the bitterness goes. You are more than likely oversteeping. Though I have had a lot of problems with bitter black tea that were cause by squishing the leafs, so avoid that. I like to use organic cane sugar in my tea, but you can use whatever you want. Just make sure that you don't use lemon and milk or creamer together as they will curdle. In all honesty there is no truely correct way to prepare your tea, experiment and decide what tastes the best to you and stick with that.

-John
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Re: Discovering the world of teas HELP

Postby PeteVu » Jan 31st, '06, 17:41

KleineKatze21 wrote:
Should I just go back to crystal light peach tea?

-Melissa-


did anyone else get a chill down their spine when they read that?
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Thanks =)

Postby KleineKatze21 » Feb 6th, '06, 23:46

Thank you all for your comments!
I think that I have been steeping all my tea too long... AND not using the right temperature... AND using too much tea =)
I havent had a chance to try all the advice yet, cause I've been so busy with school/work
but, don't fret. I think this Thursday I will sit down with Chris and have a "tea lab" day and experiment.

Thanks again all!
-Melissa- :D
KleineKatze21
 

Postby Cyphre » Feb 7th, '06, 12:21

Another sweetner you might want ot try is Stevia. It is wonderful for sweeting teas. It's considerde a herb and not a sweetner though. I would use that over any artificial sweetners like SPlenda. Thats just me of course. I never trust anything chemically made when you can get something just as good from a natural herb.
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Postby Cyphre » Feb 7th, '06, 15:35

Oh I wouldn't have taken it badly. I know a lot of people that love Splenda. I just have never been a fan of artifical sweetners even before Splenda came out. It's just my own personal distrust of most sweetners. I wouldn't touch Nutrasweet when it came out even though everyone said it is the best thing in the world. So my dislike of Splenda has nothing to do with it besides just a dislike of created sweetners.
Cyphre
 

tea

Postby Snow on Cedar » Feb 14th, '06, 23:31

Also try herbal tea to ease into teas.
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