Milk-free tea

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

Jan 11th 10 5:52 am
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Milk-free tea

by amfx22000 » Jan 11th 10 5:52 am

How do you take your black tea without milk?

I've been trying for a while to enjoy it without milk, but always seem to burn my tongue or wind up with disgustingly sweet or bitter tea, so I figured I'd ask how you guys enjoy your clear tea.

Jan 11th 10 1:04 pm
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Re: Milk-free tea

by bsteele » Jan 11th 10 1:04 pm

95% of the time, no sugar and no milk for me. Milk just cancels out the wonderful nuances of a good, quality black tea.

If you are burning yourself, let it cool down before you drink it...

If it's disgustingly sweet, try a bit less sugar... in fact try no sugar....

If it's bitter, don't steep as long.

What black teas are you drinking?

Jan 11th 10 1:15 pm
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Re: Milk-free tea

by amfx22000 » Jan 11th 10 1:15 pm

Lipton loose leaf.

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Jan 11th 10 1:56 pm
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Re: Milk-free tea

by kymidwife » Jan 11th 10 1:56 pm

I bought some black tea samplers and commited to drink each of them unsweetened and no milk to get familiar with the flavor profile of each type of tea. I was surprised to catch so many differences between black teas (smoky, peppery, chocolate, dried fruit, and more) when the flavor was left open for tasting. I don't care for cheaper grades of tea served this way, as they are more likely to be too strong/bitter/astringent due to the broken leaf or dust... but whole leaves, if not overbrewed, have a much more mellow and sweet taste.

If you are accustomed to milk and sugar, expect a time of transition as your palate becomes accustomed to the new tastes. I now drink the majority of my hot and cold teas unsweetened.

Sarah

Jan 11th 10 3:28 pm
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Re: Milk-free tea

by marlena » Jan 11th 10 3:28 pm

I have to agree with kymidwife. You need to give yourself about a week to transition and really pay attention to how it tastes. There are still some that I feel are better with milk. I had a Ceylon that was at best ok alone, but with milk it was wonderful. Don't know about sweeteners as I hate them in my tea or coffee. Now along side, as in a cookie..... Play around with your teas and see what you like.

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Jan 11th 10 4:26 pm
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Re: Milk-free tea

by Chip » Jan 11th 10 4:26 pm

amfx22000 wrote:Lipton loose leaf.
Hot I won't even add to Lipton bags ... but you are never really going to really be able to get the tea experience others are talking about from Lipton ... though I never had their loose version.

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Jan 11th 10 6:01 pm
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Re: Milk-free tea

by Dresden » Jan 11th 10 6:01 pm

I agree with bsteele. Milk tends to mask some of the great flavor profiles you get from leaf tea. I've tried it but for me it overpowers the tea.

Before transitioning to tea my hot beverage of choice was coffee & chicory - black. Tea being too strong has never been an issue for me.

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Jan 11th 10 6:21 pm
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Re: Milk-free tea

by LauraW » Jan 11th 10 6:21 pm

bsteele wrote:95% of the time, no sugar and no milk for me. Milk just cancels out the wonderful nuances of a good, quality black tea.
Absolutely agree. There are certain teas that, after trying them a few times with different water temps and steeping times, I'll try adding a bit of milk or honey, or - again, depending on type of tea - lemon. I find that if I have to use a sweetener, honey is better than sugar; I get a bit of sweet without over-doing it and losing the tea in the sugar (or milk, as the case may be).

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Jan 11th 10 6:59 pm
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Re: Milk-free tea

by Dresden » Jan 11th 10 6:59 pm

Forgot to add that before I give up on a tea I will try adding a little sweetness to it and see if that helps. Most of the time it's honey but at this time of year I like to use fresh raw brown sugar.

A friend of mine brought me a bag from the mill last week and when I got it the sugar was still warm!!! YUM!

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Re: Milk-free tea

by bsteele » Jan 11th 10 7:06 pm

amfx22000 wrote:Lipton loose leaf.
I'd recommend buying Adagio's Black Sampler. This was my first real introduction to black tea-- I too was once a Lipton user. Well, I'll still drink it if I'm making good ol' southern sweet tea :)

But seriously, get that sampler. A really fun and quite educational thing to do is to compare them all at once. Brew a 4oz sample of all of them, including the lipton, and do a taste test. Using white mugs is great so you can compare the color too.

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Jan 12th 10 3:28 am
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Re: Milk-free tea

by brad4419 » Jan 12th 10 3:28 am

No sweetner or milk added to my tea, I have tried it several times but it just doesn't taste right. Maybe some Indian spice teas would be good with milk but I don't drink them very often. I like it Purely tea.

Adagio is a great place to start sampleing. I haven't ever heard anything bad about them.

Jan 12th 10 4:21 am
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Re: Milk-free tea

by amfx22000 » Jan 12th 10 4:21 am

On this advice, I've spent the day going through three quarts of plain tea, and I've got to say, unsweetened tea's a lot better than I remember. Mind you, all of my past experiences with unsweetened black tea have been with tea bags, which I've decided is probably the reason I've been so hesitant to go without sugar or milk.

As for the brand, I appreciate the suggestions, but for now my tea budget is pretty limited and Lipton loose leaf is only 8 bucks a pound at Target, so... :D

I'll eventually give some samplers a shot, though, if I get the spare cash.

I've got to say I'm pretty satisfied with Lipton for now - their loose tea is infinitely better than their tea bags.

Tea sure goes down much easier without the milk and sugar, and it's great to look down into the cup and not feel like I'm drinking watery chocolate milk. lol Thanks for all the suggestions.

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Jan 14th 10 9:33 am
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Re: Milk-free tea

by skilfautdire » Jan 14th 10 9:33 am

If you want an inexpensive variation, many supermarkets in large cities carry in their 'exotic/foreign' section loose black teas from Turkish and/or Arabic origins. These are also inexpensive, common, loose black teas, available by the pound or more. If not, find a middle-eastern grocery and you will find inexpensive loose black tea in there. Might make a change from the Lipton.

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Re: Milk-free tea

by NOESIS » Jan 15th 10 2:38 am

When I do drink black tea, it is usually a Darjeeling or Yunnan Gold. I add just a wee bit of raw sugar to these teas. Doesn't really sweeten them, but rather accentuates their inherent goodness.

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Re: Milk-free tea

by bsteele » Jan 15th 10 2:53 am

NOESIS wrote:When I do drink black tea, it is usually a Darjeeling or Yunnan Gold. I add just a wee bit of raw sugar to these teas. Doesn't really sweeten them, but rather accentuates their inherent goodness.
How much is a wee bit? Aside from spiced teas or sweet tea... I've never tried my blacks with sugar. I suppose I should try it at least once... hmmmm