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I drink a variety of tea as I like to try all kinds of taste. However I don't drink everyday. The most commonly one that I drink is green tea and I brew myself instead of those in sachet form. I particularly like those from China and Japan but these imports cost more. There are also some instant ones in a bottle or can which has very high content of sugar which I highly discouraged. Adding jasmine in the tea will give you the fragrance smell. If natural honey is added, it gives the sweetness and honey can be used in most tea. It is definitely better than sugar as honey is also consumable for people who have diabetes.
As for milk, I don't add it in the tea as I prefer the natural taste and fragrance. If milk is needed, try to add a very small amount so as to preserve the taste or else it will be so milky as if you are drinking milk instead of tea.
Ohhh we have a tea threat!
I've been drinking a lot of decaffeinated green tea recently. Just really cheap grocery store tea bag stuff but for some reason it's got me hooked as a good thing to have when curling up with a good book.
It doesn't have the intense flavor of something like my favorite black tea (http://www.adagio.com/black/black_dragon_pearls.html) but there is something to be said for a good cheap cup of tea that only has to steep for a minute.
I got into tea many years ago because I can't handle the quantity of caffeine in coffee (or cocoa) enough to have a whole cup at a time, much as I wish I could. So for ages, I've always had some green (usually Jasmine), some herbals (usually mint and chamomile), and some black (any brand of Earl Grey with extra bergamot/citrus in the blend), which I'd have to brew lightly.
But lately I'm finding that my caffeine tolerance has sunk even further, which is frustrating. Aside from the caffeine-free herbals I was having already, I'm trying to branch out into new stuff that might fill the void left by my favourite black and green teas. I used to like (pre-sweetened) ginger tea, so I tried lemon ginger, but that's too acidic. Right now, I'm trying to get used to a licorice root blend with cinnamon, anise, and others. (Would have been a hit if it weren't for the cloying aftertaste...)
It's not quite tea but has anyone tried brewed chicory root before? It's supposed to have a nutty flavour and works as a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. I'd like to try that out at some point.
One of the teas that has become a staple of mine, that may work for you, is just a basic decaffeinated green tea.
Just like the grocery store bought bagged tea. It's nothing fancy but I find just brewing some of that with a steep time of a minute gives a nice leafy flavor. It's not as complex as the other tea I drink but it's still very satisfying and relaxing. The one thing you don't want to do with tea like that though is oversteep. Which is the case with all green tea really but for cheaper teas like that the flaws get magnified when they are over steeped and turn bitter and nasty.
I've found that, with most cheap store bought tea, the steeping guidelines for those teas tend to be pretty far off what actually brings out the best flavor too (At least for my palete).
Like for Green tea 1 min steep in 170 degree water is just right for pretty much every green tea. But a lot of times they say like 2 mins steep in boiling water. That's 2 mins at 212. Which results in a cup of hot water that tastes like a pencil eraser.
Last edited by Jammin; April 09, 2015 at 11:44 AM.
Thanks for the suggestion!
1 minute (or less for black tea, especially if it's Stash brand) has generally been enough with most bagged teas in general, for my taste as well. I have some nice loose tea I got inexpensively from a large chain Asian grocer in my town a couple of weeks ago. I followed the (Japanese) instructions on the bag while reducing the amount of tea, but it was still way too strong. Maybe I'll give it another go with less tea AND a shorter brewing time than a minute. (Or better yet, I can try infusing one cup instead of brewing a whole pot at a time as I'm used to doing for loose tea.)
I always let the water cool a bit after boiling, so as not to destroy the flavour of the tea. (I actually was instructed in how best to prepare loose sencha once, but forgot what I learned pretty fast.) I've read maybe I should try removing the water from the heat before it hits boiling in the first place. Is that what you'd suggest?
I got bought a selection of teas from Japan - I am not sure I could recommend anything, as I barely follow the instructions I am given (each tea has a different ideal temperature supposedly)...
The one I am currently drinking recommends that you completely boil water, then allow it to cool to 72 deg. C (I don't have a Japanese kettle here [other than my awesome metal one] and can't be arsed to take a thermometer to my kettle).
Add 8 grams of loose tea to pot, add 170 ml water.
90 seconds later, pour all the water out. They say to the last drop.
Leaving water on the leaves will cause the tea to over-brew and can ruin the taste of any later brews with the same leaves.
SO ignoring all that (as I tend to)...
If too strong, what I recommend is chucking the first brew. Then reuse the leaves with more water - I have had some Chinese teas which recommend doing this and I imagine it would help make the tea taste less overpowering.
A good way to gauge water tempurature is to watch the steam and water. At sea level.
160-170 - Vapor appears at the spout of the kettle.
170-180 - A small amount of steam appears above the spout in short bursts.
180-190 - A steady column of steam and bubbles should start forming.
190-200 - Large amount of steam and bubbles should start reaching the surface.
200-212 - Full Boil
The only real experience I have with Japanese tea is with a green tea called Gyokuro. You'll be able to tell if it's that by looking at the leaves. It looks very distinct, green needles, and you can see it on the Adago page if you want to compare.
---------- Post added at 05:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:50 PM ----------
Also another decaf option would be Decaf Ceylon. I've heard the difference between the decaf and regular is minimal and Ceylon is a great tea. And I would say by far the best ice teas.
I usually go for 72º-ish or higher (C), going by the steaming kettle, by letting it cool. In a day or two, I'll try using water that's close but hasn't boiled yet, maybe boiled in a pot just to see if it tastes different from the kettle, once poured into my teapot.
Actually, my favourite Earl Grey has a decaf version! I doubt I'll find it locally but I hope to get some at some point...
Last edited by kannazuki; April 09, 2015 at 05:14 PM.