How to prepare tea

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How to prepare tea

Postby David H » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:48 pm

If you drink tea even when you're not ill, you have probably heard at least five different sets of instructions, each claiming to be the only "true" way. The article that the link below connects to is no exception to the "I know best" syndrome; I'll add only that the chain of European shops (mostly, and originally, German) called Der Teeladen disagrees about the temperature of the water used in brewing, recommending 90º or even 70º for some Chinese teas.
http://www.slate.com/id/2279601/
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Re: How to prepare tea

Postby Trevor F » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:18 pm

Water must be boiling when making tea. I use teabags as it's quicker, but with strong tea , ie Assam, Kenyan or Rwandan. Add milk after so you can judge the colour . I like it darkish brown -- truckers' tea.

For lemon tea use weaker tea, a la Wissotzky.

Trouble is some Israelis think the English always like milk in their tea, including green tea......... the result and taste is disastrous and best poured away behind the nearest rubber plant.
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Re: How to prepare tea

Postby Mike BG » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:48 pm

Trevor F wrote:Trouble is some Israelis think the English always like milk in their tea, including green tea......... the result and taste is disastrous and best poured away behind the nearest rubber plant.

Well, if you do make 'tea' with Wissotzky then you really shouldn't be trying to add milk to it ... having being brought up in England I am still convinced that Wissotzky must be made from wood shavings, as it bears no resemblance to what we grew up with as 'tea' ...

Seriously though, I would suggest that you can only add milk to seriously strong, full flavoured tea, made with really boiling water, etc ...
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Re: How to prepare tea

Postby Daniel Rogov » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:52 pm

I am reminded of a scene in a Danny Kaye film in which he portrayed a private in the British Army who was ordered to impersonate one of the highest ranking British officers. After one dinner, visiting one of the country's grande dames, she poured tea, asked him: "Sugar" - he replied, "a lump"; she asked "lemon" and he replied "a squeeze"; she asked "milk" and he replied "a dash". She did it all, passed him the cup and saucer saying "tea"...he replied "never touch the stuff".

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Re: How to prepare tea

Postby Joel D Parker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:06 am

Sorry, jumping in without having read the article.

Although I've never met a Chinese person who uses less than boiling water in their green tea (could be, I just haven't met them). I have had discussions about it with some very authentic Chinese tea drinkers who readily admit that the first brew is just the appetizer. The second, third, and yes, even fourth brew are the best. So it has less to do with temperature than the fact that good quality green tea is often too bitter on first brew with boiling water. That being said, I've tried at home using 90 degree temperature water, which makes the first brew nicer, somewhat. Can't imagine 70 being nice at all, as it just sounds gross to drink lukewarm tea.

I'm not sure if this applies to Japanese green tea, since there are several variations in style, some of which are very different from their Chinese counterparts.

As to black tea, duh. Boiling water temp., and only quality English brands, though some other European brands cut it. With milk. With or without sugar depending on what I'm having with it. By itself, no sugar, but always, always 3% fat or higher milk.

Oh, and Earl Grey is not real tea.

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Re: How to prepare tea

Postby Trevor F » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:22 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:. At one dine, visiting one of the country's grande dames, she poured tea, asked him: "Sugar" - he replied, "a lump"; she asked "lemon" and he replied "a squeeze"; she asked "milk" and he replied "a dash". She did it all, passed him the cup and saucer saying "tea"...he replied "never touch the stuff".
Rogov


Which reminds of the comedy film ' Sands of the desert ' from my early childhood in which Charlie Drake is offered a cup of tea by some Arab sheik with the question " do you take one hump or two ? "

Also I think in that film he is offered a sheep's eye on a tray. Cut to an arm reaching for the sheep's eye when the eye starts to wink.
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Re: How to prepare tea

Postby David H » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:21 am

Oh, and Earl Grey is not real tea.

What were you thinking when you wrote that? It's tea, real tea, with added bergamot flavoring. Sugar and milk are also additions; do they make tea into not-tea?
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Re: How to prepare tea

Postby David H » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:55 am

On the brew temperature question: much depends on how you define "boiling". A fully rolling boil is at 100º, of course, but there are bubbles in the water long before that. Have a look at this: http://coffeetea.about.com/od/teabrewing/a/teatemp.htm
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Re: How to prepare tea

Postby Joel D Parker » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:48 am

Of course Earl Grey has tea in it, but I personally find it annoying that many places in Israel only serve Earl Grey and not a proper English Breakfast tea. Or when you ask for black tea, and they bring you Earl Grey, as if there's absolutely no difference. In my opinion Earl Grey is for those who don't really like the taste of tea and in thus, in my personal and admittedly eccentric view, a perversion. :twisted:

There does seem to be a consensus on the web about lower water temperatures for fine green tea. I concede to that one, but I still think the Chinese are less concerned about temperature than multiple brewing times. Good green tea should make several brews, each better than the last. :D
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