To a Tea!
#11
We Americans are overly fond of adulterating tea with flavoring agents, gilding the lily, as it were. While it is true that the British developed Earl Grey through the addition of oil of bergamot, Americans go overboard, and the trend of adding even chocolate to tea leaves is regrettable. For a long time, tea was an expensive import beyond the reach of many, at least on a regular basis, so mixing it with flavoring agents does not seem, to me, to ennoble it any further. It may take some effort to learn to appreciate it "naked," but it is well worth it.

I have consumed tea heavily now for over ten years, around four cups per day and often more. Personally, I do not take tea with milk or sugar, as this can only serve to obscure the flavors, which are quite variable from tea to tea and from season to season. I will try any tea, and love many, but I am especially fond of Chinese black teas, like Keemun, although agricultural practices in China make me nervous, since contaminated teas have been found in recent years, and many farmers are now cutting fertilizer with contaminated refuse to extend its use. I order more now from Taiwan for that reason, and I generally prefer organic certification.

I was formerly suspicious of the quality of African teas, but I recently had some single-origin loose leaf black tea from Rwanda that has caused me to rethink my judgment, and I would say that it stands up well to the best Ceylon teas. If you can find it, it has an excellent value, and Rwanda shows a lot of potential as a growing region. Most of Rwanda's tea production goes into blends, so it is possible you have already tasted it in conjunction with other teas. The majority of Rwandans are Catholic (~57%), if you need another incentive.
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#12
I'm currently drinking Twinings Irish Breakfast from the Keurig. Similar taste, but I prefer brewing the leaves because you get a good dose of antioxidants. K-cups don't get a chance to steep. Like Cyriacus, I have stopped using sugar in my tea. You can taste the full flavor and it's healthier for you.
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#13
(01-09-2014, 12:14 PM)Cyriacus Wrote: We Americans are overly fond of adulterating tea with flavoring agents, gilding the lily, as it were. While it is true that the British developed Earl Grey through the addition of oil of bergamot, Americans go overboard, and the trend of adding even chocolate to tea leaves is regrettable. For a long time, tea was an expensive import beyond the reach of many, at least on a regular basis, so mixing it with flavoring agents does not seem, to me, to ennoble it any further. It may take some effort to learn to appreciate it "naked," but it is well worth it.

That's an interesting take. I don't understand the whole adding milk or sugar thing (I grew up drinking tea with my Scottish grandmother, i guess it was uncouth to do such a thing), but I find the "flavouring agents" has it's time and place.

Tea, to some degree, is like wine in it's complexity and regional variations, so I understand the naked appreciation thing. But tisanes (is that a word in English? we use it in French to differentiate tea from tea leaves - thé - from herbal teas made from other things - tisane), using things like flowers and oils, also formulate the basis of an interesting and sophistocated palate.

For example, I currently have green tea with rose petals (rose petals, incidently, are delicious). That's the strong flavouring agent in that tea. It's nice.

And the tea and chocolate - oh, the artificially flavoured stuff is terrible. But real, with high quality black tea with just a soupçonne of the chocolate leaves is quite heavenly, no sugar please. 

Turkish apples teas are just yucky. I don't like most fruity "teas".

I will have to look into the Rwandan teas. I just got some Oolong, but I think Ceylon will be next.
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#14
Seems i am addicted to "Classic Black",http://www.artoftea.com/catalog/?gclid=CJeWiuPl-bsCFUVyQgodBH8AMA

Never  bought anything from them i didnt  really like!
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#15
I like Trader Joe's brand Irish breakfast or English breakfast. I drink both black.  Twinings Earl Grey is a nice treat once in a while. I'm trying to drink more green tea lately, but I can't settle on a brand that I like. I may just end up buying loose leaves from somewhere.
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#16
I'm heavily addicted to Twinings Irish Breakfast.  I'll usually drink 4 or 5 cups a day - each cup with two tea bags and skim milk, no sugar.

Also, an occasional Chai Tea from Starbucks!

Robert
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#17
(01-08-2014, 03:11 PM)IXOYE Wrote: The liver cleansing teas made from a lot of herb roots like burdock dandelion ginger

Thanks for the tip IXOYE.

Thanks Prairie Mom for the thread, I love tea. :)
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#18
Earl Grey for me.
"Punishment is justice for the unjust." Saint Augustine of Hippo
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#19
Hardcore Tea drinker here. My ex gave me a bag of loose leaf Irish Breakfast tea which is really good and strong. I have the metal ball strainer for it. I appreciate Green Tea and good old Lipton black tea. lol. I normally put milk in my tea. (I think it is an Irish thing) I only put milk in black tea though; never in green, white or other non-black blends.
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#20
I am drinking black tea with fresh ginger
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