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Old 02-09-2020, 06:48 AM
Bijou Drains is offline
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Looking for new teas to try


Are there any uncommon teas that are good? Other than Earl Grey, black, orange, apple, lemon, etc. Something that is easy to buy as well, either locally or online.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:16 AM
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"Good" is, of course, completely in the taste buds of the drinker, so all I can do is pass on what I like.

Among the general varieties of tea (black, green, white, rooibos, mate, herbal) I pretty much only drink black teas. There is a huge variety of black teas around, here are some of the ones I like, in no particular order.

Lapsang Souchong, a unique black tea flavor as the tea is cured over smoke rather than just in the sun or whatever is done with regular black teas. This may be an acquired taste, but if you like it, it can become addictive.

Russian Caravan, a blend that is mostly lapsang, mellowed and smoothed a bit by some other black teas.

Assam tea from India.

Yunnan tea from China

Jasmine, flavored with jasmine flowers, are good, especially those "pearls" which are tea leaves packed into a ball, you put a couple in a pot and they open up and give up their flavor. Intoxicating.

Irish Breakfast, a stronger blend than English Breakfast, packs more caffeine and a stronger flavor. Stands up really well to milk or half-and-half.

Chai, which is black tea with spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. There are lots of varieties of chai, they can really warm you up in the winter.

Flavored black teas can be flavored with lots of different things, including chocolate or different fruits. Huge variety available.

Pu'erh is a subset of black teas, which are aged in caves and have an earthy flavor. Again, an acquired taste, you can mix them other black teas to deepen and mellow out the flavor.

These are all readily available online, but check your local organic food markets for teas in bulk, they will be much cheaper, and probably fresher. Tea should be stored in airtight containers and not exposed to light.

I hope you find some that you enjoy as much as I enjoy these.

Last edited by Roderick Femm; 02-09-2020 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:19 AM
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Lapsang Souchong. It has an intense smoky flavor, so if that sounds like something that might appeal to you, then give it a try. When I first did, I started brewing it at about 2/3 strength because I found the smokiness a little overwhelming, but it grew on me really quickly.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:27 AM
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You haven’t mentioned green.
There’s the whole range of tisanes.
Ginseng and turmeric. Chai.
Oolong Black, Lychee Black, Lapsang Souchong, Darjeeling.
Personal favourite of the straight commercial brands is Dilmah
Most brands will offer sampler packs
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:04 AM
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If you wanna try out something that's not actual tea from the tea plant but herbal, I'd suggest rooibos or honeybush. I'm especially fond of honeybush tea, it's a very mild and pleasant flavour.

ETA: As for green teas, a personal favourite is sencha.

Last edited by Sandwood; 02-09-2020 at 08:05 AM. Reason: ETA
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:06 AM
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I'll second rooibos. It's one of my favorite late-night winter drinks.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:50 AM
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thanks , keep them coming
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:21 AM
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A lot of the stuff mentioned is tasty, but hardly uncommon. For instance Nilgiri, but that's good because it means you can get some at any tea shop. Ceylon tea, Darjeeling tea, tencha/matcha have already been mentioned, Russian tea blends with exotic fruit and/or flowers in them.

Winter stuff: Tibetan/Indian salty buttered tea. Mongolian milk tea. Kadak tea...

Last edited by DPRK; 02-09-2020 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:37 AM
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As far as South American not-tea there is yerba mate, coca tea (don't order that last one in the US though). Kava is more Polynesian.

Last edited by DPRK; 02-09-2020 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:00 PM
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I just want a good strong cuppa in the morning so I can pretend I’m somewhere in Britain or Ireland. With a splash of milk in it.

My favorite is the commercial Yorkshire Gold blend, but Barry’s (Irish) red or gold label is also very nice.

A Welsh friend told me recently that the standard brew in the Cardiff area is PG Tips, which I find slightly bitter and overly tannined.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:04 PM
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I prefer tea to be made out of tea; I almost never drink herbal tisanes. I make a rare pot of green tea in the afternoons, but when I’m thinking “tea” I’m thinking of Old Blighty. Like the navvies drank while they were digging out the London sewer systems with hand shovels.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:49 PM
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You could try teas (or, rather not-teas, as DPRK called them) that come from the Americas. If you hunt a little, you can find yaupon (from the southern US) and guayusa (from the upper Amazon) in tea bag and loose leaf form.

Last edited by Scribble; 02-09-2020 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:59 PM
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Or combine tea and herbs.

Green tea with mint is quite good, even though it may sound like a somewhat unusual combination - unless you're from the Maghreb area, where sweet mint tea is a traditional beverage.

Fresh mint (spearmint variety) would be the best to make this, but by now it's fairly easy to find commercial blends from companies like Twinings, Lipton and so on.

It's a favourite summer drink of mine, although I prefer to make this without any sugar or other sweeteners at all.

Last edited by Sandwood; 02-09-2020 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 01:05 PM
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Some Korean not-teas, should be easy to get: barley tea, rice tea, yuja tea, kudzu tea, corn tea...
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Old 02-09-2020, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
... corn tea...
I once tried some "corn tea" from the local Asian grocery which was made from the thread-like stuff on top of an ear of corn, not sure if that's the same thing as your Korean corn tea or something else. I found it rather disappointing though, to be honest, with only a very weak sweetness and not much flavour. Then again, maybe I infused it wrong or it was old already. Always hard to tell without any frame of reference.
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Old 02-09-2020, 01:27 PM
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I was thinking of the roasted kernels, but, yes, you can make it out of corn silk, or a mixture of both. Naturally none of that genre of stuff will have much flavour compared to Camellia sinensis.

More drinks: kombucha (I don't care for it myself, but maybe there is a good way to prepare it?)
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:22 PM
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I've been buying green teas from a Japanese website (https://yunomi.life/). I'm not affiliated with them in anyway. I've found a significant quality difference between what I can get in Europe, and what I've bought directly from the producers in Japan. A large part of it might be freshness. A lot of the local tea vendors will buy a large batch of tea because it's cheaper that way, and they might sell the same tea from a jar for years. The flavor doesn't stay the same.

I try to buy green tea fresh, so April - May after the first harvest is the best time. I bought a particular brand in May 2019, and the exact same tea again in November 2019. In May it was one of the best teas I had tasted, and in November it was only good. I've also been pleasantly surprised by the vibrant green color in some of the deep steamed fukamushicha style teas. A lot of the senchas I've had before were more yellow than green.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:25 PM
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Hornimans markets a black tea with other things like little blue flowers (cornflowers?) and what appear to be bits of citrus peel. It's sold loose in rigid plastic bags with a flat base and a ziplock top (there are red and green varieties, too). I dunno if it's considered good quality; alls I know is it's delicious hot or cold. I've been weaning myself off coffee with it for the last year or so, and, if you've ever quit coffee you can probably imagine how pissed off I am to have to be drinking this stuff, and I still like it a lot.

Last edited by jerez; 02-09-2020 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:52 PM
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If you are into gardening, it’s very easy to grow your own tea. Just look into eBay to buy a tea plant (Camellia sinensis)

White tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, dark tea and black tea are all harvested from the same plant using different methods.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:58 PM
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Not a tea, but mate is very nice if you like a certain type of bitterness.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:17 PM
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I suggest visiting a tea salon. They’ll be able to suggest teas based on what you like and when you like to drink them (i.e. breakfast, afternoon, after dinner, etc.) Good tea salons will blend their own teas so if you like Darjeeling, for example, they might have several teas that use Darjeeling as the base but blended with different tea types, florals, herbs, scents etc. giving you countless choices. The great thing is you’ll be able to see the actual quality of the teas and smell them to get a sense of their aromas. They’ll also have exclusive or limited-time only blends for certain holidays or seasons so you’ll always have something new to try.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:16 AM
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I'll never pass up a chance to recommend this one:
https://www.furpeaceranch.com/store/...oducts_id=1596
It's the most unique hot herbal tea I've tried, and it's really good. In the summer I'll blend it with Bigelow Orange and Spice (say 60/40 or 70/30 Bigelow/Jorma), brew it as sun tea, refrigerate and enjoy as iced tea.
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