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How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
The Milford Daily News ^ | May 22, 2012 | Arlene Bachinov

Posted on 05/24/2012 6:09:33 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Tea should also be made differently depending on its type.

Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis shrub, which is native to China and India. Green, black, white and oolong tea all come from the same plant. The difference is in how much the leaves are processed.

According to Chris Brown, who conducts tastings and classes at the British Tea Garden and Rooftop Cafe in Tecumseh, Mich., it’s all about oxidation, which can be thought of as similar to what happens to a banana when it’s exposed to air. Black tea is highly oxidized, while green tea is less processed, and white tea, which uses only the newest leaves, is even less so.

Brown said that a general rule to get the best cup of tea is to steep black tea for three to five minutes, green tea for one to three minutes, and white tea for as long as eight minutes. And there are tricks to brewing the perfect tea.

“You should start with filtered, fresh water every time — don’t reboil water,” she said.

Tea should also be made differently depending on its type.

“People brew green tea like they do black tea and wonder why it tastes awful,” said Brown. Black tea should use water that’s been brought to a full boil but not for long, because over-boiling takes the oxygen out of the water. On the other hand, green and white tea should use water that’s only been brought to a “preboil,” which means that it’s steaming or, at most, that bubbles have just formed at the bottom of the pot.

Herbal teas and rooibos tea, a South African tea that is quickly becoming popular, are, like with black tea, generally best with boiling water, according to Brown. Incidentally, herbal and rooibos teas aren’t really tea at all because they don’t use actual tea leaves. Herbal teas consist of whatever the herb or fruit happens to be — peppermint, for example — while rooibos tea, also called red tea, comes from the rooibos bush.

Here’s another helpful hint from Brown: If you’re brewing

tea in a pot, warm the pot up first by putting warm water in it. Then dump that water out and make your tea. And, said Phyllis Wilkerson, co-owner of the new Governor Croswell Tea Room in Adrian, Mich., the secret to stronger tea isn’t what you might think.

“Don’t brew longer to get stronger,” she said. “It will get bitter. If you want stronger tea, add more tea.”

Both the British Tea Garden and the Governor Croswell Tea Room can lend a hand to novice tea drinkers. Among the questions the staffs at both restaurants would ask are: caffeinated, decaf or don’t you care? What flavors do you like — spicy, fruity, minty or just plain tea? How strong do you like your tea?

Wilkerson said people who don’t know the first thing about tea often like her shop’s cinnamon orange spice variety.

“Even people that don’t like tea like it,” she said, and so it would be one of the first suggestions she would make to a tea newcomer.

What foods you’re going to pair your tea with can also make a difference.

“Different food brings out different flavors (in the tea),” said Brown. “Teas can taste different after you eat versus before. It’s a lot like with wine.”

Finally, there’s the question of bagged vs. loose. Buying loose tea, rather than teabags, allows for “a higher quality and a fuller taste,” said Brown. “And there’s a lot more variety in loose tea. You can mix and match.” Sometimes, that mixing and matching even includes adding flavors like chocolate or caramel, which allows a tea drinker to indulge in a sweet treat without the calories of a dessert.


TOPICS: Food; Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: greatea; health; tea
George Orwell:A Nice Cup of Tea
1 posted on 05/24/2012 6:09:45 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

My busy person tea.
Put 2 cups H2O in a pyrex pour-able measuring glass.
Micro for 2.5 minutes.
Take out of micro.
Put in tea bag.
Brew.
Drink.
In summer, pour it over large glass of ice.
Voila! Tea in 3 minutes.

It ain’t classy, but it works.


2 posted on 05/24/2012 6:17:10 PM PDT by TheConservativeParty ("War." Andrew Breitbart)
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To: nickcarraway

Well,,,,, I’m a Green Tea nut! I get my tea here;
http://generationtea.com/

Pu Erh is great. But the Organic Gunpowder Green Tea is stunning!


3 posted on 05/24/2012 6:20:05 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: nickcarraway
Tea is native to China but not to India. The Brits had to buy their tea from China (with opium) until some enterprising fellow managed to smuggle some tea plants out of China. That broke the Chinese monopoly, as the Brits developed a large tea crop in India.

The Brits didn't set out to build an Empire, they acquired it first to further their trade of spices and other exotica back to Europe, and then to protect their sea trade routes.

4 posted on 05/24/2012 6:20:47 PM PDT by expat2
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To: TheConservativeParty

Philistine!! :p


5 posted on 05/24/2012 6:24:06 PM PDT by Politicalmom (THIS IS NOT A GOP CHEERLEADING SITE!!!)
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To: nickcarraway

Great article, NC. I drink Earl Gray during the Winter and iced tea with lemon all Summer long. Love tea....


6 posted on 05/24/2012 6:25:00 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: nickcarraway
Well, here in the South it's not ready to serve until you mix in a shovel full of sugar, but fortunately no one has found a practical method of deep frying it...yet.

Ever the rebel I eschew the devil sweetener and only squeeze the juice of two quartered lemon wedges.

7 posted on 05/24/2012 6:39:43 PM PDT by Dysart (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -- Edmund Burke)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
Upton Tea Company. Great selection and a really cool catalog.
8 posted on 05/24/2012 7:28:06 PM PDT by redangus
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To: nickcarraway
over-boiling takes the oxygen out of the water.

Since water is H2O, doesn't removing the oxygen also release the hydrogen leaving you with just less H2O?
9 posted on 05/24/2012 7:31:03 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Dysart

http://www.southernliving.com/food/how-to/deep-fried-food-fried-sweet-tea-00417000074913/


10 posted on 05/24/2012 7:34:01 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: kalee

WOW. I give up.


11 posted on 05/24/2012 7:36:23 PM PDT by Dysart (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -- Edmund Burke)
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To: nickcarraway
Does anyone else remember that episode of The Prisoner, where the girl (#86) is trying to poison #6's tea, and he attacks her tea making skills, giving him an excuse to dump the pot before he shows her how it's done? Nasty place, that Village. But lots of tea.


12 posted on 05/24/2012 7:38:49 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: expat2

Actually the tea plant is native to India (Assam region) and even to Thailand. The problem was the plants were not nearly as robust as those cultivated for centuries in the mountain of China. Just finished reading For All The Tea In China about Robert Fortune who traveled in China disguised as a mandarin, picking up tea plants to send back to India to see if they could grow them in the mountains of India.

I like green tea as well (especially from Emei Mountain where we lived for three years) and I also like Puerh but the tea I have in my hands right now is my favorite, a Yunnan Golden Tips Red (we call it black) tea I picked up in Kunming a couple of years back. Lots of tea blogs have sprung up since I started one back in 2007. A fascinating subject - tea.


13 posted on 05/24/2012 8:02:02 PM PDT by inthaihill (Living in an interesting paradise - Thailand!)
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To: nickcarraway

Here in hot Tx I put my green or black tea in a bottle and sit it outside several hours for the sun to heat it up. Then I squeeze in a slice of lime and stick it in the fridge for iced green tea. No fuss, less muss.


14 posted on 05/24/2012 8:26:31 PM PDT by tflabo (Truth or tyranny)
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To: Dr. Sivana

Boiling does not break the H2O molecule. There is oxygen in suspension in water. This allows fish to breath. Without oxygenation nothing could live in water.


15 posted on 05/24/2012 8:29:41 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (The day liberals grow up is the day tyranny ends.)
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To: Dysart

LOL I think they deep fry just about everything these days.


16 posted on 05/24/2012 8:31:35 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: tflabo

Well I do too! But I like weak tea so within 45 minutes to an hour it’s plenty strong enough for me.


17 posted on 05/24/2012 8:34:12 PM PDT by caww
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To: tflabo

Well I do too! But I like weak tea so within 45 minutes to an hour it’s plenty strong enough for me.


18 posted on 05/24/2012 8:35:40 PM PDT by caww
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To: nutmeg

Bookmark


19 posted on 05/24/2012 9:01:27 PM PDT by nutmeg (So... Clinton was our first black president, and Obama is our first gay president?)
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To: nickcarraway

20 posted on 05/24/2012 9:12:08 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
" . . . Organic Gunpowder Green Tea is stunning!"

Also very good in the antioxidant area.

I'm finishing up some I brought back from Cambodia a few weeks ago. Then I begin into Gunpowder green tea I buy in Chinese pharmacies in Ong Pin, Manila's China Town.

I use my voice preaching, teaching, singing, every day, and I also play brass musical instruments. I have found gunpowder green tea very useful help in maintaining my throat, esophagus, and respiratory system.

21 posted on 05/24/2012 9:29:36 PM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: nickcarraway

If you live in the South, watch (especially) tea for oxalate content; otherwise, kidney stones will getcha!


22 posted on 05/25/2012 3:35:12 AM PDT by Does so (....... Justice Scalia just turned 78 .........==8-O ............They don't think ... they PLOT!)
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To: inthaihill

So, the enterprising fellow was Robert Fortune. Well named, considering the fortunes that were made from the Assam tea plants descended from his ‘collection’.


23 posted on 05/25/2012 5:43:34 AM PDT by expat2
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To: expat2

Ha! That is exactly what I thought on almost every page I read his name!


24 posted on 05/25/2012 6:38:07 AM PDT by inthaihill (Living in an interesting paradise - Thailand!)
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To: John Leland 1789

“Gunpowder green tea I buy in Chinese pharmacies “

One can’t find any good tea here in Cleveland’s Chinatown. I gave a Pu erh “Bird’s Nest” to my herbal doc, and he was delighted! I asked at all the stores, but there’s one pharmacy I haven’t been to. Next time I’m downtown, I’ll stop in and see if they carry any.


25 posted on 05/25/2012 6:48:46 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
I know of shops that carry Gunpowder Green Tea in

1. Jefferson City, MO 2. Pensacola, FL (will ship direct to you)

It must be available somewhere in larger cities, especially where there are large concentrations of Chinese and/or Japanese.

Check oriental pharmacies where, when you step in, you see wooden bulk containers or wooden drawers built up against the walls.

26 posted on 05/25/2012 7:24:18 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: John Leland 1789

“It must be available somewhere in larger cities”

I have not found any good tea in Cleveland, although I’ll check the one pharmacy I haven’t been to this Sunday. I asked at all the markets, and the replies were, “No have. They steal.” Chinatown is intermingled with Cleveland’s downtown ghetto. Some of the markets have armed guards!

I get my tea from Generation Tea. Great selection.

http://www.generationtea.com/store/default.php?cPath=1


27 posted on 05/25/2012 7:40:57 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: nickcarraway

A great source of loose tea is Indian/Persian grocery stores. I discovered a brand called “al-Ghazaleen”, 100% Ceylon tea. Awesome stuff.

(And yes, I did a double-take at the name too!!)


28 posted on 05/25/2012 8:20:38 AM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: Politicalmom

Thank you!

: )


29 posted on 05/25/2012 12:57:03 PM PDT by TheConservativeParty ("War." Andrew Breitbart)
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To: nickcarraway
And of course, you serve it in your Royal Doulton china with "the hand-painted periwinkles"...


30 posted on 05/25/2012 1:11:38 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (FUMR)
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To: COBOL2Java

Unless you’re the poor put-upon neighbor Elizabeth, in which case you get a beaker...or a sippy-cup.


31 posted on 05/25/2012 2:55:09 PM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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