Tea ... who likes it?

Discussion in 'Recreation, Hobbies & Interests' started by pjgh, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    We've had the coffee threads ...

    Tea. Who likes it?

    I've drunk tea for years but never really though about what exactly it is that I'm drinking. I drink Yorkshire Tea - you know, Betty's & Taylors.

    Most recently, and I don't quite know what it was, I started looking at tea and decided to try to understand it and gain a connoisseur palate. I ordered in a quality Assam and a Lapsang Souchong. I've since ordered in a couple of more rare black teas.

    I'm beginning ...

    What tea do you like? What gear do you have? Got any tips (hehe :D)?

    Me? I like black tea. Assam is about as light as I'll go, with a real preference for the smokier ones. I'm hoping my purchases of Rose Congou, Bohea & Lui Bao will be good. I'll "do" Ceylon, but it'll need to be strong and with milk rather than dark. I seem to miss the light florals. I do with whisky, I do with attars, I do with EDTs, I do with beers - it's all about deep, dark and smoke for me. So, good tea with milk ... really quality tea on its own. Earl Grey? Puh!

    What are you into? Who do you buy from? Got any really good ones from somewhere?
  2. Gairdner

    Gairdner Forum DOG!

    Big secret....I like tea! Who knew? :blush:

    My everyday favourite for great value and flavour is Ringtons Northumbrian Blend. I generally prefer black tea and like it relatively strong. Betty's Tea Room Blend is a grand brew!

    A good, hearty English Breakfast blend with a goodly dollop of Assam & Kenyan with a bright Ceylonese usually hits the spot. Had a lovely tippy Kenyan recently from the Kosabei Estate but it's all gone now, boohoo. Very fond of Rose as a flavour and scent so really enjoy Rose Congou and Pouchong. Also Earl Grey which takes a turn in my various pots regularly. The appeal of Lapsang Souchong however, is lost on me and it's not one I'd buy regular for sure.

    Experimented with green teas and so far organic Japanese Sencha from Ocha & Co. is a big favourite as is a decent Chinese flavoured with Bergamot for a green Earl Grey. Very refreshing.

    Rooibos, I also enjoy and have tried white tea as well but this is another I'm not overly fond of as is Pu-Erh. However Oolong, especially milky oolong (which doesn't have milk in it) is really lovely.

    I couldn't do without tea and if I could only afford just the one then it'd be the aforementioned Ringtons.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
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  3. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    Yay! Here he is :D

    I have a Moroccan style green tea - gunpowder green (little balls of tea) with mint in there. It's good fun and my first foray into "other" tea ... I've tried green tea when I went through a phase of Japanese food and what-not. Nah! Not for me, although the Moroccan works out well ...

    Oolong does interest me, although I'll pop it on a back-burner for now as I go through the black teas that I'm interested in. God! The internet is ace! I have access to all sorts of weird and wonderful that I'd be at the mercy of Betty's otherwise.

    Side-note ... have you been to a Betty's @Gairdner? I've been to Ilkley, York, Harrogate & North Allerton. Huge fun! Old-fashioned afternoon tea ... Champagne tea if it's a special occasion and you want to surprise the Mrs. Betty's do a rare thing - traditional, simple and they do it well. Really well. Expect to queue, especially in York. Luckily, Crabtree & Evelyn and Burgins are within sight, so leave the Mrs in the queue and go smell some frags ... actually, L'Occitane is close, too, but you'd need to know the quick way. Ilkley is still my favourite, although Harrogate is nice ... lunch is nicer at Harrogate.

    So, Ringtons ... new name to me. I'll look it up. I found Steenberg's and put a few on my wish list for Christmas. I have bought from 41 Tea on ebay, Teacakes of Yorkshire (who I am sure use the same suppliers as Betty's and Taylors) and got a couple coming from Dragon Tea House UK (in China).

    Any tips?

    One I've gleaned is that 2nd flush (that's the second picking done in June rather than the first, done March-May) is better for Assams. First flush (done March-May) is proper for Darjeeling to get the really light florals in there.

    Another is, much Lapsang Souchoung is flavoured with an oil rather than actually smoked. I don't know just how true or widespread that is, but it's one of those ... trust your supplier and you'll get a better tea. Thoughts?
  4. Sid James

    Sid James ...

    White peony, bai mu dan. I have one at the minute with a touch of cherry in which is nice.
    Gear? Nothing special, this cast iron pot for at home and a libre infuser for the car, work.

    IMG_2172.JPG IMG_2404.JPG
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  5. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    Pots ... whatachagot?

    I'm a pleb. I have some JAJ Pyrex. I have a cup and a milk jug. I brew in the milk jug and pour. I like Pyrex - it holds heat well, especially now, cold, miserable, northern, cold, bone China freezing, no Pyrex works, works well. Little retro, too.

    I like "a cup" or two ... and so brew, enjoy with palm sugar, brew, top up, brew (I'm Yorkshire) and enjoy with a splash of milk.

    While on sweeteners, I like palm sugar. I don't really do sugar otherwise. Honey, I love. Thoughts on honey and tea? I live a stone's throw from the mighty Denholme Gate Apiary. I also have an excellent Russian shop in town which has some queer looking stuff, but I'm told it's really good. Unpasteurised.
  6. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    Ha! You answered @Sid James ... cast iron. Nice. I have a wood burner, which I often think would be nice to (a) cook on and (b) boil water on. It's on pretty much every day and I do have cast iron pans. I should do (a) for dinner some day. That, and (b) get a cast iron kettle in. Sound.
  7. Sid James

    Sid James ...

    I got my cast iron from here


    They do some nice glass pots if you like flowering teas, pretty, but more for our lass...
  8. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    Yeah, I've seen flowering teas ... but yes, it looks like a fish-pond without the fish. Neat. I'll look at the cast iron.
  9. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    I discovered a box of bags behind my coffees. That'll go to work ...
  10. Uncle Bertie

    Uncle Bertie Forum GOD!

    Talk to Northern Tea Merchants in Chesterfield, they sell loads of speciality teas and coffees. They also run the best cafe in the region where you can buy a pot of anything they sell.
  11. Gairdner

    Gairdner Forum DOG!

    Been to Betty's a few times. Harrogate several, Northallerton twice, York once, if memory serves but not Little Betty's or the Ikley one. Food was better in Harrogate than Northallerton. Never did stump up the courage or the cash for some of their rather expensive chocolate.

    My pots (post split) are a small i.e. 2/3 cup Burleigh ironstone in Blue Felicity and 2 larger vintage stainless steel, English-made, Old Hall Pots from the 50's & 60's. I did have the larger version of the the Burleigh pot plus a brown betty. Stainless steel gets a bad rep from purists (of which I most certainly am not) but once properly 'bedded' in they're fine but do require warming and immediate tea cosy application but then I'd do that with any pot.

    Darjeeling I am not fond of. I often like aromatic, floral flavours and scents (rose and violet for example) and love Earl Grey tea but Darjeeling is too much like soapy water or just plain bland. I do however, like it in a blend such as Bewley's Irish Breakfast.

    As to Ringtons, we get a 4 weekly delivery by salesperson and van which keeps me regularly topped up with their Northumbrian Blend. Have done since 2003. Their ginger snap biscuits are marvellous as is the shortbread and all-butter sultana cookies. Only one thing better than tea and biscuits - tea and cake!

    Can't help you with the Lapsang. @pjgh as I don't drink the stuff but trusting your supplier sounds good enough to me if they have a good rep and you're happy with them.
  12. R181

    R181 Grumpy old man

    Predominantly a coffee drinker here but I do like a strong cup of tea with 2 sugars no milk on occasion. IIRC Black Orange Pekoe tea does it for me. I know Red Rose used to make it but I haven't found the Black version lately just Orange Pekoe.

  13. Looney12345

    Looney12345 Forum GOD!

    Got massively into Gong-fu cha when I was in China, here's my Gong-fu cha set-up...


    Mainly drink Chinese green teas, with some black tea and Pu-Erh thrown in; Phoenix Gold Needle, Jasmine etc
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
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  14. Rufusdog

    Rufusdog Forum GOD!

    We have tea every morning before we do anything else; it's always Yorkshire Gold when we're at home. In the afternoon we'll have a cup of whatever tickles our fancy: Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Blend, Earl Grey, Smoky Earl Grey, Fairmont Empress Orange Pekoe, etc. SWMBO and I are both tea lovers, but we like our coffee too. At mid-morning we'll each have a large coffee.
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  15. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    For brewing, I'm a proper pleb ... I have a nice JAJ Pyrex cup & saucer with a milk jug which I do the brewing in. Mrs would kill me if I wound up with a matching teapot. She hates Pyrex.
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