The Crossroads of the Aether
Abhorring thread duplication, I checked first to see if the community had delved into the oft-spirited discussion regarding the consumption of our favourite concoction of the Camellia Sinensis plant. It had been done already; yet I also notised that the discussion had not been touched since 2010. I had a question to ask; yet, as I am given to avoid 'Thread Necromancy', here it is:
Tea is a passion of mine. I brew 'empire teas', from India and Sri Lanka, Traditional Chinese and Japanese teas, Taiwanese, Hawaiian, African, South American... if it came from the Camellia Sinensis plant and any varietal, or is commonly brewed as a tisane by any culture, I (likely) want to try it. I use cast iron, yixing clay, glassware, ceramics, gourds, and guywan for brewing, at any time, temperature, sweetness, or milk strength my mood desires. I work at a tea shop in toledo, and I work with a very broad demographic, but very few steampunks venture into my shop. Here, I'd like to build a dialogue within the steampunk community online.
What tea is your preference? Which methods do you use for preparation? What's in your cup right now? Want to get into tea, but don't know where to begin? Kirkaswold, Vithanekande, or Tarajulie estate?
Funny, my cousin is actually giving away Persian, Turkish, and Indian Tea gift baskets right now as thank-yous for donations to her little Orientalism Steampunk Venture she and I started a month or so ago.
That said, I actually don't have Persian tea in my cup right now, I have masala chai, but that's because it's afternoon here, and there's no Persian tea to be found anywhere in this damned place because Farrokh forgot to pack it.
Masala chai I find a bit... dry. When I go for chai, an ayurvedic blend that is more cinnamon or ginger heavy is my preference.
What makes Persian tea Persian tea?
There will be beer in my cup soon, but it is evening after all.
But as to tea, soon after steampunk entered my life, i decided it was high time to get into tea. So i dug up an old teapot, an aluminum one that belonged to my grandmother in law. I have since found the sugar bowl and milk jug to make a matching set. But it did not seem right, aluminium tea brewing. So I now have a lovely nickel steel (I think) one, which I think looks quite majestic.
I am not quite as into tea as you are Samuel, and i am sure I am not "doing it right" in many ways. But i have now changed from coffee at every school break to tea, look forward to several pots each day of a weekend, and enjoy setting out a proper tray when we have visitors. I have taken an free online course to discover more about the different types of tea, and different methods of brewing, which is great for beginners, and can be found at the 'About now' website. Unfortunately, i have no sense of smell, so i probably miss out on some of the experience, as my sense of taste would logically be changed by this.
You may be offended, but i still do prefer straight black tea, and have not yet ventured into the adventurous world of specialist teas, unless someone passes me a flavoured tea bag, and that seems like cheating, and slightly distasteful to me now!
But yes, steampunk has introduced me to the wonderful world of tea, and there is no looking back now!
Black tea and Rose. That's a nice, often available flavored one you'd like James. In fact, I think most people find it agreeable. I prefer to drink it with Victorian style high-tea than serve it with Persian treats though, something about adding a bit of cream to it and having a cucumber sandwich or petit four along side makes it all the more pleasant to me.
I wonder if here delivers worldwide? It might be worth a shot to check.
Unfortunately, I live elsewhere than near available tea shops, and do not wish to spend large amounts of money on mailorder, especially if I do not know what it will taste like on arrival. I actually found it hard to find any loose leaf tea on my "supermarket", it yielded only one type, chopped to the blazes, but still pleasant enough.
On a recent trip to Queensland, Australia I did get to visit a tea plantation, and enjoyed walking the aisles of tea bushes. But the only tea they had on offer was a honesty box system, again, nice enough, but I am sure there is better out there.
Hrm, I suppose then that tea acquiring is best left to when you go on holidays and are somewhere near places readily stock them.
Where was this tea plantation James?
It was in the Daintree, Queensland. It had the hard thought name tag of Daintree Tea Company. Actually quite a nice drop, you can get it on line. But if you go there, it will cost you about $4!
Oh, that is a little too far north of me, but I will check in the local shops to see if I can find some. We do get local coffee I know. At present I am partial to earl grey blended with organic nerada, with a touch of milk.
I'm not offended at all! All of us start somewhere. 'doing it right' means brewing it in a way that you feel happy with.
I started by stuffing paper bags with the loose teas... yikes.
While coffee isn't actually bad (I do enjoy a cup now and then), glad to hear you've found teas... I reccommend you check out sites like enjoyingtea.com, adagio.com, or checking out your local tea shops. If there's a Teavana nearby, I feel obligated to point you in that direction, since I work there, but I would be cheating you out of some fantastic teas telling you that that is the only place to shop for tea. Welcome to the world of tea!
EDIT: since I'm new to this site, I wasn't sure as to how things are formatted, and didn't see other replies. I'll leave the prior response up, but add this to it:
If you like straight black tea, order a keemun, darjeeling, hongcha, assam, sekkim, ceylon, and then english breakfast tea. Those will be similar enough to what you have that you'll like one aspect or another. Also with tea: if you find one you dislike, you can always mix it with a fruit blend or something you do like, or trade it with other tea drinkers for stuff you'll enjoy more. That you've been able to tour a tea plantation is very cool; I've not had such an opportunity.
Basil: Would you be so kind as to provide the website at which you received your free online course on tea? It would be much appreciated.
Cyril: I ain't much interested in learnin' 'bout tea. Just drinkin' it.
Sorry, Mr. Weeks, I missed this. As a total noob when I originally posted this, it taught me a lot. However, since I did it it seems to have changed from a course, to a page just with information. I enjoyed the course format, and waiting to find out what I would be learning about the next week. Any way, you can find it here. http://coffeetea.about.com/od/teaandtisanebasics/
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