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?
Basil: Thank you, sir.
Here! Here! Professor :}
http://www.englishteastore.com/greentea.html thank professor wetware for this...he got me looking around with his comment about the brown betty tea pot...as you can see...i have a preference for green teas...the site carries several brown betty tea pots...as well as other tea pots...tea sets...creamers and sugar bowls...cups and mugs...english tea treats...etc...enjoy...
I have a deep love of Turkish samovar brewed teas as well as lighter taste of Taiwanese Oolong and some green teas. I have a few friends who have wonderful repertoires of rare Chinese teas, but find myself slipping back to the three I have named above. I have friends who are more Britannic in their tea taking and I relish the change when I visit.
Tea is a civilizing pastime and coffee an intellectual one – the association of the origins of coffee drinking I relish, but I digress as this is a thread about tea.
Now that the weather is getting milder, I look forward to firing up a coal-powered samovar and brewing a bit of cay outside on the porch and taking a bit of tea that way. I collected samovars for a while but disposed of all but a few. I would really like to do an event where people brought their own samovars and we all brewed up together and shared tea and pastries. Imagine all those samovars – Turkish, Russian, Persian, Arabic and the like puffing away together in harmony, with steam beginning to rise about and a bit of good china and fine tea comestibles, it would be – very steampunk indeed.
This topic strikes true to my very heart. I love tea. I’ve always liked tea but it wasn’t until I decided to stop drinking soda that I realized I LOVE tea. I started drinking seltzer water as a substitute for soda but it lacked the sweetness I was craving. So I started bringing tea to work since I could sweeten it myself and I haven’t looked back. In fact I found out I love tea so much, I want to open my own tea house! The different practices, rituals and brewing methods are quite extensive and can be overwhelming. Thank you for the links for places to begin Samuel! And you are correct, if you are drinking tea because you like it, it does not matter if you are doing it ‘right’. There are *no* tea houses/shops where I live, in fact I bet there isn’t a single one in the whole state. But I do hail from New England, the feisty folks who brought you the Boston Tea Party! Right now it’s regular ol’ Lipton- black with a smidge of sugar.
To locate tea emporiums and tea rooms in your area, you can go to this directory site: http://greattearoomsofamerica.com/tearoom_list.asp?state=NH
This site shows a tea shop in Londonderry NH, called AntiquiTeas Tea Room and Shop, as well as four other tea specific places elsewhere in New Hampshire. Start with what you like and branch out, you don't have to do it all at once. Most of all, do what you like.
Ah, alas those are all closed, except for the Song Garden in Cornish, which is a beautiful, but seasonal and 'touristy'. We need a tea house that is designed to be frequented by the every day working man-every day betwixt work and home-not just families on summer vacation. This looks like a great resource though, I will keep it on my list so I can check back every now and then. Who knows, maybe my tea house will be listed on there one day :) Thanks for the info!
What a shame, all that culture lost for McDonalds and Starbucks, alas. Lots of luck with your tea house!
I mostly stock up at my favorite old world tea shop when I visit Copenhagen, Perch's tehandel (Perch's tea shop), est. 1835. You can see how it looks here, and a very steamworthy shop it is too. No unsightly electronic scales and ignorant teenage service there, no Sir, it's all shiny brass apothecary style balances with brass weights, and green-aproned tea experts behind the polished wood counters. They have a tea salon also, which somehow I never managed to visit. I shall endeavor to remedy this deficiency during my next visit.
Depending on my mood, I like a good strong black tea like assam or travancore with milk, a lighter black tea like a good darjeeling or yunnan, over to oolongs and greens and whites. Of the latter, some of my favorites are Fen Wan or silver needles, but for everyday fare, especially if taken with food, a plain old gunpowder is very nice. Their Darjeeling Oolong TOP First Flush is heaven. I am not partial to Japanese style greens though, I must admit. I even enjoy lapsang souchong once in a while, but never flavored teas (that would include that to me dreadful aftershave-tasting stuff called Earl Grey).
I brew in glazed earthenware pots. My mom is a ceramic artist by profession and happens to do teapots wonderfully, if I say so myself, so I have no trouble finding beautiful, balanced, non-dripping specimens. As well as cups. If I am making a fancy green/white tea, I use a thermometer to ensure optimal water temperature.
PS. I started drinking tea when I was 1 or 2 years old...
How splendid that you get to visit places like this! Visit the tea salon next time for sure, if only for people like me who may never see such a place :)
Dear Ms. Silvertongue, I shall do my very best, and try to bring back photographic evidence, though I regret that I tend to leave the apparatus behind when I go out. I shall have to make an effort! Assuming they allow such activities - but if one was to ask ever so nicely, surely no one will object?
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