Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Hi everybody,

I went to a brand new "tea parlor" in my little town. The linens are
nice, the space is comfortable, the scones, sweets and sandwiches are
fabulous... The problem, of course, is the tea.

The shop has 18+ teas. They have a sampler of bottles of the leaf so
you can look and smell. The descriptions on the menu are reasonably
informative ("A slightly smokey Keemun blended with a
Darjeeling..."). I tried a pot of one of the teas... and-- the
fragrance seemed ok, but the taste was *superficial*... a bit of nose,
but no body.

I engaged the proprietess in a discussion... she seemed smart... ("The
keemun is pretty light, and the Darjeeling is more green than
black...") She wanted to be able to serve some tea to me that I felt
satisfied with, and she ended up serving me four different black
teas... ALL of them seemed pallid, no body. The wine-word "flinty"
might also fit (though that isn't the key problem...)

We reviewed basics. She said that the water is filtered, and at 212
degrees. She buys the tea from a vendor in England (where she's
from), and buys it in 10 pound lots, but assures me that all this tea
is fresh. (And, of course, she is brewing loose leaf.)

We have tentative plans to get together and brew some tea for each
other, and I'm going to give her some samples of teas that I like.
She has said she could send it to her dealer and see if he could
approximate some of my favorites.

I do tend to buy fancy grades of tea... but even when I buy cheap
teas, they never taste like what I tasted today!

Current theory: maybe it's that I use a lot more leaf than she does?
Would *that* make the difference in the *body*?

Do you have other questions I should be considering? Theories?

I would *like* to become a regular customer at this shop-- but the
tea, right now, is really barely passable.

As ever, best wishes for good tea to you all

james-henry holland
geneva, new york 14456

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Thitherflit > writes:

>Hi everybody,
>
>I went to a brand new "tea parlor" in my little town. The linens are
>nice, the space is comfortable, the scones, sweets and sandwiches are
>fabulous... The problem, of course, is the tea.
>
>The shop has 18+ teas. They have a sampler of bottles of the leaf so
>you can look and smell. The descriptions on the menu are reasonably
>informative ("A slightly smokey Keemun blended with a
>Darjeeling...").


Seriously? DJ and Keemun?!

>I tried a pot of one of the teas... and-- the fragrance seemed ok, but
>the taste was *superficial*... a bit of nose, but no body.
>
>I engaged the proprietess in a discussion... she seemed smart... ("The
>keemun is pretty light, and the Darjeeling is more green than
>black...") She wanted to be able to serve some tea to me that I felt
>satisfied with, and she ended up serving me four different black
>teas... ALL of them seemed pallid, no body. The wine-word "flinty"
>might also fit (though that isn't the key problem...)
>
>We reviewed basics. She said that the water is filtered, and at 212
>degrees. She buys the tea from a vendor in England (where she's
>from), and buys it in 10 pound lots, but assures me that all this tea
>is fresh. (And, of course, she is brewing loose leaf.)
>
>We have tentative plans to get together and brew some tea for each
>other, and I'm going to give her some samples of teas that I like.
>She has said she could send it to her dealer and see if he could
>approximate some of my favorites.
>
>I do tend to buy fancy grades of tea... but even when I buy cheap
>teas, they never taste like what I tasted today!
>
>Current theory: maybe it's that I use a lot more leaf than she does?
>Would *that* make the difference in the *body*?


That makes sense to me. Why dont you bring a gram scale to your next
meeting with the shop owner?

>Do you have other questions I should be considering? Theories?


Is her storage air- and light-tight?

/Lew
---
Lew Perin /
http://babelcarp.org
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I have never felt at home in a tea shoppe. There is always something
that puts me off. The more you visit the more comfortable you feel.
At some point offer to bring one of your teas. Its hard to replicate
the taste of tea outside your own confines. I prefer glass over clay
because its more neutral. If you think body is a problem brewing time
is a possibility besides weight. One last comment on tea shoppes. I
find them too fussy. One of the main attributes I like about tea is
silence. On the other hand rejoice even given the problems of the tea
shoppe.

Jim

PS The filtered water would raise my tea bells. If you are a regular
they should accommodate your brewing style.

On Aug 2, 3:50 pm, Thitherflit > wrote:
> Hi everybody,
>
> I went to a brand new "tea parlor" in my little town. The linens are
> nice, the space is comfortable, the scones, sweets and sandwiches are
> fabulous... The problem, of course, is the tea.
>
> The shop has 18+ teas. They have a sampler of bottles of the leaf so
> you can look and smell. The descriptions on the menu are reasonably
> informative ("A slightly smokey Keemun blended with a
> Darjeeling..."). I tried a pot of one of the teas... and-- the
> fragrance seemed ok, but the taste was *superficial*... a bit of nose,
> but no body.
>
> I engaged the proprietess in a discussion... she seemed smart... ("The
> keemun is pretty light, and the Darjeeling is more green than
> black...") She wanted to be able to serve some tea to me that I felt
> satisfied with, and she ended up serving me four different black
> teas... ALL of them seemed pallid, no body. The wine-word "flinty"
> might also fit (though that isn't the key problem...)
>
> We reviewed basics. She said that the water is filtered, and at 212
> degrees. She buys the tea from a vendor in England (where she's
> from), and buys it in 10 pound lots, but assures me that all this tea
> is fresh. (And, of course, she is brewing loose leaf.)
>
> We have tentative plans to get together and brew some tea for each
> other, and I'm going to give her some samples of teas that I like.
> She has said she could send it to her dealer and see if he could
> approximate some of my favorites.
>
> I do tend to buy fancy grades of tea... but even when I buy cheap
> teas, they never taste like what I tasted today!
>
> Current theory: maybe it's that I use a lot more leaf than she does?
> Would *that* make the difference in the *body*?
>
> Do you have other questions I should be considering? Theories?
>
> I would *like* to become a regular customer at this shop-- but the
> tea, right now, is really barely passable.
>
> As ever, best wishes for good tea to you all
>
> james-henry holland
> geneva, new york 14456

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> I have never felt at home in a tea shoppe. *There is always something....

That is great! you and people like you,
will and already are putting pressure on the tea shops to impove.
things like: tea, teaware, (they think its all about atmosphere).
icetea8
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