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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Old 30-01-2006, 02:20 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

Yesterday I posted about Lipton Yellow Label, a CTC Assam tea that I
had tried - and enjoyed - for the very first time. I am trying to
become a "smarter" tea buyer, as in trying to get the best value for my
money, rather than paying a lot of money for certain "name brands".

My tea tastes are pretty simple. I like a strong, dark cuppa without
milk or sugar. Most of the breakfast blends suit me just fine, as does
the Lipton Yellow Label or Brooke Bond Taj Mahal. I know a lot of tea
experts would consider these commercial brands to be horrible examples
of tea, but I like what I like and you certainly can't beat the price.

I browsed the websites of some well-known vendors today. They had a
lot of interesting blends, some of which I am tempted to try. However,
I'm not sure if I want to get into spending a lot of money on their
teas when I'm perfectly happy drinking this very cheap stuff. (It's
not often that I have the good fortune to find something that I really
enjoy that is also inexpensive).

Most of these vendors are selling BOP blends, as well as some CTC
blends. The CTC blends are priced slightly, but just slightly, less
than the BOP's. I was always under the impression that only
lower-grade teas were used for CTC processing. Is that true, and if
so, are the CTC's these vendors are selling worth the money they are
asking? Aside from possibly being a bit fresher, how are their CTC's
better than the CTC's used by Brooke Bond and Lipton?


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Old 30-01-2006, 02:50 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam


Pat wrote: I am trying to
become a "smarter" tea buyer, as in trying to get the best value for my
money, rather than paying a lot of money for certain "name brands".


I'm new to tea and am looking right now to learn more and make sure I
have high quality tea so the price is not as important at this point.
But from what I can tell these 1/4 lb. packs of tea seem like they are
going to make a LOT of cups of tea. Double that for the green because
I'm making two cups from each teaspoon full.

I wonder how much more expensive it is for some of those "name brands"
than off the shelf Lipton. ?? Until you get to the super premium teas
it may not be much more.

John F

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Old 30-01-2006, 04:38 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

I have a CTC assam (it has a name but I dont' recall what) that I get
at the local co-op for 13 bucks a pound or so. Makes a nice cup,
probably cheaper than lipton at that price.You do have to watch them,
they brew fast. I will say that the one I drink isn't particularly
complex, but it is an eye opener first thing in the AM. I'll probably
try some other assams the next time I order from uptons. Don't get put
off by pricing either, a little tea goes a long way, and most can be
steeped multiple times. I have moslty stopped drinking diet soda, and
frankly, for what I was spending on diet coke, i can affoard to drink
all but the most expensive blends. I'll have 7-8 big cups a day,
usually out of 3 (big) servings of tea.

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Old 30-01-2006, 04:53 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

Every one of the several high end CTCs that I've tried are actually no
better, or inferior, to the mass market brands. I tend to buy whatever
is cheapest, & am seldom disappointed. As far as the quality of leaf
used is concerned;: "Goodness is a decision for the mouth to make."
BTW If you ever find the "Kenya" brand; grab it. Definitely good stuff.

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Old 30-01-2006, 02:36 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

Pat wrote:

My tea tastes are pretty simple. I like a strong, dark cuppa without
milk or sugar. Most of the breakfast blends suit me just fine, as does
the Lipton Yellow Label or Brooke Bond Taj Mahal. I know a lot of tea
experts would consider these commercial brands to be horrible examples
of tea, but I like what I like and you certainly can't beat the price.


Try some of the inexpensive Ceylon teas out there. Alghazaleen, for
instance, sells a decent CTC ceylon that your local middle-eastern
market will have for less than five bucks a pound. It's probably Uva-grown
and it's got decent body to it.

I tend to like the cheap Assam OP teas that these markets sell as
Kalami tea. I think you might find them a little bit less robust than
you like, but again the Sharzad, Gulabi, or Tea India brands can be
had for less than five bucks a pound which is cheap enough that you
can give them a try. When this tea is fresh, it's very good, with a
fruity, sometimes even peachlike nose to it. That's something the
Ceylon cheapies tend to lack.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


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Old 30-01-2006, 04:15 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam


Justin Holmes wrote:
I have a CTC assam (it has a name but I dont' recall what) that I get
at the local co-op for 13 bucks a pound or so. Makes a nice cup,
probably cheaper than lipton at that price.


--------- I can get 900 grams (just under two pounds) of Lipton
Yellow Label for $5.99.


try some other assams the next time I order from uptons. Don't get put
off by pricing either, a little tea goes a long way, and most can be
steeped multiple times.



---------- I thought black tea shouldn't be steeped more than once?


I have moslty stopped drinking diet soda, and
frankly, for what I was spending on diet coke, i can affoard to drink
all but the most expensive blends.


--------- Same here. I also used to be a big soda drinker, but I've
more or less given that up. I use that as a rationalization for what I
now spend on tea. But I can't see spending $5 for 125 grams of CTC
tea at Uptons, given how cheaply I can find the Lipton CTC. Unless, of
course, the Uptons CTC is dramatically better. That's one of the
reasons I'm a little afraid to try it. I don't want to get hooked on
something that's going to cost me a lot of money. I really do drink a
lot of tea.

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Old 30-01-2006, 05:20 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

OK, well the lipton is still cheaper then! I haven't seen loose lipton
around here anywhere, just bags.

I'm not sure about the propriety of steeping black tea multiple times,
but I've done it with assam, keemun, Pu Erh's and darjeelings (Not
really black I guess) in addition to greens and get pleasing enough
results for up to 3.

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Old 30-01-2006, 07:02 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam


Justin Holmes wrote:
OK, well the lipton is still cheaper then! I haven't seen loose lipton
around here anywhere, just bags.


I'm talking about Lipton Yellow Label, which is sold in India and
available in Indian grocery stores. It's not the same as the Lipton
tea bags we're used to seeing in American supermarkets. Lipton Yellow
Label is cheaper and far superior in quality. You can get it loose or
in bags.

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Old 30-01-2006, 07:25 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

"Justin Holmes" wrote in news:1138641657.997303.321090
@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

I'm not sure about the propriety of steeping black tea multiple times,
but I've done it with assam, keemun, Pu Erh's and darjeelings (Not
really black I guess) in addition to greens and get pleasing enough
results for up to 3.



Steeping OT here a little I too steep Pu-erh multiple times -- it's one of
the ways to justify to my petit bourgeois sensibilities the prices charged
for the good grades. :-)

I get fine multiple infusions, though almost never beyond three myself,
of Pu-erh. For what it's worth, some Pu=erh vendors also say words to
the effect that "this tea is capable of many brewings." Besides, what is
the traditional practice of "washing" the Puerh but an ultra-short first
infusion?


Ozzy
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Old 30-01-2006, 07:27 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

Gotcha. We have a number of chinese/vietnames/pan asian groceries here,
but I think the metro only has 1 or 2 Indian groceries, and they aren't
close to where I live.



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Old 30-01-2006, 09:14 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

Well, all this chatting about CTC teas available in indian markets prompted
me to go down and pick some up. I've got a small box of Brooke Bond Taj
Mahal. After some difficulty opening the box (I shredded it lol) I brewed
some up. Very nice stuff! As good as my mail order CTC from a company I no
longer remember the name to, and much much less expensive.
I did see some lipton green label, but no yellow lable. I avoided the lipton
anyway. I've got some very deep issues I need to resolve with lipton before
I trust any of their products.
Thanks for bringing up the subject!
Marlene


Yesterday I posted about Lipton Yellow Label, a CTC Assam tea that I
had tried - and enjoyed - for the very first time. I am trying to
become a "smarter" tea buyer, as in trying to get the best value for my
money, rather than paying a lot of money for certain "name brands".

My tea tastes are pretty simple. I like a strong, dark cuppa without
milk or sugar. Most of the breakfast blends suit me just fine, as does
the Lipton Yellow Label or Brooke Bond Taj Mahal. I know a lot of tea
experts would consider these commercial brands to be horrible examples
of tea, but I like what I like and you certainly can't beat the price.

I browsed the websites of some well-known vendors today. They had a
lot of interesting blends, some of which I am tempted to try. However,
I'm not sure if I want to get into spending a lot of money on their
teas when I'm perfectly happy drinking this very cheap stuff. (It's
not often that I have the good fortune to find something that I really
enjoy that is also inexpensive).

Most of these vendors are selling BOP blends, as well as some CTC
blends. The CTC blends are priced slightly, but just slightly, less
than the BOP's. I was always under the impression that only
lower-grade teas were used for CTC processing. Is that true, and if
so, are the CTC's these vendors are selling worth the money they are
asking? Aside from possibly being a bit fresher, how are their CTC's
better than the CTC's used by Brooke Bond and Lipton?



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Old 31-01-2006, 02:02 AM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam


Marlene Wood wrote:

.. Very nice stuff! As good as my mail order CTC from a company I no
longer remember the name to, and much much less expensive.


------- That is what I wanted to know. Thank you very much, Marlene.


I did see some lipton green label, but no yellow lable. I avoided the lipton
anyway. I've got some very deep issues I need to resolve with lipton before
I trust any of their products.



--------- You know, I felt the exact same way the first time I went
to the Indian market and was trying to decide what to try. Just could
not bring myself to buy anything with the "Lipton" label on it. But
rest assured, it bears no resemblance to the Lipton you'll find in the
supermarket.

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Old 31-01-2006, 02:27 PM posted to rec.food.drink.tea
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Default CTC Assam

The Lipton's Green Label is actually a middling grade blend of
orthodox process 100 per cent Darjeeling. Well worth the money if it
is'nt too old



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