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It's been a while. It looks like I need to rethink how to manage this community. In the meanwhile I have some questions for you.

How do you brew your tea?

I've seen several general guidelines like 1 minute for white tea, 2-3 for green and 3-5 for black etc. If you go more specific and actually read the instructions on specific teas, the times can be quite different. I'm yet to encounter a white tea with such a short steeping time. Usually the instructions say 3 minutes or even 6+. And when you look at the mass product teabags they always seem to say 3 minutes and boiling water, even if the tea is green.

I have a bad habit of forgetting about the tea I'm making all the time and have taken to using an egg timer. I find myself setting it to the classic 3 minutes all the time because all those contradicting instructions can get so confusing.

I use a clay pot for making tea. If I pour water into it, it absorbs quite a lot of the heat and the water isn't boiling anymore. Even if I try to make black tea as hot as possible and let the water cool down a bit before adding the leaves, usually the difference ends up not being all that different. Have you run into this problem? Does the water really have to be boiling for black tea in your opinion?
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Hello, community. I had meant to post something for the chai theme a while back, but somehow I never got around to it. So my very first post here will be about white tea, instead.

Dragonheart White TeaCollapse )

I am still very new to white teas. Do you have a favourite blend or flavour of white tea?
Current Mood:
listless listless
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Just saw this and wanted to share. basically a guy introduces oolong and his way of preparing it.
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I've noticed that introducing the themes has had an unfortunate side effect of killing all the other posts. I know that I have not posted about things I should have. So I would like to make a little change in our arrangement - post about things as you go. Tried this new chai recipe today - let us know. The experiment failed - let us know why so we could avoid the mistakes. The discussion post were nice, but a lot of detail was lost because we concentrated everything in one post. We are sharing experiences after all.

Chai theme is over. I don't know about you, but the experimenting is not over for me and I hope to share with you the results.

This time I would like to give you two themes.

1) I read from somewhere that every Chinese knows that you drink floral tea in spring, green tea in summer, oolong in autumn and black tea in winter. It is autumn in the Northern hemisphere. I suggest we find time to drink some oolong before it's winter.

2) This one is for a shorter theme like chai was. Autumn is time for apples. Make use of them. Add them to your tea, experiment some more with chai, iced tea with apple juice, whatever strikes your fancy. Let's say you have time till the end of the month.

Here are two recipes if you have trouble finding your own.

Read more...Collapse )

I'm always open for theme suggestions. Or any suggestions really.
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My first chai experience was actually trying Lipton Indian Chai with milk and sugar. I'm not really into adding milk and sugar to my tea, but... this one particular combination seemed so tasty that I decided to try something more.

I checked a few recipes and wrote down the ingredients, wondering what would work the best. In the end, instead of trying some ready recipe, I just mixed the spices myself. In all honesty, I need to say that my first try turned out much better than the second one >.>; Too much cloves in my opinion. My family still loved both, however.

I like more spicy taste so I tend to add more ginger and even some pepper. Also some nutmeg. Other ingredients used: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon. I will probably try adding something else as well.

Other personal preferences - I like a lot of milk in my chai XD; The proportion I use is 5 to 8 (5 for milk, 8 for water). I also noticed that boiling everything slowly does improve the taste.
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I've always been comfortable with my choice of tea: Earl Grey. Chai was new to me and personally I wasn't sure if I would like it. At first I was planning on making my own as I had and could readily find the ingredients. I never heard of cardamom before, but I did manage to find it. The problem was that it cost $8 (CAN) for 40g. I wasn't sure when I would have use for cardamom afterwards so I decided to go for the ready-to-drink package.

I tried to find a brand with the least amount of tea bags. (When trying something for the first time, whether it be food or a something else, I keep my guard up.) In the end, I purchased Chai Spice Black Tea from Stash. The ingredients were "naturally decaffeinated black teas, cinnamon, ginger root, cinnamon flavor, clove oil, allspice, clove, nutmeg, and cardamom oil".

Back home I brewed the tea. I love the smell of cinnamon but it was quite strong. (For a while the kitchen smelled of the spices.) For my first try I drank the tea straight. The weather was quite hot already and the spices added extra warmth. Despite having doubts at first, I enjoyed it. Personally it would have tasted even better during winter.

For the next batch of tea bags I decided to vary the flavour by adding sugar, honey, milk or a combination. My favourite variation was adding milk. By adding a bit to the tea, it helped dilute the spiciness. The package gave instructions for making ice chai tea so I made that as well.

It was my first time drinking chai tea so I'm sorry if my experience sounded boring. If we're going to have another chai theme in the future, I'll be more daring. :)
Current Mood:
calm calm
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Please ignore how late this is.

I tried out several different recipes for chai. Despite all the possible possible spice combinations, the part that made the most difference for me is milk. I took seriously the recommendation that one of the recipes had to use half-and -half milk. After some research on what is meant by half-and-half I decided to use coffee cream (10% here). 3/4 glass of coffee cream and 1 1/4 glass of water and long heating time work nicely for me. I have discovered that this is the reason I have failed in my previous experiments - a little bit of milk in a cup of tea is just too watery. Using whole milk has been nice too.

I tried several recipes which mainly vary the amount of cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. Tried one with orange peals in it. That was... interesting. On one hand the orange taste was good on the other hand it felt a bit weird. Star anise one stood out as well, but I'm thinking of decreasing the amount of anise used.

For premade mixes I used teabags by Premier's . The brand is not bad, I should try it without milk. Just adding milk to it didn't work for me - too watery, adding sugar made it better, but then it was too sweet. Condensed milk was better, but still too sweet. Boiling the teabag in milk gave better results, but the taste came out too mild.

The problem with using green tea was that I couldn't figure out if there is any tea in it or not, it didn't even give colour. The taste was good, but it might have been just warm milk with sugar and cardamom in it. I only tried it once.

The first time I read the recipe with bay leaves and fennel in it, was a bit taken aback. I should not have been worried.

The proportion in which to use the spices? I still don't know. A lot more experimenting would be needed.

Entirely random, but this is my experiences in chai in almost two weeks.
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It's the 30th. Tell us how the chai experiment went. I've given it some thought and I think it would be best if everybody made a separate post - easier to not neglect anyone and you can still take part if you are late. Mine will come as soon as I've made one more cup.
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This is not the discussion post yet, you still have two days. So, how is your experimenting going? Do you need more time?

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for the next theme. I have thought of something, but it is not nearly as interesting and complicated as chai. More recipes or are you willing to buy new types of tea?

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Chai is an Indian tea drink with milk and spices. There are a lot of recipes for it and anyone can come up with their own. helike provided us with a link here. There are also premade mixes available.

Typical chai ingredients are for example:

black tea

Go, find something that you like. Some basic how to here.

I wouldn't use the word deadline, there is never a reason not to drink tea or catch up later, but we will discuss our experiences on August 30th. Is that an appropriate amount of time?

P.S How should we call our little projects? Themes? Challenges? Something else?
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