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I am an avid tea drinker. I find it incredibly comforting and relaxing and it is something I especially look forward to at times.

I have become a big fan of PG Tips Gold and Yorkshire Gold, which I find to be fairly good teas that I can readily get in bags when I feel lazy, which is much of the time lately.

A favorite has been to make them double or even tripe strength and then add some heavy cream but still leave it is bit on the dark side. Cream in second of course, and I know this is a subject so some controversy.

I have been keto or "fat adapted" (vs carb-adapted) for over three years now so never sugar for me. 

Sometimes I will add some spices, especially during the cold weather and I keep a selection of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, start anise, and vanilla bean in my office.

In the afternoons I often like some milky oolong or sencha green. 

Usually I am drinking out of a 12oz Bodum double wall clear glass mug, but enjoy using the good tea-ware at times as well.

In the summer, lots of iced black tea. I don't know if that is something that is done in Britain at all. I was serving as a chaplain at our local wilderness summer camp and took the international counselors our for lunch and one of the Brits was puzzled by the whole idea of "iced tea". He ended up trying it but not taking to it at all. Then there was the whole "chips vs crisps" confusion with the waiter over what he wanted alongside his hamburger.

Anyway, what are you favorites? What are your habits or traditions and where do they come from? I know there are a lot of opinions about such things and I would enjoy hearing them.

 

 

My office "tea station"

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Edited by PastorChris
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When time loose leaf or Yorkshire de cafe. The loose leaf is a Kent and Sussex tea  named “Pluckley” which I also have in tea bags as well.

 

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I grew up in the Deep South USA, so black tea was a daily beverage either hot or iced, sugar optional but culturally many/most take it sickeningly sweet. Usually just Lipton or Tetley.

 

My wife is half Argentine half English, so I drink a lot of mate*, and also a mix of bargain bin black tea and "tea shop" black. My father in law (English) lives nearby, and gets a custom mix from the shop. Never mention English Breakfast in his house hahaha. We pretty much stick to his blend at home when not drinking the cheap stuff, loose leaves in the pot, pour through a strainer in the cup. No sugar, wife takes a little milk sometimes.

 

*if you don't know mate, it looks pretty gross in pics, but is awesome. Luckily it's surprisingly easy to find here in Switzerland.

 

 

mate.jpg

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I've been an enthusiastic coffee drinker for decades. I had pretty much every device known to man for making coffee, and had perfected the ritual for the thickest, blackest, muddiest coffee going. Sweet, and faintly chocolatey.

Then my allergy doctor realized that my chronic cough was actually silent reflux; acid reflux, without the heartburn. It had gone undiagnosed for a long time because of my severe allergies. The biggest contributing factors are drinking black coffee on an empty stomach (which I did every. single. day.), alcohol (the only non-coffee, non-water thing I ever drink), and spicy foods (the only kind of food I know having grown up in Texas and being an avid fan of Indian and Thai food).

Fortunately, my alcohol consumption is very much a quality over quantity routine, and I don't drink but maybe once a week; even that seems a high estimate. So that didn't have to go. Food... I can tone it down. I eat spicy at a level that makes the Indian/Thai waiters concerned; that can be tempered to a significant degree without too much effort. But the coffee... Every single morning since college, I had a whole pot of super thick black coffee before breakfast... That's a hard habit to break.

So tea... I've been working on a coffee substitute blend that doesn't suck. The most naturally caffeinated tea I'm aware of is yerba matte. Then a blend of things to get it coffee-like and palatable. Traditional (smoked with stems and aged) and roasted yerba mattes and chicory are the main ingredients, then I'm working on carob/chocolate and leaning toward chocolate, and stevia. This steeps for 10 minutes in a french press. It's tannic as hell, and not at all drinkable... unless you clarify it to crash out the tannins with milk (though I recently discovered also that I may be lactose intolerant, so I've been experimenting with milk alternatives). Then you get something vaguely coffee-like (strong, a bit of body, slightly bitter), caffeinated to a similar degree, and altogether pleasant and drinkable. It's still a work in progress, but it's way better than any of the coffee substitutes I've been able to find on the market. Not exactly coffee, but close enough and still it's own thing. Nothing that isn't a minimally processed plant part is nice too boot.

Edited by spectre6000
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                                                                  I don't.

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Hi  A single pot of ground colombian medium in the morning then tea/decaff coffee as the misses drinks it but will drink anything but tap water full of purification chemicals so I have to filter that out.

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I have been a coffee drinker since grade school but, do enjoy an afternoon green tea with honey. Here a picture taken at my work desk some years back.  A morning cappuccino, a Timex watch and behind it a remembrance of a visit to Assisi back in 2000 (a Franciscan Cross). 

 

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5 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

Hi Nicklesiver  that looks like the sweepings up in the workshop, whats in it? apart from wood shavings.

It's what spectre mentioned above, yerba mate. The cup is called a mate and the beverage is called mate (mahtey) haha. Pretty decent caffeine level. It's drunk from a small gourd (mate) with a straw, the bombilla, which has a filter on the bottom end. The gourds can get quite fancy, leather clad, with artsy metalwork and such. Nowadays you can get plastic and silicone ones too, but old Argentines despise these. I use a silicone one at work and have a nice leather one at home.

 

I can always get an eye roll from my daughter when I point to my mate and say,"that's mate (mah tay [my tea])". It only works since tea is pronounced "tay" in French which we both speak. She'd also contest the idea that the joke works, hahaha, but I'm a dad so it's a dad-joke.

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PG Tips, Yorkshire, Tetley, co-op 99, whatever I could get in the suitcase on my latest visit to the UK (long time ago now), or whatever my parents send over. 3 bags in a 1500 CC pot. Mashed for anything from 5 minutes to half-an-hour (shower, shave, get dressed), then a little bit of milk in the biggest mug I've got (the one with Homer Simpson on it), and pour in the tea up to the brim. I don't think it makes any difference If the milk goes in before or after, but MIF saves washing a teaspoon.

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23 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

I like my tea very strong. I have 3 large mugs before breakfast. On average I drink around 9 mugs of tea a day.  

A man after my own heart and habits.

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I've had some PG tips and it was very good. On the coffee kick, as above I've "done the tour" drip, french press, moka pot, lever espresso,  pump espresso, cowboy, new Orleans style (chicory), etc. Standard now is moka pot to start the day, pump (e61) the rest of the morning,  lunch, then mate, then a  "train beer" for the way home. I love seeing 20, 30, 50, 60, 70 something dudes in suits cracking a beer in the train. You're not driving so, hey?

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10 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

I've had some PG tips and it was very good. On the coffee kick, as above I've "done the tour" drip, french press, moka pot, lever espresso,  pump espresso, cowboy, new Orleans style (chicory), etc. Standard now is moka pot to start the day, pump (e61) the rest of the morning,  lunch, then mate, then a  "train beer" for the way home. I love seeing 20, 30, 50, 60, 70 something dudes in suits cracking a beer in the train. You're not driving so, hey?

I always refer P G tips as monkey tea, all due to those lovely adverts with the chimps. My favourite is the removeles and the piano.  For those that don't know what I'm talking about look at this. 

 

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I, like most people have been working from home since last March.  I was talking to a colleague the other day (remotely) saying how I've got bored of it all now and can't wait to get back into the office.  His reply was that over the winter months he's been putting a shot of brandy in his morning tea and if he has to drive to work again that will have to stop.

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It's hard to believe that a humble beverage which originated in China could affect the world in such a huge way.

It was surrounded by mystique and China had a commercial monopoly for hundreds of years before a British agent resorted to espionage to learn everything about tea.

It has sparked wars and wormed it way into the cultures of many countries.

It can be drunk plain, with milk, sugar, butter, salt, ginger, spices.

It continues to evolve with the millenials preferring bubble tea.

I'm having a cup of Longjin tea at the moment. But I also have Oolong, Puer, Jasmine, English, Darjeeling, Earl Grey at home.

So, what's your cup of tea?

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While I was in Africa I was introduced to Masala Chai.  Once I had my first cup I couldn't get enough of it.  I've tried to reproduce the flavour here in the UK but I can't.  Some things just have a time and a place, it's not the taste, it's the surroundings, the people you're with, the situation you're in.

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On 2/14/2021 at 1:57 PM, AshF said:

While I was in Africa I was introduced to Masala Chai.  Once I had my first cup I couldn't get enough of it.  I've tried to reproduce the flavour here in the UK but I can't.  Some things just have a time and a place, it's not the taste, it's the surroundings, the people you're with, the situation you're in.

Agreed as to the company and surroundings. 

Ive been to Kenya a few times for work and they drink "mixed tea" which is apparently made with 50/50 water/milk. It is at least twice as strong as "regular" black tea if brewed with just water. Aderdare was a popular brand. The milk was local whole milk, grass-fed and very sweet naturally. Usually added a bit of turbinado sugar.

I make it at home like that every once in awhile and it is close, but not the same as having it made for you in Kenya.

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Speaking of tea, this must be the Patek of tea's 

Da-Hong Pao Tea

At $1.2 million per kilogram, Da-Hong Pao Tea is the most expensive in the world. This variety has been declared a national treasure by the Chinese government and dates back to the Ming Dynasty. The process used during harvesting remains a closely guarded secret.Have YOU had some? 

Whoa! 

Edited by Graziano
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On 2/15/2021 at 2:57 AM, AshF said:

While I was in Africa I was introduced to Masala Chai.  Once I had my first cup I couldn't get enough of it.  I've tried to reproduce the flavour here in the UK but I can't.  Some things just have a time and a place, it's not the taste, it's the surroundings, the people you're with, the situation you're in.

Masala chai originates from India. You can try getting it from South Asian grocers. You can sometimes get a ground spice blend which you can add to and Indian teas.

Or if you are willing to experiment, it's usually a blend of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Sometimes ginger and black pepper corns are added too.

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