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 Post subject: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:25 pm 
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Going into Teavana makes me stabby, and we don't have any other tea shops in the area, so please tell me! If you order tea online, where do you get it from, and what do you like? I like most teas (blacks, greens, whites etc), but my 'everyday' tea right now is Earl Grey. I'm having a birthday tea party in a couple of weeks and I want to get at least two nice teas for the pots (maybe one black and one herbal or green), and then just an assortment of bags for individual cups.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:29 pm 
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Red Blossom here in San Francisco is absolutely the best. These people don't mess around. I've become quite a tea snob and spend obscene amounts of money on good tea.

Try out the Tung Ting (charcoal roasted), Monkey Picked or Gold Thread Reserve. Those are my favorites. But their descriptions on the website will tell you more than you need to know. Can't wait to hear what you think and what you end up with.


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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:14 am 
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Adagio! Check out their website and if you'd like, I can email you a ($5, I think) gift certificate and they sell samples for cheap. We also have a thread for something similar to this. Let me find it for you.

eta: Here it is: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=17622&hilit=teA You might be able to find more on here.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:23 am 
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My go-to tea these days is plain old PG Tips, but when I'm in the mood for something different, McNulty's. It's everything I want from a tea shop--rows and rows of bins, brown paper bags, a grumpy staff, and none of the foofaraw you too often get from tea slingers.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:25 am 
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Seconding Adagio. If you like Earl Grey then try the Earl Grey Bravo, it smells awesome! For green tea I really like the Jasmine Yin Hao. In terms of blends, I reeeeeaaaaally like the Thai Chai, but that's not everyone's cup of tea (har har har!) Or if you'd prefer an herbal tea without caffeine then I'd recommend the "Foxtrot" blend. If you've never ordered from there before try inputting code 3685024211 at the checkout for $5 off... not sure if coupon is still effective, but if you're a first-time customer one of us can e-mail you a unique code.


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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:34 am 
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You can also buy tea online from Teavana. I do that rather than deal with their annoying workers. I just want my tea, no I do not want to smell your entire tea collection and buy your German rock sugar.

Some of my favorite teas from Adagio are Almost Nutella, Mint Chocolate Green (or whatever it's called), Chocolate Chai, Thai Chai, the rest of the chai collection...

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:39 am 
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I love the comforting tea by Aveda. It's the best tea I've ever had. I don't need to put anything into it- it's just good.


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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:42 am 
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Thanks you guys!

I read terrible reviews of Teavana's online customer service, so I'm hesitant to order from them. Plus, in store I got pressured to the point of being harassed, and even had the sales woman ROLL HER EYES when I asked her to put the extra back after she scooped 2.7oz instead of the 2oz that I'd requested. The internet tells me this is typical of Teavana, so I'm not excited to give them any more of my money. Harrumph.

I just checked out the Adagio site and I love the look of their teas. I will try that discount code, thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:46 am 
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Teavana are crazy overpriced and their tea is often kind of crappy. I have been disappointed in everything I've had from there. Soapy pu-erh, flat and flavorless black teas... It's mall tea in the same way you get mall sushi and mall pizza.

For badass hardcore tea importers who know their stuff:

http://uptontea.com

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:50 am 
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poopiebitch wrote:
I just checked out the Adagio site and I love the look of their teas. I will try that discount code, thank you!

If you PM me your email I can send it to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:29 am 
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Okay, so, I don't do well when faced with a lot of options.

If you were going to a tea party at 4pm, where sandwiches, scones and cake would be served, what two teas would you like to see offered? At least one should be caffeine-free or decaf. I'm going to order the "sweet medley" sampler of bags for anyone who doesn't like what's on offer, but I genuinely don't know what to get for the pots. I shouldn't be having anxiety about this kind of thing, but I totally am.

ETA: specifically teas available from Adagio http://www.adagio.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:32 am 
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I don't know if this is too "out there" for your party but lapsang souchong is awesome and something different. It's a nice smoked tea. Otherwise, I would love a chocolate chai tea (I don't know if I'd make these in a pot though because the loose chai teas from Adagio tend to be too fine for standard mesh). Jasmine silver needles is also awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:38 am 
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For the first, I'd serve an Assam, something like this:

http://uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?itemID=TA33

...the kind that has a rich dried apricot smell in the tin. (I could just sit and sniff Assam all day.)

For the second, rote gruetze (you'll have to imagine the umlauts): "Red Groats," a sort of tart fruit tisane based on rose hips and dried berries:

http://uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?itemID=BF60

If people were interested in a third, possibly something like a big smoky lapsang souchong or some masala chai.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:39 am 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
I don't know if this is too "out there" for your party but lapsang souchong is awesome and something different.


You have to be careful how you store it, though-- it has to be in something airtight (And not just a ziplock bag, say) or the smoky smell will permeate everything near it. I had not just lapsang souchong in my desk drawer after a couple of months, but smoked assam, smoked PG Tips, smoked pens, smoked notepads, smoked post-it notes...

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:45 am 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Mr. Shankly wrote:
I don't know if this is too "out there" for your party but lapsang souchong is awesome and something different.


You have to be careful how you store it, though-- it has to be in something airtight (And not just a ziplock bag, say) or the smoky smell will permeate everything near it. I had not just lapsang souchong in my desk drawer after a couple of months, but smoked assam, smoked PG Tips, smoked pens, smoked notepads, smoked post-it notes...

Hahaha! What brand did you have?

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:52 am 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
solipsistnation wrote:
Mr. Shankly wrote:
I don't know if this is too "out there" for your party but lapsang souchong is awesome and something different.


You have to be careful how you store it, though-- it has to be in something airtight (And not just a ziplock bag, say) or the smoky smell will permeate everything near it. I had not just lapsang souchong in my desk drawer after a couple of months, but smoked assam, smoked PG Tips, smoked pens, smoked notepads, smoked post-it notes...

Hahaha! What brand did you have?


It was something I got from Upton... I think just the top one listed here:

http://uptontea.com/shopcart/catalog.as ... egoryID=25

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:18 am 
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I would serve a nice sencha and lapsang souchong. I don't do that fruity herbal shiitake and would brew them both so strong that everyone would flee the tea party and thus get hoisted by my own petard.

I am not fit for giving tea advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:48 am 
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i think panda and i play on the same team- the don't take my advice curmudgeon team?

the caffeine pot has to be either The Earl or Tips with that food. Fool around with the decaf- maybe some röte grüetze (there're your umlauts right there SN), but for the love of jaysus have some real tea with that menu!

(i like lapsang but people seem to have such a visceral response to it, like natto- you want it to be your birthday, not "that time that PB made that tea that tasted like ashes", and it smells so much it will make your whole party smell like you're burning leaves.)

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:19 am 
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Thank you everyone! I've kind of gone off PG Tips (blasphemy, I know) since the last couple of boxes I bought (locally) tasted old and dusty. I'm sure if I bought them online it would be better, but I think I was ready for a change anyway. I was thinking Earl Grey (since it's my current fav) or a 'mild' Assam for the main pot, because most people who are coming aren't "tea people" and I don't want to scare them. And I'm not so much a fruity person either, but I know a lot of people are, so I think a fruity flowery tea might be good for the second choice. Whew! Thanks guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:34 am 
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The adagio fandom teas are going to be the end of my money. So far I have the tardis blend and the luna lovegood blend in my cart. I might add the Watson too, just to round out my British fiction lovin'.


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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:40 am 
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Haha, I was just looking at those! I clicked on the blends just to see what it was about, and when I saw that the first two were Doctor Who collections, I actually squealed.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:29 am 
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torque wrote:
the caffeine pot has to be either The Earl or Tips with that food. Fool around with the decaf- maybe some röte grüetze (there're your umlauts right there SN), but for the love of jaysus have some real tea with that menu!


I just don't know how to make them on my home PC... My Mac, yes! Anyway, now I can just copy and paste. 8)

Quote:
(i like lapsang but people seem to have such a visceral response to it, like natto- you want it to be your birthday, not "that time that PB made that tea that tasted like ashes", and it smells so much it will make your whole party smell like you're burning leaves.)


Yeah, I like it too-- I don't know about the smell of burning leaves, but certainly you'll get some woodsmoke action going. I really like the smell, but I also like the smell of woodsmoke, so there you go. I usually use strongly-brewed pu-erh as my tester tea-- you know, "Are you adventurous enough to drink something that smells like it's been scraped up out of a barn?"

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:49 am 
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THE TEA THAT EATS LIKE A MEAL.

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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:46 am 
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torque wrote:
(i like lapsang but people seem to have such a visceral response to it, like natto- you want it to be your birthday, not "that time that PB made that tea that tasted like ashes", and it smells so much it will make your whole party smell like you're burning leaves.)

Well said. Some people hate smoky flavors. HATE! For a party I would focus on getting teas that I know most people will enjoy, like the Earl Grey. Then I would throw a couple of samples of the more exotic stuff onto my order as a gift to myself. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Loose leaf teas (and tisanes), and where you buy them
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:03 pm 
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If you haven't found it yet, there is a website with all sorts of tea reviews: steepster.com

I have a whole cabinet devoted to tea, so I guess you could say I'm slightly obsessed. There is a local coffee shop that sells loose leaf tea for a pretty reasonable price (1/4 pound for $5), so I get lots of basics from there - Assam, earl grey, jasmine green, etc. The local coop also has a nice selection of loose leaf teas, but some of them are pricey. I keep a steady supply of chamomile and mint on hand, which are usually quite affordable and they make soothing herbal teas mixed together or separately. I'm also a fan of Twinings Lady grey, which you should be able to find loose leaf in a tin at supermarkets. 52teas.com is a great source for fun and fancy flavored teas - a little pricey, but worth it in my opinion.


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