The Tea and Coffee Thread (Previously TEA!)

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The Tea and Coffee Thread (Previously TEA!)

Postby Matt the Czar » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:04 pm

Tea that's not sweet tea... the least American drink.

Thing is, I dislike coffee, and tea tastes great to me. I didn't find any other discussion on it, so... tea! I find my philosophy on it to be much like this:

George Orwell (Yes, that George Orwell) wrote:-Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one's tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.

-Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.

Some people would answer that they don't like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

Full essay here: http://www.booksatoz.com/witsend/tea/orwell.htm
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Last edited by Matt the Czar on Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:05 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: TEA!

Postby CarrieVS » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:11 pm

When I was a kid I liked tea and not coffee. Then I got used to coffee and found myself disliking tea for a long time. Then I actually drank a whole cup of tea for the first time in years and found that actually I did like it after all.

These days I try to drink more tea than coffee because tea is cheaper.

Milk, no sugar, of course.

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Re: TEA!

Postby jbobsully11 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:43 pm

I usually drink tea at night, or on Friday mornings before I have my early class. I like both tea and coffee (though I'm usually too lazy to make coffee), and I prefer my tea unsweetened (usually regular black or green tea; nothing herbal or with weird flavors).
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Re: TEA!

Postby CleverDick » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:53 pm

It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper

I actually discovered (not the first to, of course) that black pepper goes really well with green tea. Better to eat a peppered cracker or something rather than put pepper in the tea, though, or you just get a really gross deposit of pepper when you've finished.
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Re: TEA!

Postby El Saico » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:25 am

My girlfriend is quite the tea enthusiast.

I'm more of a coffee person, myself, with all possible bells and whistles (or black when the situation calls for it, as in: work).
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Re: TEA!

Postby Tuli » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:07 am

I am addicted to coffee. Literally, I get a headache when I don't have my coffee in the morning.

But that doesn't mean the rest of the day isn't devoted to tea! I have this huge half liter cup that I drink tea from because I drink a LOT, at least 2-4 of those a day when I'm at home. I like all sorts of tea but for the last year black teas have been my favorite. Earl Grays and Chais in particular, even though I'm somewhat of a Chai heretic who drinks it without milk or sugar. I just like all the spices (they include black pepper in chai too by the way!). And for the evenings, it's usually something herbal like chamomile or peppermint+hibiscus (found it by accident but now I love this combination).

And there's two things I really miss from my time in China: bubble teas (even though I don't like to make tea with milk and sugar myself, I liked those) and this frozen Matcha drink that they also sold at the bubble tea shop. Matcha is basically powdered green tea that can also be used for flavoring desserts. Mmmm, matcha ice cream... And well, I guess I also miss the quality of Chinese teas in general. It's hard to find anything that compares around here.
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Re: TEA!

Postby RainyDays » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:37 am

I like tea. I like coffee. I'm going to disagree with Mr. Orwell up there (please don't shoot me with your elephant gun, sir) and say that I'm all for tea inclusivity, because I like many varieties of tea (except rooibos; go figure.) Green tea, white tea, black tea, herbal tea, oolong tea, whatever, I'm happy. Some tea is best sweetened, but most I prefer not, because I'm not a big fan of excessively sweet things in general.

Tuli, I also like chai plain, though I like it with all the fixings, too.

I'm generally just easy to please, it seems.

Anyone struggling with colds this season: when I had a bout of acute tonsillitis a few years back, someone suggested licorice tea to help with the sore throat. I'm skeptical of herbal remedies at best, but I was a puddle of misery, so I gave it a shot. It is a thing of wonder. It doesn't taste much like licorice, either, for those who don't like the taste. It tastes warm and soothing and a little tingly, and I went everywhere with a travel mug full of it just so I could talk. If you have a sore throat, try it, seriously. It's even better than my go-to honey and lemon tea.

About the only thing I don't like is sugar in coffee. Every now and then I decide I'm being unfair and try to give it another shot, but I can't finish the mug. (On the other hand, cayenne pepper and cinnamon -- fantastic. I like spices. I've been known to occasionally throw some of the contents of the spice rack into whatever I'm drinking. Results have been… interesting.)
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Re: TEA!

Postby sunglasses » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:08 am

I'll drink tea once in a while, normally with honey.

I rather do not care for sweet iced tea, which is apparently quite popular down South here in the States.

I like coffee-black. If it's godawful horrible rotgut coffee that is guaranteed to be at least 1/2 roach carcasses, then I add exactly two creamers, water, and chug.
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Re: TEA!

Postby jbobsully11 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:11 am

I like bubble tea, but I've never been as obsessed with it as other people seem to be. I can't imagine putting pepper in tea; I almost feel like I have to try it now.
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Re: TEA!

Postby Ericthebearjew » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:53 am

I tend to be more of a coffee person, but I am rather fond of tea. Though, when it comes to tea, I prefer tea lattes (such as chais, matcha lattes, Thai teas, and London fogs), tea lemonades, and botanicals over tea teas, though I do make an exception for genmaicha and minty green teas.

There's this cafe in Roseville, CA called The Shady Tree Cafe that used to offer this pretty good botanical blend of spearmint, lemongrass, and black pepper, but for some stupid reason, they took it off the menu.
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Re: TEA!

Postby NathanLoiselle » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:59 am

I'm a coffee drinker. I take it with three sugars and occasionally a draught of Nyquil.
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Re: TEA!

Postby cmsellers » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:59 am

Before I went to Turkey, I'd drink tea at Chinese restaurants, but that's usually green tea, and I was never a huge fan.

In Turkey, they give you tea with everything. They even gave me tea while they were deporting me, because that's just how they roll. In Turkey they drink black tea, and black tea is wicked delicious.

Come back to the United States, I can have good tea at home, though that means I have to make it. I've discovered that in addition to plain black tea I also really like oolong tea, as well as rose congou (black tea with rose petals) and lapsang souchong (smoked tea), but alas I don't drink tea nearly as much as I'd like. I'm lazy and people don't just offer you tea in the United States the way they do coffee. (Sadly, I am not a fan of coffee, unless it's in ice cream and/or served with chocolate.)

In fact, it seems that even in the nicest restaurants, if you and order tea you get a jug of hot water, a mug, and a bag of fucking Lipton, or something equally bland and inexpensive (which doesn't stop them from charging you five bucks for it). I've finally come to appreciate Chinese restaurant tea, which may be green tea, but is at least of decent quality and strength.

Apparently we still haven't forgiven the British for that whole tea tax thing a quarter millennium ago.
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Re: TEA!

Postby Ericthebearjew » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:07 am

I think what sort of puts me off of a lot of tea leaf based teas is their constant claiming of nodes of flavor that fail to deliver. I know coffee does that a lot too, but, coffee is coffee. For example, there's this "white peony" tea at Shady that descibes it of having "nodes of honey and chestnut", but you just taste white tea, no honey or chestnut. Okay, yeah, you can put honey in the tea, but if there's no chestnut taste, why mention chestnut?
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Re: TEA!

Postby cmsellers » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:26 am

Ericthebearjew wrote:I think what sort of puts me off of a lot of tea leaf based teas is their constant claiming of nodes of flavor that fail to deliver. I know coffee does that a lot too, but, coffee is coffee. For example, there's this "white peony" tea at Shady that descibes it of having "nodes of honey and chestnut", but you just taste white tea, no honey or chestnut. Okay, yeah, you can put honey in the tea, but if there's no chestnut taste, why mention chestnut?

At least where I am, if you go to a specialty tea shop that tea actually would have chestnuts in it. Personally I find teas with so much junk in them that you can't taste the tea rather annoying (why not just drink a bag of potpourri) but my aunt loves them, as do a lot of the kinds of people who keep actual potpourri in their bathrooms.

As for the phenomenon you described: that's not unique to teas. I believe it started with wine and tobacco, got carried over into chocolate and beer, and now gets used for tea and coffee. If you haven't seen the same kinds of tasting notes with your coffee, you're probably not going to sufficiently pretentious places.

Personally I just ignore the tasting notes; I can't really distinguish one good white tea from another either. Unless it's obviously flavored all that matters is that I like the tea or I don't. A plain tea that's pretentious enough to have tasting notes will almost always be strong and will usually be good (I have had some exceptions), and personally I'd much rather have pompous and oversold descriptions than bland flavor.
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Re: TEA!

Postby JamishT » Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:14 am

I don't like coffee, so I stick with tea/hot choc-ie. But I have very little patience, so I don't drink much of either of those anyway... I love chai (with chili pepper), and London Fogs, mint tea (we had wild mint tea growing in our yard back home), and...that's about it. I was walking past a Teavana the other...month...and walked away after buying a tin of a fruity mix that is pretty good. But yeah. Hot drinks are too hot for too long.
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