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Things I've learned about tea

1) You can decaffeinate it yourself. Just pour the boiling water over it as usual, wait 30 to 45 seconds, and dump out the resulting brew, but keep the leaves/teabag. This will remove some 80% of the caffeine, which ought to be enough to let you fall asleep. Then pour fresh boiling water over the same tea leaves/bag, and brew as usual. Ta-da--decaffeinated tea. Apparently you also get more polyphenol health benefits that way than if you simply buy decaf tea.

2) Here's one Americans don't always learn: really, only brew the tea for a few minutes. 3 to 5 minutes for black tea, 1 to 3 for green, no more than 2 for white. It becomes bitter and harsh after that. I didn't know this for years, and when I went to Scotland in '96, the locals looked at me in incredulity when I left my teabag in the mug for endless minutes. "How can ye drink it like tha'? It's like tar!" They're right, as it turns out.

3) I was going to add, "Don't drink tea with meals, as it can inhibit your iron absorption," but I lately found that the research is not at all conclusive on that one.

I need a tea icon. Hm. That is, assuming LJ is even here a month from now.

By the way, should you want to join in a grass-roots effort to buy LiveJournal out from under the noses of whoever the hell owns it now and is firing everyone, see ljuser_buyout. My brother-in-law kenshi started it up, so I can promise it's not a scam.

Should that fail, technically I do have a blog I can fall back upon. I hardly ever use it now, but I will if it comes to that.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
A User buyout would be very interesting, but I think the sheer amount of people you'd need to have involved would be boggling, and make any sort of decision-making and organizing hard :(

If only some LJ user could win that ridiculously large lotto that's in the US (Powerball?) and buy out LJ. I totally would.
Jan. 8th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I sure wouldn't want to be in charge of it. So I'm taking the calm view that if LJ can stay afloat, great; and if it can't, well, it's cleansing to get rid of things sometimes. I have, of course, already used LJ Backup to keep a copy of it all. :)
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
I don't even let my teabag sit for more than thirty seconds, probably! I is a weakling :P And I don't tend to drink it with meals, usually it's by itself or with a small snack/dessert. I wonder how much of this is having a European for a mother as a tea-teacher. Hee.

I'm not worried about LJ. The 20-of-28 was an exaggeration, and I don't think it's so dire. But then, I've been optimistic and non-doomy since the first scandals in 2007, sooooooooooo. I could re-learn to blog, too, I guess. I will miss the icons though. *sigh*

(Speaking of: tea icon for grabs!)
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
Definitely helps to be officially European-taught. :) And thanks! May borrow that icon.

Yeah, I don't really think LJ is about to disappear, but I suppose it might get uglier and bulkier. Like Facebook et al.
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
I hardly use Lj anymore because I don't have the time for it... for me, Facebook feels the need to converse with folks and I can always make notes there if I feel the need. Then again, I suppose a blog is a good for promoting your book and all that...

I just need to pull all of my stuff off LJ if it is supposedly going under or whatever...
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Facebook does seem good for just staying in touch, and supposedly it's also good for self-promotion. I just need to learn how. But I do like blogging best, so LJ or Blogspot may still have to be the most important to me.

There's supposedly a way to archive LJ stuff on Mac, but it was too complicated for me. So I downloaded LJArchive on Steve's PC and saved my journals that way. Much simpler.
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
If by chance you ever find yourself in Hangzhou, China, be sure to visit the Tea Museum. It's one of those places that sounds boring but is actually fascinating. Plus you'll come away with enough specialized tea knowledge that, should you encounter one of those annoying know-it-all oenologists, you'll be able to swing the conversation from wine to tea and put her/him in his place.
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
This post is worthwhile merely for resulting phrase "know-it-all oenologists."

I always loved the official name of the UC Davis wine major: Viticulture and Enology. Bet their relatives give them blank looks when they answer *that* to the simple question, "What are you studying?"

Anyway, yes, will check that museum out, should I ever be in that particular city. :) The more I learn about tea, the more I like it.
Jan. 8th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
Ooh, nice decaf tip. Thanks!
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
'Tis way handy. Enjoy!
Jan. 8th, 2009 07:02 am (UTC)
The bloke I work with scares his tea with a teabag. It's in for less than 30 seconds, a quick stir and out with the bag. Thus a daily battle ensues to encourage him to not to make "girls tea". He's the kind of person who reacts to that kind of insult.

Or to edit it to be closer to 100x100 http://blog.wired.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/03/25/cup_of_tea_2.jpg

Jan. 9th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
Heheh. Not the prettiest tea icon ever, but funny, at least.

I go for at least 3-minute tea for the black variety. Has to have some flavor in order to complement the milk and sugar I intend to add.
Jan. 8th, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
4. MAKE TEA WITH FRESHLY BOILED WATER. This is why it seems to be really hard to get a well made cup of tea in the US - cafes and restaurants seem to just put water from the coffee machine in a cup. Ugh. Tea will not work if the water isn't boiling hot. Also, water should only really be boiled once for each tea - the water should be fresh each time, not stuff that's been in the kettle all day.

This is a fun site: http://www.tea.co.uk/
Jan. 9th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
That does look like a fun site. :)

Yes, so true about the stale water. It's the worst when they put it in one of the coffeepots, and keep it hot on a burner in the coffee machine. It often tastes a bit like old coffee. Blech.
Jan. 8th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
i dig lose earl grey.
I keep the tea leaves in it for ages though. I like it strong with just milk.
Jan. 9th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
If you keep it in longer because you *like* it that way, then of course that's fine. :)

Hmm, Earl Grey with milk? I'll have to try it. I'd assumed milk wouldn't go with it.
Jan. 9th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
naw, it's lemon that won't go with it because it already has a nice lemony sort of tastes. It doesn't even need sugar, but in my old age I find myself drinking many unsweetened teas like English, Irish breakfast or darjeeling with nothing but milk. Even plain old lipton is better without sugar unless it's iced tea then it has to have the right about of sugar with lemon.
Jan. 11th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
I'll happily try that. I love milk in tea whenever possible.
Jan. 10th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
Love it with milk...
Jan. 10th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC)
When I was living in England (1988-89), people always expressed surprise that I, as an American, was able to make a decent cup of tea. I remember thinking, "Good grief, it's not rocket science."

I'm of the MIF (i.e., Milk in First, not to be confused with MILF) school - I'd put the bag in the cup, followed by the milk. Then I'd pour in the boiling water and steep the bag just long enough to get the tea the right color.

Nowadays I just drink flavored herbal tea sans milk, since caffeine doesn't do me any favors.
Jan. 11th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
*grins at MILF remark*

Yeah, I usually avoid caffeine since I'm insomniac enough as it is, so that decaf trick was a godsend for me. Rooibos is a good option for the herbals, though. There are a couple of good flavored varieties there.
Jan. 10th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Another Tip About Tea
My mother is a tea merchant (*shameless plug* http://teaforallreasons.com */plug*). One thing I learned from her is that only loose leaf tea is good quality tea. Most of what is found in teabags is the dust and dregs leftover after the manufacturer packages the loose leaf. You are not going to get a good cup of tea from dust.

Also, I second the milk/sugar in Earl Grey. My mother's Cream Earl Grey is my favorite - the creaminess to hers smooths out the Bergamot, which can be a wee bit too in some varieties of EG.
Jan. 11th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Re: Another Tip About Tea
Wow, your mother's teas look amazing! I may have to order a few to try them. That Cream Earl Grey sounds awesome.

I usually don't mind teabags, but you're right, the loose leaf tastes so much fresher and more "real." I plan to get more...
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )