View Full Version : Loose Leaf Tea

06-29-2011, 01:49 PM
This topic got pretty big over at KF a long time ago, and I scuffed at it since I was/am so big into the coffee culture. Recently I have been looking for an alternative to coffee, something a bit lighter and have bought some loose leaf tea (with pot) at Whole Paycheck...err Foods. I seem to like mostly green and white teas. Any great places (quality and price) you buy your tea from? Anything you wish you knew before you started?

06-29-2011, 01:59 PM
theres a place in Canada called tea emporium and teaopia and they sell blends of everything.

I used to go to Tim Hortons twice a day as they have on in my office building. Made the switch to loose leaf tea about 2 months ago and haven't looked back.

I prefer black teas and usually just let someone in the store choose a blend.
Only other thing I bought was a portable thermos with a centre part for the leaves. Something like this: http://www.teaopia.ca/products2.cfm/ID/1367/c/Teaopia-Travel-Mugs

mine was however a dollar store buy. Gotta save money for knives!

and a good wake up in the morning: rooibos with lots of lemon!

06-29-2011, 03:41 PM
I'm into greens and Oolongs. But alas this has been cut out due to finances. Nowdays it all about the sublties of tap water.

06-29-2011, 04:31 PM
Pu'er, at least 99% of the time.

06-29-2011, 11:48 PM
I've got a stash of pu'ers and Japanese greens (sencha & gyokuro) that I dig into during the day. Plus a good amount of longjing. I got my pu'ers as a whole whackload of samples from someone on a tea forum. My sencha and gyokuro I got off one of the major eBay sellers. The longjing... I think was also online somewhere.

What I wish I knew beforehand... don't get careless with a good teapot. I chipped and then smashed the lid on a good banko teapot from being stupid 2 different ways. First time, I had a gyuto air-drying on the shelf above my desk. I put it back in its blade guard and then wasn't paying attention. It fell and clattered on some stuff on my desk... including, yes, the lid of my teapot. I learned not to put my nice teaware under the shelf from then on - but of course, I also haven't dropped anything off the shelf since then :P Second time, I was lazy and reached up to the shelf while still seated. I had my teapot open to air dry (seems like air drying is inviting trouble!) and I brought the entire saucer, teapot and lid down. But the lid slipped off the saucer and smashed into pieces on my desk. I learned from that one (a) put the lid on the pot when moving it, and (b) don't be a lazy ass.

Other than that... I wish I didn't get so much tea. I don't know how fresh my teas will be by the time I get to the end of my stash.

06-29-2011, 11:53 PM
i'm into Japanese greens, and Indian blacks, mostly. i like a bunch of Chinese greens too, but they don't seem quite so distinctive to me as the Japanese varietals. i like all tea, really. in all honesty, though, the vast majority of my tea drinking these days is PG Tips.

06-30-2011, 02:31 AM
Maybe I'm in a rut, but I've been drinking Twinnings Earl Grey for about 30 years (girlfriend got me hooked).

Available in 200g tins at Cost Plus.


06-30-2011, 07:06 AM
Genmaicha for the green and Lapsang Souchong for the black. Hot or iced.

06-30-2011, 06:54 PM
I have been drinking green tea for about 10 years now. http://www.harney.com/ has the highest quality Japanese green teas that I have found. But they are pricey.:(

06-30-2011, 10:58 PM
Black tea or Pu'er for me.

Steve at http://www.jas-etea.com/ is a good source of tea and info as well as a forum member around these parts.

Here is a random tea photo from the tea of the day thread at B&B.

http://badgerandblade.com/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=15158 (http://badgerandblade.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=15158)

06-30-2011, 11:35 PM
Maybe I'm in a rut, but I've been drinking Twinnings Earl Grey for about 30 years (girlfriend got me hooked).


Mom got me hooked on Red RoseŽ orange pekoe cut black tea when I was just a wee tot, still drink it to this day. Nothing wrong with "staying in the box," lol.

And yes, I have a lot of those stupid figurines.

Andrew H
06-30-2011, 11:45 PM
My favorite one is this: http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/store/product/id/12265
So far everything I've tried has been pretty good, their coffee is excellent though.

Salty dog
07-01-2011, 08:30 AM
This is what I use at the Resto. Local company, fair trade, many organics and big variety.


Eamon Burke
07-01-2011, 01:23 PM
Wow, that tea company looks amazing! Lucky you to have them nearby.

07-01-2011, 06:26 PM
Salty, that's what i'm drinking nowl Green tea w/orange.

07-04-2011, 02:54 AM
Teabags???? No way.


07-04-2011, 04:44 PM
I buy my tea from, https://www.imperialtea.com/, http://www.redblossomtea.com/ and http://thephoenixcollection.com/
They are all companies that source their own teas directly from China.

A nice tea for coffee drinkers are the small puerh tuochas. They look like this,


Since puerh tends to not get astringent with long steepings you can put one in a travel mug, for instance, and sip on it throughout the day. When it's done, just add more water through several steepings.

07-11-2011, 12:57 AM
Though coffee is my first love, I'm also into Chinese greens and oolongs, especially ginsing oolong. Puerh is also great after a meal though by itself it leaves my stomach feeling strangely unfulfilled. I had gyokuro for the first time a few weeks ago and it was darn good; I don't care for other Japanese green teas however.

There's a shop in SF's Chinatown called "Vital Tea Leaf" that I get most of my tea from, though their web host is sketchy and I won't purchase from their website because of this. They have a tea bar where you can drink and schmooze with the staff while you sample tea you're considering. I took my girlfriend there and she got totally hooked on oolongs, so I can always poach some of her stash when I want some variety.

I'd suggest getting a gaiwan and a quality hot water pot with adjustable temperature to start. Try a bunch of teas and see what you like, then do it again a year later to see how your tastes have changed. A good cup of tea can modify your attitude like no other beverage.

07-14-2011, 12:45 AM
Having spent my formative years in two major tea-drinking cultures, I drink tea at least once, usually two or three times a day. I'm fond of stronger, maltier teas -- usually some kind of Assam, or Assam-based blend.

My preferred mail order site in the US is Upton Teas. They're great for tea novices because you can buy 1 oz sample packs of any of their many, many teas. Black teas seem to be their specialty, but they've got a very respectable green and white tea section.

For sheer quality, nothing I've tried from them beats the offerings at HR Higgins im London, but I've run out of my smuggled tea hoard and shipping from the UK is rather expensive. Upton's CTC Assam in particular is superb value.

More recently, I've also been drinking less obvious Japanese teas like soba-cha, hoji-cha and roasted barley tea. The latter cold-brewed and served ice cold makes for an excellent summer beverage. I buy these at my local Japanese supermarket.

07-14-2011, 02:23 AM
I like matcha green tea for my caffeine rush, powdered not leaves though. Makes a great green tea rissotto, with salmon tataki