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Old 27-03-2014, 09:10   #1
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pirate Tea Time

While I love coffee and my french press makes a good brew, I now feel that making good coffee also makes too much mess one way or another. I am a Minimalist (with a capital M) with a Minimal galley and very Minimal 3/4" galley sink drain that may have been full flow 35 years ago but isn't now. And the coffee in "tea" bags annoys me price-wise.

I recently ran out of coffee and decided I'd rather switch than fight. I began perusing the teas in the grocery. In the past I have followed the tea threads so I have a rudimentary knowledge of wot's wot plus I've been on the planet quite awhile, and have never been fond of tea. Things change.

I want to stick with the cheap and very convenient tea in bags. I have an infuser but that's the same kind of mess that coffee creates plus I don't know how to read the leaves anyway; I get my personal strength and guidance from the all-knowing Tarot, with an occasional consultation from a Magic 8 Ball. There's an app for that for non-Luddites.

I tried a Celestial Seasonings sampler. They all seemed to taste like different kinds of dried flowers that a dog previously peed on. Back at the grocery, I dismissed low cost Lipton as swill for the unwashed. I saw Earl Grey as a type I recall mentor and mod Seaworthy Lass enjoys.

My current taste runs to switching from Bigelow Green to Bigelow Earl Grey black. While the price is OK, this brand gets hammered on the net for having pesticides and non-eco packaging.

I'd like to stick with these two general tea types as I sorta like them enough to continue, and don't want to waste dough trying everything out there. And after a lifetime of using my T shirt on unwashed fruits and veggies, I'm not terrified of pesticide residue. Still, I'd like to postpone that final curtain call as long as I'm still mostly enjoying breathing deeply.

I have a small mom/no pop health food community market. I don't mind paying for the good stuff.

Recommendations? Comments? Criticisms?
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Old 27-03-2014, 10:08   #2
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Re: Tea Time

Fancy Man Enjoys Tea | The Onion - America's Finest News Source



I am a tea drinker myself. I love coffee but tend to overdo it, leaving me a strung-out jittery mess.

Now my morning mug is loose green tea -- Chunmee Organic. I buy it in 1 lb bags; three or four will hold me almost all year. Dump in a spoonful of loose tea, pour on the boiling water, drink, refill. . . . Toss the leaves outside when I'm done.
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Old 27-03-2014, 10:40   #3
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Re: Tea Time

You know that except for the US a lot of the world uses instant coffee. Not very messy.
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Old 27-03-2014, 11:50   #4
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Re: Tea Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
You know that except for the US a lot of the world uses instant coffee. Not very messy.
That was somewhat of a disappointment in SE Asia when I could not find ground coffee or even beans. Everything was mostly in pre-measured overly packaged amounts. I basically went away from drinking coffee for the time I was there and stuck to tea and beer which was really cheap.
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Old 27-03-2014, 13:19   #5
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Re: Tea Time

I asked this same question a long time ago. I just couldn't understand why you can't buy a drip coffee maker to work on a propane stove. I'm not going to go with organic tea, the trendy french press or any other weird thing. I just want good coffee! The simplest and best solution I found, was to buy the small packets of instant coffee that Starbucks sells. Buy them on amazon for about 1/2 the price that a Starbucks store sells them for. No fuss, no mess, easy and it's great coffee.
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Old 27-03-2014, 14:57   #6
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Re: Tea Time

I drink Maxwell House International instant coffee. Many flavors, just heat up some water, drop in a spoonful and stir with a battery powered stirring stick. Couldn't be any easier and it tastes good.
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Old 27-03-2014, 18:25   #7
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Re: Tea Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
I want to stick with the cheap and very convenient tea in bags......
My current taste runs to switching from Bigelow Green to Bigelow Earl Grey black......
I'd like to stick with these two general tea types as I sorta like them enough to continue......
I have a small mom/no pop health food community market......
Recommendations?
Dear Minimalist
If you provide us with a list of the green and Earl Grey tea bags available from your local mom market, we may be able to chime in with some useful recommendations .

SWL
PS Otherwise try a blend of jasmine green tea. It is generally not one of the dog piss flavoured ones .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
I don't mind paying for the good stuff.
PPS Just as you can't find fine gourmet food conveniently ready to consume in tins, when it comes to tea the "good stuff" unfortunately doesn't come in tea bags. I feel qualified to comment, as I am a connoisseur here of all things both good and naughty .
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Old 27-03-2014, 19:08   #8
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Re: Tea Time

I'm a tea drinker. I brew Dilmah or Twinings Earl Grey leaf tea in a fine sieve on top my mug. Then I dump the leaves rinse the sieve, and use it to strain Jim's French press coffee (cause its strainer is worn out, and he likes the thermos pot, so not ditching it), and rinse it again. For me, not too much trouble.

I do not like the Twinings Earl Grey tea bags, but when I can find them, the Dilmah ones are pretty good. For plain black tea, I like the Dilma ceylon tea tea bags.

FWIW.

Ann
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Old 27-03-2014, 19:26   #9
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Re: Tea Time

G'Day Crabbie,

I don't understand your problem! Disposal of the grounds from my tatty old coffee press is pretty simple and has NEVER clogged up a sink drain: I stagger up the companionway and dump them overboard. What's so hard about that?

And while I will drink iced tea willingly, hot tea isn't really , uhhh, my cup of tea! I kinda like Lapsang, but Ann doesn't, so we seldom have it on board. Some of the cranberry based herbal teas and most of the ginger based ones taste ok to me. We don't have a dog on board so can't really tell if dog piss is involved...

So really, don't let the bloody tea drinkers sway you away from a good coffee when you want one!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 27-03-2014, 21:03   #10
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I don't like those French presses, never did. I have plastic filter cone I bought years ago. Sits right on top of a mug. Spoon in a tablespoon of your favorite blend. Add boiling water....done.
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Old 27-03-2014, 23:50   #11
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pirate Re: Tea Time

Hey! Guess what ads I am now seeing? Thermos!

Appreciate the comments. Jim has hit upon something I hadn't thought of, sort of ... He goes on deck and dumps the grounds. Sounds simple but it's been so cold here all winter I've been loathe to mess with the weather boards. Plus I might lose my $ FP overboard. Moreover, I'd have to get dressed as until next Mon, I am smackdab downtown. It's like a med moor in Tangiers, only without the dangers and dirt.

My french press is a SS 12 oz, one cupper. It makes great coffee but the grounds are kicking my butt. The best way I've found to dump the grounds is slam the cup into the sink onto a paper towel. Some grounds always make a break for the drain tho and that's a no go at the moment, literally. And the water's too cold to go overboard, plug the seacock, and fix the problem for another month yet.

And ya gotta know after 7 decades, I have heard of and tried instant coffees. And every kind of coffee brewing scheme. The little coffee bags work well but the cost, while I can actually afford it, blows the left side of my brain, even as the right side whispers "oooh, smell that aroma."

Nah mates, having come this far with the tea thing, I'd like to stick it out. Not sure about the black tea but reading suggests that the green tea is good for me. The taste isn't as good as coffee yet but I am the old dog learning a new trick. Additives such as milk (I don't drink it), sugar (I don't use it), lemon and all the rest do not figure into my Minimalist approach.

Ergo my morning ritual is shaping up simply as boiling water in tea pot (sing along with me), pouring some into tea cup (SS FP bottom), some more into small wide mouth Thermos with quinoa, and the remainder into larger Thermos for a second "cuppa" as authentic as well as adoptive Aussies say.

This all cleans up quickly without the time and mess involved with frying eggs, potatoes, bacon and so forth, the murican way. No, it's not as good but it's low hassle.

The superior and righteous feeling of eating simply and well is not to be overlooked either!

Thanks for the tea suggestions. I wanted to be armed with a goal going into the health food store as just wandering around can be intimidating. The employees have the superior and righteous attitude down to a science. I go along to get along.

If I can find a tea I really like, I'll buy in bulk. I'd be willing to futz with brewing leaves when the drain gets fixed, if it really is tastier (the leaves not the drain). The good thing about the clogged drain is if water can't get out, it can't get in either.

The seacock appears to be a Groco rubber plug type, and it seems the rotating plug is no longer adhered to the handle. I'm guessing the warranty period is over.

No one has mentioned the pesticide residue. I put the question on CF as we have lifelong tea drinkers. I sense this is not a concern for most.

The plastic cone idea is a good one to be sure but the switch to tea seems worthwhile to me at the moment.

PPS Just as you can't find fine gourmet food conveniently ready to consume in tins, when it comes to tea the "good stuff" unfortunately doesn't come in tea bags. I feel qualified to comment, as I am a connoisseur here of all things both good and naughty

You had me at the last word, Lassie.

Ken, come on, I know you drive a Ferrari but tell me you don't use a battery powered stirring stick.

And Cormorant, wonderful Onion article. I read the rag back when some guys started it out in Madison, WI from the get-go. I stopped reading entirely with the issue that questioned whether one lost all of one's self respect if one masturbated twice a day or more. I just didn't want to know.

Thanks for playing mates.
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Old 28-03-2014, 16:17   #12
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Re: Tea Time

When drinking tea, 2 things are as important as the quality of tea leaves: the quality and temperature of water.

Even good tea is wasted with hard water; ozone and chlorine destroy the taste of tea. At home, I keep tap water for one day in the fridge before making tea, to remove gasses from it.

The water temperature has to be adjusted to the thickness of the teapot: a thick one needs boiling water but simmering water is OK in a thin pot.

Alain
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Old 28-03-2014, 16:23   #13
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Re: Tea Time

A french press is a messy nasty thing that is hard to keep clean and brews sub par coffee. If you're concerned about coffee clean up what you need to do is buy an Aeropress and learn how to use it. I generally brew 4 scoops of coffee and put into a thermos then add 4 cups of hot water and I'm set for the morning. The cleanup is SO SO easy. No fighting to get grinds out of a screen and the coffee is higher quality.

If you're concerned about dumping coffee grinds I suggest putting them in a can with a non-air tight lid and dumping occasionally. Coffee grinds make a great odor absorber and they smell nice.

If you're just stuck on going with tea and you're a coffee drinker then I highly suggest you investigate black teas that are stout like coffee. Twinnings Irish Breakfast tea will almost stand up to black coffee in the morning. Personally I prefer buying loose leaf tea from an outfit like upton teas and brewing in a proper pot with a filter basket. Clean up is easy, dump the basket out after you're done.

Good luck on your quest!
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Old 28-03-2014, 16:42   #14
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Wonderful posts. Thanks, Caps.
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Old 28-03-2014, 17:00   #15
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Re: Tea Time

Tea and coffee are really not substitutes for each other. These are entirely different drinks.

There are as many varieties of tea as there are of wine. Earl Grey and Celestial Seasonings are a little like Boone Farm and Ripple. Nothing wrong with that, but not a representative picture of tea. A little trawl of the interweb will reward you with a wealth of information.

I have lots of English and Russian people on board my boat, so naturally the tea has to flow freely. I have an actual tea locker on board my English-designed and English-built boat. Tea is a great thing to drink on watch, too -- just the thing in cold weather.

You may learn to love tea, but if you love coffee as I do, tea will not diminish the craving. If you don't like a French press, why don't you try a Nespresso machine? This is such a totally cool thing on board. Very compact, totally free of any hassle or mess, energy efficient, and absolutely superb coffee. Even a minimalist might love it. Somewhat expensive to run, but in the grand scheme of things, that is, in context with other expenses of sailing, it's not a big deal.
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