May 9, 2019

Tom's Tea Pages

Life is too short to drink mediocre tea!

I have been enjoying really good coffee for years and have become pretty fussy about what I drink (because I can tell the difference). So, I got to wondering -- what worlds may be out there in the realm of quality tea?

Since I first wrote this, I have settled on Uptons as my tea supplier. They offer a wide selection of excellent teas and have a fair fixed shipping charge ($4.60 for orders under $75, free over $75).

I used to buy a lot of my tea from an oriental grocery store. I found my absolute favorite tea there (Keemun in a yellow can from mainland China), but I have not seen it for many years). This is unpredictable and often mediocre, so much of this in my old stock is going to be tossed out (or used as potting soil). I can get predictable tea of much better quality from Uptons.

I have been spoiled by Uptons. After much experimenting, I have found that I don't much like green teas and prefer second flush Darjeelings over the milder first flush. Also Chinese black teas (such as Keemun) are among my favorites. These are clearly my own preferences, and everyone will have to try different things and see what they like. That is part of the fun.

Of course it is important to make tea properly. I had not been using enough tea. The guide is to weight tea and use 2.25 grams per 6 ounce cup. Interestingly, for compact and broken teas, this is about a rounded teaspoon. My favorite little blue teapot holds 12 ounces of water, so 4.5 grams of tea is just right for it.

Where to buy tea

Here are many many places that offer quality tea on the internet. I have been buying tea from Uptons, and like them very well. I have bought from Peets, and they are OK, but I find their website awkward to get around in. The rest are as of yet untested (by me anyway).

The following thread yields a much longer list:

I am interested in the New Mexico Tea company, but have not ordered yet from him. Some people call his "Grand Keemun" New Mexico Breakfast, which tickled my fancy. They are in Albuquerque, NM. Free shipping for all orders in the USA.

Tea and Cancer

As with all thing nutritional, this is rife with controversy. Somewhere I read that there was a correlation between black tea consumption, tannin, and stomach cancer. This apparently is rubbish. Studies have shown both coffee and tea consumption to have no correlation with cancer. What has been shown is that consumption of hot beverages has some correlation with esophageal cancer, especially if you are a smoker. So, stop smoking! But you already knew that.
Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

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