Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Let's talk TEA !

I grew up with Lipton tea which I still consider my favorite commercial tea. I rarely drink it now because ... back in '05, my friend Randee brought me some premium tea from the west coast, I've been hooked on premium tea ever since. After ordering from various on-line companies, Peet's Tea & Coffee I've found to be my favorite. Another excellent supplier is TeaGschwendner . Adagio Teas are also good, especially for green, herbal, decaffeinated, and flavored teas.

I generally drink black tea strong with turbinado sugar, green tea - as is. If you like robust tea, brewed deep red... nothing is better than Peet's Assam Extra Fancy, an Indian black tea. I buy it by the pound, it's about $48 /lb and well worth it. Peet's description: "our best Assam has a distinctly malty aroma and a bright red liquor. Lively, full-bodied and complex taste with lots of depth." This is my daily tea.
I just received an interesting new tea, Peet's Imperial Red, a China black tea classified by Peet's as a 'rare tea.' It's pricy at $96 / lb, but very good, rich, complex and unusual. The first time I drank it, I got a serious caffine buzz. Peet's describes it: "A rich and complex handmade black tea with chocolaty and malty notes." Tastes very good cold too.
Another nice tea with a fruity flowery taste, available usually in the winter and spring only is Peet's Osmanthus Fancy, a China black tea blend with osmanthus flowers that smell sweet like peaches. It's about $40/ lb and is not quite as robust as the two varieties above. I sometimes mix Assam in with Osmanthus to give it a bit more body.
All of the above varieties and many more can be purchased from Peet's by the 1/4 lb tin. Other Peet's favorites include Pride of the Port, a China /India tea blend that tastes robust but more more similar to English style commercial tea. Darjeeling Extra Fancy Kalimpong is also a nice variety, flowery and never bitter. I just ordered a sample of one of TeaGschwendner's best Assams. We'll see how it compares with Peet's. I love drinking and brewing tea from clear glass tea pots, infusers and mugs that I keep impeccably clean. I recommend the Large "Mikado" Glass Teapot & infuser. Price range $32 - $50. These large burner-safe glass teapots are becoming very hard to find, here is one source. Peet's also roasts and sells rare and special coffees. I'll save that topic for another post. Above photo - my 3 favorite Peet's varieties in their quarter pound tins. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

I have had Peet's tea and it is wonderful tea, but expensive.

Kipp said...

In the health and organic food section at Kroger there's a brand of tea call Yogi Tea. They have many lines with various health benefits or effects, and it's very tasty. The "Kava" is a little too rich and sweet for my tastes, though.

William said...

I've heard of Yogi tea. I do like my black tea strong and sweet. I was feeling really tired today and drank 2 cups of Imperial Red... whoaa... what a boost. I think there is 'different' sort of caffine or something in that tea that really packs a buzz.

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