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So let's say -- Hypothetically, of course -- I was completely

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So let's say -- Hypothetically, of course -- I was completely clueless about the tea brewing process and kit necessary to brew a high quality tea. And let's say I wanted to start brewing some good ol' green tea on the reg. What's the best set-up? What do tea infusers actually do, and how do I pick a good one? Do I go for those fancy-shmancy tea infusers over at the local Teavanna? Or is that overpriced garbo that I shouldn't bother with? What are good brands of tea, themselves? How should I know that I've picked some quality green tea?
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I only know about McChickens.
Well I mean, since you're here, what can you tell me about McChickens?
They are the best fast food sandwich, for starters.
Sorry, not for me.
Ever heard of Mcchicken sauce?
you know, it's like, cool or whatever. didn't really want to know about green tea anyways.

That's some straight shit though, because even McDonald's has a better chicken sandwich in the Artisan Chicken Sandwich.

It's just like some kind of weird mayo, right?
Tea infusers are basically just like a teabag for loose leaf tea, they just allow it to steep while facilitating removal of the tea leaves before you drink. They're especially useful if it's a finer leaved tea or if you take long enough to drink it that it would get bitter from over steeping, but they're probably not completely necessary.
>What's the best set-up?
Kettle, either electric or stove-top. This is for boiling water.
Teapot: put tea in here with hot water, this will steep the tea.
Mug: pour steeped tea in here and drink it.

>What do tea infusers actually do, and how do I pick a good one?
An infuser lets you steep tea in your mug directly without it getting stuck in your teeth as you drink.
There are no good ones to pick, they are small and cramped compared to a teapot and will extract more bitter tannins from your tea than is enjoyable.

>Do I go for those fancy-shmancy tea infusers over at the local Teavanna? Or is that overpriced garbo that I shouldn't bother with?
Avoid Teavana at all costs, they're the Starbucks of tea.
Find yourself a smallish ceramic teapot at any department store, or heck even the dollar store.

>What are good brands of tea, themselves?
Full leaf tea, the good tea, doesn't come in brands.
Instead it's more like wine: tea is labelled by the region it is grown in and a proper importer will be dealing directly with individual estates.
It will be further graded by processing style, and Japanese and Chinese teas in particular have their own unique varietal sorting.
Full-leaf tea from your grocery store will be decent enough to start with, though.
Thanks so much! This is actually incredibly useful. I've never seen full-leaf tea before though, in my grocery store, but I guess I probably just haven't been looking.
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Well, I wrote full-leaf but I meant loose leaf.
Basically the kind of tea that is identifiably plant leaves and not the mysterious dust in a typical teabag.

There ought to be at least a small selection of loose teas in your grocery store, hipsters and hippies have made it somewhat popular.
If not look around for asian groceries or bulk dry goods shops.

If you decide you want to start hunting down the good shit, try and find a dedicated tea importer.
They'll look a bit like your Teavana-- that is, one or more entire walls of tea stacked up-- only the staff will be older, more educated, and will likely visited the estates they buy from in person.
Start with a real basic cheap setup - a mug and a mesh basket infuser: the open topped type that doesnt restrict the leaves from opening up and moving around. Cost you 3 dollar.
Then either find a good tea store, or buy online, a couple of basic but good quality greens. I'd get a longjing (dragonwell - chinese) and sencha (japanese) to start off with and get an idea of the different styles. Absolutely avoid any flavored teas or anything that comes dressed up in a cellophane pack with a ribbon like a hooker in an amsterdam window.
Put a teaspoon or so in your infuser, use 80c water, infuse in 300ml of water for no more than 90-120 secs.
If you want to take it further you can look at investing in a nice glass pot or kyusu and experimenting with gong fu brewing.
my grandmother got me a kit from tevana for christmas.I should have been more clear about the kind of tea I like. The only thing I really used from it was the infuser thing. the big plastic mug looking one that drains on top of a mug. It's is probably too expensive to justify buying on its own, but if you are rich and want something cool, I actually really like the thing. They really are the starbucks of tea, so if you can trick some immigrants into buying you starbucks gift cards you might be able to get one for free.
I started out doing it elaborately with a fine teapot, a warmer for it, only loose leaf and a special kettle.

I still have all that, but it's in the cabinet. These days it's teabags made from water out of a keurig.

It doesn't taste as good, but honestly even with trying to go full teasnob it never tasted *that* much better
>owning a keurig

Cleanse yourself from the genepool
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It's my roommate's.

I have a swan neck electric, tetsubin etc but I never see much purpose in using it any more.
what's the point of a tetsubin? Is it just so poorfags don't break their precious teapots, or does being iron serve a purpose?
It looks cool?
A tetsubin proper is a kettle, and it's cast iron because it was suspended over the family fire pit all day.

An enameled iron kyusu is just pretty, although it might stay warm a bit longer.
I just brew my tea in a coffee pot, works well enough.
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Tea infuser is Euro shit, but has it’s place.

There are two main types, the kind thats like a wand and the one that sits over the vessel. The purpose is to make clean up easier. They also aid in brewing, the wand you can stir with and the type that sits over the pot or mug allows gravity to aid in extraction.

I personally find the wand type to be only useful for one type of tea, CTC tea, and it does a hell of a job. Get the fine mesh type, you can get them for 2 bucks at IKEA.

As for the hovering type infuser they are good for messy loose teas like Japanese teas, brick teas, or over priced French shit. Honestly for these teas I'd rather use a disposable paper filter.
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But if you somehow got your hands on quality loose leaf tea, that's mostly whole, skip the infuser. It will only crowd the tea and hinder extraction. It's time to brew it the Ancient Chinese secret way which is tossing into an old Ovaltine jar and pouring boiling water over it. Light a cigarette because that’s your timer, breath deeply and watch the leaves fall.

Now before you weebs flip out about temperature, calm the fuck down, that's the first brew to make sure the tea gets hydrated properly and doesn't float when you drink or pour. Second brew and third brew is better anyway, that's when you want to regulate the temperature. Leave the thermometer in your ass though, pros gauge the temp by watching the steam and or listening to the bubbles.

Personally I use a French Press, just make sure you keep it for tea only and don’t wash it with detergent!. Just rinse the damn thing with hot water. That brown stuff that’s starting to build up? That’s free flavor. You ever wonder why old school Chinatown restaurants have the best tea? It’s because the tea vessel has never been cleaned.
As for high quality green tea, there is none outside of Asia and the spring harvest. GREEN tea is a SEASONAL drink, you'll be lucky to brew a decent cup in the fall.

Where to buy it? Well you are out of luck unless you live in an area with large population of Japanese, reputably stores will sell you the current harvest for a price. If there’s a bunch of moonspeak around the current year, you’re good, they don’t expect white people to understand what they are selling and don’t bother translating. So get over that sticker shock and buy the damn bag and finish it before August.

Avoid Chinese tea shops unless you happen to be Chinese and know the people, they are crooks and will mislabel old tea as new tea. And don't even think about buying from hipster retailers, they get ripped off by the same Chinese teashop into buying old tea in bulk, then they mark it up after slapping on an origin story with some fancy copy.
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Still want to drink green tea? Go to a Costco and buy what this happy girl is holding. Now before you plebs spit out the Huangshan Maofeng you bought online or that Gyukuro you bought from a bearded fellow wearing a hat, let me explain:

The company that Kirkland contracts with to source this tea is ITO EN. They sort through tons of high quality Japanese green tea and are left with itty bitty tea bits that they then package into tea bags. The powder that falls out of the tea bag that they’re calling “matcha blend” is just green tea powder. What this means is you are getting the worst of the best which is still better than most. Add to that the quick turnaround on Costco products and the $13 price tag and you have the best every day green tea.

If you don’t believe me find a bag and brew it with “hot” water from the office water cooler. You’ll get a cup of tea that is sweet and actually green.
There are tons of cups you buy online that have removable infusers/filters. Buy some green tea online from yunnan sourcing and brew that shit. I usually brew my green tea around 170-180 f.
Don't step in the bullshit. Just get a 10 dollar gaiwan.

The biggest thing you need to worry about with quality green tea is getting the water temp right.
For brands, I dunno. Find a tea shop. I have a huge haul from new Mexico tea company. They got real good prices for the quality. Way better than what you'd find in a grocery store.
This is decent shit but the taste is one dimensional compared to proper loose tea.
>Spends 10 dollars on a weeb cup with a lid
>Buys tea from a New Mexican tea company
Oh boy
Dude a cup costs 10 dollars. It's the simplest way to make tea.

And for that tea company, it's all quality sourced shit. The point is any decent tea shop should find quality suppliers in yunnan or India or wherever they need to source it from.

watch this
i second this post. ceylon tea is pretty good. usually i boil water in a kettle, add the tea leaves, 1/2 a tablespoon per person usually, and then turn off the stove. i give it maybe 5, 10 minutes before i turn it back on to boiling before i pour a cup, with sugar, or sugar and milk if im feeling comfy and full of nostalgic.

mighty leaf tea is in a teabag, but a majority of the tea leaves are still full leaves so theyre a solid introductory. found in walmarts maybe, but definitely sprouts, maybe wholefoods. try different teas from different shops, asian and middle-eastern especially. prices and packaging are pretty reflective of quality in my experience.

oh, ill add powdered cardamom, or whole cardamom seeds into my tea along with leaves. gives it a nice floral/herbal flourish to it, but it might be harder to taste if youre excessively steeping or adding too much tea, at which point its unnecessarily wasted.
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i forgot the picture of my tea. theres one thats cardamom flavored, i dont think its as enjoyable as this one. the caffeine content is pretty solid, i drink it for breakfast as its a notch lower than coffee.
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>tfw when I got two pounds of tea, one white one green, for $6 a piece from a local chinese mall where the guy imports shit and sells in bulk to local chinese. I went with a chinese friend so I wouldn't get ripped off and we even got a sample of another tea thrown in after we pushed through the hard selling to just get what we wanted (turns out we got like 200g of Wuyi for free).

Holy shit I lucked into finding this guy. These are fantastic and actual quality. I stopped buying bags a long time ago, but I still fell for the 100g loose leaf tins for $10-15 meme up until recently when I started hunting for bulk shit. 10/10 would recommend to anyone that drinks a lot.
Enjoy your lead.

I get 1/3 kilo bags of sencha for $10.
Question; I've been eating at a lot of Asian takeaways lately and everytime I do I order jasmine tea. Would the stuff they've been giving me be jasmine green tea or just jasmine? I can't seem to find just plain jasmine tea desu

They ARE the Starbucks of tea because Starbucks owns them.

Check out the tea selection in your local Asian market and also bulk bins.

A tea that is REALLY good is roasted rice and green tea. I can't say you could find this in fancy bulk but since, hypothetically, you are very into tea, you should try it.
kek, thanks pal
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