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PostPosted: October 7th, 2009, 8:59 am 
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I don't drink coffee anymore, but when I did I would just take a few spoons of grounds and pour them directly into my pot and boil. Let it cool for a bit and 99% of them sink.

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2009, 9:12 am 
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I bought 1 of these from MEC for my wife----I'm a tea man myself. She loves it,


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PostPosted: October 7th, 2009, 9:34 am 
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wotrock, I'm a tea guy too. My asian friend just brought back some "huifu" green tea leaves, it's awesome if you can locate any. People who don't like tea have never had it made the right way, from leaves in scalding water.

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2009, 10:13 am 
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GWA wrote:
I don't drink coffee anymore, but when I did I would just take a few spoons of grounds and pour them directly into my pot and boil. Let it cool for a bit and 99% of them sink.


Yes, classic "cowboy coffee". Damn good, too, if made by an experienced brew meister. It takes some experience with getting the timing right, and you can't boil it too hard. I'm not good at it, so I use a small perk. It weighs less than a pound, it's more the bulk that bothers me than the weight.

If you have fresh eggs with you, crush the shells and toss them into the finished brew and you will get an even clearer product than settling alone provides.

As far as tea goes, there is some yummy stuff available these days, way beyond the Salada and Lipton frass of my youth. I am especially fond of white teas, but as you say, you can ruin the delicate flavor completely by using water that is too hot. 180 degrees F is what I'm told. Just hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice and it should drop down to that temp.

Furthering the hijack, I'm told that you can re-steep tea leaves several times. All the caffeine gets washed out on the first steeping, but the flavor is said to improve upon subsequent steepings and the anti-oxidants keep on getting leached out. I haven't tried it yet, but I'd still want the caffeine anyway so I'd probably just toss the leaves out each time.

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2009, 10:32 am 
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Of course I agree, coffee should be a respected ritual using nothing but the freshest beans roasted to perfection.

BUT, sometimes I just need a coffee dammit! For that, the Maxwell House and other coffee bags work very well. Single use or the whole pot size (two bags to a large pot of water). Whatever, just make it strong. I've tried a lot of different things and keep coming back to the old standby - dump a bunch of grounds in a pot, simmer, and let sit a couple minutes to settle (or not), and drink. The bags though are great to simplify clean-up. I like the look of those T-Sacs though for a DIY version.

If I'm not mistaken, the Maxwell House single serving coffee bags are partly instant, partly grounds.

Bryan

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2009, 11:05 am 
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approximate caffeine in milligrams
8oz coffee if brewed right 100 - 120
black tea 45
green tea 20
white tea 15
herbals 0

so it's 16oz cowboy coffee to kick-start the day
green or white for the rest of the day
herbals in the evening

p.s.: instants are an interesting drink but should not be confused with coffee.
ted

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PostPosted: October 12th, 2009, 7:00 am 
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Battenkiller:

> As far as tea goes, there is some yummy stuff available these
> days, way beyond the Salada and Lipton frass of my youth. I am
> especially fond of white teas, but as you say, you can ruin the
> delicate flavor completely by using water that is too hot. 180
> degrees F is what I'm told.

Depends on the tea. Gyokuro has to be brewed as low as 60 C while kojicha as well as pu'er would welcome boiling water. They're all green teas, basically. Good rule of thumb when in doubt is 80-85 C. Steeping time with Japanese teas can be as short as 30 seconds. Chinese teas somewhat more time. Do not oversteep. If you want a stronger tea, put more leaves.

> Furthering the hijack, I'm told that you can re-steep tea
> leaves several times. All the caffeine gets washed out on the
> first steeping, but the flavor is said to improve upon
> subsequent steepings and the anti-oxidants keep on getting
> leached out.

Then you have some bad tea. My experience showed me that the buzz stays on subsequent infusions. Most teas gives at least 2 infusions, with high quality oolongs up to 9 and high quality pu'ers up to 15 cups.

This means: tea should not be bought in a supermarket. Go at least in a tea house, even if owned by Occidentals (expect to pay higher prices). As a note, many Chinese colleagues do not trust Chinatown tea shops and supermarkets, either for teas or traditional herb teas.

Because, green tea's useful lifespan is max. 12 months when stored in a fridge. After that, it looses its taste. Tea also has to be stored in a suitable package to prevent exposure to air.

It is now easy to order teas directly from Japan and China. I recently received an order from Japan. Was shipped from a tea farm in Japan on Sunday and got it on Thursday. Regular air mail, free shipping. Certified organic. Can't really go wrong with that.

Coffee is like a Coleman canoe: gets you there but it's heavy. A Good quality tea is like a kevlar canoe: lean, clean and a fun buzz.


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PostPosted: October 13th, 2009, 7:08 am 
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I can drink a cup of instant and like it, BUT..... nothing beats fresh brewed, or the process to get it.

Almost all the time now I use my Aeropress, it is real simple and makes as good of a cup of coffee as the best espresso maker. I have almost exclusively used it at home, on the road, and canoeing for 2 1/2 years now. It is real simple to use too.

Cowboy (Campfire) coffee is great if made right. One mistake most often made, is that it should never, ever be boiled or simmered at all. Boiling water brings out the acidity and bitterness in coffee. If you bring the water to a boil, then let it set for a wee bit, then add the grounds (coarse for cowboy coffee), stir for about 30 seconds, then pour (through a wee strainer helps) into cups. Works great, I would suggest trying it both ways to test.

Nothing beats fresh ground beans, and better yet fresh roasted (3-7 days old). I have a friend (who unfortunately lives nowhere near me) that roasts her own. Man, does she ever do up some nice stuff.....Kona, Jamaican Blue Mountain, and so on.

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PostPosted: October 13th, 2009, 10:53 am 
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carcassonne wrote:
It is now easy to order teas directly from Japan and China. I recently received an order from Japan. Was shipped from a tea farm in Japan on Sunday and got it on Thursday. Regular air mail, free shipping. Certified organic. Can't really go wrong with that.


I'm very interested in knowing your source. Can you post a link?

Quote:
Coffee is like a Coleman canoe: gets you there but it's heavy. A Good quality tea is like a kevlar canoe: lean, clean and a fun buzz.


Great analogy! I'm limited to 2-3 cups of coffee/day because I can't handle the heavy buzz (I get the shakes). Tea seems more along the lines of what I always imagined chewing coca leaves to be like - a clear and gentle pick-me-up, sans tremors.

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PostPosted: October 14th, 2009, 6:41 am 
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Battenkiller wrote:
I'm very interested in knowing your source. Can you post a link?


Sure. I didn't do it at first so that it does not look like a commercial of some sort.

Here's where I order from:

URL: Hibiki-an

They have a farm and also deal with other farmers. Quality is very good. Shipping takes only a few days. No customs involved.

Be warned though: this is potent stuff. Do not let it steep for too long as both the taste and buzz will be too sour. 30 to 60 seconds is most of the times good enough. Follow their instructions to start with. You can make two infusions per batch of leaves, could be more with some teas.

Japanese green tea is not like Chinese tea. Former is steamed then dried, while Chinese teas are pan-fried then dried (basically, it varies you know, white teas being the least processed). With Chinese teas it is not uncommon to get a good amount of cups per batch of leaves. On the other hand, people say that all the good stuff from the tea plant remains in there with the Japanese steaming.

Gyokuro has to be the most delicate and expensive. I haven't bought any so far. For a roasted taste low in buzz, try the kojicha or kojicha karigane. Karigane teas are made with stems. Their low end matcha is good, if you get into powdered tea. The genmai matcha-iri is very good, with its puffed rice.

I haven't drank coffee now in about 4 months. And I used to drink fresh home-grind coffee made in a French press. So I'm not exactly leaving behind bad coffee.

This is another Japanese tea place I will try soon (all organic) :

URL: yuuki-cha

I was told that even when not certified organic, the level of pesticides in Japan is controlled. I have the impression that's not the same in China.

Remember, this is more expensive than supermarket tea. But compared with the same level of teas sold by American tea outfits and tea stores, it is less expensive.

And chances are, you'll get the regular airmail package from Japan much sooner than if it was shipped from the USA !

(Edit: I forgot, you're from the USA ! :-) )

If anyone orders from these stores, please let me know how you find the teas.


Last edited by carcassonne on October 14th, 2009, 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 14th, 2009, 6:52 am 
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Still on the subject of teas, here are two young chaps from Elora, ON, talking about Japanese green teas. They have a series of video clips on the subject. Histrionics aside, all they mention is accurate. Their procedures are also accurate. Seemingly they have a rock band in Elora.

Check out their clip à la 'Scary Movie' (eg. 'Special Episode') about how to prepare Titley tea - hilarious. Or their clip about how to prepare matcha latté at 4:00 am in the dark.

Here are a few links, you can follow the offered links on youtube to get to their other clips.

This one is set in Elora's natural setting:

[URL: The Art of Japanese Green Tea - types of teas

Sencha is the basic Japanese green tea:

URL: The Art of Japanese Green Tea - How to make sencha


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PostPosted: October 14th, 2009, 2:26 pm 
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Carcassonne, thanks for these links. Yes, the prices are high, but I will be putting in an order for some tea and accessories anyway.

I have been interested in Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu) for a great many years. Like Native American sweat lodge ceremony, it seems a bit pretentious to get involved with these highly ethnic practices on your own, but I have never once been invited to participate in chanoyu, so the best I can do is to acquire the utensils (I'll have to pass on the $800 matcha bowl for now) and some high quality matcha powder that I can trust is fresh. I've only had samples (vacuum packed in individual foils packs) and it was very tasty and clean feeling in the buzz.

Maybe I'll come up with a tripping version of chanoyu, under the forest canopy instead of inside a tea hut and using a whisk made of pine needles instead of bamboo. Wouldn't be the weirdest thing I've ever done. :roll: :wink:

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PostPosted: October 14th, 2009, 2:36 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIcl1hsa ... re=channel

Look da the hair on that one.I had long hair when I was a youngin...but holy cow...thats a different style.that hair and eyeliner...I would be worried if it was one of my boys. :D

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PostPosted: October 14th, 2009, 6:17 pm 
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cobain_lg wrote:
Look da the hair on that one.I had long hair when I was a youngin...but holy cow...thats a different style.that hair and eyeliner...I would be worried if it was one of my boys. :D


Let it be known that this is NOT a side effect of drinking Japanese green tea !

(although I do tend to let my hair grow recently... should have a hair cut soon)


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PostPosted: October 14th, 2009, 6:49 pm 
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Starbucks instant coffee is a marketing disaster in the making. This will be in a case study in MBA marketing text books of how not to manage a brand. Where does Starbucks come out ahead on this? I get that they want to compete in the $1 cup of coffee war with Mickey Dee's and Dunkin' - but instant? They are telling their customers that instant coffee tastes just like their regular coffee...brilliant!! :doh: Moreover, they are associating cheap (instant coffee brands: Maxwell house, Folgers, Tasters Choice et al.) with their premium brand....the vaunted Starbucks. What utter nonsense. Add to this that a huge part of the Starbucks "total brand experience" is the ambiance of the bistro style coffee shops....where is the brand experience in ripping open a pouch of VIA instant and dumping it into hot water?! Well Excuuuuseee Meee! I want a barista dammit! Is that too much to ask?! These people are fools. Overpaid fools. And if that's not enough, for a buck you get a cup. :evil: :o I'm talkin' 8 ounces, baby! Get real...when is the last time you ordered a fluid cup of coffee?! Are these not the people that got a nation hooked on ordering a "grande" cup?

I wouldn't take this crap camping. And I have very low standards when I camp.

Sad. Pathetic. If anyone from Starbucks is reading this, I am available as a consultant. PM me.

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