Now that I got your attention....I wanna talk about something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Or a bit, anyway.
Yeah, I know. You thought it was gonna be something else. Oh well.
As far as hot beverages go I drink mostly tea.
Partly cause I really like it and partly cause, now that I've lowered my caffeine tolerance for a while, if I drink a good cup of coffee I get so hepped up I could easily propel myself out the window and to the nearest city with my mouth. And I don't think there's anyone who wants to listen to me talk that much.
Not even you, my crying, screaming, hair-pulling-out-cause-you-just-can't-believe-you're-finally-reading-a-long-anticipated-Craftypants Carol-blog-post reader. Not even you.
I've actually been drinking black teas off and on for a long time. I've had my 3 triple-iced-mochas per day phase that left my adrenals depleted like a sad-sack red rubber kick ball that got kicked one too many times. And I've mixed it up with the herbal teas and the strait-up herbs in a cloth tea bag action, but I'd like to tell you about my most favorite teas.
Right here. Right now.
And it ain't no Lipton. In fact, I'd like to take the opportunity really quick to just give you all a heads up on the whole Lipton/Red Rose/Brandless tea action. Just don't go there. I know I sound a bit snobby by saying that, but seriously. If you don't believe me do your own taste test.
My grandma used to drink Red Rose and I always dug it cause of the little ceramic figurines that came in the box of 100 bags - but that's kinda the only perc. I don't know the exact mechanism behind it - maybe it's the way the tea is grown for the cheaper teas - I don't know - but those teas are all excessively acidic. The acid in tea is called tannic acid and a little is cool, but too much makes you feel like you sucked on a bunch of lemons but without the sourness. Or like when those cartoon characters get slipped some alum.
If your gonna bag it up I say go for Stash or some equivalent brand. I like Tetley - which, I'm not sure, but I think might actually be the Lipton of the UK and Ireland - but I don't know what the hell goes on over there so I can't say for sure. I just know it's a helluvalot better than Lipton and Red Rose - and pretty much every grocery store has it these days.
If, however, you're going for the loose leaf, pot action then read on. Or just look at the naked ladies.
I'd have to say my all time favorite tea - which I, by the way, find unbelievably unbelievable that is so virtually unknown - maybe not by tea connosiours, or tea enthusiasts, but by the general tea consuming public - is lapsang souchong.
Lapsang Souchong is a special tea. The flavor is very unique because the tea is smoked - generally over pinewood - but I won't go into that cause you can read all about it on wikiwiki or do a google search and see what you can come up with on your own. I'm just here to point it out to you.
I'm all...see that over there? Don't just look at it....drink it!
I also really like Campbell's Perfect Tea. A lot. It's like my dream tea - next to lapsang souchong, of course. I really like very strong, but not too acidic tea. I always would put extra tea in my pots or extra bags in my cups in order to get it the way I wanted it, and then one day - this last birthday, in fact - I was redeeming an Amazon gift card and came across it and after reading the reviews decided to get it. Plus it comes in a really cool tin. Oh, and by the way, it is seriously perfect tea.
Now if they only made a lapsang souchong version of Campbell's Perfect Tea I'd be the happiest lady on the planet.
So, not too long ago I was pondering something I had heard somewhere - that tea can be steeped more than once. I had always been very very leery of the double-tea-bag-steep move - as you can imagine, what with my need for very strong tea. But I was curious. It's really not that easy to find the 411 on the double (or more) steep, but I did find this really interesting thread on eGullet. (They also have a nice pu ehr thread which also has some double steeping info - for those who might be interested. I love pu ehr but I don't think I'm gonna go there right now so you're on your own.)
Most of the info revolves around green tea and oolong, but I decided to take matters into my own hands and give my lapsang souchong and Campbell's Perfect Tea a whirl.
Basically what I do - and I do this probably every other day - is, well, ok the first day is a regular pot. On a good day I can consume a 4 cup pot of tea with one hand tied behind my back and blindfolded, if necessary. I do, contrary to what is suggested in the eGullet double steep thread, and only when it the temp is relatively cool, leave the tea out overnight (as in I don't refrigerate the used tea leaves). The next day I add more tea to the pot. Sometimes it's the same tea and sometimes I mix the two (thusly creating Carol's Perfect Tea). I usually don't add the full amount that one would add to a new pot (that being one teaspoon per cup and one for the pot - which I always do cause of the whole needing of strong tea thing I keep mentioning - and actually I have found that I don't even need to do that with the Campbell's for the first pot. IT"S THAT PERFECT.
Wow - I almost forgot to tell you about my double steeping findings. As far as I'm concerned it works really really well. I'm sure there are those out there who are shrieking and moaning and making other ungodly noises about how gross and uncouth I am - but whatever. Lighten up. It works for me - and if you have been curious about it and want to try it on your own I say go for it!
Some people even say that you can steep green tea and oolong as many as 20 times. So there.
Wow #2 - I totally forgot to tell you about my fav green tea - genmai cha. It's green tea mixed with toasted brown rice - with some of the toasted rice turning into very teeny popcorns - so cute, and tasty! It tastes like green tea but with a very nice toasted cerialy kind of taste. Very comforting and soothing, as far as I'm concerned. It's also very easy to procure - especially if you frequent any Asian grocery stores. Anzen and Uajimaya both carry packages of just the toasted brown rice, just in case you already have lots of green tea, and you can mix it up in the proportions you like. I am a fan of at least 1/2 and 1/2. I've found the Republic of Tea brand a bit too heavy on the green tea, with not enough toasty rice goodness. And I would probably not recommend attempting to double (or more) steep this tea since the rice tends to get kinda mushy after the first steeping and doesn't seem like it would hold up to more. But then again - you can always try it and see what happens. That what were all about here at CPCFCW - seeing what happens. Or something like that.
So, anywho...that's really about it for my tea schpiel. If I have piqued your interest then go try something new!! I have actually found lapsang souchong at upscale and health food type stores - Republic of Tea is a brand I have bought before - so you can run out and try your luck with that. Or just go to Amazon and order it there. I bought a one pound bag of Stash loose lapsang souchong for relatively cheap - I don't remember how much now though.
Also, since I have neglected the man pics, I'm gonna leave you with this baby. I know we've seen this one here at Craftypants Carol's Fancy Crafty World before - but I snipped off the weiner on that post so as to appear more demure and soft spoken. Heh. Actually it was so the man wouldn't come down on me and ruin my party with a Blogger Adult Content Warning - but then I realized that I really don't give a shit.
If someone wants to go whine to blogger about my weiners then go. Cause frankly, all I hear is "We want more weiners!" outside my window right now, and I'm going with that.
I know what you're all thinking right now. That ain't tea in that guy's cup. And you're probably right. But if we all work together and use our imaginations real hard, we can pretend that he's drinking a grand old cup of Campbell's Perfect Tea mixed with lapsang souchong.
Cause that's exactly what happens when you drink that.