What tea did you have this morning...or afternoon?

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RSteve

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This morning I was frankly stunned when I opened the package of Miles West Country Original Blend. My local shop, Tea Source would describe the contents as homogenized leavings. I have never purchased loose leaf tea that is so finely ground, what you might find inside a tea bag. It's clearly a blend of many teas. I followed the directions on the box, one teaspoon per cup and quickly realized that this is probably for a 5 oz. cup at maximum. I dumped it and started over. For my 14 oz. travel cup, it took 3 heaping teaspoons. I rarely ever add milk, sugar, lemon, or honey. This required a heavy dose of raw organic honey.
Pre-pandemic, I'd always go to Tea Source and have a cup before buying 4 oz. to take home. The shop is a 30 minute walk from my house.
Later, I'll open the one pound tin of Ahmad Earl Grey I bought via Amazon and hope for a better outcome.

This was a reminder of the number of times I'd buy a box of cigars on line before smoking at least one at a local B & M. We all have our individual taste preferences and it's best to dip one's toes in the water before jumping in the pond.

An after thought: I have several fine screen filters that came with Bodum pour through coffee carafes. I put three together, somewhat staggered, to properly pour the brewed tea into my cup without getting tea grinds into the cup.
 
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Blackhorse

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That grade of tea is CTC standing for “Cut, Tear, Curl”. You'll notice this tea is shaped into little tiny balls. It’s meant to produce a strong bold cup - which is the preferred style of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, etc. Crush, tear, curl is a method of processing black tea in which the leaves are passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of sharp teeth that crush, tear, and curl the tea into small, hard pellets. This replaces the final stage of orthodox tea manufacture, in which the leaves are rolled into strips. It’s a very common style and many of my favorites are CTC style.

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I would be very pleased to trade you the rest of your unwanted Miles Tea for one of the blends I have on hand. All of mine are very very nearly full or completely full...recently obtained and stored in tip top conditions. I have several English Breakfast, Irish, Welsh and Scottish blends...a number of Gold blends...and some Earl Grey choices. I could even put together a “sampler” of varying blends for your experimentation. Send me a PM and let’s figure out what you’d like.
 

RSteve

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That grade of tea is CTC standing for “Cut, Tear, Curl”. You'll notice this tea is shaped into little tiny balls.
I found it to be very weak and didn't really see any tiny balls. To me, it looked like the tea found in a teabag. My older daughter drinks tea with lots of milk and sugar. I gave it to her. She's a wonderful woman, but to her anything other than an herbal tea is just tea.
I think I'm far better off paying a bit more and buying my tea from my local tea shop, Tea Source, where I can taste a cup before I buy any quantity.


In 2019, The Tea Source was honored to receive the Best Specialty Tea Brand award at the World Tea Expo, and owner Bill Waddington was voted Best Tea Educator by tea industry peers and professionals. With Tea Source' extensive knowledge and more than 200 teas sourced from around the world, we help our customers learn to enjoy and appreciate tea more. From everyday favorites to award-winning classics, we strive to have unmatched quality, uniqueness and exclusivity in our teas.
 
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Blackhorse

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After a few days of Scottish blends and a pair of Welsh contenders I went back to ol’ number one this morning. That means Yorkshire Red. Even though Yorkshire Gold is still my numero uno blend, the Red is seriously excellent tea. Over time I’m finding that I lean heavily towards blends characterized as Scottish and Northern Irish and yet the Yorkshire Gold stands strong. It’s blended by Taylors of Harrowgate, an English company that also offers some excellent Scotch and Irish style blends under their Taylors banner. Good stuff...IMHO.


Brand History:
Taylors of Harrogate is now part of Betty & Taylors of Harrogate in Yorkshire, England. Taylors was started by Charles Taylor in 1886 in England and began as CE Taylor & Co. Taylor began his career buying teas that stores could sell as their house brand. Taylor's specialty was creating new blends of tea tailored to each area's unique local water. Charles and his brother Llewellyn Taylor started CE Taylor in Leeds, England as tea and coffee merchants. Taylors has been awarded The Queen's Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development, given only to companies with strong ethical, social and environmental values.
 

RSteve

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I think I'm far better off paying a bit more and buying my tea from my local tea shop, Tea Source, where I can taste a cup before I buy any quantity.
I've been jinxed! In my mail today:
Teasource St. Paul is permanently closing on Saturday, May 29.
Thank you for letting us serve you tea in St. Paul!

"I'll always be grateful for the chance to have been part of the St. Paul community. Thank you!!!" -Bill
Our St. Anthony Village location will remain open and you can order online to have tea shipped to you via USPS.
Starting April 30:
We will be opening up for in-person shopping on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 5pm starting April 30. You can also call the store directly to place an order over the phone. We will be offering a limited menu of to-go beverages including chai, iced tea, and hot tea, and all bulk tea will be sold in pre-packed bags. All Covid protocols are still in place. Limit of 6 people in the store at a time.
Note: If you place an order on our website, it will automatically be shipped to you via USPS Priority Mail."

Coupon code for one-time on line ordering:THANKYOUHP $10.00 off a purchase over $30.00
 

Timbo

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The store closing could be the reason for the crap tea Steve, trying to get out the door what they can when they can...
 

RSteve

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The store closing could be the reason for the crap tea Steve, trying to get out the door what they can when they can...
The local neighborhood newspaper/shopper had an article. The St. Paul shop is adjacent to a vacant movie theater. A developer has purchased the theater building and the buildings housing the adjacent shops. All will be demolished with a several story apartment building being built. The bottom floor will house retail at rental rates significantly higher than the current tenants are paying. Current shops are having their leases bought out or not being renewed.
 

Blackhorse

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Been all over the map this week...2 Welsh teas (Glengettie Gold & Welsh Brew)...2 Scottish (Taylors Scottish Blend & Thompson’s Scottish Blend)...and of course Irish (Thompson’s Irish Breakfast & Taylor’s Irish Breakfast) and of course Yorkshire Gold, my numero uno.
 

Blackhorse

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This morning’s blend...Titanic Blend.

Did you know that the Titanic was made in Belfast, the home of Punjana Tea. Many of the workers that built the Titanic probably drank Punjana Tea. But no, this blend was not served on the Titanic. Titanic Tea is a new tea created by Punjana to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic. Punjana has been making tea in Belfast since 1888.

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D.L.Ruth

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This morning’s blend...Titanic Blend.

Did you know that the Titanic was made in Belfast, the home of Punjana Tea. Many of the workers that built the Titanic probably drank Punjana Tea. But no, this blend was not served on the Titanic. Titanic Tea is a new tea created by Punjana to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic. Punjana has been making tea in Belfast since 1888.

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How is it? Was a toss up between this and Barry's last time I ordered and well, I went with what I knew. But if this stuff is good I'll get some next order.
 

Blackhorse

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Hey, DL...send me your mailing address and I’ll assemble a sampler for you. That way there might be less risk on your next order.

This morning I brewed up a big mug of Thompson’s Signature blend. Another award-winning tea. Punjana Signature Blend has won 2 gold stars at the Guild of Fine Foods, which is often called the Food Oscars. Punjana has been making tea in Belfast since 1888.

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Blackhorse

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My journey through the Thompson Family blends continues. Instead of my typical 3 minute steep I extended the duration to 4 minutes. Yes...it made a substantive difference. The flavor (which is good at 3 min.) is more pronounced...more “intense” at 4 minutes. DUH. Since I rarely use milk, sugar, etc. the intensity of flavor vs astringency is important. I also want to maximize antioxidant levels so a longer brew is desirable. But overly brewed tea can end up far too brisk when the milk and sweetener buffer isn’t added.

Big day here yesterday...Cinco de Mayo...daughter got her second Moderna vaccination (whole family is 100% now)...got TAX data and paperwork sorted, done & submitted.

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D.L.Ruth

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About to make a small pot of Yorkshire Red that was so generously donated to me by Mr. Blackhorse.

He'd send me a "couple" samples he said, might have overdone it here
 

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D.L.Ruth

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Yorkshire Red again. Sorry for the bad picture, wife is sleeping and will beat me up if I turn the lights on lol. This will be added to my shopping list, I have a good feeling about the rest of the Yorkshire now.
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