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Invitation to talk about local tea culture for a tea blog

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  • Invitation to talk about local tea culture for a tea blog

    Greetings! I can't imagine this going anywhere, but I was just considering how I've eased up on doing interview themed tea blog posts, and never mentioned an interest in such a thing here.

    If Interpals members have ideas to express about local tea culture in different places I'd be happy to hear it, and it might work as content for a post.

    Past interviews or research related more to local production than consumption, or tea processing, but the themes overlap. Of course I could move past what I've done in the past anyway, onto tea cafe themes more. I'll mention the main former interview posts, but again I don't mean to only reach out to tea producers.

    If a local "tea scene" is interesting I'd like to hear about it. Eastern Europe seems to be gaining some new ground and I've not got around to talking about that, for example


    Interview with a Yunnan pu'er producer: http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot...osmont-of.html

    With a vendor into doing aged pu'er group buys: http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot...-olympiad.html

    Input from a Wuyishan, Fujian oolong and black tea farmer and processor: http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot...yi-yancha.html

    About Indonesian teas and culture, from an Indonesian producer: http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot...th-galung.html

    On growing tea plants from one of the main US based nursery plant sources: http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot...s-at-home.html

  • #2
    I'm from Eastern Europe and I drink a lot of tea, so
    There seems to emerge here what I would call a premium tea market.
    E.g. recently I've found this shop in my city
    https://www.fiveoclock.eu
    I love it. They offer teas sold by weight and all their mixtures taste delicious. I've recently bought there a black tea with dried oranges and tangerine.
    They also offer a lot of things you can add to your tea, e.g. I've tried and I love raspberry confiture with rum - it tastes great with black tea.

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    • #3
      I used to live in the Northeast of Europe and I can't believe I found the perfect tea products that can be found even in a supermarket near where I live. it's from a Finnish teahouse called Forsman Tea (http://www.forsman-tea.com/en/). tea is my favourite drink, it's probably my most consumed drink a part from drinking water.
      it's great to have it like in any situation, any weather. its weird. it cools the hot and heats the cold. my body doesn't work well with much caffeine though, but when I drink tea I do not suffer any of the adverse effects I used from drinking coffee.. even the black tea, but of course if it is made properly. ratio and timing is key. I drink all kinds of tea; black, white, orange, green, herbs, flowers, fruits, mixed natural flavour tea. I love them all.

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      • #4
        Australian tea making:



        The gum (eucalyptus) leaf is optional to add. I've had other things added before the tea is completely brewed such rum. This comes out good. You can of course also drink the tea with rum put in after the tea has been brewed and poured.

        Yes, you do swing the billy in a circle as done in the video. The tea leaves should be completely flat on the bottom surface of the billy if you are swinging the billy in a smooth circle. Don't worry, the water isn't going to come out - simple Newtonian physics. However, do watch out for the handle on the billy and make sure there are no cracks and so on with the handle - I've even seen a billy once go into flight. Also, don't swing the thing in any line with people in it. This is very bad etiquette and you can hit people if the billy does detach from the handle. I recall once seeing someone just about copping a beating for swinging a billy in the direction of where people were sitting.

        The bit that the video does really get wrong is that for optimal billy tea, the billy (that's the tin with the handle that the water is boiled in and the tea is also made in) should not have a shiny inner metal surface. A real billy used for making tea will never ever be scrubbed out but only washed. It takes a few uses of a new billy so that you build up a layer on the metal surface. Then you get very good tea - much better than even from a porcelain teapot ("fine China teapot", if you want to add a Euro or 2 to the price of the tea you are drinking). I can, subjectively, say also much better than many, if not most, of the overpriced teas you often see in "specialist" tea shops.

        Unfortunately, most of the videos I'd seen of people making billy tea were essentially tour operator wanker "experts". This video was the best of a bad bunch.
        Last edited by aussieinbg; 07-09-2018, 08:11 AM.

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        • #5
          That does look interesting. What kind of tea is that guy making? Is it still camellia sinensis, normal tea? If so from what country, typically?

          I've not watched it yet but I'll check it out.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by john_in_bkk View Post
            That does look interesting. What kind of tea is that guy making? Is it still camellia sinensis, normal tea? If so from what country, typically?

            I've not watched it yet but I'll check it out.
            Basic "off the shelf" black Ceylon tea usually branded as "Bushells". I've also used Nerada tea grown not too far from where I'd grown up. Never heard of people using green tea for this however.

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            • #7
              That wouldn't seem to have much effect on how the tea would brew, would it? It would agitate it just a little, and give the tea an effect related to feeling slightly higher gravity for that short time, but that wouldn't change how it brews.

              It's interesting he added eucalyptus. I've never even heard of that being blended along with tea, but it sounds like it might be nice.

              As far as the idea goes of not scrubbing the pot (or tin, or whatever it's called) that matches the standard practice of not scrubbing or using soap on Chinese clay pots. The material surface is just much different.

              It's interesting, thanks. I'd need to take this set of ideas a little further to stretch it into a page of text and a blog post but it could work.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by john_in_bkk View Post
                That wouldn't seem to have much effect on how the tea would brew, would it?
                Given that there is centripetal force of many orders of magnitude being applied to the tea leaves of many times higher order of magnitude compared with pouring water over it and essentially having only a diffusion process going, then there might well be some significant changes in chemistry here. After all, you are operating a primitive type of centrifuge here.

                Someone could do the experiments, write a PhD then get an IgNobel prize for their efforts on this one

                Originally posted by john_in_bkk View Post
                It would agitate it just a little, and give the tea an effect related to feeling slightly higher gravity for that short time, but that wouldn't change how it brews.
                If you change the chemistry of the liquid as a result of the centrifuge action of swinging the billy, then you perhaps would expect a chemical change in how the tea brews and hence a different taste.

                My subjective taste buds and sense of smell tell me that billy tea tastes much better than most "quality" teas out there.

                Originally posted by john_in_bkk View Post
                It's interesting he added eucalyptus. I've never even heard of that being blended along with tea, but it sounds like it might be nice.
                It works for sure. I've even heard of a couple of people substituting the gumtree leaf for a cough drop in their tea at home to get the eucalyptus taste.

                Originally posted by john_in_bkk View Post
                As far as the idea goes of not scrubbing the pot (or tin, or whatever it's called) that matches the standard practice of not scrubbing or using soap on Chinese clay pots. The material surface is just much different.
                The name of the pot is a "billy".

                There are huge differences here actually at a guess. Clay pots and the like have highly porous surfaces - which of course naturally affect the chemistry of the tea. Glazing stops ion release into the tea solution and hence changes the taste, as is observed with fine china. By not scrubbing the clay pot surface, I suspect you'd probably achieve a similar effect to glazing - preventing ion release into the tea.

                The metal surface of the billy is going to release a different cocktail of ions to that of earthenware and the surface layer that forms over a metal surface is going to differ significantly to that over an earthenware one. This of course is going to affect the ultimate ion release into the tea when comparing a billy to an earthenware one -and hence result in different tasting tea.

                Originally posted by john_in_bkk View Post
                It's interesting, thanks. I'd need to take this set of ideas a little further to stretch it into a page of text and a blog post but it could work.
                Please quote me if you write a blog on it. You can try it yourself when you are next out in the bush. There's a lot of bush areas in Thailand so I've been told where you can light fires and so on.

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