This one is a must for all you loose-tea nyerds out there.
A most excellent product.
[Photo Credit: cooking.com]
I love loose tea. It's so much better than the supermarket bags and it often ends up being cheaper too! I keep a small stash in my desk at work (some blacks, greens and oolongs) along with a few filters. BTW, Adagio teas (the maker of that product) have a host of great tea stuff and some truly amazing tea. I ordered from them all the time when I lived in NYC.
I'm a coffee nerd too, grind my own and french press.
NICE! Yeah, I've been lazy about loose tea and that's why I went out and picked this thing up--saw Cook's Illustrated liked it and their word is good enough for me. Soooo worth it.
Oh man, that looks so clever. If it were glass instead of plastic, I'd buy it for my dad in a heartbeat.
You can always just go the normal route and get a basket or teapot. They cost less than $10 at most places and last forever. Simple, easy cleanup. Just get one with a top/coaster and you're good to go.
Alex, if you want, I can recommend a few tea shops in Manhattan for getting some loose tea. There's one I used to go to in the West Village that's cheap and great. A bit of a hike from Riverdale though. Let me know.
5) Fire away! Let me know the good spots, son!
I love the loose tea from uptontea.com. I've been ordering from them for about eight years and I've always been impressed. Their paper catalog contains a long running narrative on the history of tea - I'm sure it will come out as a book at some point. For me, the real concern with the shops is that the tea looses its punch in about three months. So if the shop doesn't do volume, and the shop isn't a direct importer, there's a great chance you have very old tea. As far as I can tell (and I've talked to a lot of people at upton) they buy in all the tea producing countries, direct import constantly (in fact, there's a rush for the first and second flush darjeelings when they come off the plane) sometimes buy the entire supply, and are excellent about keeping tea fresh.
Doesn't it freak any of you out that you are putting repeatedly putting boiling water into a plastic container to drink out of? I know the estrogen like chemicals in plastics (whether they have BPA or not) are primarily fat soluble, but there's still a lot volatility of this petroleum based product. I drink a couple pots of tea/day and in the long run the plastic would worry me. I use a ceramic pot or mug with self-fill disposable unbleached tea bags myself. It's probably even worse...
I use a pretty snazzy-looking mug that my wife bought me last year. It's stainless steel wrapped in leather on the outside and is pretty manly (which is important when you are sipping tea). It's also nice and big, holds probably 24 oz. of liquid. It has a metal screen mesh that just snaps in at the top of the mug, so you put in the loose tea leaves, add hot water, snap in the filter, and start drinking. The mesh filters the leaves so all you get is tea. It has also proved pretty easy to clean, which is one of the issues I have had with other tea systems - that the leaves stick all over the place and it is hard to clean out.
It's made by a Chinese brand called Buffalo, and I can't seem to find a link to them, but if you are ever in the SF Bay area in California, I can point you to the store. I'm guessing it is available in Asian markets on the East Coast too.
For some reason it keeps not publishing my comment about recommendations. I guess SNY.com hates tea :).
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