Strong Tea
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Terri Wright
(ncalcamper) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Strong Tea on 06/09/2011 19:58:28 MDT Print View

I'm thinking about switching to tea from Starbuck's instant for my upcoming JMT trip. I like my coffee, but at this point I just need a solid transmission for my caffeine habit. Appreciate any tea suggestions and how best to brew. Thanks.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Strong Tea on 06/09/2011 20:05:54 MDT Print View

You don't find the Starbucks Via strong enough?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Strong Tea on 06/09/2011 20:09:36 MDT Print View

Lapsang souchong!

Strong, smoky, black; liquid campfire. Brew the leaves right in the pot, add a splash of cold water and a swirl to make them drop...drink.

1

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Strong Tea on 06/09/2011 20:32:01 MDT Print View

"Lapsang souchong!

Strong, smoky, black; liquid campfire. Brew the leaves right in the pot, add a splash of cold water and a swirl to make them drop...drink."

A huge +1 A manly Sierra tea if ever there was one. Pairs well with a good Islay single malt.

Dan Gerke
(dangerke)

Locale: Southern California
Strong Tea on 06/09/2011 20:36:12 MDT Print View

I'm a coffee lover and since grinding beans on the trail isn't practical I've switched to tea when backpacking. Lemongrass Yerba Mate (technically not a tea) has a similar caffeine amount to coffee, but it also contains other compounds producing a slightly different effect(not hallucinogenic or anything). Steeps up in 5-6 minutes, most of the leaves settle to the bottom and I pour off the tea. Earl Grey Silver Tips is another nice tea.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Strong Tea on 06/09/2011 20:47:09 MDT Print View

I drink good strong black tea. The kind that stains teeth :-P Nothing fancy, just boil water, add to tea and brew, then drink. Try around different brands for your favorite, just like coffee each has its own flavor.
Make sun tea in a bottle while hiking and you can drink ALL day long!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Strong Tea - Craig or Tom on 06/09/2011 20:57:21 MDT Print View

How long do you brew this "Strong, smoky, black; liquid campfire"? And is brewing just throwing them in boiling water, or do you let the water boil, throw in the tea and then remove from heat source? (Can you tell I'm not a tea drinker? But this Lapsang souchong looks interesting!)

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Brewing tea on 06/09/2011 21:15:28 MDT Print View

First get loose Lapsang Souchong tea. It's dried over a smoky pine fire.

For a one pot packer, bring water to a boil in your pot, take off the stove.

Put tea leaves in the pot, about one well-rounded teaspoon per 6 oz.

Let steep (brew) for 3-5 minutes.

Drink.

When finished, tea leaves can contribute to the biomass of the forest floor.

albert barragan
(comaone) - F

Locale: PNW
Try... on 06/09/2011 21:25:58 MDT Print View

Yerba mate, great little tea,

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Brewing tea on 06/09/2011 21:26:45 MDT Print View

Thanks Stephen!

Soul patch
(mtblack) - F
Strong Tea on 06/09/2011 21:40:04 MDT Print View

I've drunk tea since I was four, typically black tea with milk. i would suggest Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast, in bags, which is tasty and economical. I drink it daily. I bring a small bottle with condensed milk for short trips or drink it black. You can also add powdered milk directly to a cup once it's steeped and it is a nice way to start or end a day. It really isn't necessary to buy specialty tea or brew loose to enjoy it.

Edited by mtblack on 06/10/2011 06:48:47 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Strong Tea on 06/09/2011 22:31:55 MDT Print View

I am a huge Masala Chai fan I like loose leaf at home I don't use loose in the back country because I will add to many foreign matter to the soil from another countries ecosystem.
So I have found the best Chai you don't need to haul the extra weight of sugar is Good Earth Vanilla Chai tastes good with out sugar. It comes in individual paper foil packets that you can store the used tea bag in,or if you fall in a river and the contents of your pack are soaked your tea will still be dry .

One advantage about drinking tea is the caffeine effect from that one cup stay with you all day verses coffee the caffeine hits you and the effect is gone in a few hours. Then you need more caffeine in the form of coffee or soft drink. Switching from coffee to tea was the best thing I did I don't feel tried at mid point in the day.
Terry

Edited by socal-nomad on 06/09/2011 22:37:36 MDT.

Greg Pehrson
(GregPehrson) - MLife

Locale: playa del caballo blanco
yerba mate on 06/10/2011 06:45:25 MDT Print View

+1 on yerba mate. You should be able to find it at your local Latino market. I find the energy boost strong without the jitters of coffee, plus the flavor doesn't need any sweetener or additives. You also only need to heat the water, not bring it to boiling (fuel savings).
You can buy it in teabags, but the traditional way is to drink it through a wooden or metal straw with a filter at the end, plunged right into the loose tea. You don't need any special cup, just stick the straw (bombilla) right in your pot.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Strong Tea on 06/10/2011 08:09:55 MDT Print View

@ craig - wow i can smell that lapsang souchong - nice pic

one of my favorites is Pu-erh Tea
Loose black tea aged leaf, six to seven years old. A Premium old tree black tea leaf. Taste very smoky and earthy, high in caffeine, strong black tea. Good for digestion, upset stomach, constipation, and acid reflex. This tea has been aging for 10 to 12 years. This is the type of teas you could age longer you like in any type of temperature and weather.

I buy it from Vital Tea Leaf when I'm in San Fran. They have a web site http://vitaltealeaf.net but I've not ordered online from them. Pretty cool if you can go to one of their locations because they let you try several and explain the teas.

I also like yerba mate this is my favorite http://www.guayaki.com/
I get it at Whole Foods. You can get loose or in small stringless bags or regular tea bags. The longer you let it brew the strong it gets.

A good non-caffeine is Rooibos (African red bush). Great taste.

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: Strong Tea on 06/10/2011 08:30:54 MDT Print View

I am a regular tea drinker but I still need to try lapsang souchong. I enjoy smokey teas, especially gunpowder. Watching the gunpowder leaves uppack as it brews is half the fun.

2

I love chai and its hard to beat a good Moroccan Mint.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Yerba Mate here and there on 06/10/2011 08:47:11 MDT Print View

I have some Argentinian friends who introduced me to Yerba Mate. They use the traditional gourd and silver straw. They fill the gourd with yerba mate while the water is heating. When the water begins to "talk" (the point where you hear it starting to make that pre-boiling sound), they pour the hot (not boiling) water into the gourd.

After steeping a bit, the gourd is passed around, and everyone takes a sip or two; this continues until the brew is low, and then more hot water is added. They gourd is continually replenished with hot water, and with so much yerba to begin with, the brew stays strong for a long time. Obviously, it's also a very social occasion.

Here in the US, Yerba Mate is sold in little teabags. How many would you have to rip open to fill a gourd? And it's an individual drink, just one person drinking it. Very different experience and taste!

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Yerba mate and tea. on 06/10/2011 09:50:40 MDT Print View

Yerba mate is often available cheap as loose tea at markets that serve Hispanic customers. It seems to have somewhat less caffeine than real tea (though that gourd method probably has prodigious amounts of caffeine). There's an equivalent Chinese way of preparing oolong tea that fills a tiny tea pot with tea and keeps adding hot water.

Of course, in Nepal people drink huge amounts of tea with rancid butter added for calories.

A source of excellent real tea is http://uptontea.com/ Upton says they have 420 varieties of loose tea

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Strong Tea on 06/10/2011 10:57:39 MDT Print View

Another tea you can try that is very dark and strong (and is one of the few teas that actually goes well with cream) is Prince of Wales from Twinings. I always make it with 3 teaspoons of the leaves in a folding paper filter. It needs to steep longer than your average Lipton black tea, about 4 to 5 minutes. I drink it either straight or with milk, or sometimes cream. Camping I just drink it straight.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Strong Tea - Craig or Tom on 06/10/2011 20:16:41 MDT Print View

"How long do you brew this "Strong, smoky, black; liquid campfire"? And is brewing just throwing them in boiling water, or do you let the water boil, throw in the tea and then remove from heat source?"

I take the pot off the stove just before boil to save the fuel required for phase change from liquid to vapor, toss in my preferred amount of tea, cover and let steep for about 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong I want it on any particular occasion. Lapsong Souchong has a very pronounced flavor, and you'll have to experiment a bit with the amount of tea and length of steeping to get it just right for your taste. I usually brew with a pint of water and hand measure what is probably 1 1/2-2 tsp of leaves. Sort of like old time house wives would use a pinch of this and a handful of that.

On a more romantic note, the best Lapsong Souchong I have ever tasted was made with water heated over a slightly smoky wood fire back in the day, after a meal of fried trout and crispy potato pancakes fried in fish drippings. Sigh. ;)

jeff clapp
(malterwitty) - F

Locale: southern CA
Bags on 06/10/2011 20:22:19 MDT Print View

It's obnoxious to carry a bunch of teabags out of the backcountry. Has to be loose-leaf!