tea

Algebra Tea House

Today E and I visited Algebra Tea House near Little Italy on Murray Hill. I got the Tanzanian dark roast and E got their Raspberry Black Tea.

Tanzanian Dark Roast in E's coffee mug!

Tanzanian Dark Roast in E’s coffee mug!

E wanted to try something new and she had never had fruit flavored tea before.

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Algebra’s tea menu (above).

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Snapple K-cup

Lots of tea companies have jumped on the K-cup band wagon (Lipton, Twinnings, etc. etc.). I recently tried Snapple’s  K-cup version of iced tea.

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Snapple K-cup

I have always been a big fan of Snapple. My personal favorite is the diet peach iced tea, so I was very excited to try the Keurig version. These K-cups can be found almost anywhere. If I remember correctly, I think we picked these up at our local Walmart. They sell several flavors and it comes in diet and regular.

The Keurig makes hot tea, so the iced tea required several steps. First I brewed a large cup using the k-cup. Then, after it cooled down a little, I poured the tea from the mug to the Keurig pitcher (pictured below).

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Noodle Cat

Green Tea

We went to Noodle Cat this weekend. P and I and a few of our friends were having a book club meeting. We went to the Euclid location down town, but there is also a new location in the West Side Market.

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Noodle Cat

While Noodle Cat offered several hot tea options, it had only one iced tea option. The iced tea (flavor not listed on the menu) was Orange Blossom green tea – by Rare Tea Cellars.

I looked up the brand: Rare Tea Cellars and am guessing that it was the Sicilian Blood Orange Green. The website for the tea provides tea by the 1/2 lb (expensive! – 1/4 lb ~$40 instead of the usual Harney and Sons 1/4 lb ~$10-ish).

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Mochi at Noodlecat

Mochi Ice Cream

Cleveland Restaurant Week is one of Cleveland’s fun annual traditions. Various restaurants downtown provide special lunch and dinner menus for a discounted price. We went to Noodlecat on Euclid and tried the lunch menu.

More importantly, we tried coffee and green tea flavored mochi ice cream for dessert. Mochi is ice cream wrapped in rice-flour dough (read about more fun flavors at Mochi Ice Cream here).

Coffee mochi from Noodlecat.

Coffee mochi from Noodlecat.

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Define: Chai

What you say: “I love chai tea!”

What I hear: “I love tea tea!”

That’s because chai means tea in Hindi (cha/chai derivatives mean tea in Portuguese, Greek, Czech, and other languages). Tea/chai originated in China and spread around the world with two different names: chai and tea. These names are derivatives of what the Chinese called our beloved hot drink: te and ch. Traders going to Europe stuck with the te derivation (which became tea) and traders going to India, Russia, Persia, etc) called it chai (derived from ch).

Chai, or spicy Indian tea.

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Engineering Tea

What’s all the hype about E’s favorite drink, anyway? Do people really read tea leaves? Read on to find out more about how tea goes from leaf to cup.

Originating in China, tea spread across the globe as a healthy hot drink. http://www.teavana.com gives a great overview of the history of tea and some wonderful links to satisfy your curiosity.

The tea manufacturing process starts with withering, which turns the fresh leaf into the blackened tea we steep. 100 kgs of fresh leaves gets turned into about 25 kgs of the black tea. Withering is done to soften the leaves and reduce the moisture content and can take from 18 hours to a full day.

The next step, rolling, is done to turn the green leaves brown, release the aroma and taste, and prep for fermentation.  But before fermenting, there is roll breaking: cooling the leaves and accepting the finer particles to the next step. The larger leaves that don’t make it through go back to the rolling step.

Different tea grades correspond to color, aroma, and taste of final tea product.

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