Author Topic: Good, cheap tea?  (Read 618 times)

Cool Friend

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Good, cheap tea?
« on: December 28, 2018, 12:18:57 PM »
I've been drinking a lot more tea recently, but the boxes of Celestial Seasonings I get shake out to be about $0.20 a teabag/cup, so I'm looking to pare that down.  I'm guessing loose leaf tea will be cheaper (and more environmentally friendly), and was wondering if you had any recommendations for places that are a good value.  A Google search turned up quite a few places, but having no experience with them I'm not sure what's legit and what's not.

DCKatie09

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 12:24:58 PM »
So with full disclosure that this is a family business (my uncle and cousins run it) I legitimately and independently love Little Red Cup Tea for loose-leaf. It's all straightforward Chinese tea, fair-trade and organic, and if you buy it by the pound it's pretty darn affordable. My favorites are the Jade Oolong (a really nice green) and the Yunnan Black (oh so smooth and slightly fruity and delicious), but if you're newer to loose leaf tea they offer some samplers to try their different kinds out.

BDWW

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 01:15:17 PM »
I have pretty simple tastes.  Twinings Earl Grey loose leaf. I get the 6x7oz pack on amazon, and it lasts me a year.

Looks like about $1.25 an Oz on Amazon right now.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2018, 02:45:22 PM »
Personally I buy Brooke Bond Taj Mahal from my local Indian grocer for ~$6/1lb box:
https://www.amazon.com/Brooke-Bond-Taj-Mahal-900g/dp/B000JSQDHW

It's loose leaf orange pekoe and really good quality black tea for the price. It's strong so I only use a little to make a cup so a box lasts just about forever. I'll combine it with other things to make chai, mint tea, etc.

Freedomin5

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2018, 06:28:53 PM »
We prefer to buy tea from the local ethnic grocery store. Lots of different brands/types of tea for a lot less than the major grocery chain. If you're not used to drinking loose leaf tea, you can always get a re-usable tea ball/infuser.

SerenaDarrin

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2018, 08:42:00 PM »
I tend to buy loose-leaf tea but I do the (apparently) shocking thing of re-steeping the tea leaves! 

David's Tea has a bunch of loose-leaf teas.  If you can catch one of their sales, those can be pretty good, and they give a 20% discount if you buy over a certain amount (which sometimes stacks with the sales, so that's the best time to grab something!)

It can come out to a bit more per cup, but you can cut that down by brewing in a big teapot (so if you know you'll drink it, brew two or three cups at once), and re-steeping your tea leaves.  Some teas stand up really well to re-steeping, and some even develop more flavours!  I can easily get two or even three brewings out of my favorite Earl Grey. :)

DCKatie09

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 07:04:45 AM »
I tend to buy loose-leaf tea but I do the (apparently) shocking thing of re-steeping the tea leaves! 

David's Tea has a bunch of loose-leaf teas.  If you can catch one of their sales, those can be pretty good, and they give a 20% discount if you buy over a certain amount (which sometimes stacks with the sales, so that's the best time to grab something!)

It can come out to a bit more per cup, but you can cut that down by brewing in a big teapot (so if you know you'll drink it, brew two or three cups at once), and re-steeping your tea leaves.  Some teas stand up really well to re-steeping, and some even develop more flavours!  I can easily get two or even three brewings out of my favorite Earl Grey. :)
+1 on resteeping - the Little Red Cup is a little more expensive than some of the other options, but stands up really well to multiple steeps - especially the oolong.

Dixie_Amazon

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 08:16:38 AM »
Quote

+1 on resteeping - the Little Red Cup is a little more expensive than some of the other options, but stands up really well to multiple steeps - especially the oolong.
This is one of the many reasons I love oolong. A decent oolong can be steeped at least three times. Just increase the brewing time for each resteep.

I go to a couple of ethnic markets for most of my tea, plus one of our local grocery stores puts Twinnings on sale frequently. I splurge some on tea because it is cheap per serving and better for me than a lot of other flavored beverages.

SerenaDarrin

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2018, 09:14:36 AM »
I splurge some on tea because it is cheap per serving and better for me than a lot of other flavored beverages.

This.   I'd rather have good tea I enjoy. It's still relatively cheap, and, it's good for you! :)

Plus, it doesn't go bad, so you can buy in bulk when it's on sale.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2018, 09:28:49 AM »
Loose leaf is your answer. Also, you can vary the amount you use to be right -- if we're using teabags we'll brew a whole pot with 1 bag, or an equivalent amount of loose leaf (roughly 1 heaped tsp = 4 cup pot).

A decent quality teapot with a "stop brewing" plunger and a tea cozy that fits your pot are probably worthwhile investments. My wife gave me a hard time for taking the tea cozy my grandma was getting rid of (my parents got it for her in England when we were there, so it has some sentimental value) but its been really really nice.

I'm not sure if this is our exact model but its close -- https://www.bodum.com/gb/en/1801-109s-assam -- key features that make it nice -- stainless tea basket with tiny holes (plastic inners will crack over time, stainless doesn't) and the cork hotpad it came with and fits in to insulate it (and protect it) from the counter. Whole mess is dishwasher safe (top rack).

Dixie_Amazon

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2018, 04:53:19 PM »
I'm not sure if this is our exact model but its close -- https://www.bodum.com/gb/en/1801-109s-assam -- key features that make it nice -- stainless tea basket with tiny holes (plastic inners will crack over time, stainless doesn't) and the cork hotpad it came with and fits in to insulate it (and protect it) from the counter. Whole mess is dishwasher safe (top rack).

I second this model, I have been using mine for years.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2018, 05:50:47 PM »
And for a more mustachian option, I use this guy to brew in a mug. I think I paid $1 on ebay.

https://www.republicoftea.com/the-peoples-brew-basket/p/v00978/

SerenaDarrin

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Re: Good, cheap tea?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 06:56:18 PM »
I have an inherited tea spoon that came from my Grandmother.  (and when I say tea spoon, I mean a spoon with holes and a cover that's designed to steep loose-leaf tea!) But, the holes are big, and some teas slip out.  So I also have a tea ball I payed a couple of bucks for that has a much finer mesh and a silicone seal.  Worth it.

I do also have some drawstring hemp tea bags.   They were part of a. . . ahem. . . less intelligent purchase, but I have them now and might as well use them up.  I won't bother replacing them, though.  Not when I have two tea balls.   Honestly, I'm not even impressed.  Half the time, the drawstring comes loose, which defeats the point of the tea bags containing the tea.

My aunt gifted me really nice teapot for Christmas one year, and I love it.  It doesn't have an inbuilt filter, but I just use the tea ball, and then I knit myself a tea cozy for it.  (If I'm feeling particularly lazy, or the tea cozy's in the wash, a clean tea-towel doubles as a cozy to keep the tea warm in a pinch)

And yes, if you're getting a tea filter/ball, you want stainless steel or silicone. Plastic ones can crack.

However, you folks now have me eyeing that teapot. And it's even on sale!   But I don't need it, so I'll be good. (File that under 'not-needful thing I'm right now distracted by and want, because 'ooh, shiny' :eyeroll:).  I will, however, -actually- file it away as 'things folks can get me for my Birthday/Christmas.', so thank you for the edition to the list!