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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been drinking tea all this fall and winter. I have boxes of three different blends: Yorkshire Gold, Irish Breakfast (by Taylors of Harrogate), and Scottish Breakfast (also Taylors of Harrogate).

I might as well mix the three boxes of tea bags together--because I can't tell them apart! They all crisp and malty (plenty of Assam).

I drink my tea black, with three drops of lemon juice. We have soft water at home and hard water at work.

IS there a difference?! What is your advice and/or opinion?

Thanks!
 

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I only drink tea -never coffee. I also like strong tea with a good colour. I drink it with milk and sugar by the mug or pot-full.

I usually find supermarket blends called 'red label' suit me best. Sainsbury, Tesco etc plus Lyons who probably initiated the 'red label' nomenclature. If I was abroad 'breakfast tea' is another indication of the sort of strength I like.

Earl Grey etc. is no use to me. I also find Darjeeling on the weak side. Assam or strong blends hit the spot.
 

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Yorkshire is a softer water than London, so that may be worth taking into account.

Just experiment with what suits you. Leaves are usually better quality than bags (less dust in the mix).

Also a tea brand can change with time. Always heat the pot/cup and use boiling water rather than hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Soft Water?

Taylors of Harrogate makes a variation of their Yorkshire tea especially for hard water. And they mention Scotland's soft water as why the Scottish Breakfast Tea has to be extra potent to get a decent malt on it. Hmm, is the water in Ireland hard or soft?

Yet, my tea is amazingly malty at work, where the water is quite hard.

I alternate between leaves and bags. Taylors of Harrogate use these oversized bags with decent flow.
 

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Taylors of Harrogate makes a variation of their Yorkshire tea especially for hard water. And they mention Scotland's soft water as why the Scottish Breakfast Tea has to be extra potent to get a decent malt on it. Hmm, is the water in Ireland hard or soft?
Irish water is soft. Ireland is probably a bigger tea drinking nation than the UK. More importantly they usually go for proper strong tea, rather than the poncey stuff.

I am not sure what you describe as 'malt'. I mostly look for a good tannin hit.
 

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If you are drinking tea as your usual beverage you tend to ignore all the written stuff and go with what suits you. Afternoon tea is a bit of an anachronism now; about as typical of modern times as an Agatha Christie novel.

I always want a good colour in my tea, despite what any book says. I will let the tea brew longer if the colour is not what I like.

Chinese tea, oolong ,green tea etc. are irrelevant to me. My taste may be be dismissed as a bit working class, but I could not care less. I doubt whether these writers enjoy the drink as much as I do.
 

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The favorite in my family is Fortnum's Royal. For awhile difficult to get in the U.S., but they have had a U.S. website for the past few years. Best to order in advance, they do run out of items from time to time and one has to wait for the next shipment from the UK.
 

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Speaking as a New Yorker, hard/soft I dont know I have Poland spring delivered because of pre-war plumbing, Barry's red or Scottish Blend give me the kick in the AM that I need. They come in pot ready high flow bags.

Most any of the loose black teas available at Tea & Sympathy's shop will wake you up pretty good too.

Barry's is available many places in NY: Fairway, Butcher Block, Tea & Sympathy, Meyers of Keswick.

Scottish Blend is a little harder to get, when Meyers is out which is often, I can order it on line from several British importers.

Tea! so civilized compared to coffee
 

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Another vote here for builders tea - I normally have Barry's red label at home and when stuck without in Berlin I normally find that local blends of Irish breakfast tea are the nearest to that.

I would second the point about Ireland being an even more enthusiastic nation of tea drinkers than the UK though sadly the rise in coffee chains is not helpful. In London I find that the best places to get a decent cup of tea are usually greasy spoons and very basic "caffs".

If you are drinking tea as your usual beverage you tend to ignore all the written stuff and go with what suits you. Afternoon tea is a bit of an anachronism now; about as typical of modern times as an Agatha Christie novel.

I always want a good colour in my tea, despite what any book says. I will let the tea brew longer if the colour is not what I like.

Chinese tea, oolong ,green tea etc. are irrelevant to me. My taste may be be dismissed as a bit working class, but I could not care less. I doubt whether these writers enjoy the drink as much as I do.
 

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Thanks for the tip

The favorite in my family is Fortnum's Royal. For awhile difficult to get in the U.S., but they have had a U.S. website for the past few years. Best to order in advance, they do run out of items from time to time and one has to wait for the next shipment from the UK.
Thanks for the tip. It's been just as hard to find in Canada. Hopefully I can stock up when in the U.S. (company has an office there).
 

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In our house there are two types of tea, "builders' tea" and "poofs' tea".

Poofs' tea is earl grey and similar.

Builders' tea is "normal " tea. Sainsbury's Red Label Tea is very good. We generally drink Twinnings English Breakfast Tea though.

Always teastes bnetter when made in a pot rather than in the cup or mug.
 

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I drink English and Chinese tea.

I quite like Darjeeling and Earl Grey but my knowledge is limited in this area.

The Chinese tea sold in the shops today and at restaurants are rubbish. You have to search long and hard for good proper Chinese tea and expect to pay £200+ for a pound of the stuff (I've heard some go for as much as £1000/lb). Pu-er in brick form is the best, so I've heard.

I have only had Japanese powdered green tea once but am limited to its consumption as I feel it is necessary to have a full Japanese tea ceremony to enjoy it.
 

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Probably the best day to day readily available in the U.S. "black" tea is PG Tips.
I get mine from Amazon, and, like most Brits, take it with milk. I have met very few Brits who drink tea with lemon!
For info, most of the "British" tea you buy comes from 3 main suppliers, and is packaged for other clients, for example, the Fortnums tea is actually Tetley, I am informed.
The subtleties of different types/blends of tea are amazing, but after you have added milk/sugar/lemon it would be difficult to differentiate between similar teas.
 
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