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Personally I try and NOT make too many, as it involves moving from the Chair to the kitchen and also some physical labour, however when I do, this is "my way"
1, Tea Bag and Sugar in Cup.
2, Boling Water from the Kettle (whilst tea bag is still in)
leave that to brew for about a minute.
3, Cold Milk (while Tea Bag is still in).
4, Squeeze the final flavour out of the bag with a spoon, before discarding.....
and then drinking it. (preferably with some Biscuits, and followed by a Cigarette).
anyone care to share their procedure.
I can attest to that, but I wonder about how it affects your sleep. I'm so sensitive to caffeine I don't generally drink it after 5 or 6 and am reluctant to experiment. Claims are that it eliminates insomnia, but that sounds too good to be true.
While we're talking about tea and caffeine... does anyone know if jasmine tea has much caffeine? I persuaded one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Chinatown here to sell me some of their house tea because I liked the flavor so much... and it seems to be jasmine. Not much caffeine effect that I can observe. I ask because if it's caffeine-free I can drink it at night.
But yes, it is basically caffeine.
Same chemical compound class (xanthines) but with remarkably different actions.
Half a cup of coffee and you'll be peeling me off the walls, while I can drink maté all day long. (and still get a good night's sleep)
Claims are that it eliminates insomnia, but that sounds too good to be true.
It is pretty incredible stuff. Anti-oxidant, packed with nutrients, immune booster, yada, yada, yada...
As for insomnia, it's only ever kept me up when I've purposefully used it to do so, but then, I generally don't have trouble sleeping.
I wouldn't recommend having a strong cup an hour before bed... but it definitely won't keep you up like coffee does.
This article [noborders.net] by Daniel Mowrey Ph.D. goes into great detail on the radical differences between the effects of maté (mateine) and coffee (caffeine).
Personally? I've never consumed it for the health benefits. I just love the unique, clear, jitter-free buzz.
Like Dante said, you gotta drink it from the mate with a bombilla or else it just isn't the same.
The first time I encountered maté it was served that way and I couldn't handle it... waaaay too strong. After a number of re-exposures to milder brews (and the delightful buzz) it grew on me enormously. Now it can't be too strong for my palate.
A literally acquired taste I suppose.
Does anyone know if jasmine tea has much caffeine?
Yes. Jasmine is generally black tea which does have caffeine, though considerably less than coffee. There are also green tea jasmines (which I prefer) with even less caffeine.
For the least caffeine possible, you'll want to search out a white tea jasmine. Expensive, but worth every penny. (you need to learn how to brew it properly though... white teas are very delicate)
What's all this about tea *bags*?
What's all this about tea bags and diffusers?
I pour tealeaves and 1˝ - 2 litres of waters into the scalded pot, cover with cloth and wait 20 minutes.
Then I fill the cup with about 1 fifth of milk and 4 parts of tea and put the milk container back in the refrigerator. For the next hour or so I drink half the cup - add tea - drink half - add tea etc. etc.
The genius behind this being that as the tea grows colder the relative amount of (cold) milk get smaller and smaller. When the tea gets too cold and bitter with a disproportionate amount of leaves I finish.
Emptying the pot is a bit messy and it's for this same reason that I used to have a large assortment of pots (since cleaning the sink after 1 pot is the same work as cleaning the sink after 8 pots).
Two more neglected points: You should use skimmed milk and the milk should be added before the tea so that you don't burn your lips.
I normally drink about 3 cups a day not sure about some peoples practice of adding milk before the tea I thought you diluted to taste? Also, I swear tea looks different when you add the milk first..
Sounds like a bit of investment is needed in some more kitchen equipment to try some of the other teas that have been mentioned ;)
What's all this about tea bags and diffusers?
Too lazy to clean the pot out that often, and don't have enough pots for your approach, so I compromise on a difuser so big it barely fits into the pot. A more ideal approach would probably be to use two pots, and when you're ready to remove the leaves just pour from one to the other through a tea strainer, but I never actually do that.