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tingjunkie

Greetings from a student of tea and now absinthe!

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Hello All,

 

In a roundabout way, my love for tea brought me to absinthe. I've been deeply in to preparing high quality Chinese teas in a traditional gongfu method for over four years now. As opposed to "western" tea brewing where you might put 1-2 spoons of leaf in a large pot and infuse for 5 minutes, the gongfu preparation uses very small pots (30ml-150ml), fills them 1/2 to 7/8 full with leaf, and then uses multiple brief infusions to extract the best the tea has to offer and push it to the limits. Some of the exceptional teas can be infused well over 30-50 times and will still release beautiful flavors, aromas, and energy!

 

After starting a gongfu tea club here in NYC, which helped me to develop my palate enough to begn really appreciating wine and spirits, one of the members introduced me to absinthe. As someone who is a huge fan of the traditions, paraphenalia, and process of preparing teas, the absinthe was right up my alley. Of course, it's also hard not to love any hand-crafted, artisinal, delicious product!

 

Anyhow, I've probably tried about 15 absinthes at this point, with Espirit Edouard, Pacifique, Opaline, La Ptite, and the Delaware Phoenix line standing out as my favorites so far. I think my next order will include PF 1901 and Absinthe Amer for sure, as I'd like to try those.

 

Other than tea and absinthe, I also enjoy bourbon, and I'm beginning to exlplore single malt Scotch and mezcal in more depth as well. I'm looking forward to learning more from the passionate absintheurs here on the forum, and seeing if I can contibute any new perspectives on the green fairy using my tea knowledge. If nothing else, I've found that using a small 6 ounce glass teapot makes the perfect ice water dripper when you're feeling too lazy to set up the fountain!

 

Cheers -Mike

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Welcome and cheers tingjunkie!

:cheers: I'm glad to see someone delving into Mescal, a drink which is overlooked thanks to it's "younger brother" tequila. Personally I prefer Mescal.

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Welcome - I've often generally compared the absinthe ritual with that of tea to those who have little understanding of the "why". While not perfect - it is a comparison that most can understand and appreciate!

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Welcome and cheers tingjunkie!

:cheers: I'm glad to see someone delving into Mescal, a drink which is overlooked thanks to it's "younger brother" tequila. Personally I prefer Mescal.

Oddly enough, I just got back from a mezcal tasting tonight! It was fan-freaking-tastic! Got to try 18 different hand made mezcals from 12 different producers, including a pechuga that would sell for $300+ per bottle. I was in HEAVEN. When taking into account that mezcal is made entirely by hand, mostly from wild harvested agave, and produced in very small batches, it's hard to wrap your head around just how special it is. How much soul is involved. The vast majority of tequila just can't compare!

Edited by tingjunkie

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Welcome!

 

Any tea recommendations for a hopeless Lapsang lover?

Hmmm... if it's the smokiness you crave, nothing really compares to lapsang. There are some slightly smoky young raw puerh teas from the Xiaguan factory, but those are a different animal all together. If you are looking for something that just earthy, strong, and comforting, you might like a cooked puerh- Menghai's "Golden Needle White Lotus" cakes are usually the gold standard there. Personally, I'm a huge fan of oolongs from Wuyi- they are heavily roasted (think notes of cocoa, coffee, and burnt sugar) but also have a very strong mineral quality to them from being grown in rocky soil. I think a great shop to begin exploring high end Chinese tea is Jing. Their quality is fairly high, and prices are very fair. Not sure where you normally get your lapsang from, but if it's Teavana, Adagio or another American chain, I have no doubt Jing's will be superior. ;)

Edited by tingjunkie

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Welcome. I too love tea and am a frequent imbiber of such. I am contemplating making a tea liqueur in the future.

I've contemplated this myself as of late. Would you distill, or make a maceration? What type of tea were you thinking? Perhaps a floral Taiwanese oolong like dong ding or bao jhong might be a good place to begin a vodka maceration. Let me know if you decide to take a shot at it!

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Awesome! Thanks for the recommendations. I got to try some Xiaguan Puerh over this past weekend and I enjoyed the light smokiness of it. I'll take a stab at the other recommendations you listed.

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Welcome. I too love tea and am a frequent imbiber of such. I am contemplating making a tea liqueur in the future.

I've contemplated this myself as of late. Would you distill, or make a maceration? What type of tea were you thinking? Perhaps a floral Taiwanese oolong like dong ding or bao jhong might be a good place to begin a vodka maceration. Let me know if you decide to take a shot at it!

As for distilled or macerated, I plan on experimenting with both processes.

The type of tea? I haven't decided as of yet. That's going to be part of the fun.

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Welcome. I too love tea and am a frequent imbiber of such. I am contemplating making a tea liqueur in the future.

I've contemplated this myself as of late. Would you distill, or make a maceration? What type of tea were you thinking? Perhaps a floral Taiwanese oolong like dong ding or bao jhong might be a good place to begin a vodka maceration. Let me know if you decide to take a shot at it!

As for distilled or macerated, I plan on experimenting with both processes.

The type of tea? I haven't decided as of yet. That's going to be part of the fun.

As far as macerations go, I have a small amount of experience. I actually just made one from mint, pineapple weed, petite wormwood, sassafras root, black birch bark, dandelion, red clover, and honeysuckle harvested from my local park in the Bronx. It came out surprisingly well for a first try. I'd have to guess a more oxidized/roasted teas like oolong, black, or puerh might do better than green tea. Green tea might turn out too bitter. But... that's just a guess. Your mileage may vary.

Edited by tingjunkie

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Not sure that question was for me gee13, but if you're talking about the mixture I mentioned above: I harvested all the ingredients in a single morning, put them into a mason jar while still fresh, and filled the jar with 2/3 Devil Springs Vodka (160 proof) and 1/3 Absolut Vodka (80 proof). After screwing the lid down tightly, I shook the jar up, and put it in a dark cupboard to sit for 3 full days. I then strained the liquid through coffee filters and put it into clean bottles for storage. I drink the "elixir" in a similar way to absinthe, except I dilute it with 2 parts water instead of 3-4.

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Ah, now I understand... You'll have to excuse me. Us tea lovers get our panties in a twist when infusions of plants other than camelia sinensis or assamica are referred to as "tea." :) Think of it as if someone referred to Herbsaint as an absinthe. When a plant besides those two camelias are infused in water, it's technically a "tissane." When infused into alcohol, I think it's either a tincture or maceration. Real tea infused into alcohol...? Kind of a grey area perhaps.

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