FrugaliTEA Experiment: Expensive Tea vs. Cheap Tea. Fight!


I was feeling down for a couple of weeks. I couldn't put my finger on it until I prepared some Earl Grey tea. After the tea, my depression instantly lifted. Revitalized, I cleaned the whole house, then crafted nonstop. My depression was Tea Withdrawal! A real disease for the tea obsessed.

I love tea so much that I think I'm more excited about serving quality tea at my Thrift Core Shop than anything else! I refilled my tea stock yesterday when I realized Teavana restocked Genmaicha. A staple "poor man's tea." I figured it was the type of tea no one could "get wrong." The brown bits you see are pieces of toasted brown rice and the white bits are popped rice; genmaicha is nutty, brothy, light-bodied tea. So delicious in fall, or anytime!

The Taste Test: Using the same amount of tea and water, I brewed my tea. At first, they tasted identical. After a few more tastings I determined I like the cheap tea a little bit better. As you can see, you get way more tea for your money with the economical tea. If you're a genmaicha fan, get the cheap stuff!

Ah, warm tea with my friends gathered as we craft up a storm for the holidays. Sounds like heaven! What's your favorite cold weather warm treat? What's your favorite tea?
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23 comments:

  1. Oooh! I love tea too! One of our favorite cheapy store bought tea is the Good Earth original Sweet & Spicy. It's Cinnamon & Orange spice. Sweet with no sugar.
    Our other go to is Japanese Sencha Green Tea. We like the Teavana brand of that one, but tend to try new ones from the Asian markets so I have no idea what the actual brand is since I can't read Japanese.
    Thanks for the taste test...I'll have to give the Genmaicha a try :-)
    Cheers ~ Lara

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  2. Lara: I like to try a little of everything, too. You'd like Genmaicha because it's sencha thinned out with brown rice. ;)

    The teas you've tried sound delicious, yum...

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  3. Fenn: I want to experiment and make some of that for fall crafting parties. Yum, fall treats...

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  4. I have to say a really good hot cocoa is my favorite way to warm up. As to my favorite tea - definitely Irish Breakfast Tea. Your findings are quite interesting, though. They are something to keep in mind the next time I buy tea.

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  5. You've solved a mental health crisis!

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  6. Natalie: Yum, I love Irish Breakfast tea. I'm going to try mine with fresh spearmint and see how it turns out soon...

    Megan: Good old fashioned substance abuse improves one's mood :D

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  7. Nice experiment! I do enjoy a hot cup of tea. And I'm a total sucker for Teavana's Samurai Chai and Snow Geisha blends. But I cannot get over the prices. $20 for 1/4 pound? Yikes!

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  8. Jackie: I know, right? I'm on the hunt for cheaper suppliers. If anyone has any suppliers of quality tea to share, please don't hold back!

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  9. I'm a coffee drinker, but I do make a nice chai tea from Breitenbush's Cookbook I (a hot springs spa in the Cascades in Oregon)

    7 c boiling water
    4 cinnamon sticks
    2 Tbs fresh ginger grated (I chop it finely)
    1 whole nutmeg, chopped
    1 tsp whole cloves
    1/2 tsp black peppercorn
    3/4 tsp coriander seed
    1 tsp anise
    1 tsp allspice
    1/4 c black tea (I've used Darjeeling, English Breakfast, Earl Grey I buy bulk at Shop 'N Kart)
    3 c milk or soy milk
    honey to taste (I've also used agava)

    Simmer spices in boiling water for 15 mins. Add black tea and steep for not more than 3 minutes. Steeping more than 3 min. release tannin in tea and it can be bitter. Have your strainer ready and strain out the tea and spices with care and timeliness. Add the milk and honey (gently warmed together before adding)to tea.
    Makes about 2 quarts

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  10. Victoria: Heck yes, thank you for sharing that! Definitely going to have to try it, sounds spicy and delicious.

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  11. Haha, great post!
    And you have the most amazing mug:)

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  12. so where are they made/grown/produced--I'd spend 12 bucks to know my food source was organic and grown w/o slave labor

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  13. frugalitea (snort) :P

    cheap almost always win! (all else being equal!)

    mmmm tea.

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  14. and i realize how fragmented that last comment sounded. lol

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  15. Blue Eyed Night Owl: I looove collecting tea supplies like a true nerd.

    Laura: Very good point, I'll have to look that up...

    Ana: Both comments made me laugh, tee-hee :D

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  16. Van - love the tea comparison posting! I think you just inspired me to go grab a nice hot cup of tea... ;)

    -pamela
    mybooth96.blogspot.com

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  18. Mmmm, delicious tea! Nothing beats a good cup. We have a great tea shop in Toronto that sells incredible blends like Toasty Almond (chunks of nuts, fruit, vanilla, etc) and Earl Grey Rooibos - so good! I think you're onto something great having yummy teas in your shop, as they're hard to come by.

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  19. Earl Grey Rooibos sounds incredible! You're right, good tea is hard to come by, so I've definitely got to have a supply for sale at the shop :)

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  20. Try padutchteaspicecompany.com! Dozens of tea flavors for awesome prices. I used to work there!

    katelyncarter.com

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  21. Let me educate you a little about tea.... I'm asian so I know what it means for having good tea... It doesn't have to do with the price or the taste...Good quality tea, are loose leaf teas...but not just any loose leaf tea either... Now the ones from Japan/China and other countries...have the freshest loose leaf teas.... Don't ever buy loose leaf teas here from USA because they're not fresh, they probably jack up the price and they're not potent either. Also.. tea bags are the worst quality you can get... they're not fresh... So if you're getting the same type of tea from the USA and from Japan..it's not the price that matters..it's how fresh the loose tea leafs are... the more fresh..the more expensive...Now Teavana...I hate to say it...but they're not fresh loose tea leafs... the quality is the same as tea bags and they jack up the price...You can go to chinatown, if there is one near you, and buy the same amount of tea and the same type for more than half of the price difference..and guess what? It's also more fresh... They sell teas in chinatown...which is WAYYY cheaper..but also...china, japan and other countries is where good tea comes from...you can also get loose leaf tea quality, FRESH, fresh and given right to you, but that, is more expensive, a lot more expensive and the only way to get that is if you know someone who can get them and give it to you. Teavana teas are way overpriced and not even fresh... you can order tea online also ... www.theteaspot.com is one site.... and they're way more fresh and better quality than Teavana. most people are not educated about tea...that's ok... Like in your other post where you compare the tea from USA and the tea from Japan...of course Japan.... no matter the price... fresh tea also comes from Japan...never USA.....

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  22. Let me educate you a little about tea.... I'm asian so I know what it means for having good tea... It doesn't have to do with the price or the taste...Good quality tea, are loose leaf teas...but not just any loose leaf tea either... Now the ones from Japan/China and other countries...have the freshest loose leaf teas.... Don't ever buy loose leaf teas here from USA because they're not fresh, they probably jack up the price and they're not potent either. Also.. tea bags are the worst quality you can get... they're not fresh... So if you're getting the same type of tea from the USA and from Japan..it's not the price that matters..it's how fresh the loose tea leafs are... the more fresh..the more expensive...Now Teavana...I hate to say it...but they're not fresh loose tea leafs... the quality is the same as tea bags and they jack up the price...You can go to chinatown, if there is one near you, and buy the same amount of tea and the same type for more than half of the price difference..and guess what? It's also more fresh... They sell teas in chinatown...which is WAYYY cheaper..but also...china, japan and other countries is where good tea comes from...you can also get loose leaf tea quality, FRESH, fresh and given right to you, but that, is more expensive, a lot more expensive and the only way to get that is if you know someone who can get them and give it to you. Teavana teas are way overpriced and not even fresh... you can order tea online also ... www.theteaspot.com is one site.... and they're way more fresh and better quality than Teavana. most people are not educated about tea...that's ok... Like in your other post where you compare the tea from USA and the tea from Japan...of course Japan.... no matter the price... fresh tea also comes from Japan...never USA.....

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