Need a timer to time tea

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jonetsu
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Need a timer to time tea

Postby jonetsu » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:06 pm

Often I steep some tea and then go back to what I was doing. And then forget about the tea. I need some kind of timer that I could quickly set, say for 30, 60, or 90 seconds and it would flash (not beep !) something clearly visible when done. A one-click type of thing that would launch with a preset time.

Suggestions ?

Cheers.

Basslint
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Location: Italy

Re: Need a timer to time tea

Postby Basslint » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:03 am

If you have libnotify-bin (or what's called in other distros than Debian):

sleep 90s && notify-send -t 0 'Tea timer' 'Tea is ready' -u critical -i java


Replace 90s with your time of choice!

jonetsu
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Re: Need a timer to time tea

Postby jonetsu » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:37 pm

Thanks, that works great !

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GMaq
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Re: Need a timer to time tea

Postby GMaq » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:38 pm

Hi,

Fully expecting a new composition called 'tea-time' or perhaps 'tea-timer'... you have one week... :D :wink:

jonetsu
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Re: Need a timer to time tea

Postby jonetsu » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:10 pm

Tea is very good for creating and mixing music.

It would not be a piece about the tea-timer but rather about tea itself. Dunno, something like "Gu hua xiang cha blues".


tea.jpg
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glowrak guy
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Re: Need a timer to time tea

Postby glowrak guy » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:34 pm

jonetsu wrote:Often I steep some tea and then go back to what I was doing. And then forget about the tea. I need some kind of timer that I could quickly set, say for 30, 60, or 90 seconds and it would flash (not beep !) something clearly visible when done. A one-click type of thing that would launch with a preset time.

Suggestions ?

Cheers.

I decided a while back to slow down a little, and prioritize the
brewing of tea, to defeat my busybody memory lapses leading to bitter tea.
I've gotten in the habit of doing other kitchen chores I might otherwise
put off, while tea is steaping. Also by making 5 cups at a time,
I can enjoy cup 5 while the next brew is underway, as the case may be.

empty/refill ice trays
grate cheese for later
sort potatoes by size for microwave
set up coffee-maker
deal with dishes-cookware-utensils
wipe down sundry surfaces
move recyclables to outside bin etc
Seems to have lowered the stress level,
and the tea is better.
Try a tea blend of 2 bags Earl Gray, and 3 bags of Mint,
but add two large pinches of sweetened shredded bakers coconut
to the water as it heats. It will look hideous as the coconut
oils emerge, but it makes a great hot or iced tea.
Munching the spent coconut is optional, but I do it.
Cheers

jonetsu
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Re: Need a timer to time tea

Postby jonetsu » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:22 pm

glowrak guy wrote: Try a tea blend of 2 bags Earl Gray, and 3 bags of Mint, but add two large pinches of sweetened shredded bakers coconut to the water as it heats. It will look hideous as the coconut oils emerge, but it makes a great hot or iced tea.
Munching the spent coconut is optional, but I do it.


All right. But no. First of all, tea bags. Tea put into tea bags are often, so to speak, what's left on the floor when the processing of good leaves is done. Second, they are blends, blended by highly skill tea tasters I agree, but blended for the consumers to assure a constant representation of the company's product through the years, through the weather changes. Third, tea bags are rather expensive for the taste they are trying to convey. Fourth, these tea bags spend a lot of time in storage shelves at distribution centers then at stores.

So I prefer single-estate leaves obtained from the tea farmers. These rather whole leaves can be brewed quite a few times, and it reflects on the price. Also, single-estate leaves from farmers have the aroma of the land and the trees, of the rain and the sun, they have character. I try to get some every year about 1 or 2 months after the first harvests in mid-February (south China).

I do also drink blended tea leaves but only when fermented teas are concerned, be them pu'erh cakes of various kinds or as in the picture in the previous post, fermented inside a dried-up fruit. Or vegetable such as the ku gua (bitter melon). These teas are collected from farmers then put to rest for some time, and then pressed into cakes to ferment over time. I have some pu'erh teas that are now 10 years old.

As for brewing, I most often brew tea gong fu style. Which means a little gai wan teapot of about 150 to 180 ml, a thermos of hot water, and a cup. Leaves are steeped about 60 seconds the first time, then a bit shorter the second, and a bit longer for subsequent times.

No snob here, just got into teas some time ago and since then no coming back.

gaiwan.jpg
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glowrak guy
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Re: Need a timer to time tea

Postby glowrak guy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:21 am

I expected due to your good taste in music tools, that you would reply
with some good information about teas that were also special. Indeed,
you shared several things to study up on, and look for locally 8)
I usually get Tanza brand citrus/rose and Bigelow Lemon Lift teas that average
around 10 bags for $1, but they are sealed in foil or waxed paper, and go out of
stock too often, so freshness has never been an issue.
Found three real-leaf shops within 7 miles, will check some out
after paying the taxes.
Cheers

jonetsu
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Posts: 1400
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Need a timer to time tea

Postby jonetsu » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:03 pm

glowrak guy wrote:I expected due to your good taste in music tools, that you would reply with some good information about teas that were also special.

And there's more ...

This is one area where an online approach could be best. I do not want to sound like company-placement or product-placement, this is only sharing, I have no financial interest in this at all.

Since 10 years now I get my teas online. From Scott Wilson, an American who went to live in Kunming, Yunnan, China. He got into teas there and to make a story short, started to press his own pu'erh tea cakes, as well as going around to farmers and buying teas. And selling them online. Sure, there's storage of the teas implied, although in the case of fresh teas that do not withstand long storage (green, yellow and purple teas mostly) this is great. It's actually possible to get teas a few weeks after they were harvested by the farmer. And then, all the other types of teas, black, rock oolong, jade oolong, shu and sheng pu'erh ... there are a lot of different teas.

I'm currently having a delicious and fragrant white tea pu'erh. Not the one shown here, this is only for illustrating a pu'erh cake, but close to that:

whiteteapuerh.jpg


The tea is compressed into a 'cake'. This started a long time ago. At one point in time the Chinese got tired of being invaded by 'barbarians' on horses. So they thought about getting into horses themselves and looked to buy some. The Chinese were experts at making tea which the 'barbarians' did not have. So they used tea as money. And there went a caravan of people and mules carrying tea leaves on a great distance, to the 'barbarians' in order to get horses. And then they found that at the arrival the tea leaves were not very nice at all. So they optmiized the process by pressing the tea leaves into 'cakes' to make them easier to sustain the long travel times and still be very usable at the end. And so were born tea 'cakes', from the village of pu'erh and so they got the name of pu'erh tea. And since then the slow fermentation process that's still taking place inside those cakes became very valuable. Pu'erh cakes of high quality today can be worth quite a lot. Nevertheless, no need to aim for the riches as regular good quality teas provide a lot in taste and yield.

There are more details to all this, such as the destruction of a lot of pu'erh cakes during the 'cultural revolution' and the recent discovery of an alternate way to age pu'erh quickly (which gives a different taste and has a special name of being 'cooked' (shu))

And so, in practical terms about $150 USD (including SAL postage from China) gets close to a kilo of fresh tea of various types. A kilo is a lot of tea. Especially when each bunch of leaves can be steeped a lot of times. Scott also has a US distribution site which is neat for Americans, but not so much for other countries in which case ordering from China is best. The US site also doe snot have as much choice.

Of course, at $1 for 10 tea bags, one might wonder how it'd be possible to drink 1500 bags in a year :) It is not the same range but, it's not that much more expensive all things considered. A 'session' of tea drinking might come up to 0.50 in leaves instead of 0.10, but that's for at least 5 small cups.

'Small cups' is another thing. No such thing as a mug of tea. A good amount of tea leaves are used in a small vessel as the one shown above (any ware can do, really) and the steep time is short. No way to be able to do dishes during that time :) It's more like, brew tea for 60 seconds, then do the dishes while sipping tea. This gives a thick tea full of flavour and tea stuff. So pu'erh teas can thus be made to be very strong in 'boost' qualities, same with fresh green teas and others.

Coffee for a boost ? Nah. Tea ! The difference is also in the boost quality. With coffee the mind goes here and there and back again and then way over there: it becomes scattered. With that kind of teas, the boost is focused and lasts longer. No wonder buddhists used tea to concentrate their meditations. Nothing to be compared with tea bag teas sold in stores. And price-wise, nothing to compare with those fancy tea shops like David's tea, Teavana and such which are selling with an incredible profit margin teas that are not so good at all.

https://yunnansourcing.com/

https://yunnansourcing.us/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNNWGS8EmiQ

Cheers.

This reply was written under influence of tea 8)
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