Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 1)


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
599 replies to this topic

#271 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 20 August 2009 - 05:33 PM

Thanks for the info on the Ribena, YP. Comfort tea is comfort tea, isn't it. I certainly drink my share of plain black tea bag iced tea.

Today the Kagoshima Sencha Yutaka Midori from o-cha.com, four infusions in a Banko kyusu from yuuki-cha.com. I find this a pretty flexible fukamushi sencha, with my leaf to water ratio running as low as .5 per ounce of water and still pleasing me. I'll brew it a little heavier next time, though.

#272 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:25 AM

Brewed the Yunnan Imperial from TCC in a Yixing pot dedicated to Chinese red teas. Western style brewing as far as leaf:water ratio goes, and the Yixing produces a tea liquor I like better than when brewed in a glazed western ceramic pot.

So, what tea are you drinking today?



Edited: for clarification.

#273 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 21 August 2009 - 02:26 PM

Brewed the Yunnan Imperial from TCC in a Yixing pot dedicated to Chinese red teas. Western style brewing as far as leaf:water ratio goes, and the Yixing produces a tea liquor I like better than when brewed in a ceramic pot.

So, what tea are you drinking today?

View Post


Also a 2003 Fu Cha Ju Wu Liang Mountain ripe pu-erh, a sample from a cake from Yunnan Sourcing. In a Yixing, Gong Fu Cha style. Curiously I am having a hard time deciding whether or not I like this ripe pu-erh. I have had it twice and there is a pronounced camphor note on the first infusion that I find off-putting. But by the third infusion this is receding a bit and it gains a creamy mouthfeel and more balance. More on this later in the Pu-erh topic after another brewing.

#274 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 22 August 2009 - 11:43 AM

This morning I'm playing with two teas that are not oolongs or pu-erhs.

'First quality silver needle yin zhen' from chado tea and 'Emerald lily ancient tree organic green tea' from Rishi.

I have been smelling the leaves per the instructions in the Harney & Sons guide to Tea, and am surprised by the disconnect between the leaves and the liquor.

I am doing both in gaiwans, and don't have my scale handy yet because I just ordered it last night (getting this one from Amazon--ashtray pocket scale), I can't tell you precisely how much i used, but it was as close as I could visually approximate, with the lighter silver needle tea taking up about 2/3 of the volume of the gaiwan, and the green tea about 1/2 filling it.

Both infused the first time about 2 minutes with 173 degree water. Even at this cool temperature, there was a quite noticeable bitterness about the green tea, although also some lovely floral/fruity flavors, that was nearly absent from the silver needle; and the silver needle was much fruitier and sweeter. After the infusion, the silver needle leaves smelled a bit sharp and bitter, but there was very little of that coming through in a 2nd infusion; the green tea did carry the bitter smell even more into the tea on the 2nd infusion, however.

A 3rd & 4th infusion of the silver needle (with water that had been allowed to cool to about 160 degrees because I was lazy) were both still lovely, with hardly a hint of bitter, although the leaves now have a strong vegetal odor that is not coming out in the liquor.

The 3rd infusion of the green tea, with the same quite cool water, is even more bitter, really almost aggressively unpleasant in the aftertaste, although the first notes are pleasingly fruity, while the odor of the leaves seems similar to the silver needle, but just a lot stronger.

Interesting how the silver needle maintains that sweetness along with the vegetal or grassy notes, without getting bitter, but the green tea bitterness overrides the sweet fruity notes almost immediately.

#275 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 23 August 2009 - 09:47 AM

Today, trying some Bird Pick Royal Dragon's Well Green Tea, from Wing Hop Fung. The leaves are lovely and uniform, with a grassy odor.

Posted Image

Infused a small quantity of leaves with 170 degree water for about 2 minutes, yielding a nice pale green liquor, some astringency but dilute enough to not dominate the flavors; pleasant but not setting off the kind of taste bud fandango that the oolongs and puerhs do, or that the silver needle tea did yesterday. A second infusion, with water having cooled in the pot to 160 degrees, was similar. But at the same time, there is a very nice sweet aftertaste that is still present some 10 minutes or more after drinking it. I will keep working with it from time to time.

I understand the phenomenon of 'tasters' and 'supertasters' as defined by sensitivity to certain bitter chemicals, but never had a chance to take the test myself. I dislike most bitter flavors in general--finding things like coffee and chicory utterly inedible--and wonder if this is at the root of my ambivalence towards most green teas.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank, 23 August 2009 - 10:16 AM.


#276 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:02 PM

I have started a new topic on Chinese Green Tea and copied Wholemeal Crank's two interesting posts above to it.

#277 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:28 PM

Today I brewed a 2009 Spring Lao Ban Zhang Mao Cha - Loose Pu-Erh Tea from norbutea.com. More on this interesting leaf in the Pu-erh Tea topic.

Edited to add: Also had the Assam Paniltola Estate, Whole Leaf from Tea Source earlier in the day.

Edited by Richard Kilgore, 23 August 2009 - 10:11 PM.


#278 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:51 AM

Started the day with the fine Assam Sree Sibari Estate from teasource.com featured in this Tea Tasting Discussion.

How about you?

#279 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 24 August 2009 - 01:07 PM

Started tha day with hot chocolate, but now moved on to a mix of rishi tea peach blosso
mixed about 50:50 with yellow tea fro vital tea leaf in San Francisco, sadly thelast of what I bought from them. Have ordered more, though. They're the only source I've used for yellow tea: although Wing Hop Fung calls several of their teas yellow, that appears to be related to the color of the liquor rather than special processing technique.

#280 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 24 August 2009 - 01:26 PM

Gong fu style brewing of a 2007 Haiwan Lao Cha Tou Brick that I commented on previously in the Pu-erh topic. Really like the leather and wood notes.

#281 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 24 August 2009 - 04:53 PM

I like the scent of a new leather saddle, but it's never made me hungry or think of tea.

Just not a term I would ever have thought to use, although itmight have fit the pu I drank last nite.

#282 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:21 PM

This morning it was a 2003 Mengku * Mengku Gong Ting * Ripe Tea Cake. A little more on this smooth cooked pu-erh in the Pu-erh topic.

#283 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:35 PM

Rishi Ancient Tree Golden Yunnan organic black tea.

Lovely fruity stuff.

Not quite as wonderful as the 'Royal Golden Yunnan Xtra Fancy' I got last year from Chado that finally made me realize 'black tea' was not synonymous with 'english breakfast' type teas that I couldn't stand, but delightful nonetheless.

#284 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:52 PM

Started the day with a MF Assam Napuk from The Cultured Cup.

Then the Diamond Grade Tie Guan Yin Oolong, Spring Harvest 2009 from norbutea.com. A lovely TGY. More on this tea in the Oolong topic.

#285 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:20 AM

Started the day with a MF Russian Breakfast Tea from TCC, a Sri Lanka black with a little bergamont...with milk, both of which are unusual for me. Good for what it is, but just not my cup of tea.

#286 Yajna Patni

Yajna Patni
  • participating member
  • 310 posts

Posted 27 August 2009 - 05:16 PM

I am in tea heaven right now, having received a fantastic gift of a box of all kinds of different teas. I will probably be up till 3 am tonight because i am drinking tea right now.

For breakfast this morning i opened up the Kalami Gulabi, i had seen this box at my friends house, and is Chaldean, from Baghdad and LA. She says her grandmother makes this tea. She boils it Indian style with cardamom and sugar. I just made it in a pot with boiling water. It was the perfect breakfast tea for me. Whole leaf, and Assam i would guess. Strong, "tea" flavored, with out the kind of nasty back taste of boiled sock that sometimes afflicts the cheap bag tea i.e. PG tips.

It struck me that due to its strong flavor it would be excellent to blend with other teas. So this evening I mixed it with another tea from the box! This one has the most fantastic packaging. Kusmi teas, Prince Wladimir. It says it is flavored with spices and citrus and vanilla. To me it smelled of clove vanilla and orange. Like a kind of warm Earl Grey. I mixed this half and half with the Gulabi tea. Delicious, mildly spicy, like a warm Earl Grey.

PS... I expected the kalami gulabi to be rose flavored. Gulab is hindi for rose. I don't read Urdu or Arabic, so i have no clue what the rest of the box said... any one know if gulabi means something in Arabic?

#287 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:04 PM

Very interesting, YP. Any photos of these teas?

#288 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,489 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:32 PM

The description of the Kusmi tea is here.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#289 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 28 August 2009 - 09:02 AM

Yesterday I brewed a raw pu-erh, a 2008 Hai Lan Hao Lao Ban Zhang & Man 'E Cake sample from Yunnan Sourcing. Yikes! So bitter! Curiously puzzling, I found it interesting - in a good way - the first time I brewed it. I'll post more on this in the Pu-erh topic soon.

#290 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 28 August 2009 - 08:45 PM

FInished the last of some orchid oolong today....and now, am drinking some of my traditionally dark roasted ti kuan yin.

So amazing that such variety is coaxed from a single plant.

And looking forward to tomorrow and sunday, when I will be trying out my new scale with many new teas from recent orders including oolongs, puerhs, white teas, and keemun black tea, to see if the much-discussed chocolate notes resemble actual chocolate in any way.

#291 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 29 August 2009 - 07:42 AM

FInished the last of some orchid oolong today....and now, am drinking some of my traditionally dark roasted ti kuan yin.

So amazing that such variety is coaxed from a single plant.

And looking forward to tomorrow and sunday, when I will be trying out my new scale with many new teas from recent orders including oolongs, puerhs, white teas, and keemun black tea, to see if the much-discussed chocolate notes resemble actual chocolate in any way.

View Post


Sounds like a fun tea weekend!


This morning I am starting off with one of my favorite Chinese red teas - the Dian Hong Imperial from norbutea.com. Brewed western style in a Yixing teapot.

#292 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:47 AM

After yesterday's pu-erh tastings, I wanted to go simpler today, and I'm going to be on the road a bit, so brewed up a pint of yellow tea from vitaltleaf.com (5 grams of tea in the 200mL glass pot, infused a total of three times for 1 1/2-2 minutes each..

I was trying to restock a lovely tea I bought someplace that looked almost like a black tea with a lot of golden tips, but was a few shades lighter, scented strongly of fruit, and made delicate, mildly fruity infusions. I thought I bought it at their shop in San Francisco on a trip there last year. This brewing came out a bit darker, a touch smoky, and not sure if it was a difference in the brewing or a different batch of the tea--or if I was confused and the yellow tea was from a different source originally.

Also trying a pint batch of 'champagne ti kwan yin' S-329 from chadotea.com, a very light green leaf, 5 grams in the 180 mL yixing pot, several infusions of about a minute. First sips are very nice, and it deserves a head-to-head with the diamond grade ti kuan yin from norbutea.com soon. Maybe next week.

But today, brewing quicker & in bulk for the roadtrip.

And that Dian Hong Imperial sounds marvelous. A close cousin to the golden yunnans I've been loving.

#293 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:41 AM

Yesterday did two gong fu cha brewings of pu-erh teas from Yunnan Sourcing. First a 2005 Yong Pin Hao Stone Pressed Yi Wu Mountain tea cake (sheng, raw) and then a 2003 CNNP Yellow Mark Ripe tea cake. More on these two in the Pu-erh Tea topic.

Also brewed a very fine Kagoshima Sencha Yutaka Midori from O-Cha.com. More on this later in the Japanese Green Tea topic.

How about all of you? What tea have you been drinking?

#294 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 31 August 2009 - 08:49 PM

This morning enjoyed the Assam Sree Sibari Estate from TeaSource.com featured in a recent Tea Tasting & Discussion.

This evening, unwinding with an Organic Kumamoto Yabe Hojicha from kuuki-cha.com that was included as a complimentary gift with a futanashi kyusu, an open Japanese teapot (no, I am not kidding - lidless).

So, what are tea are you drinking today?

#295 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 01 September 2009 - 09:03 AM

Started off the day with the last of my a Mariage Frères Ceylon Pettiagala from The Cultured Cup. Hot. But I have made it as iced tea and it is a smooth one that some use as a base for flavoring.

#296 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 01 September 2009 - 08:21 PM

Yesterday I started with a a piece of my Palace Seven Sons Puerh Cake from Nannuo Mountain Plantation in Yunnan, brewed to yield a quart and a half of tea, more impressed as I drank my way to the end of all that by the smoothness and sweetness of this tea.

Then last evening, a pot of Pouchong from Ten Ren, a delightful tea despite being only 'third grade'.

Today, had a less than perfect brewing of some Rishi Golden Yunnan black tea, which just was a little off from what I was hoping for today--a little black tea bitterness crept through despite some care in the brewing.

And this evening, to make up for that, some Diamond Grade Tie Guan Yin from Norbu tea, which makes an interesting pair with the Pouchong. It has more in common with that than with the dark roast Ti Kuan Yin I grew up drinking. But it is a silkier, smoother, sweeter tea, with richer body than the Pouchong 3rd grade. Need to reserve some of this Tie Guan Yin from Norbu and compare it to a top-quality Pouchong for a more interesting brew-off.

#297 Yajna Patni

Yajna Patni
  • participating member
  • 310 posts

Posted 02 September 2009 - 06:51 AM

Earl grey.. from my tea parcel! a really good one. half one that came in a bag that says two for the price of one, and half the gulabi tea. strong bergamot and strong tea.

#298 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:42 AM

This morning it is the Assam Panitola Estate, Whole Leaf from Tea Source. It seems particularly good today.

#299 Wholemeal Crank

Wholemeal Crank
  • participating member
  • 1,653 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:19 PM

Today, the first thermos-full for a long meeting was the Alishan mountain oolong from norbutea. The only problem with this and the diamond tie guan yin I made yesterday is that they are so delicious they encourage excess rates of consumption, which can have slighty uncomfortable consequences when the meeting is a long one.....

And then, a bulk brewing of the 2007 norbu white buds sheng pu erh from yunnan, which was entirely tolerant of this treatment, remaining a little sweet, earthy, and deliciously smoky.

#300 Richard Kilgore

Richard Kilgore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,378 posts
  • Location:home, home on the range....

Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:47 PM

Today I have also been trying to make friends with gyokuro. I have not brewed it before and the good stuff is rather spendy, so I picked up a tiny amount at Central Market. My guess is that it is maybe average quality, though over-priced. But this way I can try to figure out how to brew gyokuro without too high an absolute cost. More on this at some point in the Japanese Green Tea topic. For now, vegetal-grassy, not particularly sweet, a little astringent and I am certainly not finding its sweet spot, if it has one. If I can get this to work for me I'll consider the better quality versions later. Well, if I can't get this one to work for me, I'll also have to consider a better one.