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What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 1)


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#511 velveeta

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 01:25 PM

I just explored the Ginseng Oolong for the first time. The ginseng was very elusive to me. I added some honey to the last half of the cup. It seemed to overwhelm the other flavors and in particular the nice aroma.

Next brewing will be drank all plain without the honey.

#512 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 01:39 PM

Ceylon Lumbini Estate from Tea Source this morning. In a little while I'll also try brewing the Great Red Robe wet leaf leftover from yesterday.

#513 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 01:53 PM

I have a ginseng oolong from Vitaltleaf.com called 'blue people' with rolled balls of tea that look a bit blue, I presume from the ginseng powder. I find it a nice oolong, mild, sweet, but not one that I crave the way I do the tie Guan Yin or the Big Red Robe.

Today starting with the Alishan High Mountain Oolong from norbutea, subject of a recent tasting, a very bright green and floral oolong. I was craving Big Red Robe Wuyi today, but am out of it here at the office. Sigh.

#514 velveeta

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 02:53 PM

Second brewing of the Ginseng Oolong. I enjoyed it better than the first brewing. The nuggets are unfurling and leaving some traces in the tea. It almost seems to have better legs now.

The ginseng element is still escaping me.

#515 Yajna Patni

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 05:25 PM

Andisenji, you are a trooper. my pre mammogram beverage belongs on the spirits and cocktails thread.

#516 andiesenji

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 06:36 PM

Andisenji, you are a trooper. my pre mammogram beverage belongs on the spirits and cocktails thread.


Unfortunately I am allergic to raw alcohol, although I can use it if cooked long enough so I must stick to tea.
I brewed a pot of Adagio's Oriental Spice http://www.adagio.co...2cc62f8ad4787b0 which produces a very pleasant tea for evening sipping.
It is different from many spiced teas in that it does not include cloves, which tend to overwhelm some teas.
Drinking this with half & half and sweetened with honey crystals purchased from Prepared Pantry (33 oz only $9.69 - it's about 6 cups and I use it a lot in baking)

Fortunately for me, caffeine does not affect me in the least. I can drink copious amounts of tea and sleep with no problems.
"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
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#517 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 08:22 PM

The ginseng element is still escaping me.


I didn't notice much that I could define as ginseng, but I have no idea what ginseng tastes like. There is a nice sweetness that I was assuming is the coating, powdered ginseng plus whatever that they're using to mix with the base oolong tea. Don't know if the sweet is the ginseng or some sugar to cover up a less attractive ginseng flavor. Can anyone else here describe what ginseng should taste like?


And not sure if it was the brewing conditions (in a hurry, a bit chaotic) or the tea, but the Alishan Oolong today was an interesting contrast to the Diamond Tie Guan Yin I've been drinking so much of: a bit less sweet, and more of a deeper flavor that I'm having trouble characterizing--not earthy, not haylike or vegetal, more like umami + caramel, maybe? At any rate, although I am still craving the Big Red Robe roasted notes, it was interesting that this was a little closer to that than the Tie Guan Yin was.

#518 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:14 PM

WmC, which Alishan Oolong is that, one of the 2009 Spring harvest teas, or the Autumn, or the 2008 mid-roasted?

#519 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:23 PM

This morning I had the Nilgiri Glendale Estate Handmade from Tea Source. This is the one featured in one of the previous Tea Tasting & Discussions. A great tea.Now drinking a Da Hong Pao (Great Red Robe) from The Cultured Cup. I have had this wonderful, but expensive, tea for a few years and have been parceling it out slowly. It has always been one of my favorite Oolongs. And today I am brewing it in a new-to-me Yixing made in the 1970s, and this is the best this fine tea has ever brewed. Amazing what a diffence a clay can make. I'll post more about this in both the Yixing topic and the Oolong topic once I have played with the pot a bit.


Ceylon Lumbini Estate from Tea Source this morning. In a little while I'll also try brewing the Great Red Robe wet leaf leftover from yesterday.


I have continued to drink this wonderful Wuyi Da Hong Pao Oolong today. The older Yixing clay has even more of an effect than I thought it would. And the tea has legs - nine infusions (plus the initial 20 second rinse and another before brewing today) and it has a long way to go.

#520 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:55 PM

Queen Victoria Darjeeling from TCC this morning, followed by a couple more infusions of the Da Hong Pao I started two days ago. And now I am enjoying an Organic Kumamoto Sencha Yabe Supreme from Yuuki-cha.com. A good day for tea!


So what teas are you all drinking today?

#521 LuckyGirl

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:07 PM

I spent yesterday with the 2009 Spring Norbu - Lao Mansa Sheng Pu-Erh Tea from the tasting. I used the leaves that I had started the previous day and they took me through the whole of yesterday. I lost track of the number of infusions, maybe 8 or 9, and was up to 6 minutes. I felt like it could have gone even further but I switched to chrysanthemum for the evening and didn't choose to keep the leaves over a second night.

Today I am drinking Ten Ren's, Scarlet Robe Oolong. It is a nice robust cup of tea.

#522 andiesenji

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:11 PM

I had coffee to start the day but just brewed a pot of Assam from Banaspaty tea estate, FTGFOP1 Organic tea.
I like it with milk and honey crystals - it has an assertive quality but is low in tannin.
From Upton Tea Imports.
"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
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#523 velveeta

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 03:03 PM

I am comparing black teas: Darjeeling and Ceylon

So far, Darjeeling is the winner.

#524 andiesenji

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 06:52 PM

I brewed a second pot of tea from the Banaspaty Assam wet leaves, brewing it at 195° F for 8 minutes (in my TeaMate) and this brew is even better than the first brewing.
It has an extremely long finish with absolutely no trace of bitterness.

Edited by andiesenji, 11 November 2009 - 06:52 PM.

"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

#525 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:36 PM

Supreme Wuyi Big Red Robe from Wing Hop Fung, just right for the day, with that delicately sweet finish to the warm roastiness. Mmmm.

#526 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:42 AM

2007 White Bud Sheng Puerh from norbutea.com.

Just amazing that the same plant can produce the variety of lovely stuff I've been drinking this week--the Big Red Robe, the AliShan High Mountain oolong, Japanese sencha and gyokuro, this and the Lao Mansa puerhs, and a basic green jasmine.

#527 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 02:33 PM

Yesterday in the morning it was the Ceylon tea I currently like best, a Vithanakanda Estate, Extra Special from Teasource.com.

I also attended a Tea Pairing Lunch yesterday at the York Street Restaurant in Dallas. Chef-owner Sharon Hage, a five time James Beard nominee, worked with Kyle Stewart from The Cultured Cup to select the teas. Here's a link to the report on the five course pairing in the York Street topic. So another five fine teas for my day. And an herbal, chamomile, in the evening.

#528 andiesenji

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 05:24 PM

No tea yesterday but I made up for it today.

First thing this morning I brewed a pot of Mangalam Assam full-leaf. It has the malty flavor so pronounced in Assam teas and is rather sweet. I brewed it in the TeaMate - water was 195° F., first steeping was for 3 minutes. Subsequently I brewed a second pot -same temp, for 8 minutes.

I added milk and half a teaspoon of raw sugar to each cup.
all of this tea consumed by noon.


At three I delved through my "collection" of teas (56 as best I could count) and chose Tea of Good Tidings, yet another flavored tea from The Republic of Tea.
This one used to be a seasonal tea but is now available year-round.
It includes: Finest black tea leaves, juniper berries, natural flavors, orange peel, cranberries, cloves, rose petals, almonds, vanilla, black currants, blackberry leaves and cardamom seeds.

Brewed in the TeaMate for 3 minutes, the aroma and taste of this tea simply reflects the season. The fruits and spices can be sensed but do not overpower the flavor of the tea.
Enjoyed with milk and honey crystals.
"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

#529 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:45 PM

Today, Pouchong from TenRen. When I finish this batch (I bought several ounces, so it will take a while), I will try their top grade Pouchong for comparison.

#530 LuckyGirl

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:25 PM

Today I tried 2 of the pu erhs I recently ordered from Norbu tea.

One was strange, strong and smelled like fish (for real). I took the tea to my husband and asked him what he thought it smelled like and he too said "fish". I drank it and while it didn't taste like fish it was a strong, deeply earthy (like bowels of the earth) brew. This was the lao cha tou. I drank two infusions of it.

This afternoon was 2006 Feng Hua, Qi Cha. Love, love, love it.

#531 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:29 PM

Any chance of some more details in the puerh topic?

#532 LuckyGirl

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:34 PM

Any chance of some more details in the puerh topic?


Yep! I will in the next few days. Long day today getting ready for a HUGE garage/tag sale. Very tired. Just checked in for a quick post and to see what everyone else was drinking.

BTW, I sampled Ten Ren's Super Fine and First Grade Pouchong. I really liked the First Grade.

#533 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 09:23 PM

Ending the work evening with some gyokuro. Have some questions about this vs the sencha--will take those over to the japanese green tea topic.

#534 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 11:40 PM

Started the day enjoying a Mariage Freres Assam Napuk from The Cultured Cup. Then later brewed The last of a package of a 2003 Anxi Aged TGY Oolong from jingteashop.com. Brewed gongfu style in a Yixing made of 70s-80s clay for 11 infusions before I got tired of it. This is a honey-rich aged TGY with stone fruit over the roasted flavor. Absolutely delicious.

#535 andiesenji

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:23 AM

This morning I have brewed a pot of Murroughs Welsh Brew (Welsh hwyl) loose tea (sent to me from England because it is practically impossible to find here - although the tea bags are available.)

The tin states "Welsh Brew is a blend of fine quality African and Indian teas selected to compliment Welsh waters. A tea yielding that traditional colour and flavour relished by true tea drinkers."

It is, in a word, a Hearty! tea. I brewed 8 cups in the TeaMate, using half the amount I would ordinarily use because this is a CTC tea and that amount was more than enough.
This is a very assertive tea. It doesn't exactly leap out of the cup and slap me awake, but it certainly gives one notice that it is real TEA!
I added honey crystals and milk, more milk than I usually use but this tea can stand up to it.
"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

#536 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:05 PM

Started the day with the sencha experiment (discussed in the japanese green tea topic), and then as I was cleaning up, the postman knocked with my box from norbutea. So....had to set up the teapot again and taste the 2009 Late Summer Ya Bao - Wild White Camellia Varietal Tea. As I'm brewing it, it is sweet, vegetal, grassy, piney, floral--but all of these quite subtle. Quite a contrast to the refined sencha!

I'm also looking forward to making a comparison between the spring, summer, and fall Alishan High Mountain Oolongs. Should be a nice chance to educate my palate about the differences between the seasons in the same tea.

#537 LuckyGirl

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:28 PM

I'm also looking forward to making a comparison between the spring, summer, and fall Alishan High Mountain Oolongs. Should be a nice chance to educate my palate about the differences between the seasons in the same tea.


I have all three of them too and am looking forward to trying/comparing them and also to reading your tasting notes.

Today I again grooved on the 2006 Feng Hua, Qi Cha from Norbu.

Tonight I am drinking chrysanthemum tea.

#538 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:54 PM

Started the day with a red(black) tea from jingteashop.com, an Anhui Gift Grade Gongfu Keemun. I'll brew this again tomorrow and say more about it.

Then enjoyed the Fall 2009 Alishan High Mountain Oolong that Greg gave me as a free sample recently when we were trading teas. Finally got around to brewing it and posted more in the Oolong topic.

#539 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 05:03 PM

After yesterday's Ali Shan oolong-fest, today started with a comparison of Dragon Well and Yunnan Mao Feng green teas; then a first try of a new shu puerh; and now gyokuro again.

#540 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 07:03 PM

Brewed the same Keemun from yesterday this morning. An elegaant Keeman. I think I'll brew it gong fu cha tomorrow and then post more in the Unflavored Black Tea topic.

Next tried an Alishan High Mountain Beauty - Summer 2009 from Norbutea.com. Brewed it a little too hot (195 F) for the leaf the first five infusions and then cut back to 185 F on the 6th and it was much, much improved. So I'll brew it again soon and report on that in the Oolong topic.

Now I'm drinking the delicious Sencha Yabe Supreme from yuuki-cha. Brewed it in an older Hagi houhin, but drank it split between two types of cups to check for cup effects, and I'll post about that in the Japanese Green Tea topic.