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 3)


  • Please log in to reply
423 replies to this topic

#181 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:13 PM

Honyama sencha start, Jing tea shop autumn TGY, and a wonderful final session with 2006 Yong De Hand Braided Wild Arbor Pu Erh Tea today from Norbu. This was the end of the sample I got, and to drink more of this lovely stuff, I will have to start breaking up the beautiful beeng. I will need to take some good photos before I start that, but it is so delicious that it will not survive long as simply beeng art. Sweet, caramel, anise, gentle earthy sweet humus, mmmm.

#182 Richard Kilgore

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

Posted 02 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

Castleton Estate and Nilgiri handmade - both from Tea Source, as well as Norbu Tea's Yi Mei Ren Wuliang for morning black teas the past few days. More of the Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou and the Kanayamidori Sencha - both from Dan at yuuki-cha. Finally have the brewing of the Kanayamidori down, so I'll post a note on this delicious tea in the Japanese Green Tea forum. As I write, starting a session with the Essence of Tea 2010 Man Sai raw puerh, one of three green puerhs featured in the currently ongoing Tea Tasting & Discussion.

Two more gyokuro in from yuuki-cha this week, so I'll open one as soon as the Gokou package is down a little further.

Alert! A new Tea Tasting & Discussion will start sometime tonight. Check it out if you think you may want to participate and receive free teas.

#183 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:40 PM

Today started with Honyama sencha, mmmm, nice series of infusions. Then on to the serious abuse of good tea:

2008 Yi Wu Bamboo aged sheng from Norbu--a lovely tea put through a tea torture test: Fill kettle with water. Pour some (cold) over chunk of tea in kamjove. Let sit a few seconds, pour off rinse water. Add more water, now slightly warm. Let sit while doing things in another room for 45 minutes. Return, pour off first cold infusion into thermos, add boiling water, leave for a 1 hour meeting. Return, pour off the long steep into the thermos, and pour hot water through the leaves several times while tossing papers together for afternoon clinic on another floor. Thermos filled with water, all of which has touched the leaves, at least. How can it possibly be good? And it is!

Gotta love this stuff.

#184 Will

Will
  • participating member
  • 460 posts

Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:56 PM

Still going through my current surplus of samples from 4-5 different tea friends.

Today was an aged (1990s) and supposedly organically grown Tieguanyin from a HK shop (not sure which one). Smooth, though with a tiny bite that I didn't expect. It seems like it hasn't been re-roasted much, if at all; the original processing was traditional, but not heavy fire.

Yesterday, a sample of a Menghai cake (not sure if it's 8582 or a custom production of Henry Trading Co), about 10 years old. This was interesting. Very smooth - even though the storage tastes pretty clean, it's very easy to drink for such a relatively young puer.

Also a Muzha (area near Taibei) Tieguanyin. While I am usually not blown away by Muzha TGY, this one was nice, if a bit confusing.

#185 Richard Kilgore

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

Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:57 PM

Amazing! A new sheng brewing technique! Serendipity. :wink:

Today a modest attempt at brewing in somewhat more traditional ways. Jamirah Estate Assam (TCC) in the morning in a Brown Betty and 2010 Fall Harvest Lao Tai Di Qing Xin Oolong - Old Plantation (Norbu)in a 110ml Yixing. Both very fine teas.

#186 Richard Kilgore

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

Posted 04 March 2011 - 10:05 PM

Today saw continued brewing of the 2010 Fall Harvest Lao Tai Di Qing Xin Oolong - Old Plantation (Norbu) that I started yesterday. The Yixing, purchased a few years ago from Scott at yunnansourcing.com, produced the best infusions I have brewed of this tea, compared to using a gaiwan. This is a delicious tea anyway, but, the clay does make a difference.

Also brewed the Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou (yuuki-cha) again, this time using a small, flat Tokaname kyusu instead of a Banko houbin. This pleased me even more than the Banko did, which produced a nice cup of gyokuro. This is interesting because my preferred clay is usually Banko, which produces a smoother infusion. May be that I am simply learning better to brew this tea, but I don't thinks so. More on this after a few more sessions.

BTW, a new TT&D featuring free samples of three interesting Japanese teas was recently posted, and the Sheng Puerh TT&D continues.

What teas are you all drinking this weekend in your part of the world?

#187 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 05 March 2011 - 08:36 PM

Yesterday was a limited tea day: only one tea all day, the 2007 white bud sheng puerh from Norbu, first a thermos full, then more infusions from the leaves through the evening.

Today, a more varied group of teas: finished my Honyama sencha this morning--not going to make it to shincha on my one packet of sencha from Norbu remaining; then a much better session with a Yuuki-cha oolong midday, got the temp and proportions right for some good gongfu infusions; then finished with Norbu Diamond TGY, always so nice, brewed in a new gaiwan

Posted Image

and drunk from a new teacup, both from Shawn McGuire of GreenwoodStudios (on Etsy):

Posted Image

Edited by Wholemeal Crank, 05 March 2011 - 08:37 PM.


#188 AllanSantos

AllanSantos
  • participating member
  • 32 posts
  • Location:Cleveland, Oh

Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:31 PM

What a pleasure it must be to use that teaware!

Love this charcoal roasted tung ting I got from Red Blossom. I also got some dragonwell from there and have been playing around with the brewing searching for that awesome cup.

#189 cdh

cdh
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,231 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia area

Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:04 PM

This rainy day inspired me to break out some black teas, and one worth a mention is the Keemun Special Grade I got from the Specialteas clearance sale. Smoky aroma when the bag is opened, with cocoa notes. Brewed with water fresh off the boil, it has a lovely rich body and carries through with a solid malty flavor with hints of smoke and cocoa. A really lovely Keemun! Perfect for a rainy afternoon.
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

----- De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

#190 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 08 March 2011 - 05:22 PM

The new teaware feels very nice in the hand, good size, weight, and is pleasing to the lip when sipping, and the cup complements the coarser Hagi-ware I have quite nicely.

Today, however, all tea so far at work, so no new teaware here. Drinking some Bai Hong green tea from Yunnan, the last of some I ordered from Yunnan sourcing (nearly a year ago, I think), a little overdone because I decided to empty the last bits from the bag, and ended up with tea that needed dilution. Then on to Anxi TGY, this time the fall tea from Jing Tea Shop. Mmm....spring, fall, I love this tea.

#191 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:50 PM

Several days, no tea reports.

I've been working a satellite office, where the day starts too early to get in the morning sencha. Have has a little of almost every other kind of team, and looking back, nearly all were from Norbu--thermos-full brewings of Haiwan "Peacock Quest" shu pu from Norbu, some Yunnan Mao Feng, Diamond TGY, winter 2009 dark roasted TGY from Taiwan, and a wonderful series of infusions from some summer 2009 "high mountain beauty" alishan oolong; a good evening with ManMai young sheng puerh from Essence of Tea (featured in our recent TT&D here); and today, finished off the dark roast 2009 TGY, then went green with the 2010 Spring Wu Liang Mtn - Xue Dian Mei Lan.

I've definitely gotten better at getting what I want from my teas, even when, as was the case this morning, I realized I had managed to separate myself from all tea brewing vessels, and had to make do, preparing a thermos full of TGY for my drive using a nalgene water bottle. But so very nice to come back home to my cute new gaiwan, that is so exactly right for my preferred small-scale gongfu cha.

#192 Richard Kilgore

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

Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:00 PM

Beautiful new tea ware, WC.
.
cdh - I very much enjoy Keemuns and have heard good things about Special Teas. I'll have to try them sometime.

I have been enjoying gyokuro from yuuki-cha.com the past few days. Have a few brewings left of the Organic Uji Gypkuro Gokou, but went ahead and opened a packet of Organic Honyama Gyokuro Kin-un today. As I was sipping the second infusion I got an email from Dan at Yuuki-Cha, who said that the office was all shook up (him too), but that all the beautiful ceramic Japanese tea bowls and teapots, as well as the tea facilties, came though unscathed. He had just recently bolted all the ceramic shelving together and then chained it to the wall! I am looking forward to playing with this new gyokuro and another as yet unopened one. More on these later in the Japanese Green Tea topic.

#193 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 14 March 2011 - 06:53 PM

Today has been a day of variable success with tea. Much as the overall quality of my brewed tea has improved, there are still times like today when I think I've got it and blow it, even with a very tolerant and mellow tea--Bai Yun Yunnan Oolong, which is a favorite in part because it generally is so hard to screw up.

It started very well, with some Ya Bao wild camellia buds and flowers, and is ending well with some Hankook Korean Hwang Cha, which I keep infusing over an over. It's pretty much at the 'sweet water' stage, but this is a tea that keeps up the sweet taste in a pleasant way, so I'll keep going a while longer.

And when this one runs out of sweet, I'll try another infusion of the Bai Yun, to see if the packed leaves in the Kamjove have some more flavor left. I'm betting they do, and with a little more attention it will be very good again.

#194 AllanSantos

AllanSantos
  • participating member
  • 32 posts
  • Location:Cleveland, Oh

Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:12 PM

A li Shan oolong from Red Blossom tea. Maybe a lighter taste overall than what I actually wanted today. Next time I'll try a higher leaf to water ratio and see what happens.

#195 Richard Kilgore

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

Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:15 PM

Presently sipping the Wu Niu Zao green tea from jingteashop.com. Blew this by doing it grandpa style (too much leaf), so salvaged it by transferring some wet leaf to a gaiwan. Remains a favorite Chinese green despite my blundering today.

Earlier had some of the Assam Jamirah Estate from The Cultured Cup. Really great as it cools.

Two sets of samples left in the new Japanese tea TT&D from Norbu Tea. Check it out.


How about you, tea sippers? What's brewing?

#196 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:21 PM

Blew this by doing it grandpa style (too much leaf)[.]


Oh, man, I'm so down with grandpa style! I don't know what it says about me, but that's my approach, more often than not.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#197 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:04 PM

I like such short infusions with my green teas, at least as they're getting started, that I can't imagine doing them Grandpa style. I have on occasion done that with some of my more forgiving oolongs....

Today was a good day for tea. I started again with the Hon Yama Zairai sencha from Norbu, moved on to some fall Long Juan TGY from Jing Tea Shop, and then tried a new Dan Cong from Tea Habitat, 2009 "Ya Shi" aka "duck waste fragrance". It smelled a lot better than the name. More later when I have time for a proper review.

#198 cachan

cachan
  • participating member
  • 162 posts
  • Location:London UK

Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:54 PM

Anyone heard of Four Seasons Oolong Spring ?

#199 Richard Kilgore

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

Posted 16 March 2011 - 03:35 AM

Enjoying a cup of Vitahakanda Estate Assam this morning.

Only one free sample left in the TT&D featuring 3 Japanese teas. Take a look.

#200 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 16 March 2011 - 07:42 AM

Anyone heard of Four Seasons Oolong Spring ?


No. What's the source for that tea?

#201 Will

Will
  • participating member
  • 460 posts

Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:48 PM

No. What's the source for that tea?


"Four Seasons" is the usual English translation of 'siji chun' (literally 'four seasons spring').
http://www.panix.com...phrase=sijichun

It's a varietal / cultivar (common in, and possibly developed in, Taiwan) which is, IIRC, grown in multiple areas, and usually processed as an oolong. Currently, it's usually processed in a very light style, like a lot of the other balled oolongs produced in Taiwan. You could have sijichun from different geographic areas or grown at different altitudes.

Edited by Will, 16 March 2011 - 06:51 PM.


#202 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:30 AM

Definitely not a varietal I've heard of yet. Sounds tasty, though, and for all I know it might be one I've already had by another name, unless it is a new one. I have read interesting tidbits about an excellent tea breeding program in Taiwan.

#203 AllanSantos

AllanSantos
  • participating member
  • 32 posts
  • Location:Cleveland, Oh

Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:30 PM

Hong Yue from Rishi....at first pretty much turned off by the overwhelming menthol flavor/aroma. I stuck with it though, that gave way and some sweetness came through along with a little brisk quality at the end. The twisted leaves are giving more infusions than I have room for. I'll stick it in the fridge and come back to it again later.

Allan

#204 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:41 PM

Started with Tai Ping Hou Kui today, from Wing Hop Fung, then on to some fall TGY from Jingteashop. Tasty greenness today.

#205 Will

Will
  • participating member
  • 460 posts

Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:49 PM

Still working through a ton of samples from various tea friends.

Today was a somewhat oxidized, but only lightly roasted Anxi Tieguanyin. I didn't buy it, but it's this one.


Afterwards, I had the last little bits of a very nice Best Tea House Dahongpao. Supposedly first generation (i.e., from direct clones of the mother bush, though I am always skeptical about these kinds of claims), but at any rate, it's nicer than their cheaper stuff. Also a bit lighter fire. Very nice tea.

Edited by Will, 17 March 2011 - 07:51 PM.


#206 Richard Kilgore

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

Posted 22 March 2011 - 03:39 PM

Recent black teas: two Ceylons from Tea Source, the Vithanakanda Estate Extra Special, and (finished off the last of the packet of) the Lumbini Estate FBOP; the Jamirah Estate Assam from The Cultured Cup; the Fujian Bai Lin Gongfu Red Tea from Jing Tea Shop; and the Dian Hong Imperial Hand Processed Yunnan Black Tea from Norbu Tea.

Oolongs yesterday and today: the Phoenix Mountain Dan Cong from The Cultured Cup and the Anxi Bai Xian from Jing Tea Shop.

Green Teas: the Wu Niu Zao Chinese green tea from Jing Tea Shop; the Kanayamidori Sencha and two gyokuros - Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou and Organic Honyama Gyokuro Kin-un - both from Yuuki-Cha.


So what have you all been brewing in your part of the world?

#207 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:54 PM

Over the weekend, I did a tasting session with some Alishan High Mountain oolongs from Norbu, and because the freshly opened ones were so good, I've been trying to drink more of those afterwards, to use them up before they lose their extra sparkle and become fodder for the bulk brewing in the thermos. Will post the tasting a bit later in the Oolong topic. And a little of a lot of different things since--oolongs--some SeaDyke TKY, and Ding Xin old plantation Taiwanese TGY from Norbu; puerh, some loose Nan Nuo sheng from Norbu; greens, some Tai Ping Hou Kui from Wing Hop Fung, Jin Xuan Spring 2010 from Norbu; and I know I've forgotten at least 2 others, because it was a quiet weekend at home with a lot of gongfu cha.

I've got a bunch of lovely tea at home and at work, and slowly I'm getting better at little things like marking dates of first opening a particular tea, so I can see what needs to be used up first, and keeping down the number of the light green oolongs opened at the same time. The Alishan tasting was a long time in the making, as I was trying to finish off some other open teas before I opened these. It sort of worked.

#208 Richard Kilgore

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

Posted 23 March 2011 - 01:03 PM

WC, I'll be interested in reading your tasting notes on the Norbu Alishans, since I have not had the more recent ones. I really enjoy the Ding Xin old plantation -almost brewed it yesterday, so it will be on today's tea list.

So far today have only had the Keemun Hao Ya B from Teasource. Found it at the bottom of a black tea bin in my tea chest! A very nice Keemun. Probably the best I have had except for the Keemun Hao Ya A, also from Tea Source.

#209 Wholemeal Crank

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

Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:12 PM

Today, I had some Ya Bao wild camellia buds to start; some of the Winter 2009 Alishan oolong in the thermos (one of the oopsies from the tasting--opened a while before it, so not in the best shape); finished a session with Nan Nuo loose mao cha from several days ago; then started up some 2006 Haiwan purple bud puerh, which was exceptionally nice; and finished up with more 2009 Lao Ban Zhang loose mao cha. A very tasty day of tea.

I put together the images and tasting notes from the Alishan tasting session on Saturday in the Oolong topic.

#210 Ian McCarthy

Ian McCarthy
  • participating member
  • 32 posts

Posted 24 March 2011 - 02:06 PM

Da Hong Pao from seven cups. Not really doing it for me. A few too many leaf fragments, aggressive tannins. Not bad stuff, but at $16 for 25g?