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Chinese Green Teas

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#31 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:01 PM

Setup:2 grams of tea in 75 mL gaiwan, water 160 degrees, 1st infusion 1 minute; 2nd infusion 165 degrees 1 minutes; 3rd infusion 170 degrees 2 minutes

Silver Needle Yellow Tea from Hunan (Wing Hop Fung)
Dry Leaves: green, needle-like; grassy, lemony, sweet
Liquor, 1st infusion: grassy, lemony, astringent
Liquor, 2nd infusion: grassy, astringent, bitter developing
Liquor, 3rd infusion: grassy, astringent, bitter, but not strong
Wet Leaves: single or paired narrow small leaves, grayer than the very fresh yellow-green of the last tea, but otherwise similar; overcooked vegetable odor

Yin Zhen Silver Needle (Chado)
Dry Leaves: pale, downy, narrow; light, floral, sweet
Liquor, 1st infusion: sweet, floral, delicate
Liquor, 2nd infusion: sweet, floral, delicate, touch of astringency
Liquor, 3rd infusion: camphor, floral, astringency increasing, weaker
Wet Leaves: thin narrow sage green leaves; still sweet, vegetal aroma

Organic Bai Mu Dan aka Peony White Tea (Wing Hop Fung)
Dry Leaves: some downy needles, a bit twiggy, some open very thin green leaves; sweet, floral, grassy
Liquor, 1st infusion: very vegetal and also peachy, delicate, camphor, sweet
Liquor, 2nd infusion: peachy, sweet, floral, less vegetal
Liquor, 3rd infusion: peachy, floral
Wet Leaves: mixed leaf pieces and stems; peachy, camphor aroma

Precious Rare White Tea (Wing Hop Fung)
Dry Leaves: neat, even, deep bright green needle-like leaves, not downy; delicate grassy odor
Liquor, 1st infusion: sweet, vegetal, nutty, strong resemblance to long jing
Liquor, 2nd infusion: sweet, vegetal, like a very delicate long jingo
Liquor, 3rd infusion: nutty, vegetal, very very nice
Wet Leaves: delicate single or paired tiny leaves, intact; sweet cooked pea aroma

upper left is Silver Needle Yellow Tea from Hunan (Wing Hop Fung); upper right is Yin Zhen Silver Needle (Chado); lower left Organic Bai Mu Dan aka Peony White Tea (Wing Hop Fung); lower right is Precious Rare White Tea (Wing Hop Fung)

Dry leaves
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Infused liquor
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Wet leaves
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That Rishi Moonlight white tea is clearly a Bai Mu Dan.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank, 28 February 2010 - 01:09 PM.


#32 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 10:10 PM

Tonight, at work, holding a little gong fu tasting session, comparing the Jing Tea Imperial Shi Feng Long Jing ($64.65/100g) to Wing Hop Fung's Premium Organic Dragonwell (~$33/100g). 1.3g leaf to about 60mL water in small gaiwans, water 160-170 degrees, short infusions of 30" to start, and there is a noticeable different right off the bat that continues through several infusions: the Jing has a much stronger vegetal flavor, with rich asparagus body; the WHF is more delicate, sweeter, and less vegetal, although the two liquors have a similar creamy mouthfeel. The leaves look virtually identical, except the WHF is a little brighter green, and the leaves after brewing have a little more delicate aroma too.

Very interesting comparison, head-to-head. I seem to like best whichever one I just finished drinking: they're quite different but both lovely teas. Next I need to compare these two to the "Precious Rare White Tea" from WHF.

#33 nakji

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:08 AM

I just popped into my local tea shop (San Wan Chang)after a long absence to re-up on tie guan yin leaves for work. (I usually start with a few leaves in the cup in the morning and brew grand-pa style all day.)

Well, while I was in there, the sales assistant told me they'd just gotten in some 2010 long jing tea from Hangzhou (not so far from here). Going at the rate of 1300 RMB/kg I had to try some! She opened up the canister for me to have a whiff and I was sold. The leaves themselves are bright green and have a lovely grassy smell. I have brewed one small cup inexpertly - I was too eager to get out my thermometer and gaiwan - and I'm loving the astringency. I've just finished a late dim sum meal, and this tea is just the ticket for getting out the residual fattiness from the meal.

Now - how do I want to brew this properly?

#34 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:20 AM

I like to brew it per my last post--1 to 2 grams in my smaller gaiwans with 75 mL of water, 160-170 degrees, infusions 30", 30", 45", 1', and often repeat immediately with another batch.

#35 nakji

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:21 AM

160-170 degrees


That's Fahrenheit, right?

#36 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 08:20 AM

160-170 fahrenheit, yes, which is about 71-76°C.

#37 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 12:25 PM

Erin, if you have not already read through this topic from the top, you'll find a goodly amount of discussion on brewing Long Jing here that may give you some ideas about adjusting the brewing parameters to your taste. Since you enjoy the astringency, you may like it brewed at a higher temp (175 F) and with a higher leaf:water ratio than WmC. At the same time, grandpa style is just fine.

#38 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 02:35 PM

A green tea tasting

Jade Pole Supreme Yunnan green tea from Yunnan Sourcing
Yunnan Bao Hong spring 2009 early green tea from Yunnan Sourcing
Jaksul green tea from Hankook
Jeung Je ‘not fermented’ green tea (label says www.sulloc.co.kr and nothing else in English)

I could hardly wait to try the new Korean green teas I bought last week. They are quite interesting, seeming a bit like a cross between a long jing and a sencha, and clearly a bit tricky to brew. The two Yunnan greens are quite similar to the Yunnan Mao Feng I got from Norbu. I would like to compare these last three together another time to get a better handle on the subtle differences between them, but doubt that I’ll feel a need to keep all three different kinds on hand at the same time in the future.

Used 1.8 grams of tea in small 40 mL gaiwans
Infusions 160°F/71°C-170°F/77°C
30”, 30” (probably too long, with all the bitterness coming out), 30”

Jade Pole Supreme Yunnan green tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Dry Leaves: long twists of intact leaves, camphor, vegetal, grassy aroma
Liquor, 1st infusion: pale ivory liquor; mild, camphor, floral
Liquor, 2nd infusion: peachy, sweet, camphor
Liquor, 3rd infusion: peachy, sweet, camphor, first astringency, hints of bitterness
Wet Leaves: beautifully intact yellow-green leaves, in pairs of one very small bud and one larger leaf


Yunnan Bao Hong spring 2009 early green tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Dry Leaves: flat thin small leaves and fragments, some stems, scent of hay, grass
Liquor, 1st infusion: yellow liquor; thicker body; hay, warm, less camphor, but very similar to the Jade Pole
Liquor, 2nd infusion: nutty, dark, vegetal, astringent
Liquor, 3rd infusion: sweet, vegetal, bit nutty, but much less astringent
Wet Leaves: more broken pieces, leaves are quite small, yellow-green,and also mostly buds and small leaves

Jaksul green tea from Hankook

Dry Leaves: curled small leaves and fragments, sweet, woodsy, piney
Liquor, 1st infusion: green clear liquor; grassy, a little sweet
Liquor, 2nd infusion: more astringent, even bitter, still grassy
Liquor, 3rd infusion: nutty, vegetal, mildly astringent
Wet Leaves: larger, broken leaves, fairly flat, very deep green

Jeung Je ‘not fermented’ green tea (label says www.sulloc.co.kr and nothing else in English)

Dry Leaves: very thin flat leaves, deepest green, sweet grass scent
Liquor, 1st infusion: green clear liquor; grassy, sweet, vegetal
Liquor, 2nd infusion: liquor very bright deep yellow; astringent, grassy, some bitterness
Liquor, 3rd infusion: astringency, grassy, vegetal
Wet Leaves: broken leaves, very curly even now, hard to flatten, darker green than the first two but less than the Jaksul

Photos:
Upper left Jade Pole Supreme Yunnan green tea from Yunnan Sourcing
Upper right Yunnan Bao Hong spring 2009 early green tea from Yunnan Sourcing
Lower left Jaksul green tea from Hankook
Lower right Jeung Je ‘not fermented’ green tea (label says www.sulloc.co.kr and nothing else in English)

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#39 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 07:40 PM

Thanks for the interesting comparative tasting notes, WmC. I have been curious about Korean teas in general, but have not tried any yet, so the two Korean greens in particular appeal to me.

#40 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:34 PM

My overall impression of the Korean greens was that they were nice, but not different or special enough for me to keep seeking them out at this time. A lot of sources claim that Korean teas outside of Korea are quite expensive for the quality, given their rarity, but at this point in my tea journey it's hard to know if my so-so reaction to them is due to their innate characteristics or it simply being my first time working with them (remembering how much trouble I had with Dragon Well, which I'm drinking a couple of times a week now).

#41 viconyteas

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 12:29 AM

The name of Longjing Tea (literally translated as Dragon Well) may come from four sources,tea tree,the well,the temple and the spring. This tea comes from the shores of West Lake (Xi-hu),at Hangzhou City,Zhejiang Province,China.

Long time ago,Longjing Tea was highly praised for its absolute beauty in four aspects: greenish color,elegant fragrance,mellow taste and prettiness in appearance. The delicate fragrance is very long-lasting and bright liquor gives a refreshing,brisk,mellow and sweet aftertaste.

To process Longjing Tea,the tea leaf must undergo intensive pan-frying steps by hands during the entire process. In a custom-made pan,the leaves are repeatedly stirred and agitated by hand with different hand gesture: as many as 10 different styles (十大手法 Shi-da Shou-fa) are a must.

There are many versions of longjing tea found in the market,nevertheless,the best longjing tea comes from its original place,the Longjing Village (Long jing cun) which covers several historically renowned longjing tea producing areas. At present, there are many tea produced from other places in Zhejiang Province,which is called Zhejiang longjing tea. However,due to the unique climatic environment and different manufacturing expertise, the quality is different from that of origin. Besides,the producing areas at certain places of Zhejiang Province are located in urban area which is exposed to the risk of heavy metal contamination from vehicles and industrial area.

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Mei Jia Wu- one of the original longjing tea producing areas

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The 18 longjing tea trees(十八棵)which were granted as Imperial Tea Trees (御茶)by Emperor Qiang-Long

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Dried Longjing Tea Leaves

Edited by viconyteas, 28 March 2010 - 12:39 AM.

[size="5"]Richard Zhang[/size]
[size="4"]Sales Executive of Vicony Teas Co.,Ltd[/size]
[size="4"]Chinese Organic Tea Company-ViconyTeas
wholesale organic loose leaf tea from origin[/size]

#42 viconyteas

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:22 PM

Several famous chinese green teas (1)

Huo Qing Tea

Huo Qing Tea resembles Gunpowder tea but it is actually a much higher quality tea. Gunpowder is made in Zhejiang province with low quality leaves while Huo Qing Tea is made in Anhui province with one bud two leaves system, more tasty. The astringency throughout the mouth sustains the notes well. It is a overwhelming green tea for those who prefer strong flavour.

Yong Xi Huo Qing

Huo Qing Tea was first produced in an Village named Yong Xi in Anhui province so it was commonly called Yong Xi Huo Qing in China.

Huo Qing Tea was tightly rolled, dark, glossy leaves with a few more yellowy shades. It is called as jade fire as the tea has been fired over charcoal. It unfurls in the cup to produce a lovely scene. The distinctively rich and smooth floral flavor presents a pleasant balance of astringency and sweetness with a long and refreshing aftertaste. The tea has a strong, vegetal and lasting flavour. As it has been fired by charcoal during the process, it has a unique light smokey fragrance.

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Huo Qing Tea- Dried Tea Leaves

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Brewed leaves of Huo Qing Tea
[size="5"]Richard Zhang[/size]
[size="4"]Sales Executive of Vicony Teas Co.,Ltd[/size]
[size="4"]Chinese Organic Tea Company-ViconyTeas
wholesale organic loose leaf tea from origin[/size]

#43 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:42 AM

Today I tried a new tea from my latest order from Norbu: 2010 Spring Meng Ding Huang Ya - Sichuan Yellow Tea.

What a lovely tea! I started out with what looked like a small volume of green leaves in my kamjove, which had little scent, then added water and there was a strong scent of green peas as soon as the water hit them. The leaves expanded to fill their chamber almost entirely. The first steep was a little long and ended up overconcentrated, and I did find a little bitterness in it; but when I finished up a thermos full from these leaves, as I intended, it ended up as essence of summer hay, warm and mellow, just lovely.

I can see this will be a keeper. I think it will be particularly nice of an evening, to keep infusing while doing paperwork, semi-gongfu cha, but also is going to be lovely for a thermos full when I have to be away from my desk for half a day or more. But I will watch that first steep.

I was particularly pleased with this one because I recently tried some "silver needle yellow tea" from Hunan which was just unbearably bitter for me, very unlike the couple of wonderful yellow teas I've had from other sources.

#44 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 06:13 PM

Another lovely new tea today: from Wing Hop Fung, a Xiang Bi Luo, which looks like a Bi Lo Chun, curly and delicate leaves, and was from a new supplier so was quite attractively priced. Very nice, not quite up to the standard of the BLC I got from Jingteashop last year, but still, inexpensive and available locally, two pluses.

#45 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 05:47 PM

Tai Ping Hou Kui by Wing Hop Fung today.

This is a weird and wonderful tea. The leaves are gigantic, wide, flat, long.

First try with this tea was 30 seconds infusion at 160 degrees, about a gram of tea in 2 ounces of water in a small porcelain gaiwan. It is sweet, spicy, vegetal, floral.

So far, the 9th infusion is still very similar, very very nice: the vegetal flavor is weakening, mildly there, but the sweetness and spicy is still present. And this is not a super fancy version of this tea: I only paid $39.99/lb for it. The ends of the leaves are broken, so it’s not fully intact, but given the size of the leaves, a break or two in each does not seem to be making anything bitter.

Even after 5 infusions, the sweet/spicy scent is still there in the wet leaves.

It reminds me most of the Anji white tea I’ve been getting from WHF, but this one is a fraction of the price. I will definitely keep this one in regular circulation.

#46 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 06:54 PM

And of course, a few photos of the Tai Ping Hou Kui:

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#47 Shamanjoe

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 07:30 PM

I work as a nurse, and currently have an older Chinese gentleman as a patient. We got to talking about teas, Chinese green teas in particular, and he concentrated on the brewing method. He says to do it properly, you must make a teapot full (he didn't give an exact size, but said the customary setup is a teapot with 6 small cups). You add the loose leaves, pour in hot water, then immediately discard the water because it is now bad. Then you add more hot water and allow to steep for 2 minutes. This is the tea that you want to drink, and everything else (I'm assuming he means 2nd brew, 3rd brew, etc.) is something that just isn't as good.

Is this an accepted way, or just his particular way of making green tea? I have precious little experience brewing loose leaf teas, and I've never added water and then immediately discarded it. Thanks.

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

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#48 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 08:20 PM

I've not often seen a first rinse recommended for green teas. I have resorted to a long 'rinse' to get rid of some intense bitterness from a young sheng puerh but not a more typical green tea.

That said, there seem to be as many ways to brew it as there are green tea drinkers and green teas for them to drink!

I love my green teas infused cool and short, mostly done gongfu style in gaiwans (chinese) or kyusu (senchas), multiple infusions, gradually increasing the heat, rarely more tea per infusion than I can drink in a few minutes. I do occasionally fill the thermos with green tea, but only if I expect to share it widely and finish it before the tea is noticeably going off, within an hour or so after brewing.

#49 Shamanjoe

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 09:36 PM

WmC, I think his method is interesting, but I'll stick with your method, especially since I don't drink huge quantities of hot tea at any given time anyway. Thanks!
"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

#50 Seitch

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:30 AM


Is this an accepted way, or just his particular way of making green tea? I have precious little experience brewing loose leaf teas, and I've never added water and then immediately discarded it. Thanks.


This is how they made the tea when I visited the Longjing tea plantation in China. When they make the tea, they press and push the tea leaves around a heated pan. The idea with the quick rinse when you brew the tea is to wash away any residues which might be on the tea leaves in order to give the cleanest tasting and looking cup of tea. I've also seen this done with oolong teas at tea shops.

#51 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:05 PM

Two Tai Ping Hou Kui green teas

Head to head comparison of an inexpensive version from Wing Hop Fung, and a fancier grade from Jing Tea Shop.

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2 grams of leaf: Wing Hop Fung on the left, and Jing Tea Shop on the right
Jing's version has larger, more intact leaves, and the color is brighter and fresher

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I used 2 grams of tea in gaiwans with about two and half ounces (75mL) of water at 160-165 degrees per infusion, and infusions times of 45 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute, and 90 seconds.

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Even though the leaves are quite long, they soften enough to fit in the gaiwans.

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The Jing tea is not only lighter in color of liquor and leaf, but cleaner and lighter in flavor, with lemon notes amid the sweet pea vegetal flavors. There is a bit more spiciness in the WHF version, probably a bit of astringency coming out. This was consistent through all of the infusions, the greater refinement and higher quality of the Jing tea being obvious.

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Leaves after infusions

#52 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:49 AM

Thanks for the great tasting notes and photos, WC. You inspired me to pull out my packet of the jingteashop.com Tai Ping Hou Kui. This is from last Spring and it is impressive how well this holds up. Interestingly I did get a bit of a spicy note on the second infusion, but it disappeared on the third. This may be because I brewed with a slightly richer leaf:water ratio than you used - 5 g in a 140ml gaiwan.

#53 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:57 PM

Huang Shen Mao Feng from Jing Tea Shop

I was very curious about this tea in particular because I've very much enjoyed Norbu's large-leaf green tea from Yunnan also called "Mao Feng", but I suspected it was quite different from the 'real thing', and wanted to see what the original was like.

Medium green, thin twisty leaves

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on Flickr

5 grams in a 200mL pot with about 150mL of water, 150 degrees

First infusion 30 seconds, warm, sweet, a certain smoky/toasted/grilled vegetable background…..

2nd infusion 20 seconds, pale green liquor, the sweet warm flavor is still there, but the toasted vegetable flavor--not a bitterness, perhaps a touch of astringency in it--is dominant now.

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Ran out of time, so I added cold water and set the leaves to the refrigerator to try to get one more steeping out of them. But the resulting infusion, a day later, has a strong bitterness underlying a delicious fresh sweet vegetal flavor; I did not finish it. I also forgot to shoot the leaves after infusion, but they were pale minty green, long, thin, rolled almost into little cylinders.

I used a quite moderate tea-to-water ratio, and very cool water with short brewing times, all designed to moderate and minimize any bitterness. This is a tea that sat, sealed from the shop, for some months before I opened it, so it might have lost something re: freshness. Before assuming this just isn't my cup of green tea, I'll try it again--it took me nearly a year to 'get' Dragon Well, after all.

#54 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:04 PM

Had any more experience with this tea, WC?

#55 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:53 PM

As it happens, I'm drinking it again for the first time right now. It's coming out light and sweet and delightful. I didn't weigh it before preparing the tea, but I'm pretty sure I brewed it a lot lighter--you'd find my sweet water amusing. But it is delightful right now, sweet and mellow, not at all nutty like a Dragon Well. It's actually a lot closer to the very delicate and fantastic 'white' tea of An Ji (actually a green tea). I'm brewing it very cool--150 degrees. Mmmm.

I think the key for me will be to keep it VERY dilute.

#56 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 08:48 PM

I posted in this topic a while ago about my puzzlement over a phrase from The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea: "the honeyed quality of many Chinese green teas". I have tasted a lot of sweetness in various chinese green, oolong, and even puerh teas, but rarely anything approaching 'honeyed'. Today, I tasted a free sample included in my latest order from Greg at Norbutea, and I found the answer. Gu Zhu Zi Sun Zhejiang green tea from Norbu has the honeyed sweetness I thought didn't exist:

3 grams in 3 ounce preheated iron-rich clay shiboridashi

170°F/77°C, 30 seconds--weet, vegetal, grassy, a delicate floral note too. VERY NICE!

170°F/77°C, 30 seconds--sweet, and the floral is stronger this infusion, fantastic

170°F/77°C, 45 seconds--wow, how does this one go on like this? I am drinking a meadow of spring flowers--THIS is the "honeyed sweetness of Chinese green teas" that I read about in one of my tea books, and haven't ever properly tasted in tea before. I've had some fine green teas that have had hints of this, but usually tempered with nuttiness or astringency or bitterness when the tea is pushed a bit, or just lower-key with the floral elements, and here there is nothing roasted, just sweet, floral, wow.

190°F/88°C, 30 seconds--still that astonishing sweetness, and my tastebuds are dancing.

185°F/85°C, 1 minute--oh my….I am in love.

190°F/88°C, 2 minutes--still delicious, the floral richness a little less intense now.

(remaining infusions between 190°F/88°C and 200°F/93°C)

3 minutes--enough sweet floral flavor remains to encourage a 4th infusion.

4 minutes--mmmm, a little lighter now, still pleasant.

5 minutes--closing in on sweet water, done now.

What a marvelous tea!

#57 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 01:27 PM

I just finished a lovely session with a pair of Long Jings: Premium Organic Dragon Well from Wing Hop Fung, probably 2010 harvest (bought sometime in the past year), and Xi Hu Long Jing from Norbu, Spring 2011.

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The dry leaves of the Xi Hu are much brighter green, and they're larger, but the smell of the leaves is similar--bright vegetal scents, just a little stronger for the fresher Xi Hu tea.

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2 grams of each in gaiwans with 75 mL of 160°/71°C water to start

30" first infusion
Prem Org (WHF)
very nutty, vegetal, peas and asparagus
Xi Hu (Norbu)
softer on the nutty, more sweet peas

20" second infusion
Prem Org (WHF)
again, the nutty notes are very strong,
Xi Hu (Norbu)
sweeter again, but still some nutty

40" third infusion
Prem Org (WHF)
lighter, still vegetal and nutty
Xi Hu (Norbu)
now more peas with hints of nuttiness, less sweet

increasing temp--177°F/81°C for the fourth infusion, 1 minute
Prem Org (WHF)
sweeter this time, still astringent, toastier
Xi Hu (Norbu)
lighter than the WHF, still some warm toastiness

174°F/79°C for the fifth infusion, about a minute
Can't tell much difference between them--light, tasty, but just not very distinct

193°F/89°C for the sixth infusion, 2 minutes
first sip is nutty, warm, sweet, still quite dilute but delicious
Xi Hu (Norbu)
first sip is sweet, delicious, and it keeps on as somewhat nutty sweet water

205°F/96°C for the 7th infusion, 4 minutes, just to see if there is anything else left in the leaves
Prem Org (WHF)
light now, simply sweet summer hay,
Xi Hu (Norbu)
light, sweet water, subtly different than the WHF

Overall impression is that I definitely prefer the Xi Hu, because it is sweeter and less nutty, and I do not think the difference is solely due to harvest age--nuttiness has generally been very strong in the several versions of WHF Dragon Well I've tried, from the moment of purchase.

#58 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 06:02 PM

A new green tea today: Zhu Ye Qing green tea from Emeishan, Lishan Prefecture, Sichuan--from Norbu.

Sweet vegetal scent of flat light green leaves, peas and grass. Long thin young leaves, one or two in a paired bunch, rather flat like a Long Jing, leaves that swell up to light asparagus green.

Flash rinse with 185 degree water--drank rinse, sweet and tasty and light.

1st infusión, 160 degrees, about 20 seconds--delicious honeydew melon, cucumber, hints of peas, but more sweet floral notes. Very nice.

2nd infusion, 160 degrees, 30 seconds, but realized afterwards I used more water, more dilute, oops--sweet, peas coming up stronger now, touch of floral, but a little light on the flavor, should have lengthened the infusion.

3rd infusion, 160 degrees, 1 minute, sweet, light, flowers/grass/cucumber/melon. Mmm.

4th infusion, another 160 degrees, 1 minute, delicious sweet, light, floral, melon, wonderful.

5th infusion, another 160 degrees, forgot it for almost 10 minutes (oops), still sweet, floral, delicious, but quite mild despite the overly long infusion--really this should count as about 3!

6th infusion, 180 degrees, 5 minutes, and delicately sweet and floral, but really done now.

I prepared a second series of infusions, and again it is delicious, sweet, vegetal, grassy, a little floral, and highly tasty. I started again with a hotter rinse, then moved up in temps from 150s to 190s, probably 9 or 10 infusions, and the infusions have been good all the way through.

This is another lovely green tea from Norbu. I am getting more of the qualities that I enjoy in a chinese-style green tea from these than from most of the others I've had from other sources, and don't yet know how much is simply better tea, and how much is better brewing--I think the tea itself is the most important thing, but I am so happy with these that I'll stick to them for the moment.

#59 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 04:04 PM

Waking up this topic to share a lovely tasting today: I tried the free sample of the 2012 Gu Zhu Zi Sun from Norbu and compared it to a newly-opened package (my last) of the 2011 that so delighted me last year. I'd been hoarding the 2011, really, probably longer than I should have.

2.5 grams of each tea with 80 mL water per infusion in a pair of Petr Novak iron-rich shiboridashis. I"m alternating tea with a honeydew melon, a very nice combination.

First infusion 180 degrees, 30 seconds: both delicious, vegetal, delicate. Despite being well-sealed, there is no doubt that the 2011 has lost a little bit of the floral freshness that is much stronger in the 2012.

2nd series 150 degrees, 30 seconds again: delicious, with similar differences between the teas again apparent--a little deterioration of the 2011 due to my delay in drinking it.

170 degrees, 1 minute: melon and cucumber, delicate and delicious, in the 2011; similar elements but an overlay of more floral/sweet freshness in the 2012. Still LOVE this tea so much….

180 degrees, 1 minute: bigger difference between them--the 2012 is a sweet alpine meadow of spring/summer flowers. The 2011 is the same but muffled. This is the best infusion yet!

190 degrees, 1 minutes: just enjoying the delicious scent first, delicate, floral, melon, flowers. Mmm. So happy. Delicious.

190 degrees, 2 minutes: again, the scent is so nice. Mmm. Delicious tea.

205 degrees, 2 minutes: mmm, mmmm

205 degrees, many many minutes--long enough for the liquid to cool to room temperature: tasty, but the leaves are done now, as there's finally some astringency apparent.

I will certainly be ordering more of this tea in the future, although my green tea supply is now such that I can't do it right away, or I'll risk deterioration of the ones I've already got like the 2012 that I held a little too long.

#60 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:53 PM

Another fine tasting today:

An Ji Bai Cha 2012 from Norbu

I wanted to try one of my favorite teas from a new source, wondering how much better it could be, and just the scent as I open the bag is intoxicating: vegetal, fruity, rich. Oh my.

The leaves are light green and lovely paired buds. I used 3 grams for my 3 ounce/100mL unglazed Petr Novak Shiboridashi.

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1st infusion is a 180 degree flash rinse to 'wake up' the leaves: very dilute, hints of floral sweetness.

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2nd infusion at 150 degrees, 30 seconds, light floral vegetal, still not strong enough, should have made it 60 or 90 seconds. Will do the next one longer.

3rd infusion at 160 degrees, 120 seconds, a little bit overdone, should have been 90 seconds. Still working this one out.

4th infusion at 70 seconds, delicious, but I stopped taking notes. I went out to about 8 infusions and water just off the boil pus several minutes' infusions, but that last one was just sweetwater.

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I think I need to give this one more time up front, and it will be brilliant--although I must doubt that it can truly match the astonishingly fine smell of the dry leaves.





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