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Richard Kilgore

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Richard Kilgore

  1. Right, Will, but to clarify my off-center question: how far down do you drink the glass of tea before re-filling it with water?
  2. Jing and Sebastian at jingteashop.com recommend leaving a small amount of tea in your gaiwan as a "root" for the next infusion when brewing Chinese green tea. Anyone else do this? I have tried it, but not done a side-by-side comparison, and think there may be a mild intensification of flavor. It certainly does not seem to cause any bitterness. How about leaving a root in a glass when brewing "gradpa style"? Thoughts? Experiences?
  3. Yes, The Cultured Cup is best known nationally as a source for Mariage Freres teas, but they have been expanding their offerings for about five years. For example, I have found yellow teas usually to be only ho-hum, but Kyle sourced one a few years ago that was exquisite...pricey, but exquisite.
  4. I am curious about what keeps us coming back to our old standbys and why we may try some new tea merchants this year. As for me, all of those I listed above have all been dependable, generous with information on their website, by email, by phone or in person, with prompt shipping of products that were as described. But each of them also offers specific pluses that are attractive to me, and occasional minuses, too. The Cultured Cup is here in Dallas, so I can buy retail from them, inspecting the tea leaf of various teas I may be interested in. They have some extraordinary teas and some value priced everyday teas. Exquisite tea bowls and other attractive teaware. Their website has not shown all of what they offer in the past, but I understand they are doing a major change on the site in the near future. Knowledgeable and helpful, but sometimes more responsive to phone calls than email. A member of the Society and a Certified Tea Specialist (CTS) recognized by the Specialty Tea Institute, co-owner Kyle Stewart has provided many teas for our Tea Tasting & Discussions from the first day. A tea friend of many years. Houdefineteas.com carries some very fine teas from China and Taiwan. I have especially appreciated their Dan Cong offerings. In the past they have offered a sampler of (any) three Dan Congs and I hope they do that again. Some interesting puerhs, Yixings, ceramics and tea info. Can be pricey, but the quality is there. Responsive and helpful to email inquiries. Jingteashop.com has a wide variety of Chinese Oolongs, Red Teas and Green Teas - some inexpensive and some quite rare and pricey. Helpful detailed info on each tea. Quality ceramics of tasteful design and Yixings. Shipping from China is reasonable enough, but I make a large order once or twice a year to reduce the percentage going to freight. Helpful when responding to email, although often a time lag before they get back to you. Norbutea.com has a wide variety of Chinese and Taiwanese teas, some unusual and very difficult to find elsewhere: Red/Black, Green, Oolong (at both ends of the Oolong oxidation spectrum), Puerh. And also Japanese teas. At reasonable prices and fast shipping from the US. Inexpensive tea paraphernalia. Owner and Society member Greg Glancy has introduced us to many interesting teas through the Tea Tasting and Discussions. A tea friend of many years. Teasource.com is a place I have bought a number of fine Keemuns, Nilgiris, Assams and Darjeelings. Responsive to email and phone inquiries. Owner Bill Waddington has provided teas for several Tea Tastings & Discussions. Yuuki-cha.com has been the primary place for my Japanese teas: shincha/sencha, gyokuro and matcha of course, but all organic and single breed/single farm, so that I can learn to appreciate the regional, breed and terrior differences that are typically masked by the blending done by the large purveyors. Many other rare, unusual and less known Japanese teas such as Oolongs and Black teas. Well made, well-priced Japanese teapots and matcha supplies, including beautifully crafted tea whisks. The owner, Dan, replies promptly to inquiries and has provided several interesting Japanese teas for our Tea Tasting & Discussions. Yunnansourcing.com is the place I initially bought many Puerh samples and and a brick or two, and it's one of the sites I would go back to for more. Carries more than just Puerh, but I have not ordered much else in the way of tea. Lots of inexpensive tea accouterments. Prompt response to inquiries. I am very satisfied with these vendors and am already creating want lists for this year. May also order from one or two new vendors - maybe for Puerhs and Darjeelings that I can't get from any of the above. So what do you all like about your current vendors? What are you looking for from a new vendor?
  5. This morning continued with infusions of the very nice 2003 Aged TGY that I started yesterday. Either it is better than it was a year ago or perhaps the Yixing dedicated to aged TGYs has developed more seasoning. Later today, it's the Pai Mu Tan from The Cultured Cup, brewed in a Yixing - which to my taste buds enhances the flavor compared to a ceramic gaiwan. The third infusion is the last for me, so I am deciding whether or not to brew something else this late and work into the night. How about you?
  6. There is some satisfaction in creating your own iced tea blend, isn't there. I'll try re-creating some variations from the past and post about it in a few days.
  7. This morning rolled in with a pot of Grand Keemun from Tea Source. Other than iced tea (it's been hovering around 100 F this week), the tea of the day is a 2003 aged Tie Kuan Yin from jingteashop.com., brewed in a 90 ml Fang Gu shaped Yixing made of Qing Shui Ni clay - a great match for the tea.
  8. Just curious about which tea merchants you have used this year so far, and any others you plan on using the rest of the year. I'll be buying mostly from some of my dependable standbys (theculturedcup.com, houdefineteas.com, jingteashop.com, norbutea.com, teasource.com, yuuki-cha.com and yunnansourcing.com.), but I'll probably try two or three additional tea merchants. I have stuck with the above ones for similar reasons and individually distinctive reasons that I'll get into in a post a little later. So what tea merchants are you using this year...and why.
  9. Started out with a glass of iced tea, then moved on to the 2008? 2009? Nilgiri Glendale Estate, Handmade that I like so much from Tea Source...faded such that I had to increase the leaf to water ratio, but still very good. It's going to be a short tea day today, so the 2010 Wang Jia Shan Long Jin from jingteashop.com, brewed in a tasteful gaiwan from the same tea merchant, was the finish - both delicate and flavorful when I hit the brewing variables right. What's in your cup, tea sippers?
  10. Any thoughts on the new 2011 Spring teas from around the world? The only ones I have tried have been those from China and Taiwan at norbutea.com. Greg did a tasting for me in order to select another set of teas for a later Tea Tasting & Discussion. By the end of the day my taste buds were blurring, so I can't provide a thorough review of each of those teas, but there are a few that were particularly memorable because they were against type. The 2011 Shade Grown Anxi Tie Guan Yin stood out due to the intensified flavor from using a shade growing technique common in Japan for gyokuro. Another was a Taiwanese White Oolong, that is a tea using a cultivar that is typically used in Taiwan to produce Oolongs, but in this case processed like a white tea. Also the 2011 Dan Cong Hong Cha, using a cultivar used in making the well-known Fenghuang Dan Cong Oolongs, but here processed as a black tea. Most of the teas we sampled were interesting, but not processed against the norms. The 2011 Jade Dragon Green Tea, for example, was similar to the 2010 (which many people liked a great deal, but I thought was only okay), but I actually liked the 2011 much better. I am behind on trying Japanese green teas, but plan to order some before too long. Anyone else tried any new 2011 Spring teas? Black/red, Oolong, White, Green? Whatever? Anything to recommend?
  11. Yesterday closed with the Lao Tai Di Qing Xin (Old Plantation) Oolong from norbutea.com. A Castleton Estate Darjeeling, Wiry (second flush) from Tea Source this morning. And now in the middle of a session with an Organic Honyama Gyokuro Haku-un from yuuki-cha.com.
  12. Richard - by built in, do you mean added or that the taste of the tea is actually citrusy? As I recall, the box says "citrus flavor", so presumably it's added. Natural or artificial? Don't know. But it works. The citrus is way in the background. This is Tazo Shaken Black Tea that Starbucks sells by the glass, but not the bags. The bags are available on Amazon and from other sellers.
  13. I'll have to try the method you and pastameshugana favor, Mitch. I have made a wide variety of black teas with various fruits in the blend (from The Cultured Cup) and liked many of them. I'll have to dig out some of the names. The past year, however, I have been using a plain black tea bag that has some citrus flavor built in, introduced to me by a friend.
  14. Tan Yang Gong Fu Red (black) tea from jingteashop.com this morning, one of several high quality red teas I got from Sebastien and Jing a year or so ago. Also had a few more infusions from a Wu Niu Zao green tea, also from Jing. Then another from Jing, a Wang Sia Shan Long Jin. These two are from the 2010 crop and are still quite good, the Wu Niu Zao being especially robust. Scatter some iced tea across my day, and then ending with the 2011 Spring Shade Grown Anxi TGY from norbutea.com, a TGY with the heightened richness we expect from Japanese greens.
  15. The sets of tea samples go to... cdh mig who should receive you teas sometime next week.
  16. Tic, tock. Only one free set of red/black teas left: a Nepal Chiyabari Estate Black and a Yunnan Golden Tips. Available until midnight tonight (US Eastern time). PM me ASAP if you are interested.
  17. Had a Nilgiri from Tea Source very early this morning, getting near the bottom of the cannister. Followed by iced tea and then the Organic Gokujo Sencha from yuuki-cha.com, from which I coaxed five very nice infusions. Yes, five. Just now started an Oolong that I haven't brewed in quite a while, the 2008 Spring Natural Habitat Wu Dong Feng Hung Dancong from houdefinetea.com. While my tea taste memory would not withstand a day of forensic examination in tea court, I do believe this Dancong has improved notably since I got it a couple of years ago. What teas are you all drinking? Iced? Hot? What?
  18. Thanks MissAmy and thirtyoneknots. I have passed your suggestions on to my friend. Anyone else have suggestions for a rehearsal dinner location (considering my friend's requirements noted up-topic)?
  19. Thanks to Society member Greg Glancy at Norbu Tea for contributing the samples of the three Japanese teas. And thanks also to Genkinaonna, Chris Amirault and AllanSantos for their detailed and thoughtful notes, and to Wholemeal Crank for jumping in with helpful comments. Please feel free to add to this TT&D, both those above and anyone else who has a question or comment. Many more Tea Tasting & Discussions to come this year. A TT&D featuring red/black teas from China and Nepal has begun, with only one free set of the samples remaining at this time. Tea newbies welcome, as usual. Check it out.
  20. I have been impressed with a Dualit toaster. Best toast I have had in a long time.
  21. Two sets of the free teas for this TT&D are spoken for. Only one set left and available only until Thursday at midnight. PM me if you are interested.
  22. Only ONE set of the free Nepalese and Chinese black/red teas left! If you are interested and have at least 50 posts anywhere in the eG Forums OR 10 posts in this Coffee & Tea Forum, please review the first post and send me a PM.
  23. Jamirah Estate Assam this morning and a Mellow Monk Top Leaf sencha this afternoon. Tonight is the monthly T-Bar meeting at The Cultured Cup, and I'll be able to sample several regional variations of Masala chai - Indian, Kashmiri and Pakistani prepared by member Omar Khan. If my tea tasting memory holds out, I'll report on those variations here.
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