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Richard Kilgore

What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 1)

600 posts in this topic

Lapsang. But I am not feeling it. I should have made some English breakfast. Very unlike me to not feel the lapsang. But its hard to make a decision with out the caffeine that comes from the first sip..

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Blue people gingseng oolong from vitaltleaf.com: sweet & pleasant; nice toasty background to the sweetness.


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

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Started the day with the Assam Napuk from The Cultured Cup. My timer battery ran down last night, so I ended up with stronger brews than usual today due to distractions, but surprisingly pleasant even with more astringency.

Now drinking the Organic Kumamoto Sencha Yabe Supreme from yuuki-cha.com. More on this sencha in the Japanese Green Tea topic.

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Oriental Beauty (Bai Hao Oolong or Champagne Formosa Oolong)from Ten Ren. Sorry to sound like a broken record about Ten Ren but I am working my way through the many samples that I ordered from them.

This is the first tea I've tried that I really dislike. It is very perfumey and floral, too much so for my enjoyment.

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Brewed a Lapsang Souchong this morning, but just didn't get it right Western style...too little leaf I am sure. I'll try again soon, because I have brewed this one before and know what it can do if I do my part.

Later the Spring 2009 First Pluck Alishan High Mountain Taiwan Oolong from norbutea.com. Still a wonderful tea - both aroma and flavor, only slightly diminished after opening the bag a while ago.

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Today I brought some Bird Pick Dragonwell (the good but not highest grade stuff from wing hop fung) to work, and brewed up a thermos full. I was so concerned about bitterness and the first infusion smelled a little bitter; I was worried that the water might be too hot and have pulled out a lot of bitterness, so I next did a series of very short infusions to fill up the thermos. It ended up being too dilute even for tea-wimp me. Have now ordered a duplicate thermometer for work to help with getting green teas right: my fun this weekend with the sencha and gyokuro has convinced me I need to work on them as well as the oolongs and puerhs.

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Today I started off with a Keemun Hao Ya A brewed in a Yixing. Then returned to the Spring 2009 First Pluck Alishan High Mountain Taiwan Oolong from norbutea.com that I had started yesterday. Still very good aroma and flavor after sitting overnight in the Yixing.

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Tried to 'bulk brew' the gyokuro kin today at work, and it didn't come out so well--too delicate, if anything. More in the japanese green tea topic.

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Last night, first brewing of the Lao Mansa Puerh (see tasting topic).

This morning, starting the day with Honey Orchid Phoenix Oolong from teahabitat.com. Marvelous stuff. 1 gram in a yixing pot, gongfu style, 8 infusions, mmmm.

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Gyokuro nitecap. Very nice. Need to keep going a while longer to get my costello ready for tomorrow.

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Yesterday I brewed the delicious Ceylon Lumbini Estate, FBOP from Tea Source. Then dabbled with the Sencha Select from The Cultured Cup that is the current free sample offering for a Tea Tasting & Discussion here in the Coffee & Tea forum. This is a very nice sencha.

Started the day today with the fine Keemun Hao Ya A from Tea Source. Later I'll probably brew the pu-erh from norbutea that is featured in the current Tea Tasting & Discussion.

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starting with the last of a sample of wild puerh white bud tea from norbutea.com. This was the spring pluck, and I'll definitely add some of this type of tea to my next order. It's delicate but still has a distinctive flavor. Very nice.

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I just brewed a pot of the Bleu Peacock blend from Mighty Leaf.

This blend includes oolong tea, lavender flowers, jasmine flowers, natural citrus flavor.

It produces a very pleasant cup, the flower and citrus flavors do not overpower the oolong and it has a long, smooth finish, a delightful aftertaste that lingers.

I do not usually add milk to oolongs but did add just a bit to the third cup and it had little effect on the overall flavor but added a silky texture to the mouthfeel. I liked it also.


"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

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I am on the 5th or 6th infusion of Ten Ren's "Superfine Pouchong".

Wow, am I enjoying this tea. It has a greenness to it without being vegetal. It has a balance between earthy, floral and fruity notes. By fruity I mean it puts me in the mind of golden raisins, dried dates or something along those lines. It has an soft sweetness to it and the finish gave me an almost jasmine like flavor lingering in my mouth.

The leaves of this tea are the same shape and size as the Alishan Oolong that I had at Ching Ching Cha in D.C. The amount and size of stem is the same too. In fact, other than these leaves not being as brown as that Alishan Oolong thy look the same. Fortunately this lovely tea didn't have the same harsh astringency that the Alishan had for the first several steepings.

This is one of the more expensivee teas that I ordered but considering the number of enjoyable steeps thus far I am eager to try it again.

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This is one of the more expensivee teas that I ordered but considering the number of enjoyable steeps thus far I am eager to try it again.

This is what I am loving about the really nice oolong and puerhs: a little goes a deliciously long way.

While I am also very much enjoying my first foray into japanese sencha and gyokuro, once I get past the tasting sampler, I can see that these will be more costly teas, because of fewer infusions per gram of tea, and their shorter shelf life.

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Here's the process of brewing the Bleu Peacock this morning. I got out my TeaMate as I want to begin using it again on a regular basis.

The set-up in my office.

HPIM2352.JPG

The brewing chamber ready to go.

HPIM2349.JPG

Setting the timer (max time is 15 minutes)

HPIM2350.JPG

Switch set to "ON"

HPIM2351.JPG

At the end of the brewing process the brewed tea automatically decants into the carafe and is held at serving temp (160° F.)

HPIM2353.JPG


"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

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If I understand your post correctly, the tea mate brings the water to your desired temperature, dumps it on the tea, holds it there for the programmed time, and then decants it?

That's pretty cool. How short can you set the brewing to be?

And today, my thermos was filled with my first puerh from wing hop fung--probably a shu, but don't really know. The earthiness was a nice grounding during a goofy giddy costume day at work.

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The Timer can be set to one minute.

This lends itself to repeated brewing as the leaves are not compressed as with a French press type of brewer.

One turns off the unit, fills the water chamber, resets the time and flips the switch to ON.

This is an older appliance, still available in Europe but discontinued here as apparently it was offered at about the time tea had just began to make inroads into the hot drink market.

Occasionally one of these shows up on ebay.

Now there are newer brewers being sold. I gave this one to my daughter for Christmas last year and she loves it. http://www.amazon.com/Adagio-Teas-triniTea-Electric-32-Ounce/dp/B0011O1XOQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1257009130&sr=8-1

ChefsChoice still repairs these and this one was recently fitted with a new seal that I damaged while cleaning it. I have two.


"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

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started the day with some more gyokuro kin, very nice with honey-on-poilane-toast. mmmm.

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Here's a photo of the TeaMate box that shows how the innards work. It is a bit more complicated than a coffee maker.

teamate4.JPG


"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

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Looks interesting. It would be nice to be able to preprogram a tea maker the day before to have tea ready to go to clinic at the same time every afternoon--saving those last minute rushes that are not so kind to nice teas. But until they come up with one that has a fully variable temperature--the ones with variable temp seem only to have two preprogrammed settings--I'll stick with lower tech versions plus my thermometers.

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King's Dark Superfine brewed western style, about 3 grams to 12 oz. water. I love this tea. It is roasted, toasty, nutty, slightly sweet goodness. It is deep and rich, round on the tongue.

I am still using my samples from Ten Ren. When I checked their website to see the price of this tea I discovered that yet again it is one of the pricier teas. However, like some of the other more expensive teas that I have liked, if I can steep this tea many times then the cost per cup is not so out of line. I'm on my third infusion with no loss of goodness. I think that the last time I tried this tea I got 6 or 7 steeps.

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Maybe I'll try that when I run low on the Big Red Robe Wuyi, since TenRen is easier to get to than Chado.

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Today, starting with the Phoenix Honey Orchid Oolong from TeaHabitat. mmm.

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