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Tasting: Fall 2008 Tie Guan Yin


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eG Society member Greg Glancy, who is the owner of Norbutea.com has contributed samples of tea for three tea tastings here on the eG Forum's Coffee & Tea Forum. This first tasting will feature a Chinese Oolong - a Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province. Greg sent me five samples of this tea, which will go to the first five members who PM me and who 1) have been a member of the eG Society for at least 30 days, 2) have 5 or more substantive posts in the Coffee & Tea forum, and 3) agree to contribute to the discussion. Please PM me with a mailing address and I will send the samples out this week.

Here's some interesting information on this Tie Guan Yin from the Norbutea.com website (used with permission).

This is our first shipment of Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province, which is the birthplace of Tie Guan Yin cultivation. This season's harvest has been excellent so far, and we are really excited to have this particular batch of this season's Tie Guan Yin to offer on Norbutea.com. This is our standard premium grade Tie Guan Yin, but in my opinion the aroma and flavor of this particular batch is head and shoulders above the other Tie Guan Yin teas in its class so far this year.

Traditionally Tie Guan Yin was roasted to produce a toasted, dried fruit type flavor profile and amber cup, but recently the trend in Anxi has been to leave the teas unroasted in order to allow the strong floral notes come through more prominently. This Tie Guan Yin is not roasted beyond the time required to drive out the moisture in the leaves after processing. It produces smooth floral characteristics, a pleasant and lingering bittersweet aftertaste, and a honey green cup when steeped. It is best suited to Gong Fu style steeping, but is also delicious steeped in the western manner. In order to better preserve the striking freshness of this wonderful tea, we had this shipment individually packaged and vacuum sealed at the producer's facility into 50 and 100 gram portions.

The story behind the name 'Tie Guan Yin:'

Tie Guan Yin or 'Iron Goddess of Mercy' is named after the Bodhisatva Avalokiteshvara, who in the Chinese context is known as the Goddess of Compassion or Mercy. The name of this tea is associated with a legend: In Anxi County of modern Fujian province there was a rundown temple that housed an iron statue of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Every day on the walk to his tea fields, a poor farmer would pass by and reflect on the worsening condition of the temple. He did not have the resources to repair the temple, so instead the farmer brought a broom and some incense from his home. He swept the temple clean and lit the incense as an offering to the deity. Over the months and years to come, the farmer would periodically return to take care of the temple and make offerings. One night, Guan Yin appeared to him in a dream. She told him of a cave behind the temple where a treasure awaited him. He was to take the treasure for himself on the condition that he shared it with other people in his impoverished village. In the cave, the farmer found a single tea plant. He planted it in his field and nurtured it into a large bush, from which the finest tea was produced. He gave cuttings of this rare plant to all his neighbors and began selling the tea under the name Tie Guan Yin, Iron Bodhisattva of Mercy.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I have known Greg for two or three years. I originally met him at a presentation he did for The Cultured Cup's T-Bar Club of his travels in the tea regions of China, including Tibet. I have no financial interest in Norbutea.com.)

[Edit: criteria changed to five or more substantive posts.]

Edited by Richard Kilgore (log)
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To clarify: the samples are 10 grams each, enough for two gongfu sessions, or about four Western style 6 - 8 ounce first infusions. I have tried this gongfu style, as I reported in the "What tea are you drinking today" topic last week. Either method will produce multiple infusions.

PM me after reading the original post if you want to join the tasting. Should be interesting.

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eG Society member Greg Glancy, who is the owner of Norbutea.com has contributed samples of tea for three tea tastings here on the eG Forum's Coffee & Tea Forum. This first tasting will feature a Chinese Oolong - a Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province. Greg sent me five samples of this tea, which will go to the first five members who PM me and who 1) have been a member of the eG Society for at least 30 days, 2) have at least 10 substantive posts in the Coffee & Tea forum, and 3) agree to contribute to the discussion. Please PM me with a mailing address and I will send the samples out this week.

Here's some interesting information on this Tie Guan Yin from the Norbutea.com website (used with permission).

This is our first shipment of Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province, which is the birthplace of Tie Guan Yin cultivation. This season's harvest has been excellent so far, and we are really excited to have this particular batch of this season's Tie Guan Yin to offer on Norbutea.com. This is our standard premium grade Tie Guan Yin, but in my opinion the aroma and flavor of this particular batch is head and shoulders above the other Tie Guan Yin teas in its class so far this year.

Traditionally Tie Guan Yin was roasted to produce a toasted, dried fruit type flavor profile and amber cup, but recently the trend in Anxi has been to leave the teas unroasted in order to allow the strong floral notes come through more prominently. This Tie Guan Yin is not roasted beyond the time required to drive out the moisture in the leaves after processing. It produces smooth floral characteristics, a pleasant and lingering bittersweet aftertaste, and a honey green cup when steeped. It is best suited to Gong Fu style steeping, but is also delicious steeped in the western manner. In order to better preserve the striking freshness of this wonderful tea, we had this shipment individually packaged and vacuum sealed at the producer's facility into 50 and 100 gram portions.

The story behind the name 'Tie Guan Yin:'

Tie Guan Yin or 'Iron Goddess of Mercy' is named after the Bodhisatva Avalokiteshvara, who in the Chinese context is known as the Goddess of Compassion or Mercy. The name of this tea is associated with a legend: In Anxi County of modern Fujian province there was a rundown temple that housed an iron statue of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Every day on the walk to his tea fields, a poor farmer would pass by and reflect on the worsening condition of the temple. He did not have the resources to repair the temple, so instead the farmer brought a broom and some incense from his home. He swept the temple clean and lit the incense as an offering to the deity. Over the months and years to come, the farmer would periodically return to take care of the temple and make offerings. One night, Guan Yin appeared to him in a dream. She told him of a cave behind the temple where a treasure awaited him. He was to take the treasure for himself on the condition that he shared it with other people in his impoverished village. In the cave, the farmer found a single tea plant. He planted it in his field and nurtured it into a large bush, from which the finest tea was produced. He gave cuttings of this rare plant to all his neighbors and began selling the tea under the name Tie Guan Yin, Iron Bodhisattva of Mercy.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I have known Greg for two or three years. I originally met him at a presentation he did for The Cultured Cup's T-Bar Club of his travels in the tea regions of China, including Tibet. I have no financial interest in Norbutea.com.)

There are three samples left. Please PM me if you would like one.

Brew, sip, discuss.

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I thought I'd post a bit about my expectations for this tasting. I'm a tea neophyte with an interest in having quality tea at work. I'll be using the this 16 oz ingenuiTEA system to brew it. Not ideal, I know, but I'm sure I'm not the only person interested in tea who has logistical limitations but wants a swell cup.

I'm also finding that I really like oolong teas and will enjoy having my palate stretched toward quality. The oolongs I've enjoyed are a bit roastier (my favorite thus far is the roasted twig oolong from Teance), so a lighter style will be intriguing.

Thanks, Richard, for getting this exciting project rolling!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I thought I'd post a bit about my expectations for this tasting. I'm a tea neophyte with an interest in having quality tea at work. I'll be using the this 16 oz ingenuiTEA system to brew it. Not ideal, I know, but I'm sure I'm not the only person interested in tea who has logistical limitations but wants a swell cup.

I'm also finding that I really like oolong teas and will enjoy having my palate stretched toward quality. The oolongs I've enjoyed are a bit roastier (my favorite thus far is the roasted twig oolong from Teance), so a lighter style will be intriguing.

Thanks, Richard, for getting this exciting project rolling!

That should work fine, Chris. While the device holds up to 16 ounces, it looks like it should be effective with the smaller volumes you will want to use in order to experiment with the TGY.

*******************************

There's one sample left. Please PM me after reading the first post in this topic.

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Four of the samples are spoken for now.

There is one free sample from Greg Glancy at Norbutea.com left of this Oolong TGY. If you are interested in it, please read the first post and send me a PM with your mailing address. I'll mail out the samples tomorrow.

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eG Society member Greg Glancy, who is the owner of Norbutea.com has contributed samples of tea for three tea tastings here on the eG Forum's Coffee & Tea Forum. This first tasting will feature a Chinese Oolong - a Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province. Greg sent me five samples of this tea, which will go to the first five members who PM me and who 1) have been a member of the eG Society for at least 30 days, 2) have 5 or more substantive posts in the Coffee & Tea forum, and 3) agree to contribute to the discussion. Please PM me with a mailing address and I will send the samples out this week.

Here's some interesting information on this Tie Guan Yin from the Norbutea.com website (used with permission).

This is our first shipment of Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province, which is the birthplace of Tie Guan Yin cultivation. This season's harvest has been excellent so far, and we are really excited to have this particular batch of this season's Tie Guan Yin to offer on Norbutea.com. This is our standard premium grade Tie Guan Yin, but in my opinion the aroma and flavor of this particular batch is head and shoulders above the other Tie Guan Yin teas in its class so far this year.

Traditionally Tie Guan Yin was roasted to produce a toasted, dried fruit type flavor profile and amber cup, but recently the trend in Anxi has been to leave the teas unroasted in order to allow the strong floral notes come through more prominently. This Tie Guan Yin is not roasted beyond the time required to drive out the moisture in the leaves after processing. It produces smooth floral characteristics, a pleasant and lingering bittersweet aftertaste, and a honey green cup when steeped. It is best suited to Gong Fu style steeping, but is also delicious steeped in the western manner. In order to better preserve the striking freshness of this wonderful tea, we had this shipment individually packaged and vacuum sealed at the producer's facility into 50 and 100 gram portions.

The story behind the name 'Tie Guan Yin:'

Tie Guan Yin or 'Iron Goddess of Mercy' is named after the Bodhisatva Avalokiteshvara, who in the Chinese context is known as the Goddess of Compassion or Mercy. The name of this tea is associated with a legend: In Anxi County of modern Fujian province there was a rundown temple that housed an iron statue of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Every day on the walk to his tea fields, a poor farmer would pass by and reflect on the worsening condition of the temple. He did not have the resources to repair the temple, so instead the farmer brought a broom and some incense from his home. He swept the temple clean and lit the incense as an offering to the deity. Over the months and years to come, the farmer would periodically return to take care of the temple and make offerings. One night, Guan Yin appeared to him in a dream. She told him of a cave behind the temple where a treasure awaited him. He was to take the treasure for himself on the condition that he shared it with other people in his impoverished village. In the cave, the farmer found a single tea plant. He planted it in his field and nurtured it into a large bush, from which the finest tea was produced. He gave cuttings of this rare plant to all his neighbors and began selling the tea under the name Tie Guan Yin, Iron Bodhisattva of Mercy.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I have known Greg for two or three years. I originally met him at a presentation he did for The Cultured Cup's T-Bar Club of his travels in the tea regions of China, including Tibet. I have no financial interest in Norbutea.com.)

[Edit: criteria changed to five or more substantive posts.]

The five members of the eGullet Society who signed up for the free samples for the tasting and discussion are ---

baroness

jpr54_

jsmeeker

chrisamirault

naftal

I am jammed up tomorrow, so these will go out on Thursday.

Chris posted about his expectations for the tasting. Anyone else?

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  • 3 weeks later...
eG Society member Greg Glancy, who is the owner of Norbutea.com has contributed samples of tea for three tea tastings here on the eG Forum's Coffee & Tea Forum. This first tasting will feature a Chinese Oolong - a Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province. Greg sent me five samples of this tea, which will go to the first five members who PM me and who 1) have been a member of the eG Society for at least 30 days, 2) have 5 or more substantive posts in the Coffee & Tea forum, and 3) agree to contribute to the discussion. Please PM me with a mailing address and I will send the samples out this week.

Here's some interesting information on this Tie Guan Yin from the Norbutea.com website (used with permission).

This is our first shipment of Fall Harvest 2008 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi county in Fujian province, which is the birthplace of Tie Guan Yin cultivation. This season's harvest has been excellent so far, and we are really excited to have this particular batch of this season's Tie Guan Yin to offer on Norbutea.com. This is our standard premium grade Tie Guan Yin, but in my opinion the aroma and flavor of this particular batch is head and shoulders above the other Tie Guan Yin teas in its class so far this year.

Traditionally Tie Guan Yin was roasted to produce a toasted, dried fruit type flavor profile and amber cup, but recently the trend in Anxi has been to leave the teas unroasted in order to allow the strong floral notes come through more prominently. This Tie Guan Yin is not roasted beyond the time required to drive out the moisture in the leaves after processing. It produces smooth floral characteristics, a pleasant and lingering bittersweet aftertaste, and a honey green cup when steeped. It is best suited to Gong Fu style steeping, but is also delicious steeped in the western manner. In order to better preserve the striking freshness of this wonderful tea, we had this shipment individually packaged and vacuum sealed at the producer's facility into 50 and 100 gram portions.

The story behind the name 'Tie Guan Yin:'

Tie Guan Yin or 'Iron Goddess of Mercy' is named after the Bodhisatva Avalokiteshvara, who in the Chinese context is known as the Goddess of Compassion or Mercy. The name of this tea is associated with a legend: In Anxi County of modern Fujian province there was a rundown temple that housed an iron statue of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Every day on the walk to his tea fields, a poor farmer would pass by and reflect on the worsening condition of the temple. He did not have the resources to repair the temple, so instead the farmer brought a broom and some incense from his home. He swept the temple clean and lit the incense as an offering to the deity. Over the months and years to come, the farmer would periodically return to take care of the temple and make offerings. One night, Guan Yin appeared to him in a dream. She told him of a cave behind the temple where a treasure awaited him. He was to take the treasure for himself on the condition that he shared it with other people in his impoverished village. In the cave, the farmer found a single tea plant. He planted it in his field and nurtured it into a large bush, from which the finest tea was produced. He gave cuttings of this rare plant to all his neighbors and began selling the tea under the name Tie Guan Yin, Iron Bodhisattva of Mercy.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I have known Greg for two or three years. I originally met him at a presentation he did for The Cultured Cup's T-Bar Club of his travels in the tea regions of China, including Tibet. I have no financial interest in Norbutea.com.)

[Edit: criteria changed to five or more substantive posts.]

The five members of the eGullet Society who signed up for the free samples for the tasting and discussion are ---

baroness

jpr54_

jsmeeker

chrisamirault

naftal

I am jammed up tomorrow, so these will go out on Thursday.

Chris posted about his expectations for the tasting. Anyone else?

For a variety of reasons I have not gotten these out yet, so given the pressure of the holidays I will wait and ship them later in the month and we can pick up the discussion in 2009.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have my tea now! Thanks, Richard.. Now, I just need to brew up a cup.

I'll check out the Gong Fu guidelines at Norbu Tea's website, but I'll probably wind up brewing it "Western Style"

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Hello-I have mine,too. :cool: Thanks Richard :biggrin:

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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Thanx for the sample!

my furniture has not arrived yet to Florida-

the tea was my first mail!!!

i have brewed the tea once gongfu style

i do not like it as much as others i have drank

not too much of floral aroma-not bitter

i thought the brew was just average in my humble opinion

joanne r.

the new floridian

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I was surprised when you described it as not very floral, Joanne, so I gongfu brewed some and got an interesting result: mine is much less floral than it was even a week ago.

I'll have to do a mea culpa here. I opened the vacuum package and divided up everyone's samples back in early December, but only got them shipped last week. So the tea has had a chance to lose it's fresh-out-of-vacuum-packaging floral intensity.

Green TGY is much like Japanese green tea in its sensitivity to air. That's why the good stuff of both is vacuum packed in country and shipped to the US. It's best drunk within a couple of weeks of opening.

So, my apologies. It's still good, but looks like it has declined from my delay.

Well, that's a mistake I will not make again.

I took a few photos that I'll post later.

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Here are some photos from my gongfu brewing today of this Fall 2008 TGY contributed for the tasting by Society member Greg Glancy of Norbutea.com. I measured 4 grams of leaf into a very small 50 - 60 ml gaiwan. Water at 195 F. 10" rinse, 30" rest, 1: 20", 2:15"; 3:30". This could go for several more infusions. Not great images, but it will show how the whole leaves unfurl from small rolled balls.

The dry rolled TGY leaf.

gallery_7582_6392_17802.jpg

The wet leaf and tea liquor after the first infusion.

gallery_7582_6392_91674.jpg

The almost fully infused leaves after the 3rd infusion.

gallery_7582_6392_29160.jpg

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I brewed my sample Western-style for 5 minutes. Very floral fragrance with a hay-like note; reminded me of walking into a good florist shop.

The brew was very pale and delicately flavored. I can't imagine many foods that wouldn't overpower this tea.

Verdict: Interesting, but I prefer the darker, more robust Ti Kuan Yins.

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Hello-I brewed mine gong fu- style. It tasted very light and crisp. It did not hold up to a second steeping.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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I brewed a cup western style last night.

1.5 tsp for 8 oz. water. Water at 190 F. Steeped 4 minutes, then poured into a mug.

It looked like a green tea. But this is an oolong, right? Anyway, based on just the color of the tea, it had more flavor than I expected. Understand, I am new to tea. Until recently, the only tea I drank was iced tea. And since I started drinking quality hot teas, I've been drinking mostly black teas.

Anyway, back to this TYG. This type of tea is pretty different than the black teas I've been drinking lately. But I am having a hard time describing the flavors. I want to say "It tastes kind of like <blank>".. But I can't come up with what <blank> is. I have plenty left, of course. So, I'll try it again.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Hello-I brewed mine gong fu- style. It tasted very light and crisp. It did not hold up to a second steeping.

That's interesting, Naftal, since I got three infusions yesterday during the day and another later. We must be doing gong fu differently. Can you say more about how you are brewing? Time, temp, leaf-water ratio? Gaiwan or Yixing?

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Using my ingenuiTEA set-up here, I just brewed 5g in 400 ml of 194F water for 4 min. That's my standard first steep. I'll start with my own impressions without having read those of the others and then comment.

I really like it, though it's a lot more delicate than the oolongs I've been used to drinking. The color is a pale straw yellow, with almost a shale gray tone. I really like the aroma on this, with lilac, lemongrass, and kaffir lime notes. The color may be having an effect on my nose, but I also think I can detect sweet grassy elements like freshly cut hay. It tastes very smooth and slightly sweet at the end.

I just read Richard's first post with the notes about production, and the lack of roasting really does have a big effect. That comment about floral notes being retained (and the dried fruit flavors left undeveloped) makes sense to me.

Just read that some folks have green tints, which I don't really have. I used tap water here, which I've found produces a better cup than the spring water we get delivered. Can the different water quality can have that effect?

I'm just finishing the cup now and realize that its lack of off-notes is very striking to me. I've been drinking Tealuxe and Tradition oolongs at work, and there are nearly always elements that leave the taste less smooth. I suppose that this is precisely what one gets for the extra bucks, eh? :wink:

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Hello-I brewed mine gong fu- style. It tasted very light and crisp. It did not hold up to a second steeping.

That's interesting, Naftal, since I got three infusions yesterday during the day and another later. We must be doing gong fu differently. Can you say more about how you are brewing? Time, temp, leaf-water ratio? Gaiwan or Yixing?

Hello-I guess one would say I used a Gaiwan, though I actually used a small pot for brewing.The second steeping was 3 min. I think a third steeping went longer, but I was not as impressed with the second or third steep. That is what I meant when I said "it didn't hold up", perhaps I should have said that I was not impressed with the results of my resteepings. Or perhaps I should have let steeping #2 go for a longer period of time.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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Hello-I brewed mine gong fu- style. It tasted very light and crisp. It did not hold up to a second steeping.

That's interesting, Naftal, since I got three infusions yesterday during the day and another later. We must be doing gong fu differently. Can you say more about how you are brewing? Time, temp, leaf-water ratio? Gaiwan or Yixing?

Hello-I guess one would say I used a Gaiwan, though I actually used a small pot for brewing.The second steeping was 3 min. I think a third steeping went longer, but I was not as impressed with the second or third steep. That is what I meant when I said "it didn't hold up", perhaps I should have said that I was not impressed with the results of my resteepings. Or perhaps I should have let steeping #2 go for a longer period of time.

Thanks, that helps to clarify the differences. You are using longer steeping times and mine are much shorter -- your second infusion was 3 minutes and mine was 20 seconds.

Next, what temperature was the water?

Then, how much leaf and how much water in the pot?

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Hello-I brewed mine gong fu- style. It tasted very light and crisp. It did not hold up to a second steeping.

That's interesting, Naftal, since I got three infusions yesterday during the day and another later. We must be doing gong fu differently. Can you say more about how you are brewing? Time, temp, leaf-water ratio? Gaiwan or Yixing?

Hello-I guess one would say I used a Gaiwan, though I actually used a small pot for brewing.The second steeping was 3 min. I think a third steeping went longer, but I was not as impressed with the second or third steep. That is what I meant when I said "it didn't hold up", perhaps I should have said that I was not impressed with the results of my resteepings. Or perhaps I should have let steeping #2 go for a longer period of time.

Thanks, that helps to clarify the differences. You are using longer steeping times and mine are much shorter -- your second infusion was 3 minutes and mine was 20 seconds.

Next, what temperature was the water?

Then, how much leaf and how much water in the pot?

Hello-Other TGY info:the water was 175-195 degrees F., leaf to water ratio was approx. 3g leaf to 8 oz water.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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Hello-I brewed mine gong fu- style. It tasted very light and crisp. It did not hold up to a second steeping.

That's interesting, Naftal, since I got three infusions yesterday during the day and another later. We must be doing gong fu differently. Can you say more about how you are brewing? Time, temp, leaf-water ratio? Gaiwan or Yixing?

Hello-I guess one would say I used a Gaiwan, though I actually used a small pot for brewing.The second steeping was 3 min. I think a third steeping went longer, but I was not as impressed with the second or third steep. That is what I meant when I said "it didn't hold up", perhaps I should have said that I was not impressed with the results of my resteepings. Or perhaps I should have let steeping #2 go for a longer period of time.

Thanks, that helps to clarify the differences. You are using longer steeping times and mine are much shorter -- your second infusion was 3 minutes and mine was 20 seconds.

Next, what temperature was the water?

Then, how much leaf and how much water in the pot?

Hello-Other TGY info:the water was 175-195 degrees F., leaf to water ratio was approx. 3g leaf to 8 oz water.

Thanks. That helps clarify things further. I would think of this as western style brewing, Naftal. With 3 g to 8 ou I would expect only one or two infusions. You could try 3 g to 4 - 6 ou water, 195 F, for 1'30" for the first infusion and see how that does for you. Then extend the steeping time for additional infusions. (Perhaps 2: 2'30", 3: 4', etc.) Adjust for whatever works for you.

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Using my ingenuiTEA set-up here, I just brewed 5g in 400 ml of 194F water for 4 min. That's my standard first steep. I'll start with my own impressions without having read those of the others and then comment.

I really like it, though it's a lot more delicate than the oolongs I've been used to drinking. The color is a pale straw yellow, with almost a shale gray tone. I really like the aroma on this, with lilac, lemongrass, and kaffir lime notes. The color may be having an effect on my nose, but I also think I can detect sweet grassy elements like freshly cut hay. It tastes very smooth and slightly sweet at the end.

I just read Richard's first post with the notes about production, and the lack of roasting really does have a big effect. That comment about floral notes being retained (and the dried fruit flavors left undeveloped) makes sense to me.

Just read that some folks have green tints, which I don't really have. I used tap water here, which I've found produces a better cup than the spring water we get delivered. Can the different water quality can have that effect?

I'm just finishing the cup now and realize that its lack of off-notes is very striking to me. I've been drinking Tealuxe and Tradition oolongs at work, and there are nearly always elements that leave the taste less smooth. I suppose that this is precisely what one gets for the extra bucks, eh? :wink:

Thanks for the comments, Chris. There are a number of isues you have touched on, so I'll try to address them in separate posts. For now let me say that your note on aroma of "lilac, lemongrass, and kaffir lime notes" and "sweet grassy elements like freshly cut hay" may be good examples of aromas and tastes being associations to other tastes that are familiar. Two people are likley to label the same aroma differently depending on past experience. Much like wine in that way. For my part, I would have said lilac or something similarly floral and hay, but have not had a lemomgrass or kaffir lime association to the aroma. But now I'll have to watch (or sniff) for that.

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    • By Kasia
      INSTEAD OF COFFEE? - MORNING GREEN COCKTAIL
       
      After waking up, most of us head towards the kitchen for the most welcome morning drink. Coffee opens our eyes, gets us up and motivates us to act. Today I would like to offer you a healthy alternative to daily morning coffee. I don't want to turn you off coffee completely. After all, it has an excellent aroma and fantastic flavor. There isn't anything more relaxing during a busy day than a coffee break with friends.

      In spite of the weather outside, change your kitchen for a while and try something new. My green cocktail is also an excellent way to wake up and restore energy. Add to it a pinch of curcuma powder, which brings comfort and acts as a buffer against autumn depression.

      Ingredients (for 2 people):
      200ml of green tea
      4 new kale leaves
      1 green cucumber
      half an avocado
      1 pear
      1 banana
      pinch of salt
      pinch of curcuma

      Peel the avocado, pear and banana. Remove the core from the pear. Blend every ingredient very thoroughly. If the drink is too thick, add some green tea. Drink at once.

      Enjoy your drink!
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Even though I would like to change the situation, the winter is coming. Sooner or later there will be sharp winds, frost and unpleasant moisture. I don't know how you like to warm up at home, but on the first cold day I dust off my home recipe for hot and yummy winter teas.

      You can use my recipe or come up with your own proposals for fiery mixtures. Only one thing should be the same: your favourite tea must be strong and hot.

      Ingredients (for 2 teas)
      Raspberry-orange
      8 cloves
      a piece of cinnamon
      2 grains of cardamom
      4 slices of orange
      2 teaspoons of honey
      your favourite tea
      50ml of raspberry juice or 30ml of raspberry juice and 30ml of raspberry liqueur
      Add 4 of the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of orange with honey. Add the raspberry juice or a mixture of juice and liqueur to the tea. Next add the honey with orange. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and orange.

      Lemon-ginger
      8 cloves
      3 slices of fresh ginger
      2 grains of cardamom
      50ml of ginger syrup or 30ml of ginger syrup and 30ml of ginger-lemon liqueur
      4 slices of lemon
      2 teaspoons of honey
      Add 4 of the cloves, ginger and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of lemon with honey. Add the ginger syrup or mixture of syrup and liqueur to the tea. Next add honey with lemon. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and lemon.

      Enjoy your drink!

    • By Kasia
      My Irish Coffee  
      Today the children will have to forgive me, but adults also sometimes want a little pleasure. This is a recipe for people who don't have to drive a car or work, i.e. for lucky people or those who can rest at the weekend. Irish coffee is a drink made with strong coffee, Irish Whiskey, whipped cream and brown sugar. It is excellent on cold days. I recommend it after an autumn walk or when the lack of sun really gets you down. Basically, you can spike the coffee with any whiskey, but in my opinion Jameson Irish Whiskey is the best for this drink.

      If you don't like whiskey, instead you can prepare another kind of spiked coffee: French coffee with brandy, Spanish coffee with sherry, or Jamaican coffee with dark rum.
      Ingredients (for 2 drinks)
      300ml of strong, hot coffee
      40ml of Jameson Irish Whiskey
      150ml of 30% sweet cream
      4 teaspoons of coarse brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of caster sugar
      4 drops of vanilla essence
      Put two teaspoons of brown sugar into the bottom of two glasses. Brew some strong black coffee and pour it into the glasses. Warm the whiskey and add it to the coffee. Whisk the sweet cream with the caster sugar and vanilla essence. Put it gently on top so that it doesn't mix with the coffee.

      Enjoy your drink!
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for swift autumn cookies with French pastry and a sweet ginger-cinnamon-pear stuffing. Served with afternoon coffee they warm us up brilliantly and dispel the foul autumn weather.

      Ingredients (8 cookies)
      1 pack of chilled French pastry
      1 big pear
      1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon
      1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
      2 tablespoons of milk

      Heat the oven up to 190C. Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper.
      Wash the pear, peel and cube it. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and one tablespoon of the brown sugar. Mix them in. Cut 8 circles out of the French pastry. Cut half of every circle into parallel strips. Put the pear stuffing onto the other half of each circle. Roll up the cookies starting from the edges with the stuffing. Put them onto the baking paper and make them into cones. Smooth the top of the pastry with the milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. bake for 20-22 minutes.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       
       

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