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What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 2)


Richard Kilgore
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Today is all green tea, all the time. Sencha, Dragon Well, and now Bi Lo Chun.

I have not yet 'figured out' how to get the sweetness of the Bi Lo Chun without bitterness: my batting average with green teas is well above 50% now, but matcha isn't the only green that still gives me trouble.

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Today was a hit and miss tea day. I started with an exceptionally fine cup of the Sencha Select, but then got overconfident and managed to make the ever mellow and forgiving Yunnan Mao Feng rather bitter. Still not sure how I managed that! Finished with a pleasing session of Honey Orchid Oolong.

And that last was made with a new cordless electric teapot for work--I got tired of having to plug and unplug the simple model I've been using for the past year. More on that after I've had a better chance to use it for a while.

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Today, another mostly-green tea day, mostly because I'm playing with the new teapot's temperature controls. Started with the Sencha select.

Then brewed up the mystery tea I passed on by a colleague who was given it as a gift, who said he can't take the caffeine any more. I'm almost certain that this is the same stuff as the Precious Rare White Tea I brewed in a tasting of white teas a few weeks ago. It came out perfect, delicate and floral and grassy all at once, no bitterness, and Brandon said he'd wished he saved some back for himself, because he didn't realize how wonderful and mellow it could be. Apparently all he's had recently is very very strong dark puerh that was not kind to his stomach. So I'll keep bringing the little gongfu tea cup to that clinic and tempt him with little bits of this and that. And several other people tried it and were wowed.

Now playing with a little Bi Lo Chun, delightful.

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I tried out some more of last year's Tie Guan Yin in my new pot, brewed Gong Fu style; one teaspoon of tea to 60 ml of water, 75 degrees, one minute. Very, well - smoky isn't the right word, but like that, for the first cup. Second and third cups (30 sec.) were floral and sweet. Very nice. I followed those cups with a tall cup of the long jing from last weekend, also 75 degrees, for 30 seconds. Light, grassy and astringent. I really love this tea for waking up my mouth.

Very tempted to hit the tea shop to see what new spring arrivals are there. I still haven't tried any silver needle yet...

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Today started with Dens Tea's special anniversary sample that was included in my last shipment: a sencha extra green sample with matcha added, and a sprinkle of gold leaf. Very glamorous emerald tea with the shimmery gold on top:

4447885221_2c68a704b1.jpg

Then some Precious Rare White Tea, building on yesterday's marvelous brewing at work. Next up, a little later in the day, I think I will pluck a couple of citrus blossoms from the yard and add them to some silver needle or more of the white tea.

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Light tea days the past few days. Black teas in the morning: Ceylon Lumbini Estate, FBOP; Keemun Yao B; Assam Konghea Estate Golden Bud - all from teasource.com. Don't have a favorite among these three; all different, all good.

And in the afternoon the sencha from yuuki-cha.com that is featured in the current Tea Tasting & Discussion. Easy to like.

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After green and white tea to start the day, I went on to the 2006 A-Gu Zhai Wild Arbor Pu-erh tea from Yunnan Sourcing, and then ended with a new oolong, Winter premium Bao Zhong from Houde. I ordered from Houde even though my cupboard was full primarily to try their Rou Gui oolong, which I'd been reading about elsewhere, and was in short supply from many online sources, and tossed in the Bao Zhong as an afterthought, which it certainly will not be in the future. More on that in the oolong topic, when I do it up right with pictures.

Today, started with another matcha experiment. More in the matcha topic. That didn't go so well, so needed consolation with some Yunnan Mao Feng, and tried again the two Korean green teas I tasted last week. Now I am sufficiently caffeinated to do something more productive.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
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The Ceylon Lumbini Estate, FBOP in my cup this morning.

Also over the last couple of days have been re-brewing one of the three Aged Oolongs to good effect. More in the Oolong topic.

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Yesterday kept on with the mostly green tea theme, another attempt at the two Korean green teas, a little Oriental Beauty, Bai Mu Dan, and Bi Lo Chun. Back to the office for lots of paperwork in the evening, so lots of sipping throughout.

Today, thought I was going to the satellite office (but was wrong) so had already brewed up a thermos of red labeled Ti Kuan Yin for the day, and therefore am starting the tea day with the old standby. I managed it just right (water about 190 degrees, several infusions about 1 minute each, moderate leaf-to-water ratio but didn't measure), sweet, spicy, toasty, yum.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
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Later in the day, brewed up a lot of silver needle prior to a meeting, but hardly anyone wanted to share, so I ended up drinking a lot of it after it was already well on the way to oxidized ordinariness. Sad. Now enjoying a tiny amount of Mao Xie from Jing Tea, infusing a remarkable quantity of lovely tea.

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An entirely satisfying tea day, so far. Started with some Anji white tea that I 'scented' with some pomelo (citrus) flowers from my garden. It was stunning. Cup after cup, and enough pomelo left with the leaves long enough to strongly but not overpoweringly scent it.

Then midday more of my Ti Kuan Yin, to share in clinc.

For the end of day paperwork, now drinking more of the Anji with pomelo. I left the flowers with the tea for so long that it picked up a lot of moisture from the flowers, so I have to drink it up fast. Heh, and yum.

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Started the day with the Ceylon Lumbini Estate, FBOP from teasource.com.

The last couple of days I have also been brewing the Organic Yame Sencha from yuuki-cha.com that is featured in the current Tea Tasting & Discussion.

This evening it's Orange Rooibos from The Cultured Cup. More like a blood orange. I have never been that big on flavored teas or tisanes, but a pairing at York Street Cafe converted me to this Rooibos.

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I usually run from the flavored teas too. I do however really like unflavored rooibos, which seems to be hard to find in Boston. At home in London and Dublin it is everywhere. I have been on a flavored tea bender though... Most recently a kiwi pomegranate one. I would predict that i would hate this. But it has an intriguing flavor. I cut it half and half with my every day tea from the Middle Eastern Store, so it is not too flowery/fruity. I do make it strong and drink it with milk.

I mentioned it to a friend and said i might have to hand in my English citizenship and i had gone over to the dark side. I was losing my "edge". She commented i might be just losing my narrow mind. hmmmm

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I cut it half and half with my every day tea from the Middle Eastern Store, so it is not too flowery/fruity.

I have done this a lot with jasmine & similar floral teas. Most of them are too much like perfume drunk uncut.

This morning's sencha, however, was perfect straight up.

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Ending the tea day with the smoky wonderful 2007 white bud sheng puerh from Norbu.

I have been drinking some other lovely puerhs recently, including a wonderful new group of puerhs from Yunnan Sourcing, but this wonderful series of infusions reminds me why I will be ordering a couple more of these when I next get the chance, so earthy/smoky/sweet!

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Today I started out with a Ceylon Vitahanakanda Estate, FOP from teasource.com. Not as complex as the higher grade version of this, but still tasty.

Later had the Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou from yuukicha.com, brewed in an older Bizen houhin teapot.

Then this evening had an Aged TGY Oolong from norbutea.com, brewed in a small Yixing. More on this and three other Aged Oolongs in the Oolong topic.

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Today it's been the Japanese Kukicha from The Cultured Cup featured in last year's Tea Tasting & Discussion. I had this tucked away and had forgotten about it. Surprisingly good after such a long time. Perhaps this durability is due to the stems rather than leaves.

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

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Today started sencha, moved on to yancha, Shui Jin Gui Wu Yi Oolong from norbu, and had a surprising interlude this evening with a bit of a sample of an 1999 Aged Liu An Basket of Anhui 'black tea' from Yunnan Sourcing, and now am finishing the remains of the spring 2009 Ali Shan Oolong from norbu, still a beautiful tea.

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Started the day with a Mariage Freres Puttabong Estate Darjeeling - first flush from The Cultured Cup. My favorite first flush so far.

So what teas have you all been drinking?

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