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What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 2)


Richard Kilgore
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I am headed to the kitchen to steep my second cup of Norbu's Shui Jin Gui - Wu Yi Spring 09 Oolong.

I really enjoyed Rishi's Silver Needle a few nights ago. I enjoyed it so much that I am eager to try more white teas. The Rishi Silver Needel gave me a cup of tea with far more body and depth than I knew was possible from a white tea (I don't know much about white tea to begin with).

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A Sencha Select from the The Cultured Cup brewed in a banko kyusu from yuuki-cha.com. Brewed it a little leafier today and more of a sweet baby asparagus flavor came through.

Then my daily matcha in a Shigaraki chawan.

Several Tea Tasting & Discussions are already in the works for this year. In addition to the TT&Ds of single teas from around the world, I am also arranging for a number of interesting two and three tea comparative TT&Ds. In general, all society members may request one of the available free samples if you have at least 10 substantive posts for the single TT&Ds or 25 posts for the multiple tea comparative TT&Ds. (Substantive post simply means contributing to a discussion with a question, answer or other comment. And many interesting discussions often start with a good question.) If you subscribe to the Coffee & Tea forum now, you'll be among the first to know when a new TT&D is announced.

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I've started a gong fu cha session with a 90's Select Aged Nan Tou Oolong, a heavily roasted Formosa (Taiwan) Oolong, from Hou De. I got this in a tea trade some time ago and doubt Hou De still carries it. After I have brewed it in both a gaiwan and a Yixing dedicated to aged Oolongs, I'll post a more detailed note in the Oolong topic.

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Started the day with the hand processed Dian Hong Imperial from norbutea.com and the 2008 Nan Jian Tulin 803 Ripe Pu-erh Tuo from yunnansourcing.com, both made in Yixings. The former is simply exceptional and the latter is better than it ought to be for the price.

So what teas are you all brewing in your part of the world?

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I've started a gong fu cha session with a 90's Select Aged Nan Tou Oolong, a heavily roasted Formosa (Taiwan) Oolong, from Hou De. I got this in a tea trade some time ago and doubt Hou De still carries it. After I have brewed it in both a gaiwan and a Yixing dedicated to aged Oolongs, I'll post a more detailed note in the Oolong topic.

I would like to hear more about it.

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Today, started with a pot of the Alishan High Mountain Spring Oolong, and am ending the workday with a particularly nice brewing of the red-label Ti Kuan Yin, one that came out so nicely that it reminds me why I have always loved this tea. It is not so forgiving as the Big Red Robe Wuyi I have been drinking recently--it really can be unpleasant if brewed too hot/too long/too strong--but tonight's batch has all the earthy smoky goodness plus the sweetness that makes it so very very nice.

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The Mariage Freres Puttabong Estate (first flush) Darjeeling from theculturedcup.com this morning. I am typically more fond of second flush Darjeelings, but I really enjoy this first flush.

Followed by my daily bowl of matcha from yuuki-cha.com.

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Friday evening it was a Moroccan themed buffet with teas at The Cultured Cup's monthly T-Bar Club meeting. Next month a blind tasting. More on that to come.

Saturday, Greg Glancy and I tasted several of his new Norbutea.com Wuyi Oolongs to select those for the next Tea Tasting & Discussion. Then after dinner at a very good, newish Szechuan place, we opened a tiny packet of 60's sheng pu-erh I received a few months ago. Brewed in a 70's Yixing teapot, this is the oldest pu I have had and different than any I have had. Yes, I will do it again.

Started this day with a Ceylon Vithanakanda Estate, Extra Special from Tea Source. Delicious, and as I have said before, my favorite Ceylon to date.

Now drinking a delicious Organic Uji Tokusen Sencha from yuuki-cha.com. Brewed in a Banko kyusu, I am three infusions into it and think it has two more to go.

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Wouldn't you know it? Just after I gave away some very fancy dragonwell that just wasn't doing it for me, tonight I brewed up a bit of a lesser grade version that I was planning to use up and not replace--and of course I brewed up four wonderful infusions in a row. And quite regrettably I did not weigh the tea first. Sigh.

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Right, ambiguous phrasing, but I intended to mean another time, another day.

Starting the day with the MF Quuen Victoria (second flush) Darjeeling from The Cultured Cup.

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Knew what you meant, but really wAs tempted because still a little thirsty.And today, drinking from a sample of fall tie guan yin from norbutea, very promising stuff, but doing the big thermos full so not really best conditiomns to compare/rate it.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
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Started the day with the lovely Bai Lo Chun from jingteashop.com, got through a difficult afternoon with some Yunnan Mao Feng, and now am moving on to a puerh, the 2009 Norbu Lao Cha Tou. I didn't have enough time earlier today to build on the recent success with dragonwell, and right now don't have enough energy for a finicky tea.

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And this morning, brewing a couple of grams of Huo Shan Huang Ya, yellow tea from jingteashop.com, in a gaiwan, and there is still sweetness and body coming out beautifully at the 7th or 8th infusion. I keep expecting that the next infusion will be one too many, but then, it's delicious and I go back to the teapot for more water.

Either it's finally tapped out, or the water in the kettle was just too cold to extract more, but I finally stopped at something between 10 and 12 infusions. Astonishing.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
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Also today, a thermos full of "Oolong tea", a gift that came in a red canister from Hsin Tung Yang Co LTD in Taiwan. It was a little thin in my first brewing, but serviceable and soothing, sweetening as the afternoon continued. And then, another brewing of Dragonwell, which again was excellent. I am not sure what the breakthrough is with the Dragonwell--I did use a higher leaf-to-water ratio than my usual, because my intent a few nights ago was to use up the tea--but otherwise, the temp and timings and gaiwan are substantially the same as what was just not cutting it a month or two ago.

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