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Richard Kilgore

What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

439 posts in this topic

This morning a Great Red Robe from The Cultured Cup brewed in a Yixing (but not gong fu style, instead 2.5 g/7 ounces), quite flavorful through three infusions. Followed by the Organic Gokujo Sencha from Yuuki-cha, last years, so I need to finish it off, though still delicious. Brewed in an interesting, older Bizen hobin.

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It's been a couple of pleasant days with tea. Yesterday's highlight was a beautiful session with my 2006 Purple Bud Haiwan puerh from Norbu, where I suddenly noted a very tasty resemblance to the lovely aged shengs I've been tasting from Essence of Tea. I am torn between wanting to drink it faster now, and wondering what might happen if I wait longer and let it age more.

Today, a very sweet session with spring Alishan oolong from Norbu, and a pleasing session with Dragon Well.

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Among yesterday's teas, a shade grown TGY (a sample from Greg at Norbu Tea). Yes, shade grown! Still tweaking the brewing on this richer than usual TGY - more in the Chinese Green Tea forum soon.

First sip this morning was of a Fujian Bai Lin Gongfu Red Tea from jingteashop.com. Followed by 2010 Shi Feng Long Jing Green Tea, also from Jing, and a Pai Mu Tan from The Cultured Cup. Since the White Tea TT&D I've been brewing more white teas and enjoying them more than upon first meeting them several years ago.

BTW, a new TT&D started yesterday. Check it out if you enjoy black(red) teas.

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Since the White Tea TT&D I've been brewing more white teas and enjoying them more than upon first meeting them several years ago.

Same here. I've been alternating white teas with sencha for morning tea since shortly after that time.

Today, a very pleasant day with sencha to start, then moved on to Lao Ban Pen loose Mao Cha, a 2010 offering from Norbu, which just kept going and going in a small yixing pot. I am ending with some Song Zhong dan cong from Tea Habitat, and occasionally alternating with a few last infusions of the Lao Ban Pen.

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Today was a travel day with limited access to tea. I started with some still hot 2007 white bud sheng puerh from norbu, and just now am finishing a thermos of spring Alishan oolong. I'm feeling a lot less zombie-like now that I'm no longer sitting inside a moving object, hydrated, and modestly caffeinated. Ahhhh.

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The last few days it's been my usual eclectic mix: the delicate Puttabong Estate 1st Flush SFTGFOP1 and solid, but one-dimensional, Grand Keemun (both Tea Source); a current favorite Assam, the Jamirah Estate Assam (The Cultured Cup); Wu Niu Zao Chinese green tea - deliciously less delicate than a Long Jing (jingteashop.com); a still nice 2010 Organic Gokujo Sencha (yuuki-cha.com); and a more recent, fresher batch of Pai Mu Tan white tea from TCC than the one (about 6 months old) I brewed a few days ago. And a little iced tea as the temp moves into the 90s here.

Tea Alert! A new black tea Tea Tasting & Discussion offering free samples started a few days ago. Tea newbies welcome. Check it out.

So what teas are you all drinking in your part of the world? Hot or cold, whatever.

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This morning the very last of my Vithanakanda Estate Ceylon, Extra Special from teasource.com. Probably the best Ceylon I have had. Now sipping Yin Zhen white tea from The Cultured Cup - delicate, lightly coating the front of my mouth.

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harney Hot Cinnamon Spice for that 11 AM slump.

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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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After reading rave reviews about Rani Estate's Organic Assam, I ordered some from Mighty Leaf and it (and a couple of others) arrived today.

I brewed a pot - 205° F., 4 minutes - and it is just as good as others have said. Malty, without being overpowering, a hint of chestnut and a long, smooth finish with not even a smidgen of bitterness in the aftertaste.

As satisfying a cup as I have had for some time.

I tried it plain and then added a half-teaspoon of sugar and a tablespoon of milk. Perfect afternoon tea.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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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?

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Mostly hot teas, although once or twice some teas cooled to room temp before drinking recently, and once a pot of sencha was left with cold water for the day after only drinking 2 infusions.

It's been a bit of sencha, green oolong, dark roast oolong, a bit of puerh, and reload, no particular rhyme or reason except travel limiting choices on several recent days. Now working on some Rou Gui oolong from HouDe, towards the end of a bag that seems to have lost of bit of zip since opening a few months ago. Still a mellow pleasant tea--it's oolong, after all. Earlier, had some Bamboo-aged YiWu puerh from Norbu, and started the day with Yunnan Mao Feng.

I also have discovered a new employee in this office is a tea drinker--have to see if I can tempt her from a steady regimen of British teas (spouse is from England). She surprised me by mentioning she bought a new tea-brewing device based on a great review on America's Test Kitchen. I was pleased to hear of a mainstream venue like that focusing on tea.

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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.

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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.

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It's been a quiet tea weekend--had to work in the mornings so not as much time for tea as I'd have liked.

Yesterday, I got in a morning sencha (Zairai Honyama from Norbu), a midday oolong (spring Alishan from Norbu) and an evening puerh that I kept drinking through today--2010 Banpen from Essence of Tea. Review to come in the puerh topic.

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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?

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Today started with some Anji white tea (really a green tea, but it says white tea on the jar) from Wing Hop Fung, then moved on to some SeaDyke Ti Kuan Yin. When the Anji loses it (still going strong because I used a LOT of leaf and total infusion time is still not very long), I expect to sneak in a puerh of some kind. A little of this, a little of that, something light and floral, something deep and earthy....

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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.

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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?

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Today I started with the same Zairai sencha, moved on to some fall TGY from Jingteashop, then some 2007 white bud sheng puerh from Norbu, and finally I'm enjoying some spring 2010 TGY from Norbu in a beautiful new cup from Petr Novak (a catalog of his wares is here--linking to that because I don't yet have a proper photo of this cup or the other goodies I got together with it).

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Then this morning I infused a batch of the Muzha Tie Guan Yin from Dragon Tea House, my second time drinking this tea, combining infusions in the thermos. The first time I brewed this, I only noticed a basic deep roast oolong-ness, also during a bulk brewing session. This time, despite being bulk brewed, it was much more interesting--a surprising blend of the spiciness I've associated with new-style green TGY and rich deep roasted flavor. I get hints of this in my inexpensive SeaDyke TGY, but this takes it to another level. I bet this is why it's so popular. Delicious stuff. I'm finishing off the thermos now, 12+ hours later, and it's barely lukewarm but the spicy and the toasty are still hanging on. Nice!

Then this afternoon, between the early and late sessions with the Muzha, I finished off the last of my 'High Mountain Beauty' summer 2009 Alishan Oolong from Norbu--the 'bitten' tea. It was an exceptionally nice session, enjoyed by several colleagues. Here's hoping the jassid bugs are getting ready to bite again!

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Tan Yang Gong Fu Red(Black in the West) Tea from jingteashop.com to start the day. A pleasant start at that. Later in the day brewing Norbu's Lao Tai Di Qing Xin (Old Plantation) Oolong, but not gong fu cha, rather with 2.5g leaf in a 210 ml Yixing. Although I have brewed this tea more often gong fu cha, this works out very well - with three good infusions - when I am in more of a hurry. Other than iced tea in this 104F temp, that's my tea for the day.

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I have found that 'Old Plantation' to be forgiving of just about anything, and it's not just that it doesn't develop unpleasant flavors when brewed in bulk, but the complexity of it is retained much better than many other deeply roasted oolongs brewed the same way.

Yesterday I was trying some new teaware, so started the day with Norbu's Zairai sencha in my new kyusu, and later baptized another new teapot with some Diamond TGY. I'm sharing some pictures in the teaware topic.


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

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Yes, I agree about the "Old Plantation". Really great.

The sun came up on a pot of Gift Grade Keemun from jingteashop, and maybe one cup left in the bag. Then on to the Organic Honyrama Gyokuro Kin-un from yuuki-cha - three good infusions and then I blew the fourth with a too long and too hot steeping. Don't think I have even enough left in the bottom of the bag for one more session. And now a floral, honeysuckle Phoenix Mountain Dan Cong from The Cultured Cup. Overall a pleasant tea day. And it just may not be over yet.

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Yes, I agree about the "Old Plantation". Really great.

The sun came up on a pot of Gift Grade Keemun from jingteashop, and maybe one cup left in the bag. Then on to the Organic Honyrama Gyokuro Kin-un from yuuki-cha - three good infusions and then I blew the fourth with a too long and too hot steeping. Don't think I have even enough left in the bottom of the bag for one more session. And now a floral, honeysuckle Phoenix Mountain Dan Cong from The Cultured Cup. Overall a pleasant tea day. And it just may not be over yet.

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