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Richard Kilgore

What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

438 posts in this topic

It's been a lovely tea day here too. I started with sencha in the new kyusu and teacup from Petr, and moved on to my first cups of barley tea/mugi-cha at a Korean restaurant with lunch. I was surprised by the lightness and sweetness of the barley tea--I'd expected something more like the deeply roasted rice in japanese genmaicha, which is quite toasty and more than a little bitter. I'll be checking into that more soon....I foresee some Mugi-cha experiments.

Then I've been enjoying a first session with some Huang Jin Gui fall tea from Norbu, a light floral green oolong, which I bought because I so enjoyed a package of spring HJG last year. It was very similar, perhaps not quite as rich or as much body as the spring version, but really very reminiscent of TGY in the early infusions. Quite lovely in a bargain oolong. Now I'm working on a pot of 2010 Spring Wu Liang Mtn - Xue Dian Mei Lan green/oolong tea, and starting to slosh a bit with all of the tea, but I have a difficult piece of writing to finish tonight so I need the constant caffeine infusion.

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Past few days it's been Jamirah Estate Assam (TCC), Castleton Estate Darjeeling, Wiry (Tea Source) and Nilgiri Glendale Estate, Handmade (also Tea Source) for morning black teas, and Shi Feng Long Jing from jingteashop.com for a green tea. Today I'm drinking Wu Niu Zao also from jingteashop.com. This green tea is still incredibly good, being opened for about a year.

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Today:

Menghai 2002 "Natural Habitat" pu'er (small cake with a bok choy on the front)

Sea Dyke red can 'Da Hong Pao' (probably a couple years old)

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Today, Dragon Well start (early meeting, couldn't get in the sencha); Lao Cha Tou shu puerh nuggets from norbu for the afternoon; and spring (2010, but newly opened) TIe Guan Tin from norbu to end the evening, in the new little porcelain shino pot.

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Today starts with senna in cinnamon-bark oolong; at lunch it will be black spice chai blended according to the recipe given to me by a Tibetan friend, and for teatime probably a 42-herb Horchata.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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The 42 herb horchata sounds quite interesting. Does it really have 42 herbal ingredients, or a mix of spices and herbs?

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It's really 42 herbal ingredients, both leaf and flower. Horchata (and if you search on it, you'll end up mostly with a Mexican rice beverage - that's not it) is a traditional herbal tea from Ecuador that I got hooked on my very first visit down. The recipe I use is from the Loja province (where the tisane originates); technically I should allow it to cool completely and drink it iced, but I enjoy it hot.

If you're interested, I can post the blend.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I was only familiar with the Mexican rice drink. I will have to ask my ecuadorian relatives about this. But I'll head over to the herbal tea/Tisane topic for more. NLast 2 days, only C sinensis teas, but we're having a birthday celebration for a colleague at work who loves herbal tisanes, and today I'll be stopping by a korean tea shop that has a selection of very interesting herbs for teas, so I'm looking for good ideas.

Yesterday, O-Cha's "Aio" shincha, which is just as grassy and light as promised on their web site. Since I'm trying not to have multiple senchas open at once, I can't do a head to head comparison to the others I've been drinking a lot of lately--the shin-ryoku from Dens, the Zairai Honyama from Norbu, or the Sayamakaori that was a favorite from Yuuki-cha last year (and that I have a fresh stock of in the cupboard, yay!). I can say that this is grassy, sweet, less nutty than the Zairai, and probably less rich than the Sayamakaori, but grassier than either.

Also yesterday, a nice oolong session alternating infusions of Song Zhong #5, a brilliant Dan Cong from TeaHabitat, and a Dong Ding same from a tea swap, long enough ago that I can't remember any details about the provenance. I've had a lot of taiwanese Alishan greens over the last couple of years from Norbu, and this one was clearly related to those teas, but it was much darker than the light Alishans, and lighter than a version I got fro

Norbu last year. It did not come off badly as I went between it and the Song Zhong, and given how fantastic the Song Zhong is, that's saying a lot! The day finished with a 1999 Liu An sample from Yunnan Sourcing, not technically a puerh, but as puerh-like as could be, earthy, woodsy, sweet humus.

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Hey, if you've got Ecuadorian relatives, tell them to send you a box of ILE Horchata (Industrias Lojanas) - it's the hands-down best of the packaged varieties. Other than that, a very good blend can be had at Cafe Galleti in Quito; she blends her own 42 herbs and it's quite a pleasant mix. However, you have to go to the cafe (on Vicente Ramon Roca between Juan Leon Mera and Reina Victoria in the Mariscal) in order to buy it; it's by weight.

Nice herbal blends? I'm very fond of lemongrass with hibiscus, and also if you can find it, dried pepper leaves with fresh basil and stevia is a real winner.

Today's starter tea is likely Coca Leaf with jasmine, as it's cold outside and I'm feeling a bit fatigued. If it continues cold, I'll have some Tibetan style sweet chai at lunch and probably continue it into dinnertime (if I'm going to the effort, I'm going to wring every cup of goodness out of the spices.)


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I will definitely ask them to bring me some the next time someone visits. My nieces are more reliable as a source of information than as potential tea-couriers, however.

Several days, no tea reports. Much tea has been drunk, including yesterday's birthday offering of chamomile/hibiscus/gamro(hydrangea)/tulsi/lemongrass; Sichuan yellow tea from Norbu; some '1992' puerh from Chado (a poorly described loose tea, still don't know if it is sheng or shu and if 1992 refers to a date or the number of the item in their stock list); a first tasting of the 2011 Guafengzhai puerh from Essence of Tea, still not finished; some Tai Ping Hou Kui from Jing Tea Shop; Huang Jin Gui fall oolong from Norbu; Spring 2010 TGY from Norbu.

Today, starting with some Silver Needle from Jing Tea Shop.

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Today I have had a shocking experience: I brewed up a tiny quantity of a gift of 'assam' tea, out of a sense of obligation to at least try it before passing it on to someone else, and actually managed to make it dilute enough (teeny bit of leaves, flash infusion) to not be bitter, and even be sort of....tasty.

(falls over backwards in shock)

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Several days, no posts.....surely I'm not the only one drinking tea?

I've made some iced tea this week, when it was getting quite hot in the house (no air conditioning there), some sencha, silver needle, and the 'cold brew da yu ling' from Dragon Tea House. This tea is amazingly fine brewed this way--great stuff.

Today, started with Aoi sencha from O-cha, then on to some Da Hong Pao for afternoon clinic, and had so many sharing it that I ran out before the end (oops, glad I topped up though after lunch). Then a very nice evening session with some 2009 Wuliang Shan loose puerh mao cha from Norbu. Can't go wrong with this mellow lovely tea.

Last night was memorable for a long, luxurious session with Hawaiian oolong, during which I think I finally got to the bottom of the tea, after a couple dozen infusions.

Anyone else drinking tea, hot or cold, besides the TT&D?

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Today, I started out with an aged baozhong... no real details, but I'd guess it's late 90s or early 00s, and it's somewhat roasted, but still pretty fragrant. Then the last of a qianlixiang from Jing Tea Shop, which was Ok but not mind-blowing.

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Will, the aged baozhong sounds interesting. Do you have a source for it? Same for the Hawaiian Oolong, WC.

I was out of town in Austin during the long weekend holiday for a wedding and did not have time for tea (except iced), although I did take teas and equipment. Just before that and since I have had several - the Dian Hong Imperial from Norbu, the Castleton Estate Darjeeling Wiry from Tea Source and yesterday the Nepal Chiyabari Estate (featured in the current TT&D) and a Yin Zhen white tea, both from The Cultured Cup.

It was 106f yesterday and it's already hit 107f today, so iced tea and lots of water have been on the menu. Nonetheless, I got two more infusions of the Yin Zhen today. Not sure what's next - matcha? Chinese green?

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Will, the aged baozhong sounds interesting. Do you have a source for it? Same for the Hawaiian Oolong, WC.

I bought it at a shop in Taipei that doesn't have an online presence (they have high turnover, so the tea is probably gone now too). This one is interesting - it's not that strong somehow (i.e., I have to use a lot of it), but it is mostly distinguished by the lack of many negative characteristics.

I believe it's the same store mentioned here:

http://marshaln.xanga.com/628828136/a-tea-walk/

You can purchase somewhat similar (and in some cases older) aged baozhongs from online sources; the taste really depends a lot on storage, re-roasting, etc.. It's been long enough since I've bought any that I can't really recommend any specifically.

Teamasters may still carry some (not sure) aged baozhong. J-tea sells a few, but I'm not sure which, if any, of the currently available ones I've tried. I have heard good things about the 1986 dong ding, however (this is a balled oolong, not a baozhong):

http://jteainternational.com/tea-shop/aged-oolong-tea/

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It's been the usual varied tea-round lately....green here, oolong there, now a puerh, now a white tea....last few days were notable for a very nice session with Norbu's bamboo aged YiWu puerh, some excellent sessions with spring Alishan oolong from Norbu, and a lovely mellow session with some Dragon Well from Wing Hop Fung.

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I am becoming a tea-weeny in this heat (109f heat index at the moment) and so have increased my iced tea:hot tea ratio. Nonetheless I have been drinking the two teas from The Cultured Cup featured in the current TT&D: Yunnan Golden Tips and Nepal Chiyabari Estate black/red teas. Also a Mellow Monk Japanese green tea and the Wu Niu Zao Chinese green tea from jingteashop.com.

In general I find green teas brewed hot more tolerable in the heat since they are brewed at 175f and below. Japanese Gyokuro and matcha especially.

So how about the rest of you? Drinking teas hot, cold, or iced in your part of the universe?

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Still mostly hot tea, and cold water when I need cold. I have some cold-brewed tea in the fridge that I keep forgetting is in there.

Today, Jin Guan Yin from Norbu. It's a bulk brewing, so I can't give a proper review of it yet, but I am really loving it. And there's been some Rou Gui from Jing Tea Shop, a low-roast version that is light on the cinnamon notes. Unfortunately, it was not vacuum packed, and I hadn't expected the light roast, so it sat unopened for a good while while I was working on some green oolongs, and it may have lost the nice edge it would otherwise have had. Still, a very nice mellow mildly spicy tea. Not much green tea because I'm not often in the same place with my kettle for a good long session.


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

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Still been drinking the two teas from The Cultured Cup featured in the current TT&D: Yunnan Golden Tips and Nepal Chiyabari Estate for black/red teas early in the day. Lots of iced tea, too (it hit 107f today).

Also back to matcha, the Organic Shizuoka Matcha Iroka from yuuki-cha.com. It's taken me a few tries until finally getting a great bowl today. No matcha in months and took taking care with the details to get the tea:water ratio just right. Out comes the ml measuring cup - I had been using a little too much water until today.

So what teas are you all drinking in your part of the globe?

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It's been sencha, celebrating a new shiboridashi that matches the kyusu and cups I got a few weeks back (the shiboridashi was in a separate shipment), and lots of oolongs. I was at camp, bulk brewing for the thermos, and didn't take any puerh with me. Also some cold-brewed tea, including a cheap sencha that is more refreshing cool than hot, silver needle, and the 'cold brew Da Yu Ling' from Jing Tea Shop.

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I've been back with a lot of oolong the last few days--Mao Xie, Jin Guan Yin, Huang Jin Gui, sweet green floral teas--and a very nice Da Hong Pao last night as a counterpoint, toasty and spicy and also a bit sweet. Mmmm.

I got a shipment of oolong from Norbu last night, and this morning had a revelatory experience with one of the free samples included with the shipment--the best green tea I've had yet. I wrote a review in the Chinese green tea topic. Now finishing with some Dragon Well, which is not doing so well by comparison with the amazing Zhejiang tea.

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This topic has been too quiet for quite a while. Is it just too hot for tea right now where you live?

I'm drinking something cold brewed almost daily right now, green oolongs and some white teas especially; lots of green oolongs, trying to work my way through a couple of open packages before I can try some new ones in my last shipment from Norbu. I'm drinking some Bai Yun yunnan oolong from Norbu today, a tea reminiscent of taiwanese oriental beauty, but before that it was mostly Jin Guan Yin from Norbu and Mao Xie from Jing Tea Shop. Also drinking some sencha, chinese green teas including various Dragon Well and Long Jings; and had a few lovely sessions with puerhs, including the 2009 Lao Ban Zhang loose mao cha from Norbu and the 2010 Bangwai sample from Essence of Tea (it really grew on me the second time around, tempted to buy a beeng, but my puerh cup already runneth over).

How about you?

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I've been continuing to work my way through some new teas, lots of green oolongs, mostly from Norbu, and finished the Mao Xie from Jing Tea Shop, a 100g package that was opened long enough to lose a little of the floral notes but still delicious to the last cup; finished off the Aoi sencha from O-Cha, using the last bit that was too little for my usual kyusu full to make a remarkably pleasant cup of iced tea, and opened a new pouch of Sayamakaori from Yuuki-cha (aaahhh); and enjoyed some really fine sessions of Tea Habitat Dan Congs (finished my Ya Shi, trying to drink the ultra wonderful floral Song Zhong sparingly); finished off the Hwang Cha from Hankook and been drinking more of the Bai Yun yunnan from Norbu to enjoy that highly oxidized but lightly roasted fruity flavor. Still not drinking much of the smoky/earthy puerhs, they shine brighter in winter weather, but have had a couple of nice sessions with the 2007 Menghai Silver Dayi from Norbu and a fantastic session with a sample of 1997 CNNP Yi Wu tea from a teaSwap that was quite incredible for the power and durability of the flavors.

Today, still working with Song Zhong started last night, and alternating between that and a couple of other teas I'm trying for the first time, "Snow Dragon" white tea from Yunnan, from Norbu, and I'm just about to try a Da Wu Ye sample. Reviews in the appropriate topics soon.

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Quite a variety of tea today: the end of a sample of white tea from Norbu (Fuding Ye Fang Bai Cha) filled out with some Yunnan Silver Needles (also from Norbu), which made a lovely mellow morning mix. Later, Yi Wu sheng puerh (from Norbu), two brewings sandwiching some Huang Shan Mao Feng from Jing Tea Shop. Shockingly, no oolong.

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I've been drinking plenty of tea lately, but having trouble getting on egullet to report. Today, started with some White Dragon white tea from Norbu--an inexpensive white tea that can give a few very nice infusions when I brew it right, though it does not have the stamina of a fine Yin Zhen silver needle. This afternoon, enjoying some very pleasant and rich shu puerh, 2006 Haiwan 'Peacock Quest'. Good to remember how nice shu can be.

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