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Richard Kilgore

What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

438 posts in this topic

Had a particularly nice sencha this morning--the Honyama from Yuuki-cha--in my Sansai Hagi cup. It is quite large--holding easily 2 infusions from my small kyusu--really too large for my everyday use, but still feels very good in my hands, and looks even lovelier full of sencha.

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Handsome cup, WC.

The last couple of days, for red/black teas it's been Ceylon Vithanakanda Estate, Extra Special and Nilgiri Glendale Estate Handmade, both from Tea Source, and Dian Hong Imperial and Yi Mei Ren, Wuliang Mountain Yunnan red/black tea, both from Norbu Tea.

For green teas - 2001 Organic Asahina Kabusecha Shincha(many sessions) from Yuuki-cha, and Lots of Jade Dragon from Norbu. And a very nice session with the Old Plantation Qing Xin Oolong, 2009 Fall Harvest from Norbu.

BTW, yet another Tea Tasting & Discussion offering will go up within the next day or two. If you subscribe to this Coffee & Tea Forum, you'll be among the first to know.

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

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It's a Japanese tea day so far. The Organic Hime hikari black tea from Yuuki-cha, three very nice, smooth infusions this morning. And more of the 2010 Organic Asahina Kabusecha Shincha this afternoon. I think this one prefers to be brewed in the older Bizen hobin I used today - best balance of the tea pots I have tried so far.

What's brewing in your part of the world?

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Yesterday the Ceylon Vithanakanda Estate, Extra Special from Tea Source. Followed by the Jade Spring 2010 Dragon Yunnan Green Tea and the Spring 2010 Jin Xuan Green Tea, both from Norbu Tea.

This morning started with a couple of cups of a Chinese red tea, the Fujian Bai Liu Gongfu from jingteashop.com. This a fine, lovely, complex red tea. Next? Probably a green tea and an Oolong.

What teas are you all drinking today?

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Only one tea today so far, because tonight I'll be sampling a number of teas at The Cultured Cup's T-Bar Club. I usually start the day with a red/black tea, but this morning pulled out a small Yixing container holding a late 90's Shu Puehr from yunnansourcing.com and drank many infusions.

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Drinking a Castleton Estate Darjeeling, Wiry 2nd flush from Tea Source. This is one I bought from Tea Source last year, not from the current Tea Tasting & Discussion sample, and so may be somewhat different. This is one of a very few teas that I have bought more than an ounce or two, and it's still delicious after a year or so.

So, what's in your cup, tea sippers?

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The usual things lately....a little oolong, something green, oolong, morning sencha, and a new tea yesterday that is unidentified, a gift from a friend of a friend who visited China, and said to be very high quality. It is a bright green rolled tea, with a grassier than floral scent to the dried leaf, and a sweet oolong flavor in the first brewing--although since I was distracted, did not time it carefully enough, and was eating salsa-flavored chips before & after--so can't really report in detail on the flavors. Interestingly, the mystery teas leaves were quite broken up at the edges, but none of the edges were reddish.

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Some typically variable tea days this weekend: Honyama sencha to start both days, and afterwards, some Hawaiian oolong, yunnan silver needle, Jade dragon green tea, and....horrible to contemplate....no puerh!

Today started with some 2010 spring TGY from norbu, but now will have to make up for lost opportunity with some puerh. The puerh tasting posted today reminds me of the excellent young loose puerh I have sitting in the drawer. Mmmmm.

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Took a little detour on the way to the sheng puerhs, when the 2006 Menghai tribute brick shu puerh from Norbu caught my eye. More in the puerh topic, but long story short, it was very pleasingly fruity/sweet/earthy/spicy.

Fun to go treasure hunting in the puerh collection, and find them!

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The last two days the Organic Hime hikari Japanese black tea from Yuuki-Cha and the Yunnan Golden Tips from The Cultured Cup.

The Castleton Estate Darjeeling, Wiry from Tea Source again today for the morning cup. And for the last couple of hours, multiple infusions of the mild toasty-nutty Organic 2010 Asatsuyu Shincha/Sencha from yuuki-cha.

BTW, check out the current Darjeeling TT&D and the current offer of free samples of three new young sheng puerhs in newest TT&D, in this eG Coffee & Tea forum, of course.

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Yesterday I made some fall 2009 Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin, a heavy roasted version from Norbu, for my long drive. It's a bit more roasted than I prefer for daily drinking, but that heavy roast is reliable and stable when held for many hours on the road.

Today, the 2007 White Bud Sheng Puerh from Norbu, an old favorite that continues to make friends and influence people. Today, Lisa said, "this is the first time I haven't added anything--no honey or lemon or sugar--to my tea!"

And this was a cup from an admittedly inferior brewing--fit in around some crazy fast-paced work that went right through lunch--a 30 minute first infusion (not a typo, yes, 30 MINUTES!), several more almost as insane infusions, mixed in the thermos, and the end result was not only drinkable, but charmed someone new to my teas. Good job, dear puerh!

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Last weekend tea friend Greg Glancy and I tasted most of his new Japanese teas on norbutea.com in order to select some for a future Tea Tasting & Discussion. Wow! I was buzzing a bit at the end of four hours. Lots to choose from, but the TT&D will have to wait until sometime early next year. There's one more from another tea merchant that I hope to do before the end of the year, and that will be it for 2010.

This morning a Yi Mei Ren Chinese red/black tea from Norbu, enhanced by a Yixing teapot, as are all of the red Chinese teas I have brewed in it. Now on the third infusion of the 2010 Organic Kabusecha Shincha from yuuki-cha.com. I have been drinking a lot of this for the past week or 10 days. Have a new gyokuro in from yuuki-cha; I plan on opening the bag tonight or tomorrow and will report back.

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

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Ended up the day yesterday brewing a Norbu sample '05 Shu broken off a ginormous brick. Very nice. It's not on the norbutea.com website yet so I don't know the full name.

Started today with a Japanese black tea from yuuki-cha, the Organic Makurazaki Black Tea Hatsumomiji. More on this after I have played with it a bit.

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Still haven't opened my black or oolong from Yuuki-cha yet. Working on too many others at this time.....

After lonely drinking yesterday--a quart of lovely 2007 white bud sheng puerh from norbu all to myself--today has been a sharing day. Started with sencha with breakfast, a particularly nice rich brewing of the Yuuki-cha sayamakaori, and then on to share some of Norbu's Huang Jin Gui at work with a candidate interviewing for a position with us, and while that particular batch might have been losing a bit of it's freshest bloom after being opened for more than a month now, I think it still helped to leave a good impression on her.

Then....well....a mistake. I was slow getting the afternoon thermos prepped, and after some good results with quite a few oolongs and puerhs recently from setting the tea to hot water in the Kamjove while I go down to lunch--ending up with mostly one very concentrated brewing, and pouring enough additional water through the leaves afterwards to get most of the residual flavor, generally with good results, I tried it with the wrong candidate. My Phoenix Honey Iris oolong from Wing Hop Fung turned rather unpleasantly bitter. Sigh. It wasn't horrible so it was still traded around a bit in the afternoon clinic, but people weren't clamoring for seconds, and much was mercifully dispatched before the evening session with Precious Rare [Anji] White Tea from WHF. Sweet, spicy, vegetal, rich, washed the sadness of the Phoenix honey iris right away. I love this stuff.

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Today, shared some Bi Luo green tea in the office, and this afternoon, a wonderful infusion of Wuliang Shan Mao Cha, Loose Sheng Puerh Tea, Spring 2009 Harvest by Norbu. Today I bulk brewed up a thermos of it, starting with cooler water, because I was simultaneously working with the Bi Lo Chun, and then ramping up the temp for the last few infusions to nearly boiling. As always, this is a lovely tea, but what was a little unusual and different is that somehow the flavor has a very strong sweet/caramel/woody note that was so strongly reminiscent of the 2008 Yi Wu bamboo aged puerh I’ve been drinking that I could have sworn it was the same tea. And since I love that Yi Wu, this was a pleasant surprise. Now drinking some more of it--refreshed the leaves with hot water and going for more. Love these long-lasting young shengs.

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Nilgiri Glendale Estate Handmade from teasource.com in the cup this morning. Unfortunately I ordered more of this than I have been able to drink in the last 18 months or so, and it has faded a little too much. Next order (soon) I'll make it for half as much. In order to introduce a friend to Japanese green teas I had to brew a shincha from yuuki-cha in a cup with a filter in order to figure out the parameters. I was really impressed with how well the 2010 Organic Saemidori does brewed this way.

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Today has been a very nice teaful day. No sencha to start, but midday drank a lot of Anji white tea, and was pointed to a very interesting article about the origins of this tea by someone on another forum even while I was in the midst of drinking some. And got a chance to use some of my new cups to share the tea at lunch today.

With supper, some 2007 Rui Cao Xiang 'Wu Liang Wild Arbor' Sheng from Yunnan Sourcing, brewed a little cooler than usual at first (180 degrees), smooth but complex, with some elements of umami, smoky, herbaceous, sweet, and earthy. Then finished off with a sneak peek at Norbu's new Japanese teas with a sample of Sunpu Boucha, reviewed in the Japanese tea topic.

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Yesterday I brewed another shincha/sencha in a cup with infuser in order to check the parameters for a tea friend I am introducing to the Japanese greens. I used to brew this way a few years ago and it still produces a delicious cup.

This morning more of the the Organic Makurazaki Black Tea Hatsumomiji, a hand picked Japanese black tea from yuuki-cha.com. Since then two sessions of the Organic Kabusecha, also from yuuki-cha.

What teas are you all drinking in your part of the world?

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Yesterday I brewed another shincha/sencha in a cup with infuser in order to check the parameters for a tea friend I am introducing to the Japanese greens. I used to brew this way a few years ago and it still produces a delicious cup.

This morning more of the the Organic Makurazaki Black Tea Hatsumomiji, a hand picked Japanese black tea from yuuki-cha.com. Since then two sessions of the Organic Kabusecha, also from yuuki-cha.

What teas are you all drinking in your part of the world?

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I had a pleasant sencha morning with a tasting of a group of sencha samples from another online forum. The Shin-ryoku from Den's was part of it, and it was a nice reminder of what a lovely tea it is. There was a kabusecha that was part of it, and it reminded me very much of the Korean greens I tried earlier this year--very grassy-sweet and pleasant, and quite different in character from what I remember of the Kabusecha that was part of our recent tasting here. The Yuuki-cha Kabusecha had much deeper umami, and this one is very light and delicate: really umami-free.

Then moved on to one of my new green teas, a Yunnan green that I first got as a free sample with a recent Norbu order, and liked enough to order more. Greg now has a good enough bead on my taste buds that this seems to happen more often than not! I started out with the idea of doing larger western-style infusions and using my large sansai Hagi cup, but ended up with a very pleasant but overly dilute tea; then overcompensated by putting in so much tea into a larger teapot that I ran out of capacity to drink it before the leaves were done. I do have enough left that I will not try to save these leaves, and will go back to it again later to try for a proper tasting on a scale I'm used to, with the small gaiwans in which I do most of my green tea brewing.

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Today's tea day has been shifted towards the lighter side of things: more of the Zairai sencha from norbu, lower temp and sweeter results; Hankook 'oolong' or Hwang Cha; Ya Bao wild white camellia buds from norbu; and Anji 'white' tea from Wing Hop Fung. Now feeling a bit tea drunk this evening.

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Drinking a richer than usual mix of sayamakaori sencha from Yuuki-cha, almost 6grams in my little 5 oz kyusu, brewing a little cooler than usual, 145 degrees, and oh my, rich, sweet, deep, lovely.

As usual, a wide variety of teas over the last couple of weeks, and some of the highlights were a nice herbal tisane last night, a mix of chamomile, hibiscus, citrus zest, and tulsi; some sessions with the 2009 Norbu charcoal-roasted Tie Guan Yin from Taiwan, a sneaky-good tea that just gets better and better the more I drink it, and the longer it sits in my thermos when bulk-brewed; a couple of lovely dan cong sessions with the Wu Ye dark leaf from Tea Habitat; some very pleasing puerh sessions, mostly with young loose mao chas from Norbu; and one horrid session with a jasmine/silver needle mix that reminded me why I have stopped buying and drinking jasmine pretty much completely--it was at the request of a colleague, and I had only a little of it left, and the soap-like taste was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

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It is so cold here!! Today I started off with some cocoa black from Republic of Tea, and now I am fixing to hit up this lovely tea sent to by a women in Canada Jasmine tea.


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I hope I am not double posting this ....

This morning it is homemade chai spiced tea, then some silver needle white in the afternoon.

I love Sunday tea drinking! No rush, can brew and steep as you like, switch up kinds of you want. It is just the best day of the week for tea. IMHO....


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I hope I am not double posting this ....

This morning it is homemade chai spiced tea, then some silver needle white in the afternoon.

I love Sunday tea drinking! No rush, can brew and steep as you like, switch up kinds of you want. It is just the best day of the week for tea. IMHO....


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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