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Richard Kilgore

What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

438 posts in this topic

Today is more of an oolong day--started with the giant green leaves of the Tai Ping Hou Kui I reviewed here in the Chinese green tea topic--and moved on to an autumn Tie Guan Yin from Jing tea shop, now working on 2009 winter Shui Xian from HouDe.

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Zhang Shu Lake oolong today, and finishing the evening with Bang Wai sheng puerh from the TT&D. Two mellow golden teas with very different characteristics.

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Couple new things in from Rishi. Trying the Iron Goddess of Mercy for the first time. Boy this stuff is delicious!!!!

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Ti Guan Yin is such a lovely tea, light roast/new style, or dark roast/traditional style, from Anxi or from Taiwan. I just love it every which way.

Today, drinking some of one of my first puerh beeng purchases, and finishing a pouch of yunnan Mao Feng from Norbu. On to something more oolongish shortly--not sure if it's time for TGY or Dan Cong.

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Won't tell you about the lovely DC I'm drinking now, then.

But if the coffee as well as the tea are lousy, I'd have to call that a very UNprofessional confrerence!

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Not much courage or time here at the moment, although that looks like a fun challenge to work on when I do have more time.

Meanwhile, it's been a greener tea day--started with spring 2010 Diamond TGY from Norbu, sweet and floral, a thermos full, then onto a nice Shizuoka sencha, also from Norbu.

Last couple of days lots of variety--some nice silver needle from Jing Tea Shop, a good session with a dark roast taiwanese TGY from Norbu, so white, green, green oolong, and dark oolong, and a couple of puerhs the days before. A bit of almost everything. Perhaps tomorrow should start with a bit of Black Ruby or Yunnan Gold to complete drinking through the cycle.....

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Today, started with some Shizuoka sencha from Norbu, but then moved on to a new tea, San Nen Bancha - 3 Year Aged Bancha - Medium Roast by Norbu Tea. It's comforting--a friendly cozy tea. It is warm, toasty, mellow, a little sweet. The dry stems and leaves smell very darkly toasted, much like a genmaicha, but the brew, while clearly toasty, has none of the bitter scorched notes that have put me off of that tea. I love it. Not sure how to fit that one into the usual tea categories--it's a japanese tea, but not a green tea. It's aged, but nothing like a puerh. Hmmmm....

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First tastes ever of a Li Shan oolong (more Rishi). Every oolong I try seems to be better than the last. While I really enjoy the roast quality to the TGY I recently tried, the caramelized sweet fruit from this is great. It's giving lot of infusions too. Watching the leaves unfurl from the little dry pellets into the big leaves is quite something to behold.

I've also had some really good luck brewing my Dragon Well too! Been using a high leaf to water ratio, a little cooler temp than instructed and the longer side of what is suggested time wise. Been getting something that gives me something pretty nice.

Allan

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Glad to hear you're finding enjoyment in your Dragon Well.

Today I'm drinking a very pricey Dragon Well that underwent some unintentional aging. It's first infusions are not as delicately reminiscent of fresh green peas as a better-treated version, but it's still quite a pleasant tea, and quite adaptable to different brewing parameters.

I actually gave this one away a couple of years ago because I was so frustrated with my inability to brew it enjoyably.

Since my green tea breakthroughs with sencha, and application of the cooler temps/shorter infusions to other green teas, I've only had to give up/give away a few poor quality teas. And I was glad to have the chance to work with this one again when it came back into my care.

I've been told both that 'any really fine tea can stand up to boiling water' and 'you're really missing something in your Dragon Well if you brew it hotter than a fine gyokuro, 140-150 degrees'. I think I like this (and most others) best around 160 degrees to start, and work my way up to 180 by the end of 6-8 infusions.

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Today's teas were on the lighter side of things, with a wonderful brewing of some of the autumn TGY from Jingteashop: I overdid it, though, and some leaves hydrated their way out of the brewing vessel as they unfolded--at least, they towered a half inch or so above the rim! It was a fantastic infusion, and I tried to work with the overfilled container by dribbling bits of water over all of the leaves in turn. Then some Silver dragon white tea from Wing Hop Fung, and ending with a tea bag of a remarkable 'oolong' from Hankook--one of a couple of packets I received when I first went to their shop.

This was a special award-winning Hwang cha that ended up in tea bags (eeep!), very similar to but not exactly the same harvest/processing as the canister of Hwang Cha I purchased at the same time. I think it's a bit sweeter, although also bittersweet because it looked like the store had closed at the time I was in the neighborhood last weekend.

Anyone else enjoy some tea today, yesterday, or will enjoy some tomorrow?

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Two puers from the late 90s this morning; a wetter stored orange label Menghai 7532 from 1996 (I believe "orange in orange", but I don't know for sure), and a slightly drier brick from '98 -- "zhengshan daye" (正山大葉).


Edited by Will (log)

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Enjoying the long, lingering sweet ending to some Haiwan Purple Bud sheng puerh from Norbu today. Just two little pieces of beeng have so far done a nice job with 2 liters of tea--twice filled my thermos. It is a smoky-earthy-sweet, rather assertive young sheng, and I needed this after a few days of mostly green and greener oolong teas. I keep forgetting to bring my TT&D puerhs to work with me so haven't had a chance to get back to those, but this helped satisfy that deep craving for puerh, so perfect on a rainy gray day.

Mmmm, nice tea.

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Although I have been enjoying a number of various blacks, greens and Oolongs in the past few days, last night and today it's a vibrant gyokuro from yuuki-cha: the Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou...a whiff of the sea, vegetal, and a pleasant sharpness. Yes!

Monday and Tuesday, the the current Lao Tai Di Qing Xin (Old Plantation) Oolong from Norbu was my main interest. Greg and I did a tasting last weekend to decide on teas for the next TT&D he will contribute to, and he mentioned that he thought this Old Plantation was a little better, a little fruitier, than last years (which I really enjoyed), so I bought 50 g. Many infusions out of one pot over two days, indeed seemed fruitier to me, but I am never terribly confident in my tea memory. So Greg gave me that last little bit of the previous Old Plantation so I can do a comparison, which is yet to come, and which will be in Oolong topic when I can do a side-by-side.

BTW: A new TT&D right around the corner...so, stay tuned tea tasters.

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Today, a roasted (and fairly oxidized) Tieguanyin from an old HK shop, and an unknown (very) wet stored sheng puer from the early 00s (via the generous marshaln.

Yesterday, a very nice aged liu an, also courtesy of marshaln [below is probably the fourth or so infusion, not counting two rinses].

liuan.jpg


Edited by Will (log)

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Yesterday and today, some more of the young sheng puerhs from the present OTTI, pushing the limits of the Manmai; also started the day with Yuuki-Cha Honyama sencha both days; and trying to get through a bunch of paperwork with the help of some Den's Houjicha tonight. Green, puerh, and....well....what shall we call Houjicha?


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

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Im on the road for a few weeks and have been stopping in at Peet's coffee for TKY. It satisfies my tea craving but I'm finding it interesting how I miss my multiple infusion gaiwan sessions. Trying to make time to get to Samovar and Red Blossom tea.

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Waking up with 2009 Fo shou Buddah's Hand from Hou de. Delicious toasty/caramelized aroma. In a gaiwan, just a few grams, still got 9 brews out of it, easy. Nom nom.

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Started the day with some Yunnan silver needles from Norbu, a break from several days in a row of sencha, and then moved on to his Black Ruby tea from Taiwan, a really nice black tea that holds well in the thermos (first time I think I've tried it that way). Then on to a rather unsatisfying session with a 'commercial' grade Dan Cong that tastes nice enough immediately after infusion, but does not hold well for even a few minutes in my cup while drinking gongfu cha. It's a bit of a prima donna, this one, and that's annoying especially because I bought it with more relaxed brewing in mind vs the 'single bush' fancier versions.

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Today is a medium fire, fairly oxidized Da Hong Pao from Best Tea House in HK.

Yesterday, an aged Wuyi Shui Xian and a phenomenal Guang Yun Gong -- a blend of GYG chunks, I think mostly from the 70s and 80s. Sweet, medicinal, thick, completely lacking in bitterness, sourness, astringency, or mustyness. Very pleasant tea, and kind of sorry I wasted most of the sample I had on just myself.

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Will: Vintage GYG is the cats meow. I'm a little jealous.

Two of my friends each picked up some of this blend in HK. At the time (probably 3-5 years back), it was still fairly cheap, maybe $100-150 US / jin (and this is a HK jin, so 600g). The price has gone up since, but it's still a decent value for something that, while not infinitely complex, is a very pleasant and comforting tea to drink. Assuming the blend (broken up chunks of cakes) is a good enough quality, I'm hoping to get some more of it, because even at the higher price, it's a nice tea.

The durability was also quite good; much better than I expected. I used maybe a little more than half of the pot by volume (with the leaves expanding to around 3/4 full), and I was drinking this thing all afternoon, even brewing an encore round this morning. The first 7-8+ rounds after the rinse were quite dark and thick, and even after that, it didn't taper off sharply.

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I bought a ridiculously small quantity of that from Essence of Tea--something like 5 grams or less. Wonderful stuff, brewed in my usual rather dilute fashion.

But to fill the pot 1/2 full by volume with the remainder of my sample, I'd need one this big!

Today, so far, started with some Dragon Well, then on to Hankook Hwang Cha Korean 'oolong' tea, then on to some more of the Autumn TGY from Jing tea shop.

Maybe some puerh tonight as I do some work at home.


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

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