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Richard Kilgore

What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

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This topic has been quiet for a very long time. I've been drinking a lot of tea, still mostly drunk hot despite the warmer weather. Recently, I'm working through some Jin Xuan processed as a green tea from Norbu, a last remaining packet (sent as a gift from Greg at Norbu) of the summer 2009 High Mountain Beauty Alishan oolong I enjoyed so much, and had a recent Dan Cong frenzy with both some less pricey but still very tasty Mi Lan from Norbu and some pricier but superb (as usual) DCs from TeaHabitat, including the end of some Honey Orchid, Song Zhong, and Po Tou, and newly opened a Zhong Ping Lao Cong Zhi Lan Xiang. Greens and puerhs have been around too, some standby Sea Dyke TKY, and more. The hotter weather also brings out some more herbal teas for drinking cooler--hibiscus, mint, lemon grass just feel better in summer. Just haven't been writing about it daily here.

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It is supposed to be hot here where I am at and I have to get out in the garden, my peppers are looking scary. So I am making up a big batched of sweet tea for when I come back in. Just plain ole' sweet tea....house wine of the south!


"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 had iced Gunpowder (green tea). I had it at Goldfish Tea, and it was wonderful.


"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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Today, started with some old puerh--probably a shu, ?15-20 years old, that I inherited without any additional information about it's origins. It was probably a souvenir of a trip to Hong Kong, which has a really thick earthy broth, with a strong cinnamon spicy aftertaste--a lot like what Rou Gui seems like it should be (but since I haven't yet tried many of these, I don't know how characteristic it really is of typical Rou Gui).

And now, moving back to a nice Alishan oolong--Tsou Ma Fei from Norbu. Spicy and floral and sweet.

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Feeling sorry for myself, working on a manuscript on Australia Day. Drinking Australian Sencha packed by McIvers (at the Victoria Market in Melbourne). I'm no expert, but it is nice - perhaps not as 'grassy' as I like.

I just read an item from a media watch regarding Ito En sourcing tea from Australia and sure enough: http://www.itoen.com.au/product/index.html

I guess that means that the tea in my Costco green tea bags may circumnavigate the Pacific from Australia to Japan to the US and back here.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I just finished a pot of my favorite Lapsang Souchong, from Mountain Rose Herbs. I am finishing it off by smoking a bowl of toasted Vanilla Cavendish tobacco in my Turkish Meerschaum pipe, while sitting on the porch, looking at the trout stream behind the house, listening to the whippoorwills, the gurgling water, and tree frogs, and watching a lightning storm come in over the mountain. Life is good.........

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Today, a lovely Tie Guan Yin from Yunnan Sourcing (their 2012 'Imperial' spring TGY), and some Mansai 2010 sheng puerh from Essence of Tea. No help in the tea enjoyment from the surroundings--a rather bare, shared office that is brightened up mostly by my small tea set (Oribe Hagi cup by Yamane Seigan, celadon porcelain teapot and tea pitcher from Yi Yong Cheol.

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It's finally tea season here, and I'm enjoying this robust mug of Ye Sheng Hong Cha Yunnan wild black tea. It's wild, all right, slightly sweet and malty but with all sorts of crazy stuff going on in a very long woodsy finish. My clear favorite tea of the moment.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I think I have a sample of that tea from a recent order, that I haven't drunk yet. I've enjoyed the tea buds, compressed 'tea log' from the Ye Sheng varietals before but have been a little anxious about this version being a black tea, and my general distrust of black teas has kept it sitting in the back of the cupboard. I do need to give it a chance. Today, enjoying some Imperial Pearl from MountainTea.com, a very oxidized almost black tea that is quite unusual and delicious. My palate may be readier than I think for some fully oxidized black teas....

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I've tried to avoid Earl Grey for years, and occasionally couldn't dodge a cup of it--when there was nothing else available--and always regretted it. It just doesn't agree with me, but that means there's more to share among those who do love it.

Enjoying several different teas today: started with some Jin Guan Yin, a nice lightly oxidized green oolong from Norbu, then moved on to the end of a package of a Taiwanese 'White Oolong' from Norbu, a splendid tea that seemed aptly named as one that has the delicacy of a white tea but a delicate oolong richness as well; and am finishing an all-norbu day with some of last year's Gu Zhu Zi Sun, a green tea from Zhejiang that was hoarded in my cupboard a little past it's prime, but that is still quite tasty and vegetal.

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It's still warm here, so today we've been enjoying the this cold brewed & vacuum extracted, slightly fermented (lactic acid / non-alcoholic). very nice.

I have another cold brew of lemon verbana going now, we'll see how long that takes to ferment and I'll let you'll know how it tastes.

I just finished a pot of my favorite Lapsang Souchong, from Mountain Rose Herbs. I am finishing it off by smoking a bowl of toasted Vanilla Cavendish tobacco in my Turkish Meerschaum pipe, while sitting on the porch, looking at the trout stream behind the house, listening to the whippoorwills, the gurgling water, and tree frogs, and watching a lightning storm come in over the mountain. Life is good.........

Life is good!


www.eatthesun.com

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Curious: was it deliberately fermented, or just happened to ferment because that's what happens under your brewing conditions? And how does that affect the taste?

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Today started with morning sencha from Yuuki-cha--the Honyama sencha is a favorite. I almost ran out of sencha, and was very pleased to find one packet in reserve.

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Today started with morning sencha from Yuuki-cha--the Honyama sencha is a favorite. I almost ran out of sencha, and was very pleased to find one packet in reserve.

Today started with morning sencha from Yuuki-cha--the Honyama sencha is a favorite. I almost ran out of sencha, and was very pleased to find one packet in reserve.

I am out of sencha! So order to Yuuki-cha is going out this month. For many days lately,including today, the 2011 Bai Mu Dan from Norbu has been part of my tea day. Very, very nice brewed gongfu cha style. Have not tried this year's yet.

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Rooibos and lapsang sochung from Lupicia, a nice store I stumbled across semi-locally. Want to order some sencha from them but I've never had any sencha before. Any recommendations on varieties?

I've also been enjoying, much to my surprise, a flavoured black tea from T2. It's jacked with cinnamon and chilli. I thought it would be horrible, as many chilli gimmick products are, but it's actually pretty good.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Looks like a nice shop with a fair selection of teas, including a substantial selection of japanese greens, but I'm a little wary when it doesn't mention harvest year. I'd ask about that before ordering. If the sencha is nitrogen flushed, or carefully refrigerated, it can keep a year plus and still be wonderful, but less than utterly meticulous handling will cost you the floral freshness that the best sencha has.

As for which variety, well, mileage varies a lot on that, apparently. I tend to like the lighter steamed 'asamushi' senchas, but a lot of people prefer the deeper steamed 'fukamushi' senchas, which have more umami. I'm not nearly well versed enough to have a preference for which varietal the leaves come from--for me, what matters more is the way the leaf is processed.

And today, I started with chamomile/hibiscus tea because I've got a sore throat, and then moved on to a deep roast Tie Guan Yin from Mountain Tea (picked for ability to tolerate bulk brewing & holding in the thermos, the better to enjoy tea in comfort of the couch).


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

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Excellent. If that's the case, you could hardly go wrong with ordering 2-4 different senchas, the smallest quantity available of each, and see for yourself which you prefer, and if you can generalize from that to the kinds you should focus on in the future.

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