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What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)


Richard Kilgore
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The GYG sounds interesting, but I have not experienced it. I may need to order a sample.

Enjoying the Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou from yuuki-cha.com the past few days. Really delicious today. Yesterday I was rather reckless with my brewing and the leaf did not appreciate it. Today, WNL and delicious. Ordered two new Gyokuro from yuuki-cha aand should receive them early next week. Looking forward to trying them out.

Next today, an Oolong...I think.

Also this morning and many recent mornings, the Jamirah Estate Assam from The Cultured Cup. Wow!

What's everyone else sipping?

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The 1970s-80s GYG are fairly different from the 1960s ones stocked by Hou De, Essence of Tea, and other vendors; the 60s ones may (according to some) have puer type maocha from Yunnan, though GYG is not really puer. My understanding is that the later ones are made entirely with leaf grown elsewhere (in Guangdong province), and that there may be some intentional ripening used to partially "ferment" or ripen the tea, similar to the process used for making shu puer. That said, the blend I had did not brew like shu puer or other ripe hei cha, even aged shu - the durability was a lot better, and the taste quite different. I have not tried the 60s type myself.

Today, two Wuyi yancha, a medium fire Dahongpao from 2007 or so, from a Malaysian shop (Evergreen). A decent amount of oxidation without being overly astringent, the roast sufficient, but not overpowering, and a slight amount of greenness / freshness, with a sweet scent and lingering aftertaste. Then an aged tea (age unknown, but older than 1995). I believe the varietal is jin liu tiao; I've never seen this varietal for sale except for this one. This seems fairly old, hasn't been re-roasted, and has been stored in Malaysia; not surprisingly, it's a little bit sour, but the taste is still pleasant, though the aroma isn't that strong. The sourness fades in later brews.

Edited by Will (log)
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Today, started with Honyama sencha from Yuuki-cha, then some Old Plantation Qing Xin from Norbu, and now almost the last of my spring 2010 Jin Xuan green tea from Norbu (fortunately I have more of the winter harvest for when this runs out). A good tea day, but one to leave me craving puerh tomorrow, fit for a gray rainy stormy day.

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Today started with some yunnan green tea, moved on with a batch of anxi white tea--somehow managed to make that one less than fabulous, should be flogged with a beeng of puerh for the wastefulness, have never done that before, then redeemed myself with a gorgeous session with golden needles white lotus shu from menghai. Whew.

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Honyama sencha start, Jing tea shop autumn TGY, and a wonderful final session with 2006 Yong De Hand Braided Wild Arbor Pu Erh Tea today from Norbu. This was the end of the sample I got, and to drink more of this lovely stuff, I will have to start breaking up the beautiful beeng. I will need to take some good photos before I start that, but it is so delicious that it will not survive long as simply beeng art. Sweet, caramel, anise, gentle earthy sweet humus, mmmm.

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Castleton Estate and Nilgiri handmade - both from Tea Source, as well as Norbu Tea's Yi Mei Ren Wuliang for morning black teas the past few days. More of the Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou and the Kanayamidori Sencha - both from Dan at yuuki-cha. Finally have the brewing of the Kanayamidori down, so I'll post a note on this delicious tea in the Japanese Green Tea forum. As I write, starting a session with the Essence of Tea 2010 Man Sai raw puerh, one of three green puerhs featured in the currently ongoing Tea Tasting & Discussion.

Two more gyokuro in from yuuki-cha this week, so I'll open one as soon as the Gokou package is down a little further.

Alert! A new Tea Tasting & Discussion will start sometime tonight. Check it out if you think you may want to participate and receive free teas.

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Today started with Honyama sencha, mmmm, nice series of infusions. Then on to the serious abuse of good tea:

2008 Yi Wu Bamboo aged sheng from Norbu--a lovely tea put through a tea torture test: Fill kettle with water. Pour some (cold) over chunk of tea in kamjove. Let sit a few seconds, pour off rinse water. Add more water, now slightly warm. Let sit while doing things in another room for 45 minutes. Return, pour off first cold infusion into thermos, add boiling water, leave for a 1 hour meeting. Return, pour off the long steep into the thermos, and pour hot water through the leaves several times while tossing papers together for afternoon clinic on another floor. Thermos filled with water, all of which has touched the leaves, at least. How can it possibly be good? And it is!

Gotta love this stuff.

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Still going through my current surplus of samples from 4-5 different tea friends.

Today was an aged (1990s) and supposedly organically grown Tieguanyin from a HK shop (not sure which one). Smooth, though with a tiny bite that I didn't expect. It seems like it hasn't been re-roasted much, if at all; the original processing was traditional, but not heavy fire.

Yesterday, a sample of a Menghai cake (not sure if it's 8582 or a custom production of Henry Trading Co), about 10 years old. This was interesting. Very smooth - even though the storage tastes pretty clean, it's very easy to drink for such a relatively young puer.

Also a Muzha (area near Taibei) Tieguanyin. While I am usually not blown away by Muzha TGY, this one was nice, if a bit confusing.

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Amazing! A new sheng brewing technique! Serendipity. :wink:

Today a modest attempt at brewing in somewhat more traditional ways. Jamirah Estate Assam (TCC) in the morning in a Brown Betty and 2010 Fall Harvest Lao Tai Di Qing Xin Oolong - Old Plantation (Norbu)in a 110ml Yixing. Both very fine teas.

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Today saw continued brewing of the 2010 Fall Harvest Lao Tai Di Qing Xin Oolong - Old Plantation (Norbu) that I started yesterday. The Yixing, purchased a few years ago from Scott at yunnansourcing.com, produced the best infusions I have brewed of this tea, compared to using a gaiwan. This is a delicious tea anyway, but, the clay does make a difference.

Also brewed the Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou (yuuki-cha) again, this time using a small, flat Tokaname kyusu instead of a Banko houbin. This pleased me even more than the Banko did, which produced a nice cup of gyokuro. This is interesting because my preferred clay is usually Banko, which produces a smoother infusion. May be that I am simply learning better to brew this tea, but I don't thinks so. More on this after a few more sessions.

BTW, a new TT&D featuring free samples of three interesting Japanese teas was recently posted, and the Sheng Puerh TT&D continues.

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

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Yesterday was a limited tea day: only one tea all day, the 2007 white bud sheng puerh from Norbu, first a thermos full, then more infusions from the leaves through the evening.

Today, a more varied group of teas: finished my Honyama sencha this morning--not going to make it to shincha on my one packet of sencha from Norbu remaining; then a much better session with a Yuuki-cha oolong midday, got the temp and proportions right for some good gongfu infusions; then finished with Norbu Diamond TGY, always so nice, brewed in a new gaiwan

5500650296_b76c08ec83_m.jpg

and drunk from a new teacup, both from Shawn McGuire of GreenwoodStudios (on Etsy):

5500069609_aa13b7603a.jpg

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
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What a pleasure it must be to use that teaware!

Love this charcoal roasted tung ting I got from Red Blossom. I also got some dragonwell from there and have been playing around with the brewing searching for that awesome cup.

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This rainy day inspired me to break out some black teas, and one worth a mention is the Keemun Special Grade I got from the Specialteas clearance sale. Smoky aroma when the bag is opened, with cocoa notes. Brewed with water fresh off the boil, it has a lovely rich body and carries through with a solid malty flavor with hints of smoke and cocoa. A really lovely Keemun! Perfect for a rainy afternoon.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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The new teaware feels very nice in the hand, good size, weight, and is pleasing to the lip when sipping, and the cup complements the coarser Hagi-ware I have quite nicely.

Today, however, all tea so far at work, so no new teaware here. Drinking some Bai Hong green tea from Yunnan, the last of some I ordered from Yunnan sourcing (nearly a year ago, I think), a little overdone because I decided to empty the last bits from the bag, and ended up with tea that needed dilution. Then on to Anxi TGY, this time the fall tea from Jing Tea Shop. Mmm....spring, fall, I love this tea.

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Several days, no tea reports.

I've been working a satellite office, where the day starts too early to get in the morning sencha. Have has a little of almost every other kind of team, and looking back, nearly all were from Norbu--thermos-full brewings of Haiwan "Peacock Quest" shu pu from Norbu, some Yunnan Mao Feng, Diamond TGY, winter 2009 dark roasted TGY from Taiwan, and a wonderful series of infusions from some summer 2009 "high mountain beauty" alishan oolong; a good evening with ManMai young sheng puerh from Essence of Tea (featured in our recent TT&D here); and today, finished off the dark roast 2009 TGY, then went green with the 2010 Spring Wu Liang Mtn - Xue Dian Mei Lan.

I've definitely gotten better at getting what I want from my teas, even when, as was the case this morning, I realized I had managed to separate myself from all tea brewing vessels, and had to make do, preparing a thermos full of TGY for my drive using a nalgene water bottle. But so very nice to come back home to my cute new gaiwan, that is so exactly right for my preferred small-scale gongfu cha.

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Beautiful new tea ware, WC.

.

cdh - I very much enjoy Keemuns and have heard good things about Special Teas. I'll have to try them sometime.

I have been enjoying gyokuro from yuuki-cha.com the past few days. Have a few brewings left of the Organic Uji Gypkuro Gokou, but went ahead and opened a packet of Organic Honyama Gyokuro Kin-un today. As I was sipping the second infusion I got an email from Dan at Yuuki-Cha, who said that the office was all shook up (him too), but that all the beautiful ceramic Japanese tea bowls and teapots, as well as the tea facilties, came though unscathed. He had just recently bolted all the ceramic shelving together and then chained it to the wall! I am looking forward to playing with this new gyokuro and another as yet unopened one. More on these later in the Japanese Green Tea topic.

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Today has been a day of variable success with tea. Much as the overall quality of my brewed tea has improved, there are still times like today when I think I've got it and blow it, even with a very tolerant and mellow tea--Bai Yun Yunnan Oolong, which is a favorite in part because it generally is so hard to screw up.

It started very well, with some Ya Bao wild camellia buds and flowers, and is ending well with some Hankook Korean Hwang Cha, which I keep infusing over an over. It's pretty much at the 'sweet water' stage, but this is a tea that keeps up the sweet taste in a pleasant way, so I'll keep going a while longer.

And when this one runs out of sweet, I'll try another infusion of the Bai Yun, to see if the packed leaves in the Kamjove have some more flavor left. I'm betting they do, and with a little more attention it will be very good again.

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Presently sipping the Wu Niu Zao green tea from jingteashop.com. Blew this by doing it grandpa style (too much leaf), so salvaged it by transferring some wet leaf to a gaiwan. Remains a favorite Chinese green despite my blundering today.

Earlier had some of the Assam Jamirah Estate from The Cultured Cup. Really great as it cools.

Two sets of samples left in the new Japanese tea TT&D from Norbu Tea. Check it out.

How about you, tea sippers? What's brewing?

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I like such short infusions with my green teas, at least as they're getting started, that I can't imagine doing them Grandpa style. I have on occasion done that with some of my more forgiving oolongs....

Today was a good day for tea. I started again with the Hon Yama Zairai sencha from Norbu, moved on to some fall Long Juan TGY from Jing Tea Shop, and then tried a new Dan Cong from Tea Habitat, 2009 "Ya Shi" aka "duck waste fragrance". It smelled a lot better than the name. More later when I have time for a proper review.

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