Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)


Richard Kilgore
 Share

Recommended Posts

No. What's the source for that tea?

"Four Seasons" is the usual English translation of 'siji chun' (literally 'four seasons spring').

http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.cgi?phrase=sijichun

It's a varietal / cultivar (common in, and possibly developed in, Taiwan) which is, IIRC, grown in multiple areas, and usually processed as an oolong. Currently, it's usually processed in a very light style, like a lot of the other balled oolongs produced in Taiwan. You could have sijichun from different geographic areas or grown at different altitudes.

Edited by Will (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hong Yue from Rishi....at first pretty much turned off by the overwhelming menthol flavor/aroma. I stuck with it though, that gave way and some sweetness came through along with a little brisk quality at the end. The twisted leaves are giving more infusions than I have room for. I'll stick it in the fridge and come back to it again later.

Allan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still working through a ton of samples from various tea friends.

Today was a somewhat oxidized, but only lightly roasted Anxi Tieguanyin. I didn't buy it, but it's this one.

Afterwards, I had the last little bits of a very nice Best Tea House Dahongpao. Supposedly first generation (i.e., from direct clones of the mother bush, though I am always skeptical about these kinds of claims), but at any rate, it's nicer than their cheaper stuff. Also a bit lighter fire. Very nice tea.

Edited by Will (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recent black teas: two Ceylons from Tea Source, the Vithanakanda Estate Extra Special, and (finished off the last of the packet of) the Lumbini Estate FBOP; the Jamirah Estate Assam from The Cultured Cup; the Fujian Bai Lin Gongfu Red Tea from Jing Tea Shop; and the Dian Hong Imperial Hand Processed Yunnan Black Tea from Norbu Tea.

Oolongs yesterday and today: the Phoenix Mountain Dan Cong from The Cultured Cup and the Anxi Bai Xian from Jing Tea Shop.

Green Teas: the Wu Niu Zao Chinese green tea from Jing Tea Shop; the Kanayamidori Sencha and two gyokuros - Organic Uji Gyokuro Gokou and Organic Honyama Gyokuro Kin-un - both from Yuuki-Cha.

So what have you all been brewing in your part of the world?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over the weekend, I did a tasting session with some Alishan High Mountain oolongs from Norbu, and because the freshly opened ones were so good, I've been trying to drink more of those afterwards, to use them up before they lose their extra sparkle and become fodder for the bulk brewing in the thermos. Will post the tasting a bit later in the Oolong topic. And a little of a lot of different things since--oolongs--some SeaDyke TKY, and Ding Xin old plantation Taiwanese TGY from Norbu; puerh, some loose Nan Nuo sheng from Norbu; greens, some Tai Ping Hou Kui from Wing Hop Fung, Jin Xuan Spring 2010 from Norbu; and I know I've forgotten at least 2 others, because it was a quiet weekend at home with a lot of gongfu cha.

I've got a bunch of lovely tea at home and at work, and slowly I'm getting better at little things like marking dates of first opening a particular tea, so I can see what needs to be used up first, and keeping down the number of the light green oolongs opened at the same time. The Alishan tasting was a long time in the making, as I was trying to finish off some other open teas before I opened these. It sort of worked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WC, I'll be interested in reading your tasting notes on the Norbu Alishans, since I have not had the more recent ones. I really enjoy the Ding Xin old plantation -almost brewed it yesterday, so it will be on today's tea list.

So far today have only had the Keemun Hao Ya B from Teasource. Found it at the bottom of a black tea bin in my tea chest! A very nice Keemun. Probably the best I have had except for the Keemun Hao Ya A, also from Tea Source.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today, I had some Ya Bao wild camellia buds to start; some of the Winter 2009 Alishan oolong in the thermos (one of the oopsies from the tasting--opened a while before it, so not in the best shape); finished a session with Nan Nuo loose mao cha from several days ago; then started up some 2006 Haiwan purple bud puerh, which was exceptionally nice; and finished up with more 2009 Lao Ban Zhang loose mao cha. A very tasty day of tea.

I put together the images and tasting notes from the Alishan tasting session on Saturday in the Oolong topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got some Rishi sencha at Whole Foods. Wanted to try a Japanese green. Interesting getting to know more and more teas. I've tried this at a few different temperatures and find I like something out of each one. With the greens that I drink feel like I learn a lot about brewing. Still think it's gonna be a while before I know how to get the best out of a green tea. I lean towards the oolongs because they seem to have a flavor profile I can understand a little easier. It seems the general idea is that oolongs are also more forgiving in the brewing department an that makes me

wonder if I'm getting the best out of those, even though those cups taste pretty good to me.

Allan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have it exactly right, at least exactly as my experience has been. Oolongs are easier for me to get a good brew out of. I've gotten much better with greens with practice, but they're still not as user friendly for me. However, they're good enough that I'm really glad I persevered past my first major stumbling block with them a couple of years ago.

Today, I just brewed one tea, white bud sheng puerh from Norbu, and kept brewing, and brewing, and brewing, two kettle's worth of tea.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rou Gui from seven cups. Much worse than the Da hong pao yesterday. I suppose I don't have the experience with Wuyi as I do with Anxi and rolled Taiwanese types. Anyone want to share their Wuyi brewing-fu with me?

I am using good R-O water with minerals added to bring it up to 200 p.p.m TDS, Letting it rest off the boil for a few minutes. Small gaiwan, at least 5 grams of leaves: quite full, but not stuffing the thing to the brim. No rinse, VERY short infusions to start, (shy of 5 seconds), and I'm still getting really aggressive tannins. Really crap clarity too. What gives?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rou Gui from seven cups. Much worse than the Da hong pao yesterday. I suppose I don't have the experience with Wuyi as I do with Anxi and rolled Taiwanese types. Anyone want to share their Wuyi brewing-fu with me?

I am using good R-O water with minerals added to bring it up to 200 p.p.m TDS, Letting it rest off the boil for a few minutes. Small gaiwan, at least 5 grams of leaves: quite full, but not stuffing the thing to the brim. No rinse, VERY short infusions to start, (shy of 5 seconds), and I'm still getting really aggressive tannins. Really crap clarity too. What gives?

There is a great deal of info on brewing Wuyi Oolongs and many other Oolongs in the Oolong Topic. It's a good place to ask for brewing ideas. You may also find some of the TT&Ds featuring Oolongs, including Wuyi, helpful - this one in particular.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am using good R-O water with minerals added to bring it up to 200 p.p.m TDS, Letting it rest off the boil for a few minutes. Small gaiwan, at least 5 grams of leaves: quite full, but not stuffing the thing to the brim. No rinse, VERY short infusions to start, (shy of 5 seconds), and I'm still getting really aggressive tannins. Really crap clarity too. What gives?

Not to cast aspersions on any particular vendor, but sometimes it's the tea that's the problem. I would try to find a rougui or two that lots of folks seem to agree is good. This will give you a bit of a baseline.

Also, I find rougui, even good ones, a little tricky to brew. It can get a little astringent, I guess because it's usually fairly oxidized, and the leaves are often on the small side, which can cause problems for those of us who tend to over-pack (though that doesn't sound like what's happening here).

If you can, I would also give bottled spring water a try, preferably a type with fairly low total dissolved solids. Remineralized R-O water is better than just plain R-O water, but I still find it a little rough. I don't think you need to let the water rest from a boil.... bring it to fish eyes or just barely to a rolling boil, and just let it rest til the water stops making noise (a few seconds). But how are you pouring? Try pouring slowly, in a very thin stream from 6+ inches up.

Edited by Will (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've only had one Rou Gui so far, one from HouDe (2009 Spring Zhen-Yen Handcrafted "Rou Gui"). I have another one that I'll be trying soon, from Jingteashop, but I haven't opened it yet (trying to be a wee bit disciplined about this). These are some notes I took about the HouDe tea:

Spicy with cinnamon notes, this is a neat oolong. The cinnamon notes fade a little quicker than the general spiciness, but not so fast as to suggest anything but natural flavors; I just note that I don’t get more than 5-6 infusions from this one gong fu style. It can get all the way to bitter if overpacked in the brewing vessel or if not watched carefully.

This is one I only brew gongfu cha, never the brew/hold in thermos I do so often with other teas. It’s just too subtle and tricky for that, but quite rewarding—really, Dan Cong-like—in this. I use enough left to fill the gaiwan about 2/3 full after the leaf is wetted—about 1/3 full of dry leaf. Sorry, haven’t weighed this one out for a while—maybe ever—for a formal tasting with pics.

To me, it doesn't have the same depth or durability of most of the other Wuyi oolongs, and when that bright cinnamon note is exhausted after a moderate number of infusions, what's left is not very pleasing.

Yesterday was another short tea day--caught up on sleep by sleeping through most of my usual tea evening--just the fall Jingteashop Long Juan TGY. Today, starting with Hon Yama Zairai sencha from Norbu. There will be some Dan Cong in my near future now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started out with a kick ass first infusion of Red blossom's spring Dragonwell....additional infusions pretty flat and craving more tea I decided to leave (dragon) well enough alone and switch to sencha. Awesome brewing of that this morning too! I picked up the scent of freshly snapped dandelion stems in the aroma of the wet leaf and that totally surprised me....I could find a little of that in the taste and was able to follow that along as it morphed into something else.

Great morning of tea!

Allan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started the last couple of days with some Hon Yama Zairai sencha from Norbu--this morning had a particularly fine brewing. I started very cool, 145 degrees, with a longer than usual first infusion, and gradually worked up to 180 degrees by the 6th infusion, and every infusion was delicious, nutty, vegetal, sweet, without noticeable bitterness, and only enough astringency to balance the rest. I wish I'd been taking notes!

Fortunately, I still have a good number of infusions left between the remains of this bag and the one in reserve to get this down better.

And then a variety of teas after that, with a couple of tastings noted in the oolong topic--2009 Winter wood-roasted Shui Xian from HouDe, and 2008 Song Zhong Dan Cong oolong from TeaHabitat. Along the way, some Diamond TGY from Norbu, really packed the gaiwan with excellent results, and I've forgotten at least one other. Lots of tea this weekend, working in the kitchen & office right next to the tea kettle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Little of this, little of that. Yesterday, started with some Xiang Bi Luo from Wing Hop Fung, a rather random green tea that resembles a Bi Lo Chun, shared with several colleagues--I think I gave them the best of these leaves, from the first infusions, and the last few I drank were kind of 'eh'; then a very long & lovely dialogue with some Da Hong Pao from Norbu, one of those things I'd been craving for a while, many infusions; and ended with another session with a new Dan Cong, Ya Shi, that I did a little better with than the first time, from Tea Habitat.

Today, a rush/bulk brewing of a shu pu from Wing Hop Fung, a nice reliable thermos o' tea under the circumstances (dump in chunk of pu, add hot water, close thermos, wait half an hour, open lid, pour, hope it's drinkable.....and it was); now enjoying the opposite, relaxed gongfu session with "Tsou ma fei" spring Alishan oolong from Norbu. Very nice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very good series of brewings today: a winter alishan oolong from norbu; silver dragon white tea from wing hop fung; then Korean oolong from Hankook. Had a much better than anticipated bulk brewing of the alishan, and if course kept on with the alishan until the kettle ran dry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

today, i am drinking organic makalbari darjeeling silver tips from www.thefragrantleaf.com

also as part of my last order- was wenshan baozhong and high mountain oolong

their teas r always of high quality, imho

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello-

I have been drinking a lot of a wonderful pu'erh. My local teahouse serves an amazing pu'erh from 2002, which they sell under their own label. I have been buying bags of the stuff to brew at home.

Edited by Naftal (log)

"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)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...