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cdh

New year, new teas. Tasting through an assortment.

34 posts in this topic

Currently onto some Green Snail Spring green tea.  Enjoyable; certainly one of the nicer examples of Green tea's I have tried, but not as profoundly unique as the 2 aforementioned samples.

 

Curious, what makes an oolong 'milk'able' (for lack of a better term)?

 

Excited to try some of the other Oolong's and the Pu-erh's!

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When they say milky, they really mean that it has a dairy nuance to the flavor and aroma.  There apparently was a mutation in a tea bush in Taiwan that they discovered in the 1990s and cloned the hell out of because the mutation made this diary nuance that is interesting and commercially viable.  Think about the smell in a cheesemaking operation as they're heating up the milk before they chuck in the rennet.  Ask your tea guys for a sample of milk oolong and you'll get the idea.

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I figured as much, but I noted you mentioned that you decided to brew it at a higher temp, which prompted the question - how would one know which oolong's are suitable for such prep methods?

 

Furthermore, I was lead to believe (my knowledge is extremely limited - so take that with a few grains of salt!) that oolong's are brewed with water right off the boil.  Whereas white/green/yellow tea's the water should be left to sit 5 or so minutes post boil before brewing.

 

 

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For me, the rule is that the greener the tea, the cooler the water is usually the way to go.  The lightly oxidized oolongs generally taste better to me at 185-195F than at 212... I find boiling water brings out metallic notes I'm happy to do without.  So for an oolong that smells like flowers rather than like woodlands, I start at 180 and move up.  This particular milk oolong seems to break that rule... but I'm glad I figured it out before the sample was used up.  Having a kettle that lets me dial in a temperature band and has a readout that tells me the temperature of the water does make playing with these teas much more rewarding.

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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And talk of green tea brings us up to sample 7:  Gunpowder tea.  Leaves rolled up into little shiny pellets.  Very smoky aroma.  Slightly smokey flavor. Brewed 2.5g to 12 oz of water at 185ish.  Long finish, sweet on the tongue.  A hint of astringency, so that is telling me to vary the water temp down rather than up for the second infusion.  The tea barely finished unrolling itself during an initial 3 minute steep. 2017-01-18 13.12.43.jpg

2017-01-18 13.11.11.jpg


Edited by cdh (log)
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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Tell me more about this 3 minute steep.

 

My 'instructions' said 5 - 10 - 20 - 60 second infusions for the green tea.

 

 

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Depends on your tea, and how you're making it.  If I were doing this tea gongfu style, with 60-70ml of water rather than a 12 oz mug, I'd think about timing like that.  I know and enjoy gunpowder brewed at western ratios and timings... so that is what I did.  Perhaps the other 3.5g of tea will get the gongfu treatment to see how it is different.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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So I brew like you in a larger mug as well -

 

Does that mean I should throw these brewing times out the window?

 

So much to learn.....

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When my restaurant was open, I had a wonderful local tea vendor...an elderly couple who sold at the city market, and imported directly from a distributor in China. They carried all the "10 famous teas" (actually 16 or 17 of them...I understand there's a lot of disagreement over exactly which teas belong on the list) as well as other noteworthy but more mainstream offerings. 

 

I didn't taste my way through them as systematically as you're doing here, and lacked the experience to brew and taste them this critically in any case, but they were remarkable. 

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Fat=flavor

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