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mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Excuse me, pardon me, sheer perfection coming through


i like doing reasonable quality black teas for cold brew because the forgiving cold steep gets flavour without any of the bitterness. versus needing to step up in quality to get tea that doesnít do that when hot.

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Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder


Tea Goons Good Tea Study Club now has a discord because zoom and email are boomer tier. https://discord.gg/yBV9UGtp Today's weekly video chat was all about white tea and hongcha (red tea).

The two teas were both gushu from different Yunnan mountains, one processed as white (loose) and one red (brick). Both teas are 3 yo. I shared my belief that the dip between 3 years and 8 years is the most boring-tasting age for puer, and possibly other teas too. The red in this case still has lots of flavor though, due to the dense compression.

White tea facts:
Can steep so many times
Originally from a mountain in Fuding
The saying is: it becomes tea at 1 year, medicine at 3 years and treasure at 7 years
Can simmer in a saucepan 3 minutes then let cool

Edit: I just browsed the god awful White tea Wikipedia entry and feel compelled to add some more white tea facts:

It is usually wilted/ sun dried only, meaning that like red tea it doesn't have a "kill green" step
It is (very roughly) 15% oxidized due to these processing steps
Oriental Beauty and Moonlight White (puer) are other teas that are a little oxidized
Red tea (what Westerners call Black Tea) is put into wet piles for 2-3 days so it's 99% oxidized
White tea is graded by leaf size, though the highest grade is not necessarily "the best flavor" according to many:
Buds only: Silver Needle Baihaoyinzhen
Buds and 3 leaves: White peony Baimudan
Bigger leaves: Shoumei
Oldest Fuding trees are semi wild and 100-150 years old

Death Vomit Wizard fucked around with this message at 01:23 on Apr 11, 2021

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

I likely ain't gonna be joining the tasting due to my schedule but I will happily join and say hello and talk about tea!

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

There is a monthly publication called Global Tea Hut that is from this tea cult that an american buddhist started in Taiwan. It is legit info and they send a sample with each magazine. That guy Wude I think is polarizing and his whole following looks like rich instagram hippie models that do yoga festivals and stuff. Which is true somewhat. But the dude himself and the writings are actually all super accurate and he's done his own translation of the Book of Tea by Luyu (Tea Sutra). Somehow I found all these PDFs by poking around their shittily constructed website a few years ago and it's 500MB of their whole back catalog. Literally the best tea information I've ever seen in English by a mile. Here is a link to the zip file that will work for 3 days apparently: https://www.myairbridge.com/en/#!/link/S7zblXIeW

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

They include a lot of the little exercises and cues for your tea practice. The first one, I think, is brewing one leaf of tea in a tea bowl. You a encouraged to not only try it once, but to repeat it once a week. To calibrate yourself and try to experience a more direct connection to the tea tree. (or something... I read it a while ago) Anyone tried that before?
Reminds me that there's a really cool method of brewing rolled oolong in a tea bowl that farmers here use for tasting. I can show you, but to do it right you need a porcelain soup spoon.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Hey, this seems like the right spot to try to up my tea game.

I've always drank tea, mostly from bags, but also loose leaf back a century ago when I worked at Pier One in high school. But I've never known squat about it! All I know is that I like oolong in a bag, and senchas too, but green teas can be a bit tannin heavy at times. Also darjeeling maybe but generally I am not so fond of the english styles of tea unless sugar and milk is involved.

I first accidentally discovered better tea when in China unsurprisingly, when at the airport in Hangzhou I bought some new harvest Dragonwell, which my partner loved. Also more recently we got as an Amazon added item a box of Uncle Lee's Organic black, which I adore. So now I would like to know more about Chinese black/oolong/pu-erh teas, and what I should try! And our local shop's website is overwhelming with options, ugh. I mean if it weren't for the pandemic I would go in and start tasting but lol nope.

I would love your thoughts and suggestions as I begin to learn more about fine tea and what I like!

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

Loose leaf or pressed hand picked Chinese style tea is my specialty, other goons can learn you more about Japanese styles.

Sheng Puer tea: this kind of tea is hot right now with tea snobs. A big round brick is called a cake or a bing. Puer can also be spelled pu'er or pu-erh. It's made from big leaf cultivar trees in remote southwest china. Popular "young" which means less than a few years old, or semi-aged (5-15 years) or aged. The only oxidation puer goes through is during aging, so young shengs are akin to green tea due to puer processing. Puer is known for its health benefits. It has the widest variety of tastes -- they can be extreme compared to other teas. And within puer, ancient tree tea is popular for health.

Oolong: While puers are appreciated for their "wild", organic quality, oolongs are popular for their exquisite craftsmanship. Within the tea classification system, oolong has the greatest diversity of production styles, with oxidation ranging from 3% to 35% or near-green to near-red. ("Black tea" is a mistranslation of hongcha which is "red tea" in Mandarin. So from here on I will call it red tea.) Therefore we need to know which oolong is which. Taiwanese high mountain tea is the lightest. Rock tea from Wuyi mountain in China is roasty and fruity. Phoenix Dancong is another Chinese oolong that has been bred into hundreds of distinct tasting cultivars. The trend, bemoaned by many of us, is to make all oolong styles greener now, so even with traditionally roasty cultivars/styles like Dongding and Tieguanyin you have to specify if it's "green" or not. You may see an "oolong" from Tibet or Sri Lanka or some other place, but unless it was made rigorously following the 25 steps of oolong processing (basically meaning from China or Taiwan), it shouldn't be called oolong. It's the biggest pain in the rear end to process of all tea styles, basically 40 straight hours of labor, so half-assing it and calling your tea oolong is some bs imo.

Red tea:
Puer, oolong, green, red, white... these are all categorized by their processing btw. So let's say you have leaves harvested from one tea tree. You could make that into any of those 5 kinds of tea. So it's a matter of preference. Each cultivar has its traditional processing, but more and more you're seeing farmers making other kinds of tea than you'd expect for a given cultivar. Red tea is 99% oxidized during 2 days of "wet piling" of the leaves at the beginning of production. And since red tea is really popular for its taste, you see red tea being made with all kinds of tea. In Taiwan the oolong farmers split up their oolong harvests and make them into both oolong and red. Puer farmers do the same with their puer trees. Of course there are teas that are traditionally red too: All assam teas, Jinjunmei and Lapsang come to mind.

White tea:
White tea is growing in popularity fast in asia now and you see a lot of different farmers making their tea into white. White tea is naturally oxidized through wilting, but just 15%. So it has some of the qualities of red tea, but the taste is closer to the tree. Its is known in asia for being healthy. It's the most minimally processed style and has a very different taste than the others. It has little to no bitterness. Traditionally made in Fuding China.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Death Vomit Wizard posted:

Loose leaf or pressed hand picked Chinese style tea is my specialty, other goons can learn you more about Japanese styles.

Sheng Puer tea: this kind of tea is hot right now with tea snobs. A big round brick is called a cake or a bing. Puer can also be spelled pu'er or pu-erh. It's made from big leaf cultivar trees in remote southwest china. Popular "young" which means less than a few years old, or semi-aged (5-15 years) or aged. The only oxidation puer goes through is during aging, so young shengs are akin to green tea due to puer processing. Puer is known for its health benefits. It has the widest variety of tastes -- they can be extreme compared to other teas. And within puer, ancient tree tea is popular for health.

Oolong: While puers are appreciated for their "wild", organic quality, oolongs are popular for their exquisite craftsmanship. Within the tea classification system, oolong has the greatest diversity of production styles, with oxidation ranging from 3% to 35% or near-green to near-red. ("Black tea" is a mistranslation of hongcha which is "red tea" in Mandarin. So from here on I will call it red tea.) Therefore we need to know which oolong is which. Taiwanese high mountain tea is the lightest. Rock tea from Wuyi mountain in China is roasty and fruity. Phoenix Dancong is another Chinese oolong that has been bred into hundreds of distinct tasting cultivars. The trend, bemoaned by many of us, is to make all oolong styles greener now, so even with traditionally roasty cultivars/styles like Dongding and Tieguanyin you have to specify if it's "green" or not. You may see an "oolong" from Tibet or Sri Lanka or some other place, but unless it was made rigorously following the 25 steps of oolong processing (basically meaning from China or Taiwan), it shouldn't be called oolong. It's the biggest pain in the rear end to process of all tea styles, basically 40 straight hours of labor, so half-assing it and calling your tea oolong is some bs imo.

Red tea:
Puer, oolong, green, red, white... these are all categorized by their processing btw. So let's say you have leaves harvested from one tea tree. You could make that into any of those 5 kinds of tea. So it's a matter of preference. Each cultivar has its traditional processing, but more and more you're seeing farmers making other kinds of tea than you'd expect for a given cultivar. Red tea is 99% oxidized during 2 days of "wet piling" of the leaves at the beginning of production. And since red tea is really popular for its taste, you see red tea being made with all kinds of tea. In Taiwan the oolong farmers split up their oolong harvests and make them into both oolong and red. Puer farmers do the same with their puer trees. Of course there are teas that are traditionally red too: All assam teas, Jinjunmei and Lapsang come to mind.

White tea:
White tea is growing in popularity fast in asia now and you see a lot of different farmers making their tea into white. White tea is naturally oxidized through wilting, but just 15%. So it has some of the qualities of red tea, but the taste is closer to the tree. Its is known in asia for being healthy. It's the most minimally processed style and has a very different taste than the others. It has little to no bitterness. Traditionally made in Fuding China.

Thanks for this, its very helpful.

Guess its just time to start tasting a whole bunch of different teas and learning how to brew it right

Death Vomit Wizard
May 8, 2006
Bottom Feeder

Bilirubin posted:

Thanks for this, its very helpful.

Guess its just time to start tasting a whole bunch of different teas and learning how to brew it right

Have fun and remember this: there is no one right way to make or enjoy your tea. The joy of "gongfu tea" as they call it is the fine tuning and experimentation it allows. Keep a journal and list your steep times and grams of tea and vessel size. If a tea is high enough quality, I always steep at 100C (except green tea). But write down the temp too.

Also, there is a lot of bad and possibly unhealthy tea out there.

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



to avoid the really awful and possibly harmful stuff with puer teas, do yourself a favour and buy this only from shops that specialise in it, and who market it to the anglo sphere/europe. for reasons, that market is heavily tainted with fake teas thatís made in dreadful conditions with bad products, and sourcing has all the regular hurdles that most tea has added tenfold

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




This thread always makes me feel so inadequate, but that's a good thing.

Time to reset/refine/reeducate my tongue.

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thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


Death Vomit Wizard posted:

White tea is growing in popularity fast in asia now and you see a lot of different farmers making their tea into white. White tea is naturally oxidized through wilting, but just 15%. So it has some of the qualities of red tea, but the taste is closer to the tree. Its is known in asia for being healthy. It's the most minimally processed style and has a very different taste than the others. It has little to no bitterness. Traditionally made in Fuding China.

I dunno about this. Studies show that green tea is the closest to fresh leaves in terms of composition. As far as which has less processing it depends on your definition; the processing time is shorter for green tea than for white tea and it's less oxidized, but white tea is heated less and not rolled.

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