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roddy

Favorite Chinese Teas

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roddy

Round about this time of year I find myself switching from drinking chilled water to nice hot tea. So, I thought I'd find out what everyone's drinking.

Personally I like my tea with a bit of bite, and for preference I'll go for something semi or fully fermented - Oolong (used to drink a lot of Tieguanyin) or Pu'er. I'm also quite partial to Kuding - took a while to get used to, but I do find it very drinkable now.

When I first got to China I always used to have either Jasmine or Chrysanthemum tea. I think this is because they were the only ones I could recognize on the menu. "Oolong . . .OOh, sounds scary . . . Pu'er . . . oh'er, best not . . hmmm, Jasmine. That's a flower, isn't it? Lets try that" I started experimenting more once I got to Beijing and was spending loads of time sitting around cafes studying or working - a coffee won't last long, but they just kept on topping up the tea.

I also just bought some 大麦茶, which is the stuff you often get free in cheapish restaurants. Perfectly drinkable, but the restaurant association means I keep on thinking I'm about to get served a great big meal. And I'm not :(

So what is everyone else drinking?

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skylee

If I can choose I would drink Earl Gray or Japanese 玄米茶.

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Xiao Kui

roddy,

any suggestions on a brand or variety of Puer? I live in KM so there's plenty around here but I've only been served it once by Chinese friends, and what they gave me tasted quite mediciny, so I haven't sought it out since. Is a mediciny taste what I'm supposed to be enjoying?

I like Yingou green tea which my Chinese friend tells me is cheap crap tea, but I guess I've just gotten used to it. I like green tea but not the strong Biluo green teas. Forgive any inaccuracy with my terminology - I don't know tea - I just know what I like. :mrgreen:

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adrianlondon

Gosh, so many teas.

I drink Earl Grey and green tea (Japanese if I have any, expensive Chinese tea otherwise) regularly. I drink "English" (ie Indian usually) tea when I fancy something with a bit of milk.

I drink Tikuanyin after greasy food. In the evenings I'll often drink either osmanthus mixed with Oolong (ready mixed from Ten Ren, Taiwan) or I'll mix osmanthus flowers which I bought cheaply in Beijing (桂花) with green tea.

I also drink Jasmine tea when I'm not too fussed, as it's cheaper than the Osmanthus tea I have.

When it's cold I drink some "Christmas Tea" I bought very cheap in bulk in Fortnum and Mason (London) one January. It's Indian tea with orange zest mixed with a hint of spices such as cardamon. It's suddenly got cold in London si I'll be having some of that tonight. However, I also like to drink red wine when it's cold, so I'm not sure which route I'll go down yet ;)

I also drink lots of coffee. I have an espresso machine and usually use that to make lattes. If I just want a shot of coffee, I make turkish coffee. My Dad's from the middle east, so I have the right coffee and a decent "Ibrik" (jug). I also drink instant coffee sometimes. I mix the granules into milk before adding hot water. It's quite a nice warming drink.

At work, we have a decent drinks machine. I avoid all the fruity "tea" (it's in quotes because it's fake, they're actually fruit infusions and taste like lemsip. I hate them all), and drink Earl Grey, Green Tea with Jasmine, or just English Tea. They all come in individual sealed sachets. Not bad for an office machine. Or I go out to Caffe Nero and drink a latte.

I like this subject/

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zhwj

The barley tea is great if you want to drink large quantities. It's good cold in the summer, and you can fill a whole thermos with it in the winter. Can't really do that with Pu'er or Oolong. Floral teas are good for this, too.

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adrianlondon

I bought some Lipton Korean Barley Tea when I was in Beijing. Nice stuff.

I thought Lipton was a British company (Unilever UK?) but I can't find that tea here.

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thph2006

We usually have a few different teas in the house but the one I always seem to prefer is 天福茗茶 brand 轸珠茉莉 tea. I may have gotten some of the characters wrong off the package so in English I think it's Tian Fu brand Pearl Jasmine Tea. I don't know what it costs because my wife's parents send it to us but it tastes good to me. Whenever my mother in law made tea for us she'd ask me which I'd like and being basically a non-speaker I always referred to it as 小球茶 'cause it looks like little balls of tea. After a while she just started asking 小球吧?

FYI, the package has a web address on it: http://www.tenfu.com/index.asp

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adrianlondon

If Ten Fu is the chain of tea shops, one of which is on Wangfujing, then it's the mainland copy of Taiwan's Ten Ren. Their tea cakes (no, not teacakes!) aren't bad but, like most copies, it just doesn't quite make it. Luckily, the prices don't quite make it, either ;)

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WRMCNAIR

Oolong rules. I drink lots & lots of tea year round, mostly bought online from China (I live in USA). Green oolongs from Taiwan are all good, Fujian oolongs are good...the whole tea thing is almost as bad as wine (way complicated if you get too far into it...). I like Pu'er but that's the most complicated of all and I can't figure it out. I can recommend lots of great tea sites if any one is interested...

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flameproof

I wish all places had reverse osmosis to get rid of the often strong bad water taste.

Anyway, tea is still better then these instant coffees, or cappuccino with whipping cream and cinnamon (brings you in jail in Italy).

Once the water quality is fixed I like a nice green tea, also nice is these Japanese tea with the pop-rice inside (can we get that in China too). Nice (but not strictly tea) is 8paocha.

I read that white tea is really expensive in the UK, but not that special in China, have to try that too.

Maybe next time when I am in Beijing I should take those offer on a nice tea testing which you get every 3 Minutes in Wangfujing. May do that that right after the art gallery visit with those 2 art students....

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cdn_in_bj

I drink green tea and oolong (tieguanyin). I have tea every morning at work, then it's usually green tea as I need the caffeine kick. But sometimes I'll switch to oolong - I enjoy both very much.

I have noticed something interesting between mainland (Fujian) vs. Taiwan oolong teas. The oolong teas from the mainland all have a very fragrant aroma (almost flowery), whereas the Taiwan stuff tastes more like, well, black tea. Both taste very good, by the way, but it makes me wonder if they're added something to the tea leaves to give it that fragrance. Has anyone else noticed this?

As for barley tea, that is good too but I don't drink it regularly because of the carbs. Or am I wrong about this?

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liuzhou

I mainly drink the local Xishan green tea from Guiping.

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helen19850406

In fact i'm myself is very like Tikuanyin ,a kind of green tea

but it's too expensive for me

plz try

you will love it

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adrianlondon

Tikuanyin and Tieguanyin are the same thing. I guess the difference is Wade Giles (?) and Pinyin.

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adrianlondon

Someone recently came back from a short holiday to Shanghai and the surrounding areas. They bought some "medicine tea" and, not really liking teas, gave them to me. Why did they buy them in the first place? Dunno. I'm not complaining ;)

I'm currently drinking "red snow tea". I don't think it's actually a tea. It's a lovely red colour, tastes a tiny little bit like weak black (red) tea and is meant to be good for me.

红雪茶

http://www.himawellness.com/redsnowtea1.html

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venture160

I like Honey ginseng or oolong and jujube... but I usually just drink a bitter green tea

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polkadotspeedo

If you really fancy good tea, I would recommend a trip to Mariage frères boutiques or tea-rooms (for those outside China of course). It is a very old house from France that do exquisite choices of teas. By the way, the notion that English/Irish drink more tea and thus should know more about them is, I find, not entirely true.

If you can't get to their tea rooms, visit their website (http://www.mariagefreres.com/). Great information about their collection of tea in four different languages. Those in Kyoto, there is one boutique of Mariage Frère in BAL shopping centre. The tea there, dare I say, is vastly superior to many of the tourist trap tea places around Kyoto.

My personal favourite for early automne days like these is Lung Qing/Ching. The subtle tangy taste and the powerful aroma is at its best at the chilly and foggy morning of autumn...

For other seasons... well there are so many different types of teas in the world, it would be narrow minded to restrict my choices to just "my favourite". So, explore the tea galore!

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adrianlondon
the notion that English/Irish drink more tea and thus should know more about them is, I find, not entirely true.

Yeah, it's a bit like saying we English also eat the most fish and are therefore connoisseurs. Most of the tea drunk here is blended red tea, with milk and sugar added in the cup. Most of the fish eaten here is the blandest possible, coated in batter and deep fried. Now, don't get me wrong, a nice cup of English tea (without sugar for me) or fish & chips is very tasty, but it doesn't correlate to having an experience of the wide variety of teas/fish out there.

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bhchao

Osmanthus (guihua oolong) tea from Taiwan's Ten Ren is my favorite, followed by black tea.

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owshawng

I like High Mountain tea. So smooth.

I also make iced black tea from Ten Ren's oolong tea. I make 2 to 4 liters at a time on the stove. When it cools down I put it in pitchers in the fridge and make my own bubble tea.

Cold barley tea is good, especially when it's hot or I'm eating something spicy.

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