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roddy

Favorite Chinese Teas

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Gary Soup

I'm a loyal Longjing tea drinker and this time of year is like Christmas with all the good 2008's in my pantry. I've got Ming Qian Shifengs from two different sources, a Ming Qian Meijiawu, and a full pound of Ming Qian Xihu.

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Long Zhiren

I found a neat little place in SF that does tea-tasting: Vital Tea Leave 1044 Grant Ave, SF. It's a nice place to try hundreds of different teas.

Is this place unique or are there lots of other places like this?

It focuses on Chinese teas, so many of the favorites mentioned are available here.

There are some odd European things that won't be available like coconut tea, which I actually kind of like. German black weinachtstee is nice too.

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Lugubert

In senior high school, Lapsang Souchong was it. After several years of coffee and Earl Grey, I'm now into teas.

My very favourite right now is at least from a China neighbour: Temi from Sikkim.

Temi is closely followed by most Ooolongs and Tie Guanjin. "Keemun" (Qimen) is great for variety.

I haven't tried very many green teas yet. The subtlety of Longjing is so far lost on me. But I'm looking forward to experiencing some probably too expensive cups of it with a view over West Lake in September.

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abcdefg

If you are in or around Kunming and enjoy a robust tea, you might like to try some dian hong cha in the cooler months. These are full-flavored black teas that generally brew up with a deep gold color and no bitterness. Some have an almost floral note. You must taste them in the tea shops to find the ones you like best. Many of these fine teas get pricey when exported, but are inexpenisive in Kunming. I've been told that "Dian" is a nickname for Yunnan.

滇红 is the Hanzi. Diān Hóng is the Pinyin.

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DrWatson

Though I like all kinds of tea, I most enjoy high mountain teas from Taiwan. As it is getting very cold here in the western part of Tokyo by the mountains, I've switched to hot teas and in particular I'm enjoying Alishan high mountain tea (阿里山高山茶) and Ten Ren's 913 茶王 from winter 2007. Every cup is like heaven...I don't think I could ever become a coffee drinker with such wonderful teas available.

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DrWatson
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?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that barley tea is caffeine and calorie free. I always understood the carb-free thing to be an extension of the low-calorie diets, is that right?

All of the mugi tea (むぎ茶 - barley tea) I buy in Japan is always zero calorie and zero caffeine. I understand it is the same in Korea. In fact, in both Japan and Korea, pregnant women are recommended to drink barley tea because it has no caffeine, whereas green teas and British/Indian teas are discouraged for the caffeine (just like coffee).

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something though.

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heifeng

i like barley tea (sugar free) that is slightly bitter b/c it reminds me of chocolate in a weird way. (and b4 you think I'm crazy on of my roommates said the exact same thing before I even told her it takes like chocolate wahaha:mrgreen:)

Other than barley tea, just any kind of green tea is fine by me. I think i've burned off most of my tastebuds from spicy food, so I'm really not that picky when it comes to tea:wink:

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abcdefg

If you enjoy the high mountain Taiwan oolongs, you might also like Wenshan Baozhong. It's only lightly oxidized, and quite low in caffeine. Load your cha bei in the morning and sip it all day long. .

The Hanzi is 文山包忠 and the Pinyin is wén shān bāo zhōng .

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ABCinChina

My favorite tea is 菊花茶! It just smells so darn fresh!

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abcdefg

菊花茶好喝!很香!I agree that chrysanthemum tea is delicious and fragrant. I often have it in the evening. Got fond of it while living in Zhuhai. It was often served at mealtime there.

Edited by abcdefg
clarity and additional information

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leeyah
I don't like bitter teas - don't like Pu'er at ALL, or even oolong.

Oolong is bitter alright, but Pu Er? I don't think so, it rather depends on one's tea brewing skill or 茶道, I'd say.

Did you try drinking it shortly after adding the water? I'm not a friend of anything bitter, but I love Pu'er when it hasn't gotten too strong yet!

Exactly, this says it all! :D Yes, my all time favourite Chinese tea is Pu Er, and I only recently discovered that the lighter 青茶 suits my taste much better than the "ripe" 陈年. Pu Er 青茶, that would be your weak tea.

Talk about teas, I also recently tasted 茉莉花茶 for the first time and it isn't all that bad either, not so much for the fragrance, what really matters is the green tea in it. Shandong's 崂山绿茶 I'd always recommend for green-tea fans.

And just one more thing: Chinese teas simply don't need any sugar at all. Pesticides? Well, you can hardly come by any food nowadays which is free of additives or pesticides. And organic food is unfortunately really too expensive for the average consumer.

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abcdefg

"Shandong's 崂山绿茶 I'd always recommend for green-tea fans."

--------------

I like green teas and would like to try the one you mention from Shandong. I can't find 崂 in my dictionary. I presume 崂山 is the name of the mountain where it is grown. Could you please elucidate? How do you say it? (Pinyin.) Thanks.

Edited by abcdefg
add quote

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gougou
I presume 崂山 is the name of the mountain where it is grown. Could you please elucidate? How do you say it? (Pinyin.)
It's lao2shan1, which is also the source of a very famous mineral water.

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abcdefg

Thanks, gougou.

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Lugubert

Quoting myself from July '08,

I haven't tried very many green teas yet. The subtlety of Longjing is so far lost on me. But I'm looking forward to experiencing some probably too expensive cups of it with a view over West Lake in September.

I did try Longjings. No too impressed. After a first try, I found it quite easy to avoid chrysanthemums, too.

I make a kind of point buying only "pure" teas, i.e. without added flavours like Earl Grey. Well, asking for Oolongs in a Chengdu tea shop, my travel partner and I were treated to a lovely pot, with all the requisite overfilling to the supporting tray etc., and then we were asked to try a "fuller flavour" tea. We loved that one too, and bought a package of each variety. Months afterwards, still enjoying the "full" thing, I read the Chinese labels in detail and discovered that it contained added Osmanthus flowers!

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Caidanbi

My favorites are loose teas that I get online from Rishi Tea. There is a green one called Emerald Lily and a white one called Snow Buds, I just love them! There is also one called Ancient Moonlight White (or something like that) that is wonderful, but super expensive, so I only get a little bit of it once a year, and I drink it for my birthday instead of having cake (which works out well since I can't eat sugar anyways).

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abcdefg

I've been drinking lots of delicious pu'er tea here in Kunming. Now am sipping an "old tree" uncooked/raw one. Yesterday had a cooked/ripe one from the 1990's. Today's brew is golden; yesterday's was almost red.

------------------

Months afterwards, still enjoying the "full" thing, I read the Chinese labels in detail and discovered that it contained added Osmanthus flowers!

These are quite popular in Guilin as you might suppose. The city derived its name from the famous ozmanthus trees which flower there along the Li River. Very fragrant in the spring.

桂花 = osmanthus flowers

桂林 = Guilin

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bottledpoetry

mmm...tea...

What's better than a hot cup of tea? A cup of hot, psychadelic tea.

My favorite tea is a mix of ginseng and tie guan yin from this tiny place across from Vienna Cafe on Shaoxing Lu (this is in Shanghai). Actually, the space is a traditional art gallery with three small tables for tea sort of partitioned off from the main store.

I don't think most people even go there for tea, the place is tiny, but the manager seems to know more about tea than most tea shop owners. I'd go there for the tea and stay there for poker. The tea is very nice, the tie guan yin component is very fragrant in it and the ginseng gives it a sweet aftertaste (for some reason, you can only taste it when you inhale with your mouth. I kid you not!) I swear that when I drink this right before bed, it gives me the craziest dreams. Once I was sun wukong climbing out from hell and into heaven. Again, kid you not. I've been drinking it for the last two years, hopefully the secret ingredient isn't pyschadelic cat pee or lsd or something. Atleast I don't think it is?

They only seem to have this tea in the few months following CNY. According to the manager, he gets it from this taiwanese guy who grows it in Hainan and it is made by alternatively layering racks of the tea and ginseng chips. According to him, the sun dries out the ginseng and a sort of ginseng syrup drizzles the tea below, achieving that sweetness. He buys it in bulk for a long time customer, but always orders a little extra for the shop. It's not on the menu, but you can ask for it by name.

If this tea sounds familiar to anybody, I'd love to know where I can get it retail so I might make it at home.

Dianping for the teashop here: http://www.dianping.com/shop/2106709

Update: oi. I found a picture!

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Edited by bottledpoetry

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abcdefg

Sounds interesting. Blends are difficult to duplicate. Maybe the proprietor will sell you some of his own stock or order some for you next time he places a bulk order for the long-time customer you mentioned.

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