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Tea articles: A user's guide

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Alex_Hart

Nice index, abc! Think we need a sticky for this if any mods are watching. 

 

And will get on it, though I don't know nearly as much about tea as you do! :P

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abcdefg

Roddy made this list a sticky, and I've just now added your Longjing article to the index. A worthwhile contribution!

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chenyswhite

Nice post.

I know you here will like tea when you known more about China.

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somethingfunny

I did a search but couldn't find any information on 铁观音.  A co-worker gave some to me as a gift (almost certainly a re-gift) a while ago and I really enjoyed it.  I assume it was 铁观音 - it was in small vacuum-sealed packs, with about 20 or so packs in a metal tin.  If I remember correctly, two of these metal tins were presented inside a further presentation case.

 

Someone in China is sending me some stuff and I was thinking of getting some of this sent at the same time.  Any quick pointers abcdefg?  Or anyone else?

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abcdefg
1 hour ago, somethingfunny said:

I did a search but couldn't find any information on 铁观音.

 

I really like Tieguanyin too, especially in those small vacuum-sealed packs. It's my "always" tea when having a dim-sum brunch in the Cantonese restaurants of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau. Just returned from a trip to see the Dragon Boat races, and I had it nearly every day. One small vacuum pack is usually enough for one teapot, making the "amount" part of the brewing equation straight forward.

 

Bought some at the Guangzhou wholesale tea market two or three years ago that was from Anxi 安溪 in Fujian Province 福建。It was very good, but light and bright. Tieguanyin comes in different styles: some others that the seller had were roasted longer and had a darker, stronger flavor.

 

Afraid that I don't know much about it and cannot recommend any specific kind. Maybe someone else can help. (I'll put "study Tieguanyin" on my to-do list. It's a very deserving subject.)

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somethingfunny

Any ideas on price for a reasonable quality tea?  Or which kind of place is best to go?  

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abcdefg
17 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

Any ideas on price for a reasonable quality tea?

 

What I have sometimes done when shopping for a kind of tea that I don't know well, is to first look at prices in several on-line stores, just to give me an idea of the general price range. Then I keep that in mind when starting to walk around and try some in the physical stores. The drawback of this method is that one can sometimes wind up kind of comparing apples to oranges. What I mean is that some quality variables are subtle: two teas can be picked a month or six weeks apart in the same region, yet one can have a lot more flavor (and be priced higher.) 

 

17 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

Or which kind of place is best to go?  

 

Will your friend be shopping in Beijing? Ideally, the place to go for the best selection of Tieguanyin would be somewhere in Fujian Province, near where it is produced. Obviously that might not be feasible.

 

Sorry I cannot be more helpful. I enjoy drinking Tieguanyin in a casual way, especially with a meal, but don't know enough to provide much guidance in purchasing it. (Except suggesting to buy some that is supplied in those small vacuum-sealed packages. That's a useful feature.)

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Luxi

I found these 2 UK websites, nicely designed and with lots of Chinese tea information. I'm not sure it is allowed to post here, as both sites naturally also want to sell their teas and make you spend money, but the information is very useful and make a nice read.

https://jingtea.com/about-jing

http://the-chinese-tea-company.com/

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Angelina

Add one on matcha 抹茶.  

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abcdefg
21 hours ago, Angelina said:

Add one on matcha 抹茶.  

 

I don't know enough to do that one, Angelina. Sorry. Seldom drink it. Maybe someone else can pitch in. I would like to learn more about it too.

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amytheorangutan

My parents went to 武夷山 and gave me a couple of bags of (da hong pao) 大紅袍 loose leaf, a kind of Oolong tea, with a teapot set that I’ve been using a while now. I have very little knowledge of tea so I didn’t know anything about it and googled it and that was the full extent of my knowledge on the tea. I really like it. It has a distinct flavour compared to other Oolong I had in the past and tastes different from Taiwanese Oolong. I thought I’d share the teapot set. There are actually 6 cups but we rarely use them all. I also don’t know what the second utensil from the left is for. I just like the shape  :P

C24191C5-B48A-408B-903F-7CB5F0B773C3.jpeg

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Luxi
2 hours ago, amytheorangutan said:

I also don’t know what the second utensil from the left is for.

 

It is used in the tea ceremony, it's a measure for powder tea. These days more Japanese than Chinese. 

http://www.tea-guy.com/2011/12/japanese-tea-ceremony-utensils/

 

About tea discoveries, I recently found my Tea of Heaven: Yunnan Red Dragon. It's like drinking an amber nectar, with chocolate and Chantilly cream on buiscuits flavour, with a long-lingering tea aftertaste. It's also expensive.

https://jingtea.com/shop/red-dragon

https://www.teasenz.com/red-dragon-pearls-black-tea#.WrOOJIjFKUk

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abcdefg
15 hours ago, Luxi said:

About tea discoveries, I recently found my Tea of Heaven: Yunnan Red Dragon. It's like drinking an amber nectar, with chocolate and Chantilly cream on buiscuits flavour, with a long-lingering tea aftertaste. It's also expensive.

 

I couldn't agree more about this being delicious. In fact, this part of Yunnan 凤庆县 Fengqing produces so much great 滇红茶 Dian Hong that I explore several new ones every year. It would be a crime not to, since I can walk ten minutes to a shop where they will brew up two or three of them for me to try before buying. They friendly shop assistants know by now that I really care about great quality tea and they outdo each other in trying to knock my socks off with limited-production leaf from the the back part of top shelf. 

 

Most of the best ones, however, are fall harvest, unlike the one you describe, which is picked in the spring. Some are rolled into pearls, like 散茶。Some are rolled into small balls, larger than pearls, suitable for making a larger pot of tea. Some are only tips (young unopened buds 嫩芽) and some are the bud plus one or two leaves. Some are sold as being "wild" 野生, picked from old bushes or trees that have never been cultivated. So many interesting flavors and variations on a theme. 

 

I'm convinced that Yunnan's Dian Hong teas are one of the best little-known discoveries still available in the world of Chinese tea. It is usually reasonably priced, without the mark up that more popular teas often command. Lack of name recognition in the west works in its favor. When I take it back to the US every year for family and friends, I tell them it's Yunnan Gold and let it go at that. 

 

Enjoy your Yunnan Red Dragon, @Luxi. Share it with one or two very good friends! 

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Luxi

Thank you for the information, @abcdefg

 

Good pointers for my next tea purchase. There are lots of on-line tea shops in Britain now, but many of them just offer "Yunnan tea" without much further information. Good to know what to look for. 

 

7 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Enjoy your Yunnan Red Dragon

 

I sure do! 

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