Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

thelearninglearner

Any tea lovers here?

Recommended Posts

thelearninglearner

I decided to get back into drinking tea after not having any for a long time. I used to buy prince of peace tea back in the states, but haven't been able to find it in China for a reasonable price. (it's twice the price on taobao of what I used to pay for it) 

 

Anybody know any good ginger tea in China? I like really strong ginger flavor. I don't mind adding my own honey. 

 

Or any tea other recommendations? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Shelley

I have to suggest seeking out @abcdefg posts. He did many on tea as well as food. He is quite knowledgeable as he takes his tea drinking very seriously and has attended tea tasting and similar in China.

He is stuck in the US at the moment but is still lurking around these forums so if you have a direct question you could ask and hopefully he will answer and help you out.

I have learnt a lot from his interesting and informative posts.

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

Isn't ginger tea one of the easiest drinks in the world to make from scratch? There's no substitute really for fresh ginger.

  • Like 2
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thelearninglearner

@Shelley thanks! I'll look through the user's post history and see what info I can find first.

 

@889 I'll look it up and see what I can find. I plan to do it daily, so hopefully it's not too annoying 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
suMMit

Sooooo many amazing teas in china  绿茶,普洱茶,黑茶, 红茶,白茶。 An endless variety of those from all over the country. My personal favorite are the teas from 福建省(fujian province) mainly different varieties of 乌龙茶(wulong) like 铁观音,大红袍,水仙,单枞,铁罗汉,奇兰,肉桂,etc etc. Also good 台湾乌龙🍵。 

 

To me it would be a crime to add honey, milk, ginger or anything to these teas. Teabags are another crime against tea - sawdust. Not saying theres not a time and place for 珍珠奶茶 and ginger and all this, but dont overlook the straight stuff. 

 

I recommend you skip taobao and stop into a local teashop(a not too fancy kind) and try some different varieties. Its also a great environment for conversation in Chinese , tea education and relaxation. Theres normally no pressure to buy anything, but always something in any price range.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

"To me it would be a crime to add honey, milk, ginger or anything to these teas."

 

Ginger "tea" doesn't usually contain tea!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
suMMit

@889 ok, i see. Never heard of ginger tea. The thread title of "Tea lovers" had me thinking we were talking about actual tea

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thelearninglearner

@suMMit @889 I think it's still considered a tea as it's brewed using the same methods. But instead of leaves they use pieces of ginger. But we can call it something else. Maybe ginger ummm... Ginger hot drink.

 

Anyway I'm good with both these ginger hot drinks and "actual tea" so all suggestions are welcome! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

Here are some tea suggestions and a discussion of the main different kinds of Chinese tea. A good starting point, since it is an index of tea articles posted here over the span of several years. 

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/54133-tea-articles-a-users-guide/ 

 

On 10/16/2020 at 9:42 AM, thelearninglearner said:

Anybody know any good ginger tea in China? I like really strong ginger flavor. I don't mind adding my own honey.

 

These are "infusions" or "tisanes" -- not technically tea in that they don't use leaves of the tea plant (camellia sinensis.) Ginger infusions are mainly used as medicine in China. Popular to make and drink when one has certain kinds of a "cold" (upper respiratory infection) 感冒。It is thought to dissipate excess internal coldness. It's not popular as a daily beverage. 

 

Mature ginger root 老姜 is simmered for 5 or 10 minutes together with brown sugar 红糖。No need to peel the ginger. The proportions are not critical, but it would be common to slice a thumb-sized piece of ginger into a quart of water and add a tablespoon or less of dark brown sugar. The latter usually comes in cakes or blocks in China, not granules. 

 

Ginger and lemon can be combined into a hot beverage. This can be seasoned with honey after it's made if desired. It has medicinal properties principally related to digestion. Supposed to be an antioxidant, scavenge free radicals, etc. (Many extravagant claims.)

 

Suggest you look into more standard types of real Chinese tea first. For example green tea, black tea, red tea, and white tea. Pu'er tea and Oolong tea are also favorites. These provide a much more interesting and refined "tea experience" than ginger. See above link for discussion and explanation, including tips on selecting and preparing many of them. 

 

Hope you decide to sample some tea. China is a great place to do that. Will be glad to help you along the way. Where in China do you live? If you don't have preexisting preferences, it might be reasonable to explore locally-grown tea first. This often gives the best selection and best price. Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Fujian are famous tea producing provinces. (Several others as well. Most are places with temperate climates.) 

 

Large domestic distribution hubs offer all of China's teas: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming. In-person browsing can be lots of fun as well as educational. Sellers enjoy educating new customers. If you are overseas a variety of Chinese tea is still readily avialable through enterprising online tea merchants.

 

In case you are interested in dipping into the history of tea, here's an excellent source for that: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/49617-laszlo-montgomery-on-the-history-of-chinese-tea-–-a-listening-guide/ 

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg
On 10/16/2020 at 9:42 AM, thelearninglearner said:

I used to buy prince of peace tea back in the states, but haven't been able to find it in China for a reasonable price. (it's twice the price on taobao of what I used to pay for it) 

 

I looked this product up on Amazon. (Had never heard of it before.) Package says it's a 红茶。Description is that it's a black tea from Yunnan. It is just given a fanciful name for overseas marketing purposes. The company advertising links it's products to some social welfare programs. 

 

Hong cha 红茶 in Chinese means red tea. The Chinese name is referring to the color of the tea soup/liquor 汤 after it is brewed -- kind of reddish. In the west the same tea is known as black tea. This name refers to the color of the cured tea leaf before it it brewed -- kind of blackish. Confusing. 

 

If you like this kind of tea and are trying to find it in China, have a look at Yunnan's famous red tea, Dian Hong 滇红。The best of it is from Feng Qing County 凤庆县 in the west of Yunnan. It is one of my favorites; am drinking a cup of it right now. Regardless of where you are in China a teashop should have one or two examples. Taste it before you buy; the merchant will brew some for you. 

 

Read this for more information (with photos): https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/48661-dian-hong-滇红茶-yunnans-simplest-tea/ 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

Just so there's no confusion, "tea" isn't limited to stuff made out of tea leaves, in English or Chinese. Think of 玫瑰茶 for example and all those bins of dried red roses, even in Yunnan. Or that fine accompaniment to a light summer meal, 菊花茶.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thelearninglearner

@abcdefg thanks for the two posts! I'll go over everything you mentioned and go sample some tea! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

The main bottom-line suggestion is to find some Dian Hong Tea 滇红茶  from a local tea seller. It is usually inexpensive and has lots of flavor. Widely available and popular. Nothing rare or esoteric. (Obviously buy loose leaf; not teabags.) Larger grocery stores in China generally have it, either in bulk bins or prepackaged on the shelf. It's easy to brew because the parameters are not critical. (The main parameters of brewing any Chinese tea are 1. Amount of tea to use, 2. Temperature of the water, 3. Steeping time. Amount of water is governed by the teapot or gaiwan.) 

 

For someone not terribly familiar with Chinese teas, Dian Hong is an excellent place to start. 

 

358985077_tealeafdh-900.thumb.jpg.a7db608889fd352990b2826bb864bf1f.jpg     512177087_breweddh-900.thumb.jpg.f5bc453e814fbff69874129ed664300f.jpg

 

Happy hunting! 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

Can I ask, over on the tea boards posters are adamant that a fine and expensive Yixing teapot makes a big difference.

 

What do you think?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

Personally I think the quality and temperature of the water makes the most difference with the tea itself top of the list.

 

Water that is too soft does not make good tea IMHO and it must Have boiled  but not be actually boiling as it hits the leaves. 

Clean teapot, cups and other tools makes a difference.

 

The length of time you let it stew or steep makes a difference too, not too long for most teas in my experience.

 

As with lots of things like tea drinking (eg wine tasting) it can all be taken too far.

 

Common sense and tried and trusted methods work for me.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
vellocet
On 10/20/2020 at 1:47 AM, 889 said:

Just so there's no confusion, "tea" isn't limited to stuff made out of tea leaves, in English or Chinese. Think of 玫瑰茶 for example and all those bins of dried red roses, even in Yunnan. Or that fine accompaniment to a light summer meal, 菊花茶.

I took a tea course last month with a textbook and everything.  Beyond my level of Chinese mostly, I had to use Baidu translate on all the Powerpoint slides and many of the book's pages.  Got to taste a ton of teas, though.  The course materials stated that "tea" was, by definition, only the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant.  I think that's B.S...tea is that which is produced by steeping plants in hot water.  Pedants, they always take the fun out of things.  I suppose it's a legal definition, for tax reasons and classifying exports on customs forms.

 

I made the amazing discovery of Gongmei white tea 贡眉.  Specifically, the Gongmei from Jianyang, Fujian 建阳.  It's amazing.  The other white teas were OK, but this one was like fireworks.  It was a "third rate tea", but I liked it much better than the first rate tea.  Being third rate also means it's cheaper.  You can get a big bag for about ¥55 on Taobao. The tea is very long and thin, it takes up a lot of space.  The bag is big because there's a lot of air in there, and you have to use "more" tea than you're used to (it's still the same by weight).  

 

Water 95 degrees C, not boiling, steep for 5 minutes exactly, and you can use the leaves one more time for a second steeping (which will have a different taste, sometimes worse sometimes better). That's what I learned from the course.  It actually does make a big difference.  I found that I liked the local yellow tea a lot more when it was made correctly.  I had been making it like I had seen the locals do: just pour some leaves into a cup, add boiling water, and start sipping as soon as it's cool enough.  My days of drinking tea with leaves floating around in it are done.  So, so much better steeping for 5 minutes and then pouring out the finished tea.  I tried that old method with the gongmei tea and there were no fireworks at all, just so-so white tea.  But brew it correctly and the fireworks came right back.  There are a lot of fragile, volatile aromatics that break down easily, and when they leave the tea you never get them back.  Kind of like cooking barbecue correctly versus leaving it on the grill too long.  

  • Like 2
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg
On 10/20/2020 at 1:15 PM, vellocet said:

It was a "third rate tea", but I liked it much better than the first rate tea.  Being third rate also means it's cheaper. 

 

Could not agree more. I often buy that grade too. In fact it's my first choice for some teas. Usually the most expensive grade of tea leaf is more "tippy." When it is harvested, only the terminal tea bud and one of the smallest nearby leaves are plucked (一芽一叶). Even though that higher ratio of buds to leafs commands top price from connoiseurs, the flavor is less robust and full than a picking from the same tea shrub which includes an extra leaf or even two. (一芽两叶,三叶). (Photos clipped from Baidu.)

 

910563936_teeth2.thumb.PNG.310ec741f21b0c4454b33afbc5d69d30.PNG     187925147_teeth4.thumb.PNG.809407e105eb5533e83d104b6519b671.PNG

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg
6 hours ago, Garuda said:

Are drinkers of the Hong Kong Lai Cha considered tea lovers?

 

Of course! But Hong Kong 奶茶 is a very special beast. 

 

On 10/20/2020 at 9:54 AM, 889 said:

Can I ask, over on the tea boards posters are adamant that a fine and expensive Yixing teapot makes a big difference. What do you think?

 

It can make a big difference, especially for Pu'er tea 普洱茶。But it's by no means essential; one can still brew and enjoy a good cup of tea without one. Similarly, a good gaiwan 盖碗 is handy.  Proper tools make it easier to turn out a good drink. That being said, if I had limited time, interest and budget, I would spend my tea dollar on good quality tealeaves, and worry about the equipment later. 

 

@Shelley  

Quote

Personally I think the quality and temperature of the water makes the most difference with the tea itself top of the list.

 

In classic tea literature, the tealeaves are often referred to as the father of tea and the water as the mother. 

 

Chinese tea fanciers go absolutely nuts about the water from certain sources. I have visited some famous springs with long lines. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

"It can make a big difference . . ."

 

Really! I always thought it was like wine snobs pretending that their Rothschild Cabernet Sauvignon is so much better than my Gallo Red.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...