"...comparison to even fine red wines."


Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

"...comparison to even fine red wines."

Postby animal » Jul 13th, '09, 11:09

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I know little if anything about tea.. I've enjoyed it for years but I haven't tried anything besides what the coffee cart at work leads me to believe is a decent selection of teas. (they even have a tea menu *shrug*) And I've never even tasted a loose leaf brew.. Anyway I'm hoping to learn more and try more in the near future.

On to the reason I'm posting..

I downloaded the episode of Good Eats titled True Brew II - Mr. Tea. I've been a long time lover of Alton Brown's show and remembered watching it years ago (it is what originally stemmed my interest in tea) so I decided I needed to watch it again. Here's a link to a thread that has has a link to the episode.

viewtopic.php?t=3365&highlight=eats

A few minutes in he says of black tea..

"In fact the very best black teas brew up liquors of such robustness that they bare comparison to even fine red wines."

I'm curious as to which teas he's talking about. I'm not going to run out and spend $$$ on a cup of tea I don't even know how to appreciate but I'm extremely curious and intrigued by this. I had no idea. I'm just a southern boy who grew up with a gallon of lipton in the fridge.

So could someone help me set a long-term tea goal and maybe give me an idea of where to start? Thanks!
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Postby Janine » Jul 13th, '09, 11:51

Well, I'm a lover of black teas. I favor Chinese (and lately, Taiwanese) black teas. There are loads of people here who can tell you all about black teas too (especially from India) with information and knowledge much greater than mine (Victoria, for just one example - check the other topics on black teas you will find interesting).

I think you should just start with trying samples - a good keemun, Yunnan black (sometimes called gold for gold tips). Lately I have been enamoured with a tea that I think particularly brings out flavors and depths in the way good red wine does. It's called Ruby Black and it's from Taiwan and I got it from Tillerman Teas.

Now David Campbell who is a partner at Tillerman Tea is a wine expert - that is his background. He's still in the wine business even as he has ventured into teas: he takes wine with him to Japan, China, Taiwan, etc and brings back teas!! At any rate, if you wish to discuss this issue with someone who really has wide expertise and can tell you about comparisons with his own teas, anyway, I'd suggest you just contact Tillerman Teas. If he's not too busy, he will answer your questions and get you started with one source of information that you've inquired about. Both David Campbell and David Wong (who is the tea educator at Tillerman) are extremely nice in addition to their wide knowledge about teas. Since David himself has been in the wine business for decades, I thought he might be good for you to contact.

Anyway here's their website. I'd suggest you even just give them a call when the store is open if you have questions. It's located in Napa, California (heart of wine country)

http://www.tillermantea.com/
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Postby spot52 » Jul 14th, '09, 15:46

+1 on the Keemuns.
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Postby animal » Jul 15th, '09, 00:20

Thank you! On the tillerman site when it says (each) does that mean the price for one serving?

http://www.tillermantea.com/keemun_black_sachet.html
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Postby Thirsty Daruma » Jul 17th, '09, 01:51

I'd say the comparison is fair, but evident only with experience. Most fortunate, tea aficionados seem to have retained a reasonable vocabulary. Every time I hear an oenophile slip the word "foxy" through pursed lips, I can't help but shake my fist.
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Postby Artemis » Jul 17th, '09, 10:49

Alton Brown... I'm a hopeless fangirl. I didn't know he ever really mentioned teas before, that's a bit odd.
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Postby spot52 » Jul 17th, '09, 15:39

Artemis wrote:Alton Brown... I'm a hopeless fangirl. I didn't know he ever really mentioned teas before, that's a bit odd.

Yeah, he did a whole show about tea buying and brewing. It was a lot like the spice show. I enjoyed learning his take on things. But then again he can entertain me with a food I do not like.
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Postby Janine » Jul 17th, '09, 15:49

Hi animal - I haven't tried those sachets. I imagine they are talking about a box

If I were you, I would just send them an email and ask about it (see the "Contact Us" page) or otherwise telephone the retail number
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