Suggestion for a Tea newbie?


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Suggestion for a Tea newbie?

Postby Nibbs » Jun 27th, '10, 11:36

So I very recently started getting into tea and decided to chronicle my tea adventures in a blog. So I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for some good, hard to screw up, black teas.
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Re: Suggestion for a Tea newbie?

Postby spinmail » Jun 27th, '10, 12:04

You're going to get lots of suggestions. I'm only including black teas I always keep a stock of. I'd suggest including the vendor, since teas can vary according to grade and style.

Castleton Estate FTGFOP1 Muscatel, Second Flush: a reasonable, balanced Darjeeling that comes in a variety of invoices. The best is smooth, brisk, and well balanced, with pronounced Muscatel notes. (Upton)

Margaret's Hope Estate FTGFOP1 Muscatel, Second Flush: This tea has many of the same flavor notes, with lightly less spiciness and greatest clarity of flavor; the same valued Muscatel flavor. (Upton)

Yunnan Spiral Buds: Rich, fully flavored tea with a richness of spice and notes of cocoa. The leaves are twisted and quite attractive, even before infusion. Full flavored. (Upton)

Sichuan Zao Bei Jian: This is closer to a "red" tea - the equivalent to a claret. Rich, clean flavor with the touch of spice and appealing, brisk flavor. (Upton)

Infuse the tea at 212F for 4 or 5 minutes, and you're ready to go.
Last edited by spinmail on Jun 27th, '10, 13:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suggestion for a Tea newbie?

Postby Nibbs » Jun 27th, '10, 12:26

Spinmail, you are a rockstar. All of these sound wonderful, especially the Yunnan Spiral Buds!
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Re: Suggestion for a Tea newbie?

Postby debunix » Jun 27th, '10, 13:07

Yunnan Gold black tea in various permutations (Yunnan gold xtra fancy from Chado, Golden Yunnan from Rishi, Small bud gold Yunnan from Tea Habitat) has been the only black tea that I have liked. And from all of those sources it has been beautiful stuff.

For a really amazing cup, if you can find some osmanthus blossoms to add to it, try about 1 part osmanthus to 3 parts tea. Wow. Really hard to screw up this great combo.

[I got my osmanthus at Vital Tea Leaf's store (web site is vitaltleaf.com), and I see that it is less expensive via Wing Hop Fung's site.]
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Re: Suggestion for a Tea newbie?

Postby cloudyday » Jun 27th, '10, 13:09

Hard to make recommendations. I just say try as much as you can...samples are inexpensive, and there's just so many teas...
Which is a good thing, but obviously, it's all preference. China blacks (red) to me, for instance, are more appealing than Darjeelings (a close 2nd). Anything from Yunnan I go crazy for. They tend to have less astringency than Darjeelings in my experience, which can be a bit unsavory for some newcomers. That may disappear in some more expensive Darjeelings, but you're paying for it...(not always the case).

Anyways, have fun finding your own palate.
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Re: Suggestion for a Tea newbie?

Postby Victoria » Jun 27th, '10, 20:31

Adagio's Yunnan Noir is fabulous and so are the Black Dragon Pearls.
It's hard to screw up black teas, boiling water and 3mins, usually all
is fine. :)
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Re: Suggestion for a Tea newbie?

Postby debunix » Jun 27th, '10, 20:44

Victoria wrote:It's hard to screw up black teas
....

....as long as they were drinkable in the first place, I would agree!
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Re: Suggestion for a Tea newbie?

Postby LauraW » Jun 27th, '10, 20:49

Victoria wrote:Adagio's Yunnan Noir is fabulous and so are the Black Dragon Pearls.
It's hard to screw up black teas, boiling water and 3mins, usually all
is fine. :)

+1 for the Yunnan Noir - it's definitely my go-to, great morning tea, and if I accidentally leave it an extra couple minutes it's usually still pretty drinkable (and I'm really sensitive to bitter, apparently). Can't speak for the Black Dragon Pearls, I haven't had them yet!
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