Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?


Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby ethan » Jul 5th, '14, 21:27

Talking about "bitterness" & about 2 teas:
Today drank Yunnan Imperial Gold Needle (autumn '13)_from Yunnan Sourcing. This tea is beauty to the eye & to the touch, soft velvety.... Dian Hong flavors: sweet, touch of malt. Steeped much too long & that maltiness might be called bitter, but I made it right. Fairly simple but delicious.
Also Himalayan Orange (2013) from Jun Chiyabari (Nepal). These muscatel/champagne flavors can get like medicine+astringent when tea is steeped too long, might be called bitter. I made it using only 2 grams for about nine ounces (250 ml) for 3 minutes = complex & delicious.

Teadoff is probably 95% correct about tea being good if prepared correctly; & debunix for someone who is not so much into black tea, I need to tell you that you have more varieties of black tea in your stash than I have in mine. Guys, is Laoshan black tea a typical Western style black tea? I think of that as quite simply sweet & don't picture it as ever called bitter.

July 4th weekend here & in Boston we read the Declaration of Independence every year. For those who don't, summary: If you are going to tax our tea from thousands of miles away, we are splitting away from you.

Cheers
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Jul 5th, '14, 21:42

Did you also celebrate by tossing a few (used) tea leaves into the harbor?
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Tead Off » Jul 6th, '14, 00:02

debunix wrote:
Tead Off wrote:Debunix, I'm trying to figure out what 'bitterness' you are referring to in black teas.

For someone who drinks Puerh, bitterness is a quality that almost any Puerh will have if brewed heavy-handedly. You also drink sencha, I believe. .... I would never equate bitter with the black/red teas we are talking about.


And I do think of the quality that I'm thinking of as bitterness, not astringency. I'm not a professional taster, however, just a tea lover trying to share an experience of tea.

I do drink puerh, and sencha, but in both cases I have to be very cautious about which ones and how I brew them to avoid bitterness. I brew far more dilute than most of the serious pu-heads and sencha-holics around here. And when I get an infusion that still manages to be too bitter, I will dilute with hot water to try to get something palatable. For young sheng puerhs, I may discard several infusions before I get one that is drinkable.

But I've never managed a short enough/dilute enough infusion to make a western-style black tea palatable for me. I see no reason to bother with a tea that has to be doctored with milk and sugar to be tasty, when there are so many oolongs and greens and whites and puerhs and a few special black teas that don't require such additions to make my tongue happy.

Perhaps your palate is just not put off by the flavors that mine is, and yay you for your robust taste buds.

No, I don't like bitterness, either. And, I never add milk or sugar to black teas. The floral/fruity qualities of Himalayan teas are noteworthy. With correct brewing, pleasure awaits. :D
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby rdl » Jul 6th, '14, 01:08

ethan wrote:July 4th weekend here & in Boston we read the Declaration of Independence every year. For those who don't, summary: If you are going to tax our tea from thousands of miles away, we are splitting away from you.

even for the fact all that tea was coming to Boston with a lower tax than ever before.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Jul 6th, '14, 02:30

Summus Taiwan High Mt. Superb Organic Black Tea (5g in a 120ml glazed Petr kyusu): This tea is really wonderful; it's a Jin Xuan cultivar, high mt., Taiwan red tea grown organically at 1800 meters. Given that it's a Jin Xuan cultivar and not the lower elevation #18 Hong Yu or #21 Hong Yun cultivars, and that it's grown at higher elevation, it has a really wonderful floral presentation with really sweet notes of fruit and honey over a creamy base. I left this tea in my glazed Petr Kyusu for an hour at the last, and still strong infusion, as I went for an early morning walk with my son. The tea is so smooth and no bitterness arose...a really enjoyable tea with a lasting throat and rich smoothness.

(http://summusweb.com/enindex.html)

Blessings!
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby ethan » Jul 6th, '14, 03:06

I will answer the questions (or should I say "jokes") but the biggest joke is that I drank so much black tea doing the comparison that I cannot sleep tonight. Usually caffeine from tea does not effect me like that.

I am never at the harbor, almost never anywhere (which is why I'm on teachat so much) & in school we were never taught that the tea tax was not so "taxing"

I flush used tea leaves down the toilet so my older sister does not have a chance to see them. For the last 2 months I have not paid her rent; so, reminders of how much $ & time I spend on tea cause tension. I will be listing some of my teaware on ebay because I cannot endure the tension caused by my sister seeing ....Usually on Independence Day week, we watch a DVD of the movie 1776 which is a great tension breaker, but because of World Cup & Wimbledon, I cannot stare at a tv screen anymore. God Bless America & Everyone else sounds like a great tea you got there TeaArt
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Jul 12th, '14, 14:47

Enjoying a morning session of western-style brewed Jin Jun Mei, a fruity & sweet start to the day. Looking up sources for this one, it's not going to be good for the budget--lucky it was a gift!
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Devoted135 » Jul 16th, '14, 14:13

debunix wrote:Enjoying a morning session of western-style brewed Jin Jun Mei, a fruity & sweet start to the day. Looking up sources for this one, it's not going to be good for the budget--lucky it was a gift!


This may answer my question already, but I was going to ask if your bad experiences have been with gong fu'd or western brewed (or both) black teas?

I brew black teas western style essentially exclusively. I've only had two so far that were of sufficient quality to gong fu without unpalatable results.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Jul 16th, '14, 14:23

Mostly western style--in desperation, accepting an Earl Grey or English Breakfast at a restaurant or conference when I needed caffeine (and I don't do coffee). But I have tried the occasional fancier quality loose leaf teas--teas I've purchased or been given as gifts or samples--and those I've often tried with gongfu as well as Western brewing, and again, usually with results unpalatable to me.

Today I'm back to the Jin Jun Mei again, and sharing with tea buddies in the office, creating new Jin Jun Mei fans.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby hopeofdawn » Jul 18th, '14, 02:56

I'm not a huge black tea fan, so take this with a grain of salt, but I find that I can brew the more aromatic/mild black teas gong-fu style--ones like Mountain Tea's Black Pearl, or Taiwanteacrafts' wild yuchi black. Occasionally I can brew a dian hong gong-fu style, though I really have to watch the brew times. But those are teas that are pretty sweet/flavorful compared to the harsher edges of Yunnanese or Indian black teas, at least for me. Those I have to brew more western-style; though I don't think it's necessarily the fault of the teas, but more that of my palate. :)
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby ethan » Jul 18th, '14, 08:57

Hopeofdawn, I also like MT's Black Pearl which for me is straightforward, sweet tea. Western style it provides me w/ only 1 good infusion. Never thought a black tea that would not give 2 good infusions Western style would come through gong fu w/ enough flavor. Interesting.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby daidokorocha » Jul 28th, '14, 11:04

I don't really buy that many blacks and actually blacks are the one tea I'm happy to drink out of a bag if offered! Though I still find most bagged blacks are pretty horrid, I must say. That's not to say I don't buy black tea or that I don't drink it often, which would be very much untrue. In fact, within the last 12 hours I've consumed 64 oz of black tea, which is about 1/3 of the tea I've had in the last 24 hours. It is just that I'm rather content buying cheap Rwandan or Assam tea or something like that and brewing it up strong in large quantities. Really, there are too many delicious greens and oolong out there for me to really focus on blacks. In fact, I just ordered 20 new teas and only one was a black... and this was some lapsang from Adagio. I'm waiting for my fiancee to return from visiting family before ripping it open, so no lapsang for me for another two weeks! Checking my tea wish list also brings me zero blacks... but I feel that in the future I will look into opening myself up to exploring this end of the spectrum.

On the topic of bitterness, sometimes I purposely try to bring it out of my teas as it is a taste that I enjoy being walloped over the head with from time to time. The thought of watering down sencha. :twisted: To each his own though, of course. Whatever way one can appreciate sencha is a good way, in my opinion. Dilution beats sugar and other additives any day.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Sarai » Aug 6th, '14, 12:53

I'm currently drinking Earl Grey Black Tea by Teavana. 3 teaspoons of loose tea with 8 ounces boiling water and I brew it for 5 minutes in my Perfect TeaMaker for a strong tea, and I re-use the same tea leaves for a second brew the next day. I haven't been adding sugar so much as I'm trying to cut down. I'll say it's not the best Earl Grey I've tasted so far and I do agree with people who say Teavana is overrated and far from the best, but it'll do for now.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Poseidon » Aug 7th, '14, 07:38

Having some First Flush Darjeeling this morning. Im normally not a black tea fan but this stuff is quite good. It drinks like an oolong tea so maybe thats why I can enjoy it. :lol:
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby hopeofdawn » Aug 8th, '14, 00:35

Am currently drinking Baguashan Four Seasons black tea from Taiwanteacrafts at work--it's another 'sweet' black tea, very easy to brew and no harsh edges to offend my palate--plus a wonderfully fruity aroma!
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