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 jayinhk » Aug 2nd, '16, 21:02

ethan wrote:
jayinhk wrote:A few days at a time with one tea type seems to be fine, but for longer periods my system seems to suffer. Different teas are hot/cold according to Chinese medicine, so according to those principles, too much of one type can throw your system out of balance. I try to restrict myself to 10-15g of tea leaf a day now, but 5-8g would probably be healthier.


Interesting that you measure your intake of tea by the dry the leaf, not how many infusions or how many ml you drink.

I would think you can drink more tea if you always eat before sessions.

More simply, I try to either eat or drink water before each round of tea. This routine seems to prevent problems.


I eat and drink water all day--I'm caffeine sensitive, so while I could drink more, I start getting fidgety and my anxiety climbs up. I've actually cut down to 5-10g a day since I posted that!

With ripe pu erh or aged Hong Kong sheng, I often drink it along with my meals, like much of HK does every day. The same for Vietnamese greens, which are economical enough to drink with food without concern. Better teas get their own time, of course.

If I'm drinking Wuyi oolongs, the volume of liquid is much lower than if I drink a pu erh or green tea, so I go by dry leaf (that amount tends to stay consistent).

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

Postby john.b » Aug 3rd, '16, 03:46

jayinhk wrote:
john.b wrote:I really have no idea what is hot or cold according to Chinese medicine but that general idea does ring a bell.

It's interesting that the same plant and related products could vary in such a way by being oxidized or baked, but on the other hand given how they describe the health properties so differently it makes sense, within that context.


There's definitely a huge gulf between white tea and shu pu, that's for sure!



They're different, but how is it that one is hot and the other cold? I guess I really don't know anything about that system, and maybe deeper knowledge would provide some answer, whether accurate or nonsensical.

Wouldn't shu (shou) be a problem for any system based on ancient Chinese wisdom, since it didn't exist in pre-modern times? If the system really is valid then perhaps modern practitioners can keep it updated, for example assigning relative values to foreign foods as Chinese people take up eating them (eg. pizza is cooling).

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

Postby jayinhk » Aug 3rd, '16, 04:11

The principles are applied to new foods. Since shu is fermented in a dark place, it's cold. Green tea is grown in the sun and is warm (and makes you sweat). I think I'm right about those two. No idea about pizza though!

American ginseng is considered cooling while Chinese ginseng is warming. American ginseng sells at quite the premium in China!

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

Postby Tead Off » Aug 3rd, '16, 07:51

jayinhk wrote:The principles are applied to new foods. Since shu is fermented in a dark place, it's cold. Green tea is grown in the sun and is warm (and makes you sweat).


I believe green tea is considered cooling.

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

Postby kyarazen » Aug 3rd, '16, 08:22

jayinhk wrote:The principles are applied to new foods. Since shu is fermented in a dark place, it's cold. Green tea is grown in the sun and is warm (and makes you sweat). I think I'm right about those two. No idea about pizza though!

American ginseng is considered cooling while Chinese ginseng is warming. American ginseng sells at quite the premium in China!


noo :P its more complicated than that.

american ginseng nourishes the yin
regular ginseng nourishes the yang...

both are nourishing..

warm and cool is just very loose concepts..

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

Postby jayinhk » Aug 3rd, '16, 09:44

Ok, so I still have a lot to learn about C Med :lol:

Apparently all tea is cooling except for black tea, which is warming.

https://nutsaboutchineseidioms.wordpres ... ling-food/

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

Postby debunix » Aug 6th, '16, 12:53

A gorgeous infusion of Red Feng Huang Dancong from Jingteashop. A complex, spicy, rich, fruity tea, without bitterness. This one is terrific, and a tiny bit of the long twisty leaf goes a long way. My 7g sample will go a long way, as I'm brewing it about 1 gram at a time in a Petr Novak treebark pot (100mL or so capacity). It's got power to make that dilute brew rich, like a Dancong oolong.

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

Postby Balthazar » Aug 7th, '16, 08:41

I really, really like that tea. Haven't tried the 2016 harvest though, but last year's was really superb. Should include some next time I make an order from Jing.

Speaking of which, I'm running low on Jing's "Ying De Hong Cha", which has been my office tea for the last few months. Probably my favourite red tea from a price/quality perspective (Red Feng Huang Dancong is better, but twice the price). The fact that there seems to be no 2016 harvest for sale has me a bit worried, were they not able to get a hold of any this year? Might have to make that next order quicker than I had planned if that's the case.

Really, all of Jing's red teas are superb. (With the noticeable exception of Keemun Gift Grade, which I found very disappointing.) Planning to brew up some "Premium Lapsang Souchong" as soon as I've had something to eat.

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

Postby jayinhk » Aug 15th, '16, 20:53

Drinking 'tribute grade' dianhong I picked up in Kunming--all tips. This stuff has serious longevity, as most tippy teas do, and lots of caffeine. Gongting pu erh is the same way. I'm on day three with the leaves in a 500ml porcelain pot. The leaves still had a deep honey/caramel aroma to them this morning, so I decided to go for another steep as they seem to have a lot more to give. This tea has changed since I brought it home. The humidity got into it when it was stored in gallon ziplock-type bags from the wholesale market, so I heated it up to drive off moisture before repacking in mylar. Much more of a wild honey thing going on now, with less sweetness and caramel than when I bought it.Absolutely lovely tea, and a pleasure to drink.

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

Postby outline » Aug 17th, '16, 00:12

Yannick wrote:I have been drinking the two hongs that came in the most recent shipment of the white2tea club, both compressed dianhong teas.
One a '16 Lincang, the other a '13 Fengqing, the former being a xiaobing and the latter being pressed as 7 gram balls, making them convenient for me to brew at work, or perhaps bring along while travelling.

I am hoping the 2013 Fengqing will be available for purchase outside of the club at some point, as it was definitely my favorite of the two!


Is it worth being in the club, mate?

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

Postby ethan » Aug 24th, '16, 11:02

Big switch in preparation:

I have been drinking an organic black tea from Jun Chiyabari in Nepal, Himalayan Orange (HOR) most days for > 2 years & have sold much of my large stash to teachat members. Many of them prefer gongfu preparation for this tea; so a few times a year, I have tried gongfu & found myself feeling silly for not sticking to my much preferred Western preparation.

Lately w/ all tea, I have found myself employing less time for steeping w/o increasing the amount of leaf I use. This practice usually does not cut down on the aroma & flavors I like & avoids most bitterness or astringency that I don't like. For the HOR cutting the time down a lot was not close enough to perfect & keeping steeping almost as long still produced some astringency & bitterness that I used to feel was "body" or "fullness".

Today I accidentally scooped a bit too much leaf & decided not to remove the extra & go "semi-gongfu". A combination of a 45 second, 25 second, & 15 second infusions is excellent. To confirm I like this semi-gongfu & perfect it, I've made a 25, 15, 15 blend that is just what suits me these day when even slight earthiness or bitterness puts me off. This quick steeping is the best.

Individually the 3 infusions are fine but better combined.

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

Postby debunix » Aug 24th, '16, 11:48

The more practice you have, the more you can be flexible in finding what works for you with this tea, this day, this mood....and as long as you're enjoying the ride, it doesn't matter how close you come to others' ideal cup of tea.

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

Postby Tead Off » Aug 24th, '16, 22:13

ethan wrote:Big switch in preparation:

I have been drinking an organic black tea from Jun Chiyabari in Nepal, Himalayan Orange (HOR) most days for > 2 years & have sold much of my large stash to teachat members. Many of them prefer gongfu preparation for this tea; so a few times a year, I have tried gongfu & found myself feeling silly for not sticking to my much preferred Western preparation.

Lately w/ all tea, I have found myself employing less time for steeping w/o increasing the amount of leaf I use. This practice usually does not cut down on the aroma & flavors I like & avoids most bitterness or astringency that I don't like. For the HOR cutting the time down a lot was not close enough to perfect & keeping steeping almost as long still produced some astringency & bitterness that I used to feel was "body" or "fullness".

Today I accidentally scooped a bit too much leaf & decided not to remove the extra & go "semi-gongfu". A combination of a 45 second, 25 second, & 15 second infusions is excellent. To confirm I like this semi-gongfu & perfect it, I've made a 25, 15, 15 blend that is just what suits me these day when even slight earthiness or bitterness puts me off. This quick steeping is the best.

Individually the 3 infusions are fine but better combined.

Ethan,

You don't mention how large the brewing vessel is or how much leaf, approx., you are using. If you want the readers to visualize what you are doing, this info will help a lot.

Also, this idea of semi-gongfu is kind of a misnomer. Many people think that just adding more leaf to a pot equals gongfu brewing, or approximates it. I refer you to Kyarazen's blog on gongfu for actual brewing details.

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

Postby Bok » Aug 25th, '16, 01:56

ethan wrote:Big switch in preparation:

I have been drinking an organic black tea from Jun Chiyabari in Nepal, Himalayan Orange (HOR) most days for > 2 years & have sold much of my large stash to teachat members. Many of them prefer gongfu preparation for this tea; so a few times a year, I have tried gongfu & found myself feeling silly for not sticking to my much preferred Western preparation.

This tea is really not bad at all, one of the few non-Taiwan teas I enjoy from time to time.
My experience is that proper gongfu is not the optimum for it.

Rather a slightly less leaf to pot ratio. Water a little less hot, say the “pearl string stage.”
And as you said quicker brewing for at least the first three rounds, afterwards it can slow down.
But I have found that this tea can still turn bitter even in later stages.

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

Postby ethan » Aug 25th, '16, 10:18

Debunix, Teadoff & Bok,

Thanks for your advice. To brew, I use a 3 1/2 oz. celadon cup w/ lid w/ a small jagged opening to pour the liquid out while keeping leaves in the cup. These are made & sold in Chiangmai, Thailand. I find the handle & size making it very easy to use. There is a knob on top of the lid that I can put a thumb or finger tight on w/o burning myself as I pour.

Water has been 99C. I usually don't weigh my leaves. Your comments led me to check how much my pinches of leaves may weigh. I think I had been using 1 - 1 1/2 grams of tea that I just upped to 1 1/2 - 2 grams. Inspired by your comments, I had 2 rounds of tea yesterday instead of 1.

My conclusion is that this HOR has strengthened w/ time. All it s flavors & characteristics are stronger. Experimenting w/ much wider parameters this morning, I am sure of this conclusion. Bok's advice of lower temperature proved to be very apt. No flavor was lost at 94C, & that lower temp. requiresd no extra leaves. (I am back to the smaller pinch, 1 - 1/2 grams) It seems that comments around the tea world to treat Himalayan black tea like oolong make sense. I will try even lower temperature sometimes.

Quicker infusion does lead to less astringency & bitterness, sometimes almost none. However, sometimes it seems even a 25-second initial steeping followed by 15-second infusions won't cut enough of the "negative" characteristics out for me. What does seem to help is to drink HOR very soon after it is prepared. When it sits it deteriorates. Preparing it a lower temperature gets rid of prolonged cooling time so one can drink what has not had too much time to get foul.

I also think astringency builds in one's mouth. So, a prolonged tea session or a quickly-drunk excessive amount can make one very dry.

I read what kyarazen says gongfu preparation is, & using it for this tea had poor results (as before the tea aged). Temperatures of 88 - 92 might bring different results, but I won't experiment w/ gongfu again for this tea. I will try lower temp. for the amount of leaves & time that seems right now.

I think as this HOR has aged, it is not quite as good as when it was fresh; however, less leaves & steeping in cooler water still do make a very good cup. As debunix advised, w/ our experience, we should be able to find a way to enjoy good leaves.

A subjective factor is that lately I have enjoyed truly excellent oolongs. This may have made me fussier although I try to stay grounded & not snobby.

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