Teacuppa.com Teas


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Postby Salsero » Oct 27th, '08, 10:47

Welcome to the forum. This looks like a good place to post this question. Don't forget to stop by TeaDay and you may want to post a short hello in the Introduction to TeaChat thread.

Quite a few people on this forum drink oolongs and even greens from TeaCuppa. They have an especially good reputation for their teas from the Wuyi Mountain area in north Fujian Province. Those teas are sometimes collectively referred to as Yan Cha or Cliff Tea or Rock Tea because some of them are grown in very rugged terrain.

As for teaware and brewing technique, you will get better feedback if you can be more specific about which specific teas you are brewing. I personally brew oolongs with boiling water, though some people like to use slightly cooler water for the greener oolongs.
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Postby Victoria » Oct 27th, '08, 16:39

I like TeaCuppa, and I enjoy many Chinese teas. But since the problems began to come to light, I have begun to wean myself slowly away from Chinese teas were and when I can. Actually my favorites now are Tiawan, and I've added more Dajeelings to round it out. I'm not freaking out and throwing them all away or anything, just
being cautious with future purchases.
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Postby taitea » Oct 28th, '08, 15:01

With that being said, wouldn't most teas becoming from Green Teas and Oolings be coming from China and around?


Yes. Chinese teas are from China... doesn't matter where you are buying them from. If you want, you can stick to Taiwan for oolongs, Japan for greens, India for blacks, etc... but I personally see no reason to do so.
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Postby ABx » Oct 28th, '08, 16:03

If you're really worried about things like lead based paint, then avoid tea with paint on it. In fact, I would say to avoid tea with paint on it period.

There's really no good reason to avoid teas from China, especially the better teas which are made with care and pride. Pesticides and such are an issue everywhere, and I haven't seen any studies that singled out Chinese teas. Pesticides and such genrally aren't in high enough concentrations to be much of a concern, and most don't make it into the infusion anyway. Many of the higher quality loose teas are produced by family farms that are a source of great pride and reputation, and many use farming techniques that would qualify as 'organic' even though they don't pay for the certification.

Some of these scares are also started by competing commercial interests. For example the oolong farmers apparently started a scare about puerh tea being toxic (with oolong being a safe alternative).

There's a lot of paranoia and hype about these things, but the reality is that they're really not enough of a concern that it's worth avoiding them. I might leave some room for concession for the cheap mass produced stuff, but that's not the type of tea that we're talking about here - you generally want to avoid those anyway, just because of the lack of quality.

Seriously, if you're really worried about such things then do some research and find some studies. You might find some that raise concerns, but note how much actually ends up in the infusion and note that the issue is found in other countries and just about all other foods as well.
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Postby orguz » Oct 28th, '08, 16:39

taitea wrote:
With that being said, wouldn't most teas becoming from Green Teas and Oolings be coming from China and around?


Yes. Chinese teas are from China... doesn't matter where you are buying them from. If you want, you can stick to Taiwan for oolongs, Japan for greens, India for blacks, etc... but I personally see no reason to do so.



I totally agree with Taitea, melamine was used to boost protein in egg and dairy products, and not used in tea, lets be accurate here. I don't know why you are nit picking. It's like saying don't buy Canadian because of listeria with Maple Leaf products?

I haven't seen any tea sellers claiming their teas to be pesticide free unless it's sold as organic. You can be drinking Taiwanese tea or Japanese tea and it contains herbicide, pesticide and chemical fertiliser, again unless it's organic I'm sure they are tainted.
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Postby Chip » Oct 28th, '08, 16:44

ABx wrote: I might leave some room for concession for the cheap mass produced stuff, but that's not the type of tea that we're talking about here - you generally want to avoid those anyway, just because of the lack of quality.


Definitely avoid the crappy stuff. I know a bunch of people in the tea industry. One told me about tea rejected by German labs due to levels of contaminants being too high. The Chinese company simply sold the stuff to other countries whose testing was less stringent, including the USA. This was tea dust/fannings. Yet another reason to avoid cheap teabags.

I am cautiously optimistic about higher grade teas. Yet my consumption of Chinese tea has dropped off considerably from nearly 100% to 25%, part of that is concern, but part of it is Japanese and Taiwanese teas have been singing for me lately. :wink:
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Postby gingkoseto » Oct 28th, '08, 20:25

Chip wrote:Yet another reason to avoid cheap teabags.


That's very true. Tea leaves can easily absorb any odor or flavor. So I believe contaminated tea can be easily recognized by tasting. But the tea leaves used to make teabags are usually the bottom of the quality line and many teabag consumers don't care that much about flavor anyway. Therefore it's very possible that there is a higher chance for teabags to be contaminated than loose leaf tea. For loose leaf tea, I would assume, as long as I enjoy it, it's not contaminated :D

Someone told me most tea tree cultivars don't like strong fertilizer that much. If it's true, then good news. That means teas don't get as much artificial fertilizer as most other vegetables.

Getting tea from another country is simply a change but not a replacement. Even for same category of tea, for example black tea, differences between tea from different production sources are like differences between cheesecake and applepie :P
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Postby ABx » Oct 29th, '08, 02:07

I just think that we have to be careful on the subject when discussing these things in regards to China, just because of all the paranoia. All the studies I've seen were equivalent for teas from all countries. China was among them, but they were no worse than any of the other countries. In some studies the pesticides were actually only an issue some of the popular teabag brands (I don't recall exactly, but it was along the lines of Twinnings, Lipton, etc.). In one case I believe that the worst was actually with Yogi brand with a tea that was certified organic. Such things are just an unfortunate and inescapable reality of the world that we live in.

But yes, higher grade tea is a different ballgame. Something approached as a mass market money item is going to be made as quickly and easily as possible (ie, cutting every corner they can), but something approached as an art is going to be treated with care. The higher quality teas are very much an art and a source of pride for the farmers and their families. Again, this is going to be the case for pretty much any country.

Consider, however, that if such things were a problem, then you wouldn't expect that even the susceptible would actually benefit from things like poorly stored aged puerh that's full of things that would probably never pass any type of inspection.
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