I've tried a few but...


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

I've tried a few but...

Postby GeeFreeman » Dec 6th, '08, 21:07

I have tries several oolongs, and so far what I have tasted is, well OK, but not winning me over.

What I actually am looking for is - well - tea that is like what I get at several Chinese restaurants! If that sounds pathetic, well what can I say, taste is taste, and all our bud are different.

The tea so far that I have liked is from Strand Tea company and is the "Choicest Oolong", which coincidently is one of the cheapest as well. That's actually a good thing since I save a buck or two!

Anyway, my quest is for those types of teas... I've given one that I like... If anyone has tried it and can recommend similar tea, I'd appreciate it! I also drink a lot of white and like most of those that I have tried.

Thanks all in advance. It's nice to find a place where people truly appreciate a good cup of tea!
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Postby brandon » Dec 6th, '08, 21:12

If you ask, your favorite restaurant might tell you about their tea, or even sell you some.
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Re: I've tried a few but...

Postby edkrueger » Dec 6th, '08, 21:21

GeeFreeman wrote:what can I say, taste is taste, and all our bud are different.

If that is your premise, how can we possibly suggest teas to you? The best method is to find good teas is to try a lot.
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Postby ABx » Dec 6th, '08, 21:46

The problem is that there is such a wide range of oolongs that we wouldn't be able to recommend anything without some more info. The chances are that you'd probably like the majority of the good quality ones, but the question is always where to start. Can you describe the one that you like? What color is the infusion, what does it taste like? What other types of tea do you prefer?
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Postby yukondoit » Dec 7th, '08, 07:41

You know, most "Chinese Restaurant Tea" is predominantly oolong....

http://enjoyingtea.com/dychreteabag.html
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Re: I've tried a few but...

Postby GeeFreeman » Dec 8th, '08, 09:39

edkrueger wrote:
GeeFreeman wrote:what can I say, taste is taste, and all our bud are different.

If that is your premise, how can we possibly suggest teas to you? The best method is to find good teas is to try a lot.


There are lots of recommendations here, and I think it is OK to say that all our tastes vary, wouldn't you?

In the interest of finding suggestions, I actually provided the specific tea I have from Strand Tea Company as a reference. I am trying different teas, but sought out guidance from what I thought would be a helpful, thoughtful group. I see many folks recommending teas on this forum. Was I mistaken?
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Postby t4texas » Dec 8th, '08, 10:07

As another way to understand your tastes -- what teas have you tried that were okay but have not won you over?
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Re: I've tried a few but...

Postby ABx » Dec 8th, '08, 13:46

GeeFreeman wrote:
edkrueger wrote:
GeeFreeman wrote:what can I say, taste is taste, and all our bud are different.

If that is your premise, how can we possibly suggest teas to you? The best method is to find good teas is to try a lot.


There are lots of recommendations here, and I think it is OK to say that all our tastes vary, wouldn't you?

In the interest of finding suggestions, I actually provided the specific tea I have from Strand Tea Company as a reference. I am trying different teas, but sought out guidance from what I thought would be a helpful, thoughtful group. I see many folks recommending teas on this forum. Was I mistaken?

What he's referring to, though, is the lack of information to go on. We have to know more about what you like to make good recommendations. Chinese restaurants serve different types of oolong, and there's a wide range of oolongs with very different flavors, some of which you may not like at all.

I don't think Ed was really trying to be rude, though I can see how it would seem that way, but just saying that if you only say "I like what I like" rather than "I like light, sweet, and floral" or "I like slightly darker and smokey, like a super smooth black tea" then we can't really give you very good recommendations beyond finding out for yourself. Some Chinese restaurants even serve a kind of white tea that's actually somewhat dark. What yours serves probably depends largely on what they can pick up locally for cheap.
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Re: I've tried a few but...

Postby Geekgirl » Dec 8th, '08, 14:01

GeeFreeman wrote:I am trying different teas, but sought out guidance from what I thought would be a helpful, thoughtful group. I see many folks recommending teas on this forum. Was I mistaken?


Don't get testy before we even have a chance to know you. :wink:

It's a big question, and even if you ask at the restaurant, it's not likely that they'll be able to tell you exactly the type they serve.

geekgirl wrote:Hehe, they never want to tell because the tea comes in great big 1 lb foil packs that say O O L O N G and a single chinese character printed on it. I'm not entirely sure they know what specific tea they are serving in most of those places.


This was my experience when I was working in a Chinese restaurant. It was a nice place, but the oolong was not identified. If you asked the varietal they would just say "oolong, famous chinese tea." However, MOST chinese restaurants serve the same or similar type of tea, so that does make your odds of figuring it out much higher.

When I first came to this board, I was also looking for "chinese restaurant tea." Adagio's Oolong #40, and Sensationalteas Bai Hao were nearly exactly what I was used to. You might try those.

Barring that, you might try giving us an actual description of the tea: color, flavor, etc.

The Strand Tea "Choicest" looks to be a Formosa oolong, which has not been my experience to receive at chinese restaurants. The closest at Strand may be the "Ancient Beauty," although the descriptions seem to be quite lacking. "Amber brew?" Yeah. That's like telling a wine connoisseur who is looking for a specific varietal that he needs to find the "grape-colored one."

All that being said, Ed's suggestion:

edkrueger wrote:If that is your premise, how can we possibly suggest teas to you? The best method is to find good teas is to try a lot.


is a very good one. Really, I asked a lot of questions about oolongs when I came here, and tried a LOT of different varieties of oolong. While I still like my "restaurant tea," I have since found others I prefer.
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Re: I've tried a few but...

Postby wyardley » Dec 8th, '08, 14:14

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote:This was my experience when I was working in a Chinese restaurant. It was a nice place, but the oolong was not identified. If you asked the varietal they would just say "oolong, famous chinese tea." However, MOST chinese restaurants serve the same or similar type of tea, so that does make your odds of figuring it out much higher.


Here in LA, even in the San Gabriel Valley, which has one of the broadest ranges of authentic, regional Chinese food in the US, most Chinese restaurants serve teabag tea, usually Jasmine tea of some sort. The only places I've been to that serve any sort of oolong tea are dim sum / high end Cantonese banquet places. So consider yourself lucky if you get looseleaf tea at all.
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Postby gingkoseto » Dec 8th, '08, 14:28

Many Chinese restaurants in Toronto would ask you what kind of tea you prefer. I always take puerh since it goes well with heavy meal. The Oolong they usually have is shui xian, which is generally one of the least expensive oolong. They have dark roast tie guan yin as well, the cheaper kind and tastes not that much different from their shui xian. And they have jasmine green tea and chrysanthemum too, maybe also black tea. But the last a few don't seem what op had in Chinese restaurant.

If the tea you had in restaurant is dark color from the beginning and in later infusions of darkest color that mimics soybean sauce, it is probably their shu puerh. I had tons of this dark tea. I feel I can eat a lot more when having puerh along with my meal :D
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Postby wyardley » Dec 8th, '08, 14:44

ps - If you go to some asian grocery stores, you can find a tea that literally says "Chinese Restaurant Tea" on the bag. It comes in large bags (maybe 2 or 5 lb or something) and is very cheap.
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Postby GeeFreeman » Dec 9th, '08, 14:02

I apologize if I came across as testy, but since I had provided a "reference" tea, (Strand Company "Choicest Oolong"), which I can think of no better way to provide "what I prefer" so to speak. If no one has tried it, that is fine, I can accept that...

I had hope that someone here may have had some experience with it. Like some have said, a description is not always really helpful.

Using standard terms like floral, etc. is a little difficult at this time since my exposure to oolongs and whites is limited. I felt the best approach was providing the tea I have tried and liked as something to go off of.

People here certainly have lots to offer.... do people here only by Adagio tea? If so I mistaken asking here because what I liked came from another source.

So to all who offered to help, I thank you, and I hope I haven't P/O'd too many!
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Postby Chip » Dec 9th, '08, 14:24

Hi Gee, welcome to TeaChat. And people here drink tea from virtually every tea company on the planet it seems. It is also OK to discuss any tea from any tea company, this is an open tea forum. Adagio is our kind and generous host, but leaves the talking to us. But many of us appreciate all that Adagio is doing to further tea.

There are hundreds and hundreds of oolongs out there, so please be a little patient. :D Tea discovery is a long long journey, best enjoyed slowly and with experimentation. I believe you will find many oolong that you like given time. Plus some of the ones you might not have liked initially, you might learn to appreciate them more as you learn different brewing methods.

Enjoy tea!
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Postby ABx » Dec 9th, '08, 14:50

GeeFreeman wrote:Using standard terms like floral, etc. is a little difficult at this time since my exposure to oolongs and whites is limited. I felt the best approach was providing the tea I have tried and liked as something to go off of.

If you describe what you like about it, maybe even describe your 'ideal tea', then the chances are very good that people can give you recommendations of teas that have the qualities that you like. They may not be exactly like your reference tea, but it will probably have prominent characteristics that are just what you like -- I can't recall any newcomers that have done this and been disappointed. Even if someone has experience with the reference tea you site, they can only assume that you like the same characteristics that they did or recommend something that's almost exactly like it, at which point you're just as well to get the same thing. The same teas can also taste considerably different when made differently.

We do this a fair amount, so trust me when I say that if you describe what you like and what you don't like in a tea then you will get lots of recommendations with accompanying descriptions and places to buy it. You might even end up with something that makes you say: "I didn't know tea could be like that" :)

Based on what I suspect you're getting at, you might try Qi Zhong. It's a bit mild, dark, and very lightly smokey. As mentioned by someone else, you might also look into Shui Xian from the same shop, but really any in that category (Oolong > Wuyi Rock Tea). You might just look at the descriptions of those and other oolongs; like I say, oolong is such a widely varying category that you can have two different oolongs that are so vastly different that you would never guess they are in the same category.
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