Memorial Day 2008


BYOT! Enter TeaChat here, you never know what you may find!

Space Samurai asks, which tea did you find most difficult to brew?

Black
3
6%
Oolong
7
14%
Green
34
67%
White
1
2%
Pu-erh
0
No votes
Yellow
0
No votes
Rooibos
0
No votes
Yerbe mate
1
2%
Herbal
0
No votes
Other
5
10%
 
Total votes : 51

Postby Space Samurai » May 26th, '08, 14:35

tenuki wrote:All tea is hard to brew. I think most people say green because it is obvious when it's wrong. I actually think this makes it much easier to brew. Oolongs on the other hand allow you to create some truely mediocre tea with nary a complaint and you may never find the hidden gem and abandon them as crap.


I'm with you on this, actually. I find green teas challenging to be sure, but I chose other (gongfu in general, oolong in particular) because I can often make a drinkable cup of tea, but it is rare that I hit the sweet spot. You're right, green is easier because it'll let you know right off that you did something wrong. Wow, that's just like sex. Even if you're doing something wrong, if you are with a partner that communicates with you, you can get to right much easier.

Tenuki, that was very insightful.
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Postby tenuki » May 26th, '08, 14:48

First cup of today is some more 80s Yinhao toucha. I'm brewing it gongfu in a yixing using a bowl to catch the water this time around. Nice change of pace. My raw puerh yixing is not yet seasoned, so not too much effect but it's fun brewing in this beautiful hand made bowl.

The white dragon creature swoops playfully across the deep organic blue,
through pungent warm amber clouds,
my YiXing rides it's back,
gratefull for the aid


Image

ps. I got to meet the potter who made this bowl a couple weeks ago. Apparently she is lifelong friends with my wife's parents, which is how we have the bowl. She studied pottery in Japan and sells bowls there too. I was very happy to meet her, tell her I love her work and talk tea which it turns out she knows a great deal about. :)
Last edited by tenuki on May 26th, '08, 16:45, edited 10 times in total.
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Postby olivierco » May 26th, '08, 14:51

Gyokuro Ippoen (Ippodo). 4 nice steeps and a 5th one a little weak.
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Postby henley » May 26th, '08, 15:24

Chip wrote:Special announcement with TeaDay tomorrow...check it out!!!



Happy Bday, Carnelian!!! Hope it's a great day & you get to drink all the tea you want!
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Postby Salsero » May 26th, '08, 15:30

joelbct wrote:Wow Sal, you have a talent. Are you a studio photographer by trade, or just as a hobby?

I looooove the praise, but ...

...actually, it's a lot easier than it looks. I'm pretty much an amateur hack. There is no talent and not even very much technical knowlege required for this stuff. I just like posing the objects, getting several very disappointing pix, then trying to make one of them presentable in Photoshop or Camera Raw. If I were a girl, I would probably do it with Barbie dolls.

The talented one on the forum is Space Samurai. He actually finds a vision and makes fresh for us the old world we thought we knew. His photos are so often revelations that I gave up long ago getting close to his level.
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Postby Victoria » May 26th, '08, 15:34

Amazing photo tenuki - wow! Very beautiful and surreal looking!

LOL @ Henley. Ummm somehow I think not.

In my cup this afternoon - Ali Shan Traditional High Mountain Oolong.
Unbelievably perfect.
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Postby Salsero » May 26th, '08, 15:36

henley wrote:
Chip wrote:Special announcement with TeaDay tomorrow...check it out!!!

Did you finally try the Orange Blossom Oolong?!?
I do hope you are right, Henley. That would so make my Tuesday!
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Postby CynTEAa » May 26th, '08, 16:17

tenuki wrote:All tea is hard to brew. I think most people say green because it is obvious when it's wrong. I actually think this makes it much easier to brew. Oolongs on the other hand allow you to create some truely mediocre tea with nary a complaint and you may never find the hidden gem and abandon them as crap.


Very insightful. The poll made me think of my tea taster training and what a difficult time I had with black teas - discerning the differences in what essentially is intentionally over-brewed. So at first I had my finger on the black tea button. But then I thought about just brewing in general and all the trial and error with delicate Japanese greens. :) Intriguing, Tenuki!

Also it is true that so many teas get dismissed as mediocre when really it could be a prep issue. :(
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Postby tenuki » May 26th, '08, 16:33

Props to Teamasters blog on'No bad Tea, only bad brewing'for waking that idea up in my head.


PS: The 80s YinHao Toucha is much better brewed this way. Last time I brewed it in a gaiwan and thought it was good, this time with my raw puerh yixing sitting in a bowl a more rounded complexity and longer aftertaste comes out. I actually had such a strong aftertaste of a fresh baked cherry tart 10 minutes after my last sip that I went into the kitchen to make sure I hadn't eaten one and then forgotten about it. (entirely possible, I'm very absent minded) Nope, no tarts in the house. Note to self, brew this way more often. :D Man, I love fresh cherry tarts!

And now I'm even more eager to see how the exact same toucha from 2007 (I ordered 6 from puershop) will taste like in 25 years!
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » May 26th, '08, 17:58

Happy Birthday, Carnelian!

Fukamushi Sencha Supreme and homemade mac and cheese....mmmmm
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Postby Chip » May 26th, '08, 18:27

Victoria wrote:Greens for me - it's all so exacting - the additional equipment - scales and thermometer and timing everything so precise. Not sure I have even done it correctly yet.

Happy Birthday Carnelian!

My morning brew - magnolia oolong in my new cloisonne cup:

Image

Image Happy Memorial Day Image


I bet it is even more lovely in person. 6 ounces???
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Postby Chip » May 26th, '08, 18:42

tenuki wrote:First cup of today is some more 80s Yinhao toucha. I'm brewing it gongfu in a yixing using a bowl to catch the water this time around. Nice change of pace. My raw puerh yixing is not yet seasoned, so not too much effect but it's fun brewing in this beautiful hand made bowl.

The white dragon creature swoops playfully across the deep organic blue,
through pungent warm amber clouds,
my YiXing rides it's back,
gratefull for the aid


Image

ps. I got to meet the potter who made this bowl a couple weeks ago. Apparently she is lifelong friends with my wife's parents, which is how we have the bowl. She studied pottery in Japan and sells bowls there too. I was very happy to meet her, tell her I love her work and talk tea which it turns out she knows a great deal about. :)


Do you have a photo of the bowl only, tenuki...for the TeaDay crowd?

In 1999 when I started drinking tea seriously, I bought a bag of toucha pu-erh, 5 grammers. There was no TeaChat, I was buying tea out paper catalogs, not relying on the internet for info. I tried one, thought what the heck is that stuff. Put the bag in a kitchen cabinet til a year or so ago when I found it by accident. I had been a member of TeaChat for a while then and knew what pu-erh was this time around, though not a devoted fan yet.

Today, running late for a family function, all I could do was grab one that has literally been sitting out next to my kettle (near the stove) for easily six months, just simply clad in its tissue wrapper. I figured, this sucka has to be so stale and flavorless. I was just not motivated to pick it up and actually drink it.

Pu-erh is amazing...I steeped it at least ten times, each a robust cup of tea the likes I have not had in a few years. I even gave 2 steeps to a curious family member who seemed to genuinely enjoy it. He refered to it as slightly fruity...not bad for a guy whose first cup was a few days ago when I shared sencha with him.

I simply ran out of time for more steeps.

No timer, weighing, measuring water, no thermometer, just enjoying tea.
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Postby tenuki » May 26th, '08, 19:23

Chip wrote:Do you have a photo of the bowl only, tenuki...for the TeaDay crowd?


Nope, I will take one later, got to go grab a bite. It's not a tea specific bowl, just a nice shallow bowl perfect for the job. I saw the wash water and said, man, that has better clarity than most 5th infusions of crap puerh. So I grabbed the cheap point and shoot and fired a couple off to throw up on teachat, only one turned out, but no with bowl alone.

I like your story Chip, everything is so connected and intertwined if we just stop and notice.
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Postby tenuki » May 26th, '08, 22:00

Chip wrote:Do you have a photo of the bowl only, tenuki...for the TeaDay crowd?


Sometimes the things you already have hidden away in the closets at home eclipse what you find outside of it. Here's to rediscovered treasure!

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Image
Image
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