What to look for


Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

What to look for

Postby kissmyhuman » Jan 13th, '07, 03:12

I've been into tea for about two months now but I've gone for whites and greens. I really only have black tea experience with Lipton and Bigelow tea bags. Lipton I will admit wins in this category, Bigelow may be a little fruitier but it's extremely bitter to me.

I'm looking for a black or dark oolong tea to wake me up in the morning. I kind of want to avoid the dull woody note Lipton seems to have in favor of something that hints of chocolate or a sweet smokiness perhaps. I don't mind if it's strong, as long as it's pleasing.

Any types/growing regions you guys and gals recommend?
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Postby Chip » Jan 13th, '07, 04:24

...Keemun...Yunnan...Panyang...Assam.

Some of the most intriging and expensive Keemun blacks have a very noticable chocolate aroma...

I am refering to unflavored teas.
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Postby deadfingers » Jan 13th, '07, 09:50

Keenum Encore is pretty good, I loved it. Yunnan gold I finished a while back, that is pretty good also.
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Ditto

Postby Salsero » Jan 13th, '07, 17:08

I second Deadfingers Adagio recommendation for you and would also suggest Assam Melody. If you want to branch out a little and try something less like coffee but still a black tea, you might try Adagio's Darjeeling #2 for a little fruity taste.
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Re: Ditto

Postby Chip » Jan 13th, '07, 17:29

Salsero wrote:I second Deadfingers Adagio recommendation for you and would also suggest Assam Melody. If you want to branch out a little and try something less like coffee but still a black tea, you might try Adagio's Darjeeling #2 for a little fruity taste.


...just remember with the darjeeling...over brewing will make a bitter cup...but darjeeling often tops my list of blacks and is always on my short list of black teas.

This could be why the thread author is having problems to begin with.
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Re: Ditto

Postby kissmyhuman » Jan 13th, '07, 21:09

chip wrote:...over brewing will make a bitter cup...

This could be why the thread author is having problems to begin with.


I brew my black tea bags for no more than 90 seconds to 2 minutes, but the taste still doesn't quite agree with me. I do cook quite a bit so I've developed the skill to really slow down and pay attention of the taste profiles of things, I guess I'm getting a little picky now, haha.
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Postby tomvyn » Jan 14th, '07, 09:54

Definetely agree with good black tea in the morning. With Keemun you can even try to make let's say 'weaker' brew (3mins..?), when even not really expensive and high quality Keemun can have chocolate flavor and great taste..

With black teas (like DJ, Nepal, Kenya,..) you can try another way of preparation. Basic is about 4teaspoons of loose tea, wash it with cold water (in strainer,..) and put it in a teapot, in which was hot water for a while - so now you have a washed wet tea in warm environment, and immidiatelly you can smell the tea.. So be prepared to straight away pour just boiled water and you can start.. pour the tea from teapot into a cup from as high as you can ;o). Then pour the cup bach into a teapot. And do it again.. After a while you'll sea a foam on the top of the tea. When the foam is thick and 'solid' - tea is ready, just pour it through the strainer to get rid of the leaves..
As my informations are - the foam is caused by the saponins which are in the tea leaves as they are released by the brewing.
And what the pouring there and back does? Makes the tea colder, which is not the point :lol: and mix or whisk the saponins, so it makes the foam - and the taste, especially with DJs is much brisker..
(Obviously, don't wait only for the foam to get thick - every tea makes it differently (green teas they don't almost do it) - every now and than just pour a bit in a cold cup and have a sip to try, it this is the taste you like..)
- and one more thing - this is really fast way to make great tasting tea in the morning

Bottoms up!
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Postby kimber45acp » Jan 25th, '07, 01:06

Assam if you like a malty flavor, Darjeeling if you want something with a muscatel flavor(my personal favorite black tea), English Breakfast/Irish Breakfast if you like strong black teas and Lapsang if you like smokey black tea.
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Postby Space Samurai » Jan 28th, '07, 06:10

Top three:

1) Golden Yunnan, very malty and robust, but with a depth I haven't found in any Assams that I have tried

2) Makaibari Estate Autumnal Darjeeling. My favorite Darjeeling.

3) Keemun Hao Ya

Honorable Mention: Ruhunu Super Pekoe
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