Taiwanese oolongs in 2010


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Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Oni » Feb 23rd, '11, 04:16

I have ordered last year all Houdeasianart`s oolongs that had Handmade inscription before it, and I bought Dong Ding Tea Association Da Yu Ling from Dragon teahouse, and I recently ordered 75 grams from the top 5 oolongs that were handmade, Long Feng Xia, Da Yu ling, ... etc.
I would like to ask from taiwanese oolong tea drinkers, which vendor sold this year the highest quality Ali Shan, Li Shan, Shan Ling Xi, oolongs, these are like the ruling trium virii of the highmountain oolong world.
I bought from Houde, Dragon Teahouse, Teafromtaiwan, I assume these are well respected vendors for taiwanese oolong teas, I have to try Teamasters, when I finish my last order I will o so.
P.S. I am brewing my oolongs first time in a porcelain gaiwan, but after that I am using my DHP teapot from yunnansourcing, this always makes better tea than a gaiwan, I assume because it brews the tea at a higher temperature, my thin walled flat gaiwan looses heat fast, I am getting more taste out of a 30 second first infusion, in the gaiwan the tea does not unfurl right, but in a round teapot even after the rinse and first infusion the leaves open up. And I am using a tetsubin, I read at Hojotea, that it is not a good option for oolong, but I do not have a ceramic kettle, but in 2 month I am spending more on tea so I could buy a ceramic kettle, but I am not sure weather to buy a Lin`s ceramic kettle or a Chao Zhou stove.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 23rd, '11, 04:47

I think you need to look at Hojo also!

I was not a fan of lighter style Taiwan teas, preferring high fired Yan Cha, but when Hojo and Natalie realised my drinking preferences they brewed more densely and the teas I tried won me over.

The info that they provide about their teas is exceptional.

Here Li Shan
http://hojotea.com/item_e/o07e.htm

Here Deep Fired Dong Ding
http://hojotea.com/item_e/o08e.htm

They also have a Deep Fermented Dong Ding but they have not published info on that yet, to see the full list of what is available you have to download the price list of available tea from this page
http://hojotea.com/item_e/available.htm

but in 2 month I am spending more on tea so I could buy a ceramic kettle, but I am not sure weather to buy a Lin`s ceramic kettle or a Chao Zhou stove.

Knowing your preference for top of the range brewing, You might want to consider one of Hojo's expensive pots :D
Shigaraki, Sado, Banko, or a Tokoname original red clay by Gisui, or even Bronze.

Hojo conducts tests on all the teas he sells on all the pots he sells and declares which do best in which, in the shop he posts info on best fits which is why I bought Gisui for Taiwan Oolong and Dan Cong,
Image
I cannot find the info on the web site, but Hojo and Natalie are very good and usually very quick at responding to all queries.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby David R. » Feb 23rd, '11, 05:02

I haven't tried all the oolong vendors, far from it, but if you're going to order from Teamasters, I'd really advise to taste his Hong Shui San Lin Shi.

I use a Lin's kettle but I've heard the their price have gone wild lately :?
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Oni » Feb 23rd, '11, 15:23

I had taiwanese oolong samples from Hojo, they were top quality, even better than some other top oolongs that I tried.
I had my eyes on Sado red clay teapots, they are cheaper than modern zhu ni, but first I need a ceramic kettle, and I cannot decide between a CZ stove or a Lin kettle.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Oni » Feb 24th, '11, 02:26

Hojotea should also sell some clay kettles like CZ or Ryoro for oolong, they sell beaeutiful tetsubins, but those are for green tea and aged tea.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby David R. » Feb 24th, '11, 04:06

Thing is that he mainly sells products (hand)crafted in Japan, with the exception of tea of course. One kind of tetsubin he sells is said to fit for every kind of tea though, if I remember well. Maybe he will "expand" to this kind of product in the future, who knows... I have bought a pair of wonderful yixing to him once, but it was a one time offer.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Oni » Feb 26th, '11, 07:55

I bought a Lin ceramic studio kettle V, 1000 cc, from imperialtea, they still had the old stock, I am waiting for it to arrive.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 26th, '11, 08:24

Another 'must have' ticked off on your list :D

what is top of your list now? :lol:
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby David R. » Feb 26th, '11, 10:46

Oni wrote:I bought a Lin ceramic studio kettle V, 1000 cc, from imperialtea, they still had the old stock, I am waiting for it to arrive.


You won't regret it.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of stove will you be using ? I am looking for a new one for my 2l Lin's.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Oni » Feb 27th, '11, 08:21

Image
This simple classic electric stove can be used to heat anything, I will use it to heat my Lin`s ceramic kettle.
Next on my list is a Chao Zhou stove, but as I read it cannot be used indoors, and it is messy, it needs a special outdoors ceremony.
Lately I am improving my tea ceremony, I am learning more and more about tea, and from my experience, one has to start with improving the quality of the water that they are using, like using high quality bottled soft water, and storing it in a proper container, a water jar would be ideal, and the next important step is to get a good kettle, either clay, tetsubin or silver, even now as I write I am drinking a single serving of taiwanese oolong, 3 grams to 200 ml gaiwan, and I can taste the effect of the tetsubin on the tea, and the most enigmatic part of gong fu cha is the yixing teapot, I would like to taste the same tea from many diffrent yixing clays, but without buying them all, this is a hard thing to do when you do not have a proper teahouse in your town.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Oni » Feb 27th, '11, 08:29

P.S. With a CZ stove and kettle, that is small, you always have to refill it with fresh water, but with a tetsubin and a Lin ceramic kettle you pour in 800 ml water that is enough for the whole tea session, but you have to reboil it, so it looses livelyness, this it why I really need to try a Chao Zhou stove once, I assume it improves the tea experience only if you use the highest quality Dancong leaves possible (an expencieve experiment).
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby David R. » Feb 27th, '11, 09:18

Thanks.

I had considered using a water jar. I'll have to try someday. But right now I am focusing on pots, which could take me several years I guess... :roll:

I am pretty happy with my 2l Lin's kettle. Filled at 1.7l, it is ok for a whole session, including preheating, rinsing and pouring water over the pot after each fill. My stove is too strong, making the water boil heavily if I don't put my kettle of. I have to work something out to change this, maybe just tweaking it. Lin's stove would be perfect but they are quite expensive.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 27th, '11, 10:18

Oni wrote:P.S. With a CZ stove and kettle, that is small, you always have to refill it with fresh water, ...........


It is never a rushed affair with a CZ stove, it takes time to prepare the charcoal and bring the first kettle-ful up to the boil.

But once going, it can be more or less continuous.

Imen recommends NOT putting cold water in a near empty stove, so the method I use is to make one teapot brew from the kettle and immediately top up the 2/3 full kettle (carefully so the cold water does not splash on the sides of the kettle, nor go to deep into the hot water quickly but gradually fills up from the centre of the water already there) it only takes about 5 seconds.

I usually consume my first infusion or 2 more quickly than later infusions. I may have to wait 10 to 30 seconds for the water to be ready for the next infusion, but by the time I am on later infusions the kettle is always ready before I have finished the previous infusion.

Though best outdoors, it would be perfectly feasible to use indoors near an open window if you have a solid fireproof base to rest the stove on.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby Oni » Feb 27th, '11, 15:36

Thank you for the info, about the problem with the kettle boiling vigurously, I always take it off the heat, and put it back only when I am ready to make another infusion, and I judge the temperature by the steam that leaves the sprout of the kettle, when the steam is rising slowly, it is good for oolong, when it is roaring fast like a steam locomotive, than it is at max, only good for puerh, or it is simply overboiled water, I am always trying to avoid this.
And about the CZ kettle, I would like to use one, but there are no teahouses nearby that are serious about their tea.
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Re: Taiwanese oolongs in 2010

Postby David R. » Feb 27th, '11, 19:10

I have read about the different ways to boil water, the impact of the kettle, the advantage of adding new water instead of over-boiling the same one. I have also read QI-oriented explanations of this. But I have never been able to actually taste all of this, nor have I tried to.

But I have noticed the difference between a standard kettle and my Lin's, which is a start.

Next step is experimenting some mineralized water with certain teas. I have heard of Evian with yancha and Vittel with japanese greens. I have just bought some. One step at a time.

Tea offers a lifetime of experiments. That makes me happy ! :)
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