Help with Ali Shan

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

Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby Victoria » Aug 8th, '11, 17:50

Thanks! Nice to see you too my dear!

I'm retired now so I have less time to spend here,
ironic, huh?

Life is good. Oolong is good.

Do I sound more wise now? hahaha

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby TIM » Aug 8th, '11, 18:02

Victoria wrote:Thanks! Nice to see you too my dear!

I'm retired now so I have less time to spend here,
ironic, huh?

Life is good. Oolong is good.

Do I sound more wise now? hahaha


Welcome back Victoria. Long time : ) Great to see you here in the oolong section. Cheers ~ Toki

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby Drax » Aug 8th, '11, 18:46

Victoria wrote:I'm retired now so I have less time to spend here,
ironic, huh?


It's great to see you, Victoria, and congratulations on the retirement!

And you always sounded wise...!

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby Victoria » Aug 8th, '11, 20:32

Aww thank you both!

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby tsverrir » Aug 9th, '11, 07:23

You mentioned the taste being grassy. I usually find that nasty grassy taste of gaoshan means too hot water. When you start of with too hot water you've ruined the leaves so cooling the water for the second infusion is not going to help. You'll have to discard of the leaves and start over with fresh ones.

--Sverrir

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby bagua7 » Aug 10th, '11, 00:26

Definitively! Let's sum what has been said in here so far:

1. Water being too hot

2. Infusions being too long

Let me add number three:

3. Using the incorrect brewing vessel, if in doubt a gaiwan is the safest choice.

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby Tead Off » Aug 10th, '11, 12:30

In my experience, gaoshan can take boiling water. I'm not sure if grassy and grainy can be the same flavor profile, just described differently. But, I have had wonderful grainy flavor from gaoshan.

Also, IME, I have been disappointed more from Alishan teas than Lishan and Shan lingxi teas. Generally, the higher the altitude, the better the teas.

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby TIM » Aug 10th, '11, 12:48

Tead Off wrote:In my experience, gaoshan can take boiling water. I'm not sure if grassy and grainy can be the same flavor profile, just described differently. But, I have had wonderful grainy flavor from gaoshan.

Also, IME, I have been disappointed more from Alishan teas than Lishan and Shan lingxi teas. Generally, the higher the altitude, the better the teas.


Also, the higher the grade or altitude (which Teadoff pointed out). The hotter water temp should be use.

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby Chip » Aug 10th, '11, 13:04

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Tead Off wrote:In my experience, gaoshan can take boiling water. I'm not sure if grassy and grainy can be the same flavor profile, just described differently. But, I have had wonderful grainy flavor from gaoshan.

Also, IME, I have been disappointed more from Alishan teas than Lishan and Shan lingxi teas. Generally, the higher the altitude, the better the teas.

I think I agree, grainy and grassy are quite different, at least when describing green teas.

Re Ali Shan which is becoming more and more available to the mainstream, I wonder if what has already happened with Dong Ding (DD is more often used to decribe "type" versus tea actually grown on Dong Ding since supply has long been much lower than demand) is beginning to occur with Ali Shan. I have no basis for this, but we see it repeatedly in the recent history of tea. (Darjeeling too)

Or the teas are getting lower and lower in elevation ... and lower grades are more and more blended (with who knows what). Mainstream vendors selling Ali Shan will rarely have the good stuff. And if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby garrettmc » Aug 13th, '11, 00:00

So I took you guys' recommendations for the Ali Shan. I used a higher leaf ratio to the water and even tried a great range of temperatures. However, the only thing i could get out of it was only a moderate sweetness that wasn't very impressive. Perhaps I just got a lesser quality batch or this is a bad year for this oolong. I'll probably end up trading it. thanks guys!

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby verus » Aug 15th, '11, 15:55

Let me offer some contrary advice; maybe you could try using less leaf. I know that some high end oolongs go against the usual wisdom of lots of leaf, short brews. I've had a baozhong which was undrinkable when I used a lot of leaf. Bitter and nasty. However with a moderate amount of leaf it compeltely turned around and became fantastic.

So try using a lot less leaf, and steeping a bit longer; might be worth a try before giving up on this tea.

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby David R. » Aug 17th, '11, 14:07

verus wrote:Let me offer some contrary advice; maybe you could try using less leaf. I know that some high end oolongs go against the usual wisdom of lots of leaf, short brews. I've had a baozhong which was undrinkable when I used a lot of leaf. Bitter and nasty. However with a moderate amount of leaf it compeltely turned around and became fantastic.

So try using a lot less leaf, and steeping a bit longer; might be worth a try before giving up on this tea.


That's the way I use for gao shan and sometimes dong ding like oolong. Brewing longer kind of gives sweeter results for an unknown reason.

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby Tead Off » Aug 17th, '11, 23:26

There are many ways to brew tea. All of them are right if they suit the drinker. Gongfu style is not for everyone and every taste. But, for me, gaoshan cha is very suitable for gongfu brewing but this is assuming the tea is good quality.

The tea in question sounds like it is not a very good tea if the brewer is having so much trouble getting a decent cup out of it. I would definitely move on and try other Alishans that people recommend on this board. However, struggling with a tea can be very useful in discovering better brewing techniques.

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby David R. » Aug 18th, '11, 06:49

Auhckw is selling here some Hojo's Ali Shan which I find very good if you want to try another one.

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Re: Help with Ali Shan

Postby djlau » Oct 27th, '11, 03:09

There is a saying in Chinese: Good tea is just that, good tea. No matter how long you brew it, it will not become bitter.

It will become strong, however, but all you need to do in this case is dilute with the desired amount of hot water.

I always brew using short infusions because I want to taste the nuances, and the sweetness of the leaf.

If the tea is not high quality tea that produced with care however, it will become astringent or unpalatable when brewed too long.

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