Different roasting levels


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

Different roasting levels

Postby bagua7 » Sep 5th, '11, 14:21

Can anyone explain to me the various differences in terms of aroma, flavour and huigan with the various degrees of roasting in oolong teas? I was mainly thinking of TGY but other oolongs can be discussed as well, if you like.

I need to explore more medium and high roasted oolongs because I am too focused on light roasted gaoshan and TGY.

Cheers.
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Re: Different roasting levels

Postby debunix » Sep 5th, '11, 16:32

I am no expert, but I have enjoyed TGY as a very light 'green' tea and as quite roasted tea, although I've not had a lot in between. I love the sweet floral delicate green TGY, and then that fades to a spiciness, not the same as an Alishan oolong, but similar in this--the sweet floral fading to the spicy--and in the deep roasted versions there is a dark toastiness overlying the same spicy base. The medium quality roasted version I grew up with is a decent tea, can be quite bitter if mishandled, but mostly it's mellow, toasty, spicy, a little sweet. I think that there is a similar huigan--the spicy aftertaste--that is fundamental to the TGY varietal leaves.

Interesting experiment: take a basic green TGY (not the fanciest/most expensive version), and roast it at home.....low heat, slow oven, and take samples out at various times, and see how the flavor changes. I've taken a nice but not exciting Taiwanese oolong and roasted it lightly with good results, but never taken the experiment to the logical conclusion by taking timed samples before. I've seen listings on various tea vendor sites that give percentages for oxidation of oolongs, but also for roasting, and I'm not sure what 'percent roasted' means. But it would be an interesting experiment to take some TGY as far as it can go--perhaps when the weather cools off again I'll try it.
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Re: Different roasting levels

Postby Herb_Master » Sep 5th, '11, 18:33

I wonder - :idea:

I have a Lin's Tea Refresher, which I have never used :roll:

If I hold it over a gas flame for long enough would it actually start to roast the tea :?:

How long did you leave your Lowest Roasting in the Oven for?

I suspect I would not be able to hold my hand out over the gas ring long enough to get any decent level of roasting :(
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Re: Different roasting levels

Postby debunix » Sep 5th, '11, 19:12

I set my convection oven to 225 and left the bland oolong in for about 20 minutes. I think with a hotter roaster over a flame it would go a lot faster; I wanted slower to give me more control over the process for my first time.
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Re: Different roasting levels

Postby Herb_Master » Sep 5th, '11, 19:52

In that case, I think I will give it a try, with some 4 year old samples that came with a Teaware Purchase, they are not up to much as they are, so there is no harm if it fails.

There is sufficient quantity, to try several times.
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Re: Different roasting levels

Postby bagua7 » Sep 6th, '11, 16:05

Nice trick, debunix, :) ,I tried that and it has improved some crappy TGY I got with me. I'll do the same with other gaoshan oolongs as well since I need to balance a bit the degree of roasted teas I drink. Quoting Stephane from Teamasters:

"My observation of tea drinkers in Taiwan confirms Michael's information about green tea: the older the person, the less green he likes his tea. Young tea drinkers are full of life and energy and can take some cooling, but older people who are more afraid of the cold prefer shou cha."

http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2006/01/green-tea-and-health-benefits.html

And another good reading in this other blog entry:

"Oolong, the green-blue tea, can be further broken down in 3 categories according to the amount of 'Fire' it received. The tea is then called:
- Raw (Sheng) if the oxidation and roasting were light (High altitude Oolongs or Jinxuan fall in this category, like my Da Yu Ling),
- Half done (Ban shou) if the oxidation and the roasting were medium (like the traditional Dong Ding Oolong),
- Done (Shou) if the roasting and/or the oxidation were strong. My old baozhong is an example of light oxidation and repeated roasting that resulted in a tea that is full of fire. Young roasted Tie Guan Yin or Shui Xian, like I will show below, are strongly oxidized and strongly roasted."


http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2006/01/shou-cha-teas-with-fire.html
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