Delivery arrived today


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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby mageta » Nov 8th, '12, 16:32

ethan wrote:Tead Off et. al.,

Your being able to get multiple infusions w/o bitterness, is something I can't do for all of these oolongs from MT though I have really tried. I still would say that they are all "good" tea & good value for $.

I've had the time & the inclination; so, I've really explored the possibilities for getting best results from various combinations of amount of tea used, temp., & time. For me, all are "good" tea. Some only provide 2 infusions before bitterness spoils enjoyment partially or fully, but those 2 infusions are delicious & may be had for 1 teaspoon per cup (Western style).

Gongfu style for me is wasteful w/ these particular teas; but it was helpful & interesting to try. I've learned that I can use more temp. & less time than I was for Western style steeping.

Some of the comments from participants in the OTTI for MT also note a lack of durability for some of the teas while being happy w/ the flavor.


Hmmm, I figured I was just not skilled enough to brew it well, but you're right, the imperial pearl I have from them has also been difficult to ward off bitterness. It's not horrible, but it's there, and I'm finding that I like them better if I go low on the temps.
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby Tead Off » Nov 9th, '12, 07:06

mageta wrote:
ethan wrote:Tead Off et. al.,

Your being able to get multiple infusions w/o bitterness, is something I can't do for all of these oolongs from MT though I have really tried. I still would say that they are all "good" tea & good value for $.

I've had the time & the inclination; so, I've really explored the possibilities for getting best results from various combinations of amount of tea used, temp., & time. For me, all are "good" tea. Some only provide 2 infusions before bitterness spoils enjoyment partially or fully, but those 2 infusions are delicious & may be had for 1 teaspoon per cup (Western style).

Gongfu style for me is wasteful w/ these particular teas; but it was helpful & interesting to try. I've learned that I can use more temp. & less time than I was for Western style steeping.

Some of the comments from participants in the OTTI for MT also note a lack of durability for some of the teas while being happy w/ the flavor.


Hmmm, I figured I was just not skilled enough to brew it well, but you're right, the imperial pearl I have from them has also been difficult to ward off bitterness. It's not horrible, but it's there, and I'm finding that I like them better if I go low on the temps.

It's hard me to comment as I've never had the teas you are specifically talking about. But, they really contradict my long time experience with Taiwan oolongs. Perhaps the teas are just not very good. There is a lot of talk about some Taiwan oolongs being mixed heavily with Vietnam and Thai oolongs which look very similar to Taiwan rolled oolongs. Just guessing here as I never get bitterness from my Taiwan teas.
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby Chip » Nov 9th, '12, 09:17

TO, poor speculation ... and unfair to a vendor you have not even tried.

Imperial Pearl is quite good, IMHO. Though it is possible you may have another batch.

I will try this today.
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby Tead Off » Nov 9th, '12, 11:36

Chip wrote:TO, poor speculation ... and unfair to a vendor you have not even tried.

?? Am just relating my experience to the poster. Didn't I say I never had the specific tea?
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby Chip » Nov 9th, '12, 12:12

Exactly. You have no experience with this vendor and to bring the possibility that they are subbing Vietnamese or Thai for Taiwan is simply an unfair statement.

Point, counterpoint ... you have stated your opinion, and I have stated mine. I simply feel it is unfair to the vendor to make such a speculation when as you have said you have not tried the tea.

I have spoken in person with several members of this family, I do not believe for a second that they are selling Vietnamese nor Thai teas as Taiwan teas. I sense nothing but sincerity.

In another current topic I also see that Da Yu Ling is your "preferred choice" these days, a very good and pricey Taiwan tea. And I am sure you would not expect a non DYL to perform on the same level. True. This vendor does not pretend to sell a DYL. Nor do they sell selections at authentic HQ DYL prices.

They do sell very good value selections that they grow, harvest, process, and sell. I do not expect them to perform on the level of selections costing twice as much.

I do not recall the bitter mentioned above which is why I am going to retry some of their selections. I have had "bitter" in Taiwan oolong. I did not have that with these.

I found I like a 2 to 1 leaf to water ratio for all of them and sensed some could go higher on leaf. Some selections I used water almost right at boil, some a bit off the boil.

Also for successive brews, it might benefit some bitterphobes to back off the temp a bit further ...
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby hopeofdawn » Nov 9th, '12, 12:14

Just my two cents, as a person who participated in the Mountain Tea OTTI--I really enjoy their roasted/dark oolong teas, and their black Sumatran tea. While they might not be quite as exceptional as a $25-$30 or more/20 gram wuyi or other rare teas, for the price I find them excellent. The Imperial Pearl and their dark roast Tie Guan Yin, especially, are particular favorites, with lovely chocolatey/toasty notes. I can generally brew both for at least 5-6 strong brews.

That said, I've tried their jade oolong, dong ding and high mountain green teas, and they were not nearly as impressive. Not bad, per se, just sort of uninteresting. Generally mediocre, overall--and I'd have to agree with other posters that the greener oolongs, especially, tended to have a bitter edge/aftertaste on my tongue when brewing on a higher leaf/water ratio. I found they were much more drinkable brewed Western-style. For the price, still a good value--especially given how much a really good Lishan/Alisan from Taiwan can run you! But I've been spoiled by Floating Leaves and a few other vendors here in Seattle, and I'm afraid Mountain Tea's offerings in that category just aren't the same quality--at least not yet. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing if they might improve in future harvests, though.
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby Tead Off » Nov 9th, '12, 12:41

My dear Chip, somehow you have misinterpreted my post. What I was responding to was the fact that 2 posters found this tea bitter. Not having drank this tea, which I stated, I was making the point that I've never had bitter green oolongs from Taiwan and I've drunk many. Maybe they exist. What I was referring to when I mentioned the SE Asian oolongs was that there are distributors of Taiwan oolongs who mix these into their Taiwan grown teas. I wasn't suggesting that the vendor who was supplying these did this. In fact, I wasn't really paying attention to where the tea came from and have no idea who Mountain Tea is. Many vendors buy from distributors and not directly from the farms. So, I apologize on my part if it seemed I was accusing Mountain teas of doing this. I assure you I was not.

As far as quality goes, I would bet that most vendors carry teas that don't please everyone. Because a tea carries the name of Lishan, Alishan or some other well known area, it doesn't necessarily make it a high quality tea. Just ask some of the posters here about Da Hong Pao and you'll get wildly varying opinions of the quality that many known vendors have. So sorry if what I said was misleading. It wasn't intended that way and hopefully nobody else took it that way.
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby Chip » Nov 9th, '12, 13:12

TO, for the record, Mountain Tea does not buy from a distributor. They are a multigenerational family who grow, process and sell their own teas. This is part of the unique character of dealing with this vendor.

Speculative, casual comments when discussing a vendor can be harmful, IMHO we should to be sensitive to the very livlihoods of entire families we may impact. Constructive critisism should be helpful. Hopefully this topic will help Mountain Tea.

To parallel, say we are discussing Korean teaware purchased from ... TeadOff that was made by Seong-Il. Maybe someone does not care for pieces they purchased. Another member who has never purchased Seong-Il's works through TO comments, "well, you know there are a lot of knockoffs in teaware. Often so called Korean teaware was made in China, etc."

This is obviously true, but I am certain not true for items you are selling. Nevertheless you would consider such a comment quite unfair and unfounded ... and potentially detrimental to your business, reputation. These are things you value, and possible harm to your livelihood could come from such casual comments posted on the www.

And hopefully someone would offer a counter comment.

Call me an idealist. I feel we have a level of responsibility that comes with the "power" ... freedom of speech ... we have. Just because we have a big stick does not mean we swing it carelessly.
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby ethan » Nov 9th, '12, 13:28

More comments from me on these oolongs from MT though it may be overkill:

Always using one teaspoon of tea per cup:

1 minute at 70C degrees:
TGY: always bitter but drinkable for 2 infusions;
Lishan: not bitter for 2 infusions.
Mountain Organic: not bitter for 3 infusions

1 minute at 92C or 2 minutes at 87C:
Imperial Pearls: no bitterness, very sweet almost like some Yunnan blacks

Tead Off, I drink Thai Organic Red Pearls (wrote about in thread for China, India, etc.) which seems to be packaged to be sold as Taiwanese tea. It is very close to MT's Imperial Pearls for me. Experimenting w/ Imperial Pearls led me to try one more time on the Thai tea & finally finding my sweet spot for the Thai tea (87C for 90 seconds) to get the sweetness for which I bought so much of it.

Some people say that good oolongs have an edge, bitterness that hits the back of one's mouth. Some say good oolong is not bitter. Hearing all opinions allows me (or others) to conclude one can find a good oolong w/o bitterness such as MT's Mountain Organic. I love it.

Thanks for frank discussion & though it may get tedious for many, I like reading your specific temps, times etc. Helps me learn.
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Re: Delivery arrived today

Postby debunix » Nov 9th, '12, 15:45

I have quite enjoyed the Spring Mountain Oolong from Mountain Tea. To my palate, it is very similar to teas I've purchased for similar prices for other vendors--capable of some very nice infusions, but also of bitterness if mishandled, and don't expect it to reach the same heights as the fanciest grades from this or other vendors. And even some of the very fancy teas, with more amazing floral oomph, can still be made a bit bitter if one is sufficiently determined. Despite my bitterphobia, I end up there all too often. But I can most often rescue the situation via dilution of the finished infusion and more care to the next infusion.
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