High Quality Tie Guan Yin?


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

Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby JD » Aug 11th, '13, 15:36

Need a URL.

I found The Mandarin's Tea Room, but not Tim's.
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby AdamMY » Aug 11th, '13, 15:52

JD wrote:Need a URL.

I found The Mandarin's Tea Room, but not Tim's.


The URL is already earlier in this thread.
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby JD » Aug 11th, '13, 16:14

Well that's quite pricey. Way over my budget.

And these pricier TGYs may be lost on my taste buds. I don't believe my taste is as sensitive as others. I could spend that much money and end up being disappointed since it may just taste like other TGYs to me.
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby seollasido » Aug 11th, '13, 17:20

JD wrote:Well that's quite pricey. Way over my budget.

And these pricier TGYs may be lost on my taste buds. I don't believe my taste is as sensitive as others. I could spend that much money and end up being disappointed since it may just taste like other TGYs to me.


Eh, worth trying once to make sure before you talk yourself down so much, no?
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby debunix » Aug 11th, '13, 17:34

I've really enjoyed a strategy of buying some really fancy versions of favorite types of tea, and comparing them to some more moderately priced versions--it gives a nice baseline to compare to others. Sometimes the fancy is so good that it does almost spoil my tastebuds for the lesser teas, and sometimes--here explorations of Long Jing & senchas come to mind--it proves to me that I don't need the fanciest to be very very happy with my tea.

That said, when I first started my more serious explorations of tea a few years ago, my favorite TGY was one supplied by Norbu, that Greg called 'Diamond Grade'. He no longer carries it because it has become too expensive. I have really enjoyed the 'Imperial Grade' TGY from Yunnan Sourcing, and obtained another really nice version from Jing Tea Shop (but can't recall the details of name/grade at the moment--although I'm sure I described it in detail here at the time). I've also discovered some very very nice teas that were not of the same durability but have given similar enjoyment over fewer infusions, but price/infusion ends up being similar--Ben Shan Anxi from YS last year comes to mind, and Jin Guan Yin from Norbu a little farther back.
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby MIKE_B » Aug 11th, '13, 18:39

Are you looking for....
JD wrote: Like.. the best in China?
I want the best green TGY.


Or are you looking the for the best you can afford, one that you feel is "worth it"?
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby entropyembrace » Aug 11th, '13, 18:40

JD wrote:Well that's quite pricey. Way over my budget.

And these pricier TGYs may be lost on my taste buds. I don't believe my taste is as sensitive as others. I could spend that much money and end up being disappointed since it may just taste like other TGYs to me.


You did ask for the best. :lol:
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby Genushumanusali... » Aug 11th, '13, 19:37

AdamMY wrote:Part of me actually hates it when people quote prices per Kilogram. I understand why vendors do it, because they purchase the teas in that quantity. For most home gamers so to speak, we would only spend that money if we really really liked the tea and had tried it first, not to mention knew we could go through a kilogram of it in a reasonable amount of time.

That is my bad, sorry. I tend to convert everything to a standard unit in order to compare. Since tea is often sold in 10, 50, 75, 80, 100, etc gram packages, it is helpful for me to compare prices by converting to a standard unit. I guess I use price/kg instead of price/100g out of habit because I sold fruit priced by the kg for many years. Thanks for letting me know, in future I'll use 100g units to avoid confusion.
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby AdamMY » Aug 11th, '13, 20:24

genushumanusalice wrote:
AdamMY wrote:Part of me actually hates it when people quote prices per Kilogram. I understand why vendors do it, because they purchase the teas in that quantity. For most home gamers so to speak, we would only spend that money if we really really liked the tea and had tried it first, not to mention knew we could go through a kilogram of it in a reasonable amount of time.

That is my bad, sorry. I tend to convert everything to a standard unit in order to compare. Since tea is often sold in 10, 50, 75, 80, 100, etc gram packages, it is helpful for me to compare prices by converting to a standard unit. I guess I use price/kg instead of price/100g out of habit because I sold fruit priced by the kg for many years. Thanks for letting me know, in future I'll use 100g units to avoid confusion.


No I understand the desire to throw things into a common weight for comparison of price. Though I oddly go completely in the opposite direction, I tend to go down to a price per gram. I guess the issue with either is a psychological in which the price they see/ hear initially skews their views one way or another. So as someone who has had very few tea orders go above 200 dollars, seeing a price for a kilogram of tea over 200 dollars sends all these alarm bells off in my head ( and likely others until they think about it). While at the same time might sway things the other way, at least mentally. I mean a dollar per gram does not sound that bad until you realize if you use 8 grams for a session that is at least an 8 dollar session of tea right there.

Though 100g might be a safe range to convert too, that way it is more reasonable in weights most people are used to buying in. Honestly I was not saying anything bad about you, it was more getting to the fact that even quoting rather inexpensive teas in prices per Kilograms can initially shock people to have the wrong reactions.
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby JD » Aug 11th, '13, 20:42

The one Tim carries that's $1 per gram is more my price point. But that other one is $2 per gram which is pretty steep. I use 3-5 grams per session depending on what I brew it in so that's a $10 session right there. A week's worth of TGY sessions would be $70.

I'll probably get some TGY from Yunnan Sourcing soon to try out. I got my eye on their imperial ones though I guess I could spring for some cheaper premium too. Fancy's a bit too cheap. I do like Teaspring's Jade one quite a bit. And their Dong Ding. I may get more of those too.
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby ClarG » Dec 15th, '13, 00:28

Teaism wrote:
chrl42 wrote:Those gold version of TGY sometimes come to markets like Maliandao or Fangcun..stay like a week then go, but they are usually not available to normal customers...

I wonder too..what's so special about them.. :(



I have been to Maliandao and Fangcun. Personally, I don't recommend any novice or even advance tea drinkers to look for tea there. Unless you are really very skillful with long history of experience in tea.


I found this website about tea in Maliandao and Fangcun.

http://www.teaformeplease.com/2013/10/g ... derek.html

[quote=Derek Chew]
Guest Post: Proving Your Worth by Derek Chew
I'm always excited to share wise words from my knowledgeable friend +Derek Chew of +Peony Tea S.. Today's guest post was doubly exciting for me because it discusses both tea and horses, two of my passions.

Proving Your Worth

In most industries, the merchant would try to impress the customer with their best wares- their house specials that would blow the minds of the customer and leave an indelible impression.

Not so with tea houses in China.

My observation is that the opposite is true. With most tea vendors in China, you have to impress the merchant before he will show you his best.

This curious phenomenon probably explains why many claim that the major tea markets such as Maliandao and Fangcun sell mediocre stuff while others swear by the gems they found there.

After a year and a half in the tea business, I think I have a clearer picture of why this may be so:

Bo Le and the Thousand Li Horse

There is a Chinese saying “A Thousand Li Horse (Chinese expression for a fine steed) needs a Bo Le”.

In Chinese mythology, Bo Le was a legendary judge of horse and was valued for his ability to discern the finest stallion from middling ones.

To an experienced tea drinker, a high grade Dancong might have a multi-faceted fragrance, brothy full mouth feel and heady aftertaste.

Someone new to Dancong, it just tastes bitter and astringent.

Particularly if the merchant is also the producer, seeing their handiwork unappreciated is not a sensation any artist would relish.

Also appreciating the quality of the tea is also linked to valuing the tea.

An uninitiated tea drinker might just say:

“Why is this Tieguanyin so expensive when I can buy one off the net for $10 for 4 oz?”

More often than not, if you need to ask this question, the answer will never satisfy you.

Limited Supply

In China, the best teas- especially oolong and green tea- tend to be handmade and in limited supply.

Furthermore, for non-perishable teas- such as oolong and puer, many seasoned buyers buy in bulk once they find something they like.

Hence, the treasures of the shop are guarded as such, not to be wantonly offered to anyone who pops in.

For most cases, the merchant would start to assess the preferences and buying patterns of the consumer before deciding what to offer.

No sense in depleting a limited stash on the non-target audience.

Changing One’s Mind

Tea, at least true artisan handmade teas are a work of art.

How the producer controls the ‘zuo qing’ process to compensate for weather conditions and harvest quality, how thorough the ‘sha qing’ is so that the leaves have a substantially uniform level of oxidation, roasting to impart the taste.

Yet like all works of art, you can only change an open mind.

If you come in with an attitude of “show me what you got”, most likely you won’t be impressed.

For instance I once had a lady who asked me to show her my Xihu Longjing at an event. The moment she saw it she said “the one I have at home is better. I bought at Hangzhou, I knew you guys wouldn’t have anything better.”

After I brewed it for her, she still went “not bad but the one I have a home is better. You want good Xihu Longjing, still have to go to Hangzhou.”

Notwithstanding the fact that from what she said earlier (her tea leaves being uniformly green and had chestnut fragrance), it was obvious her Longjing was not Xihu Longjing.

Most of the time, you can’t change a mind that is already made up especially for something as subjective as art.

Finally…..

I will leave you with a final story.

Bo Le was tasked by the King of Chu to find a ‘thousand li horse’ to accompany him on his battles. Not taking this commission lightly, Bo Le travelled far and wide but found no suitable stallion.

One day he saw a skinny horse struggling to drag a salt cart along the road. The relentless whip of its master only managed to elicit a plodding pace from it.

Bo Le circled the horse and signaled to the salt merchant to stop. He whispered something into the ear of the horse and listened to its neigh.

He then told the salt merchant to sell that suffering beast to him.

The merchant laughed: “Can’t you see this brute is no good for anything. Sometimes I think it might be less strenuous for me to drag the cart myself than to whip it into action.”

Bo Le calmly replied: “Since it’s so useless, why don’t you sell it to me for the price of a donkey.”

Done deal, Bo Le brought the mare back to the King of Chu.

Not exactly impressed, the King ridiculed Bo Le. “This is a fine stallion but it was not appreciated. Give it 2 months and nurse it back to health.” Bo Le replied calmly.

True enough, the mount more than proved its worth, joining the King of Chu of numerous conquests.

Many a tea merchant in China will only show their finest stuff to a Bo Le, not the salt merchant.[/quote]
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby Teaism » Dec 15th, '13, 01:43

Interesting article.

I wonder if they sell the best tea cheap when they found a worthy drinker. I think everyone is a worthy tea drinker. Most worthy tea taste heavenly to common drinker not the other way round. So is this another evasive story evolved around commercial agendas or just plain honest story? Tea drinkers certainly should not buy tea just with their ears. So please look into tea from all angles.

I think if anyone been to Teahouses frequently you will know this is another fleeting story with some hidden agendas.

"When there is good tea, everyone is a worthy tea master"

"In Shaolin temple (legendary ancient martial art school), every disciple is a worthy master"

Cheers!
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby ethan » Dec 15th, '13, 06:47

I would not conclude that a man is bad for not offering all of his products to all of his customers all of the time.
Retail business is quite a challenge. People who are not familiar w/ a product (such as good tea) who consider better quality at a high price & low quality at a lower price, might not buy any immediately, if ever. How much more expensive should "better" be? Is lower quality, just not as good as better tea; or, is it bad?
My beautiful handwoven cotton looks dull w/ silk next to it. My more-than-reasonable silk prices seem high when compared to the prices of cotton. I lose business by offering cotton & silk on the same day.
I like to respect people, letting them choose from everything I have; but, too often the result of giving such respect is being thanked for the information verbally, not transactionally. (Sometimes the verbal gratitude is made w/ obvious condescension, to tell me that I was granted a favor: someone has let me indulge a personal weakness, a need to "show & tell".)
Who can blame businesspeople for wanting to control the situation a bit?
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby Teaism » Dec 15th, '13, 10:55

ethan wrote:I would not conclude that a man is bad for not offering all of his products to all of his customers all of the time.
Retail business is quite a challenge. People who are not familiar w/ a product (such as good tea) who consider better quality at a high price & low quality at a lower price, might not buy any immediately, if ever. How much more expensive should "better" be? Is lower quality, just not as good as better tea; or, is it bad?
My beautiful handwoven cotton looks dull w/ silk next to it. My more-than-reasonable silk prices seem high when compared to the prices of cotton. I lose business by offering cotton & silk on the same day.
I like to respect people, letting them choose from everything I have; but, too often the result of giving such respect is being thanked for the information verbally, not transactionally. (Sometimes the verbal gratitude is made w/ obvious condescension, to tell me that I was granted a favor: someone has let me indulge a personal weakness, a need to "show & tell".)
Who can blame businesspeople for wanting to control the situation a bit?


Hi Ethan,

Good vendors like you is really a rare find. There are sill many good ones out there but it takes time and careful search before we can find them. In between, it is good to be careful. The whole scenarios between vendor and customer is really very complex and often, if it works out well, developed in a positive long term relationship.

But in a different context like Asia, the considerations might be a lot different. It is not about making conclusion on a person but try to think of what are the considerations or intentions that the person a might have, as a buyer or seller. I would love to have vendor who think like you but in Asia, and in tea, it is good to look a little bit more carefully.


Cheers!
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Re: High Quality Tie Guan Yin?

Postby shah82 » Dec 19th, '13, 18:04

Teaism...good things are wasted on novices. That goes double for things like puerh, because of how much effort it takes to learn how to appreciate it, or oolongs like dancong or TKY, because what makes a good example of those differ from what people expect in bold flavors. Same with longjing--that woman above not knowing that her tea was, oops, just a leeeetle too roasted to be anything like genuine.

Read enough old posts about puerh tea, and you'll find much, much, rank idiocy from total n00bs. Those folks at the dawn of the age in 2005-2006 bought a lot of bad things so later folks like me could buy better, benefiting from all of that experience online. Also, there are a ton of people who are belligerent, again, like that lady above, about knowing what's good and what's not. Not showing the best stuff is also about filtering jerks and others who will reliably be a pain in the ass.

And really? Westerners don't show the best stuff on sale any more than the Easterners do. Everyone tries to sell the highest margin stuff. Merchants being friendly and/or rewarding good customers gets to have the best stuff. Basic Customer Care 101.
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