Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea


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Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea

Postby ethan » Sep 22nd, '12, 17:41

To me the name is overly long--pretentious. And it leaves out a key word. The tea is organic. All the workers are family of the farmers who form the cooperative that grows & processes the tea: Jin Xuan variety brought to Thailand from Taiwan decades ago to be grown at 1,200 - 1,400 meters. When processed it is further oxidized than usual. Reportedly, the top 2 leaves are rolled w/1 bud for each pearl of tea. My initial 20 grams looked as if this was how it was. I tried 6 grams for 12 oz. at 180 degrees steeped for 2 minutes. The taste reminded me of the free tea of Chinese restaurants in the USA, but much better: w/o bitterness & besides being perfectly smooth, a touch of sweetness that builds up & remains in one's mouth. Something about it kept me wanting more & continuing to enjoy it.
The liquid was a beautiful reddish color in my cup.
I tried 8 gr. w/ 16 oz. at 190 degrees in a pot at a restaurant & invited people around me to try some. Everyone liked it. A Chinese man got excited about it & sat w/ me & my lady, & kept refilling the tiny cup I had given him. He also kept telling me that this tea could not be from Thailand, despite hearing of my travels etc., that he knew tea & this classic, good Chinese tea.
I used the last 6 gr. at 200 degrees.
I got at least a few good pots for each of the three sessions for which I had divided the 20 grams. I could not discern a difference for lower or higher temperature for steeping. The tea did need 2 minutes to get a lot of flavor & did not suffer for extra time. I like teas that don't need exact conditions to be good.
So, I ordered a huge amount to be sent in vacuum-packed foil bags of 20, 100, & 1000 grams to my hotel, a few hundred miles away from where the tea is grown. I had to pay in advance, no COD. I worried for a few days, but it came & almost on time. The writing on the foil is all Chinese. I show it to Chinese Thais & get the whole story: The tea is not usually sold in Thailand, but sold in China & Taiwan as Taiwanese tea. It is sold at very high prices as "special high mountain tea". Typical for Thais, no shyness about $, "how much did I pay? ....Will I sell them some at my cost?" I do.
Now, back in the USA w/ an opened 100-gram bag in front of me, I see tea that is not so beautifully rolled into tight "pearls". It is not 1/3 red buds. Also unlike the initial 20 grams, the tea tastes less sweet, not perfectly smooth; yet, I want to drink more & more & enjoy drinking it.
Perhaps each pack will be slightly different.
ethan
 
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Location: Boston, MA 2/3; Thailand 1/3

Re: Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea

Postby RoseWood » Sep 22nd, '12, 19:01

What an interesting story... I'm saddened to hear the sample was so different from the larger quantity...
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Re: Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea

Postby ethan » Sep 23rd, '12, 03:23

The tea pleases me & its cost was low; yet, it is sad that there are less buds & sweetness than in the sample. The difference is having a good tea that I happen to like (esp. at the price) versus having a "special" tea that others would surely enjoy trying & possibly love.
I'll probably return to Thailand in February & ask for a kilo of buds to mix w/ what I have now. I wouldn't say that I'll probably be given it.
ethan
 
Posts: 462
Joined: May 27th, '
Location: Boston, MA 2/3; Thailand 1/3

Re: Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea

Postby ethan » Sep 28th, '12, 08:54

Strange to once more write on my own thread, but I must be fair:
Mistakes: I was rinsing the tea w/ boiling water; I used a bit too much tea; I sometimes steeped too long. Over jet-lag, I'm back to being careful.
Using water at exactly 186F for a quick rinse & to steep for no more than 2 minutes, yields sweeter tea. 4 grams of tea in a small pot for 10 - 12 ounces for first 2 infusions, for a third, just 8 oz works well. Mysteriously, doubling the tea for double the water does not work as well.
I think there are less buds, I think the tea is not quite as sweet; but, I know that when I tried the sample, I had been w/o good tea for a few weeks; therefore, complete objectivity is impossible.
The tea is very good, was a very good buy, but not as phenomenal as it was after weeks w/o good tea.
ethan
 
Posts: 462
Joined: May 27th, '
Location: Boston, MA 2/3; Thailand 1/3

Re: Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea

Postby ethan » May 13th, '13, 12:48

This is my favorite tea, the only tea that I drink everyday.

Update: 1. As to my saying the tea that I had sent to me in quantity was not as well-rolled etc. as the original sample: I was 99% wrong. Last September, somehow I had 1 20-gram pack & 1 100-gram pack that were slightly shoddy as far the pearls went; but, since then I've never had another pack w/ anything but plenty of good leaf rolled in tight pearls.
2. The tea has matured, adding lots of tart fruit flavor (delicious to me) to what it gave before. Also, now there is never even a trace of bitterness.
3. The tea sort of told me to keep using a particular yixing pot. When I do use that pot, the flavor is richer (though fine from other pots). In that yixing I get 3 infusions of 8 ounces of perfect tea from 1 heaping teaspoon steeped at 88-89 C for about 90 seconds.
ethan
 
Posts: 462
Joined: May 27th, '
Location: Boston, MA 2/3; Thailand 1/3

Re: Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea

Postby Puerlife » Dec 21st, '13, 12:26

Hi Ethan, I live in Chiang Mai and would love to try this tea. Can you please give me their contact info?
Puerlife
 
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Re: Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea

Postby ethan » Dec 23rd, '13, 15:42

Their rep was Germain Bergeron in Bangkok. I found him through the website for Fine Thai Teas. PM me if that does not work for you & I'll look up all the info when I get home. I'm away from home right now.
ethan
 
Posts: 462
Joined: May 27th, '
Location: Boston, MA 2/3; Thailand 1/3

Re: Thailand Royal Pearl Oolong Red Tea

Postby Puerlife » Dec 24th, '13, 11:30

Hi Ethan,
Thanks for the reply and PM. Here's the website:
http://finethaiteas.com/index.html
I don't see the pearl oolong red but I emailed them. I sure would
be nice to have a domestic supplier.
Steve
Puerlife
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Aug 20th, '
Location: Chiang Mai


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