Getting to know oolongs. Background on Ta-Hung-Pao?...

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

Getting to know oolongs. Background on Ta-Hung-Pao?...

Postby mark_e_wallace » Jan 29th, '08, 19:32

I am very new to tea, and I have really gotten to enjoy some of the nice oolongs from my local tea shop (Tea Embassy in Austin). Yesterday I had occasion to be in my local Asian Market, so I made my way over to the teas. Naturally, they had a pretty full selection, and I really didn't know quite where to start.

On a whim, I picked up a red can of oolong tea labeled as:

China Fujian Oolong Tea
Ta-Hung-Pao
Xiamen Tea Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd.

and on the side:

Sea Dyke Brand

For 125g, it was dirt-cheap at $6.00. It doesn't hold a candle (so far) to the Monkey Picked and Good Leaf "Jia Yeh" that I got from Tea Embassy, but it's still not bad.

Anyhow...I'm totally unfamiliar with this tea, but the fact that it occupies premium space in the local Asian market suggests that it has some merit. Can y'all tell me anything about this tea? Patience, please...I'm new. :D

Thanks,

Mark

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 29th, '08, 19:45

Well, there is quite a bit of folklore surrounding da hong pao (another romanization of ta hung pao) and it is one of the more famous Chinese teas, but at the price you bought it, it's more likely to be a generic Wuyi oolong, most likely shui xian. Adagio has a similar tea, "Wuyi Ensemble," if you want something to compare it to.

I'm guessing yours isn't real da hong pao because genuine dhp is actually fairly expensive, and it is common practice to substitute it with similar/cheaper Wuyi teas.

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Postby mark_e_wallace » Jan 29th, '08, 21:36

Scruff McGruff wrote:Well, there is quite a bit of folklore surrounding da hong pao (another romanization of ta hung pao) and it is one of the more famous Chinese teas, but at the price you bought it, it's more likely to be a generic Wuyi oolong, most likely shui xian. Adagio has a similar tea, "Wuyi Ensemble," if you want something to compare it to.

I'm guessing yours isn't real da hong pao because genuine dhp is actually fairly expensive, and it is common practice to substitute it with similar/cheaper Wuyi teas.


I figured it was something along those lines. I saw some reference to a da hong pao that was indeed more expensive, so it was pretty clear that my $6 tea wasn't the "real thing." Still, for $.05/g, the tea isn't too bad. The first steep is kinda rough, but the second and third are alright. I haven't taken it beyond that yet though.

Thanks for the quick response. I appreciate it.

- Mark

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 29th, '08, 22:03

Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's bad. :) I actually like shui xian quite a bit– I didn't mean to say you just had crappy tea. Also, I forgot to say welcome to TeaChat! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

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Postby Salsero » Jan 29th, '08, 22:42

I like to think that all tea has something good to offer if you can just figure out the best way to brew it. Of course I know I am wrong, but I do know that there is often a low correlation between price and quality.

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Postby mark_e_wallace » Jan 29th, '08, 23:42

Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's bad. :)


Learned that long ago when I started home roasting my own coffee. You're right.

I didn't mean to say you just had crappy tea.


Nah...didn't take it that way. It's certainly not as good as the few other oolongs that I've had, but it's just fine as a daily tea.

Also, I forgot to say welcome to TeaChat! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.


Thanks very much!

- Mark

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