Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?


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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Tead Off » Jun 17th, '14, 15:13

kyarazen wrote:having a yunnan dian hong now.. ;)

Having gushu hongcha from Jiangjiatang. The leaves are the longest I've ever seen. Very tasty.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby ethan » Jun 23rd, '14, 09:02

Beginning the day w/ Yunnan Black tea from Yunnan Sourcing: Wu Liang Mountain Gold Bud Tippy, Autumn 2013.

I got this & 3 other Yunnan blacks last year, for good Dian-Hong type flavor(s) which they do provide.

Drinking good tea that is not very complex remains quite enjoyable as part of my daily routine.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Jul 2nd, '14, 19:27

I don't come here too often, because most black teas are too bitter for me, but today I was gifted a quite amazing Jin Jun Mei, a lovely delicate bitter-free tea from tea buds only. I was blown away at the first sip of the first flash infusion, and prepared a series of flash infusions to share--it was very popular with my tea crowd. I'll be taking some photos of it when I get it home--the packaging is quite beautiful too. But just wanted to get the first Wow recorded before it's no longer fresh in my mind. Floral, sweet, delicately plummy/fruity, it's just gorgeous.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Tead Off » Jul 3rd, '14, 01:55

debunix wrote:I don't come here too often, because most black teas are too bitter for me

I'm a bit surprised to hear you say that. Do you brew them western style? I find that Himalayan blacks and Yunnan blacks are very floral and can be quite sweet depending upon the tea. Himalayan teas are amongst my top teas.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Jul 3rd, '14, 11:10

I've rarely bought black teas, but have encountered them at buffet tables and conferences and as gifts, and nearly always found them unpleasantly to unbearably bitter.

I don't pretend to have made a comprehensive survey of black teas, but with very few exceptions, when I've stepped out of my green/oolong/puerh comfort zone, it has not been fun. I've enjoyed Yunnan golds and Taiwanese Buddha Hand enough to buy them again, but even they require very careful brewing for me to enjoy them.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Tead Off » Jul 3rd, '14, 23:40

debunix wrote:I've rarely bought black teas, but have encountered them at buffet tables and conferences and as gifts, and nearly always found them unpleasantly to unbearably bitter.

I don't pretend to have made a comprehensive survey of black teas, but with very few exceptions, when I've stepped out of my green/oolong/puerh comfort zone, it has not been fun. I've enjoyed Yunnan golds and Taiwanese Buddha Hand enough to buy them again, but even they require very careful brewing for me to enjoy them.

Black teas, when brewed properly, are delicious. Western style brewing is recommended with 2.5/3g for 240ml teapot. Brew 2-3 minutes and see how that is. 2nd brew 4-5 minutes. 2 brews is probably enough. Darjeeling/Himalayan teas are exceptional. Clean, aromatic, fruity, not unlike some of the Dancong oolong teas. There is a reason most of the world is in love with these teas. :D
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Jul 4th, '14, 01:47

Hojo Tea Yunan Ancient Black Tea: 5.25 grams in a 120m, glazed Petr Kyusu. I did a quick rinse and then started with a 10 sec. first infusion that was perfect. The tea never threatened bitterness and was solid and enjoyable across the 7 or 8 rounds that I sat with it. The brews left a rich carmel scent in the chahai and teapot. There are aspects of this tea that are definitely reminiscent of a good Darjeeling tea; though this tea was a little more creamy, didn't threaten any harsh astringency, and presented a nice floral high note atop its stable and rich creamy undertones. I really enjoyed this tea.

Blessings!
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Jul 4th, '14, 12:26

Tead Off wrote:Black teas, when brewed properly, are delicious.


I don't mean to come here only to criticize black teas, but I do not know how to describe the wonderfulness of the Jin Jun Mei without contrasting it to other black teas I have not enjoyed.

People vary in their sensitivity to bitter tastes; I suspect many people who either don't taste them easily, or are used to, and may even enjoy, many bitter tastes in other parts of their diet, just don't get how strong and how unpleasant the bitter elements can be to someone else. I have tried brewing a variety of black teas in different ways, am quite confident that it was not deficiency of brewing technique that was the problem for me: it is my oversensitive taste buds, which were not routinely challenged with bitter tastes when I was growing up.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby William » Jul 4th, '14, 12:40

debunix wrote:I don't mean to come here only to criticize black teas, but I do not know how to describe the wonderfulness of the Jin Jun Mei without contrasting it to other black teas I have not enjoyed.

People vary in their sensitivity to bitter tastes; I suspect many people who either don't taste them easily, or are used to, and may even enjoy, many bitter tastes in other parts of their diet, just don't get how strong and how unpleasant the bitter elements can be to someone else. I have tried brewing a variety of black teas in different ways, am quite confident that it was not deficiency of brewing technique that was the problem for me: it is my oversensitive taste buds, which were not routinely challenged with bitter tastes when I was growing up.


Maybe you should give another chance to these amazing teas .. Red teas can be wonderful and amazing, if the quality is high. Conversely, standars (and lower than standard) red teas can be tricky, especially regarding bitterness and/or astringency, which I also do not like when a direct consequence of the lower quality.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby ethan » Jul 4th, '14, 15:40

The discussion about having difficulty enjoying a category of tea (re: debunix & black teas) is interesting for tea & life in general.
When can we say w/ confidence, "That's just not my cup of tea," or, "Opera is just not for me," etc.?

When I am able to buy a large quantity of a specific tea at a favorable price, I am tempted to give some to people I like. (I did that a couple of years back w/ my favorite, Thai red oolong.) Giving away tea that one has raved about, one might be dismayed to hear so little praise about the gifted tea. Hopefully, he realizes that much was never prepared; most of what was prepared, was not as the giver of the tea would have prepared the tea; &, people may drink something w/o paying any real attention to the beverage. In other words, odds are in that circumstance & in most, tea is not the same as the tea being drunk & served by a guy who loves it.

We try to enhance each other's enjoyment of tea here, but words only go so far. To know whether we cannot enjoy a category of tea, we need to have some of the best in ideal conditions. Should we try to buy the best, prepare it ideally, etc.? We may, but we may not feel like it.

Some of us may advise debunix not to give up on black tea; however, why should anyone go out of his way to be disappointed? One can give up on black tea even before trying the best in ideal conditions.

I won't buy any tea that cost more than US$5.50 an ounce. I decided that no tea can be so much better....(in other words, cannot afford expensive tea). I'm probrably wrong, but unless I win the lottery, I may never know & still be happy.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Jul 5th, '14, 11:22

I have not entirely given up on black teas, FWIW, as this morning I am starting the day with another splendid session with this awesome Jin Jun Mei. Glorious stuff. It is very reminiscent of some of the highly oxidized oolongs I've been enjoying recently--e.g., Red Alishan and Gui Fei from Norbu, Korean Hwang Cha from Morning Crane, and the Imperial Pearl from MountainTea--all that floral and fruity, but blessedly bitter-free. I am definitely going to look for additional sources of this one.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Tead Off » Jul 5th, '14, 13:28

Debunix, I'm trying to figure out what 'bitterness' you are referring to in black teas. Are you perhaps referring to astringency as bitterness?

For someone who drinks Puerh, bitterness is a quality that almost any Puerh will have if brewed heavy-handedly. You also drink sencha, I believe. These teas are completely different than Himalayan teas and Yunnan teas. I would never equate bitter with the black/red teas we are talking about.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby Tead Off » Jul 5th, '14, 13:39

ethan wrote:We try to enhance each other's enjoyment of tea here, but words only go so far. To know whether we cannot enjoy a category of tea, we need to have some of the best in ideal conditions. Should we try to buy the best, prepare it ideally, etc.? We may, but we may not feel like it.

Some of us may advise debunix not to give up on black tea; however, why should anyone go out of his way to be disappointed? One can give up on black tea even before trying the best in ideal conditions.


I can't think of a major category of tea that is not enjoyable if brewed well. Of course, some teas will immediately appeal to some and not others, but every tea I've come across (barring bad quality) can be enjoyed if one is open and able to adjust the parameters to get the tea to suit their taste. This is not to say that everyone should drink every kind of tea or not have favorites.

The only tea that I have not found to my taste, so far, were the Sri Lankan teas I've had. These were all gifts from people who went there and brought some back for me. Perhaps what they brought back was not indicative of high quality. Having said that, I can still brew them and get 'some' enjoyment out of it. I've been eyeing a Sri Lankan tea from Tea Hong that I might go for as the description sounds good.
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Postby bonescwa » Jul 5th, '14, 14:32

I also wonder what exactly people are calling "Jin Jun Mei" these days.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

Postby debunix » Jul 5th, '14, 16:39

Tead Off wrote:Debunix, I'm trying to figure out what 'bitterness' you are referring to in black teas.

For someone who drinks Puerh, bitterness is a quality that almost any Puerh will have if brewed heavy-handedly. You also drink sencha, I believe. .... I would never equate bitter with the black/red teas we are talking about.


And I do think of the quality that I'm thinking of as bitterness, not astringency. I'm not a professional taster, however, just a tea lover trying to share an experience of tea.

I do drink puerh, and sencha, but in both cases I have to be very cautious about which ones and how I brew them to avoid bitterness. I brew far more dilute than most of the serious pu-heads and sencha-holics around here. And when I get an infusion that still manages to be too bitter, I will dilute with hot water to try to get something palatable. For young sheng puerhs, I may discard several infusions before I get one that is drinkable.

But I've never managed a short enough/dilute enough infusion to make a western-style black tea palatable for me. I see no reason to bother with a tea that has to be doctored with milk and sugar to be tasty, when there are so many oolongs and greens and whites and puerhs and a few special black teas that don't require such additions to make my tongue happy.

Perhaps your palate is just not put off by the flavors that mine is, and yay you for your robust taste buds.
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