TeaDay Wednesday, 2.27.08


BYOT! Enter TeaChat here, you never know what you may find!

Time4Tea wants to know your breakthrough TEA. "Which type of "TEA," when you tasted it for the first time, did you drink and know you were now a true tea drinker?"

Black
20
36%
Oolong
8
15%
Green
19
35%
White
3
5%
Pu-erh
1
2%
Yerbe Mate (I know...not tea)
1
2%
Rooibus (Again...not a true tea)
0
No votes
Herbal (...another non tea)
2
4%
Other
1
2%
 
Total votes : 55

Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Feb 27th, '08, 12:15

I was drinking tea for a while, all bagged stuff that was mostly greens or herbals. In 2004, we went on a school trip to Stratford, Ontario, Canada for the Shakespeare Festival. When I checked online to find what we could do in Stratford, I found a tearoom on the list. I wrote down the address, told my friend about it, and we went off exploring to find it. It was down a busy road, almost too far away for being in a city foreign to us. We arrived just before it opened up in the morning, so the lady who owned it told us to wait out in the garden for a bit. She had a lovely garden with beautiful flowers and lilac bushes. The lady was awesome. She told us all about the loose teas and brewed us up some samples. I don't remember all of them, but there was a really neat Rooibos blend and some herbals that we tried. I ended up with a bag of loose peppermint leaves, some Earl Grey for dad, and my tea scoop that I still use daily. This was my first foray into loose teas. I've moved on to teas beyond herbals now, but that experience at the little tea shop in Stratford definitely showed me how great loose tea really was.

This morning I decided to try the Darjeeling #22 that Adagio sent me as the random sample with my order. I don't quite know what to think of its flavor, but it is working well to clear my throat and stop my coughing. I think it will warrant another tasting when I am healthy again.
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Postby olivierco » Feb 27th, '08, 12:35

I have been drinking tea for about 20-25 years. It became serious eight years ago. By serious, I mean interest on brewing methods, tea origins, experimenting with different shops... In fact the moment people around me began to express that I was a little crazy to spend so much of my time and my money on tea leaves and teaware.

But it was only very recently (approximatively one year ago) that I found the tea, "when I tasted it for the first time, I knew I was a true tea drinker". It was gyokuro (from o-cha Uji Gyokuro Fujitsubo or Uji Gyokuro Gyoku-Hou. I opened the packages at the same time, so I don't know which one was the first real gyokuro I drank). When I drink gyokuro, I can't do anything else at the same time. Just enjoying the tea, nothing else.

So far, only two teas today: this morning, keemun and Darjeeling Puttabong this afternoon.
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Postby bananarchysplit » Feb 27th, '08, 12:41

My first loves are tisanes. I never cared for my mom's lipton iced tea but when we would go to the grocery store to get her beloved lipton I would see all the pretty boxes with lemons, flowers and spices and knew if I could just talk her into getting me some I would be hooked. I have moved up since then but I am still in love.
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Postby augie » Feb 27th, '08, 13:52

RoT was my first "real tea experience". I was an iced tea drinker in high school, probably because cheap tea iced down and sweetened up isn't as bad. I was sick of soda and wanted something else. I tried drinking tea in college, but Twinnings/Lipton/Bigelow was all I could find and I was very likely brewing wrong/too long. Drop a bag in a cup, add boiling water, done.

However, when I bought loose-leaf Oolong tea I realized that anyone can make good tea just like in Chinese restaurants! I was hooked. After reading up and asking questions on this forum, my days of being an uneducated tea drinker were over.

I've also found, over the last two years, that some teas that I thought I hated I now like. Anyone else notice that?
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Postby silverneedles » Feb 27th, '08, 13:55

i was a bagger...
until i found rec.food.drink.tea talking about all kinds of "crazy stuff"

then i went out and got me some assam, yunnan and keemun from Chado Tea (thanks! now i'm a tea addict)

:D
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Postby Selaphiel » Feb 27th, '08, 14:25

Just had some delicious Uji matcha after dinner. That tea is so refreshing
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Postby skywarrior » Feb 27th, '08, 14:30

Always loved black tea. Just what I like, I guess.
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Postby xine » Feb 27th, '08, 14:54

The first time I had a cup of TKY, it was about a month into my stint here at Adagio. I had only been drinking flavored black teas since starting, and was made a cup of TKY and knew that I met my new love. I love, love,love oolongs of all shapes and sizes. :)

I also knew I was a 'tea drinker' once I had my first cup Kukicha...and didn't like it! Then I had a cup of Sencha...and was floored. It was the first time I was able to differentiate not liking two of the same type of tea. It was wonderful!

Right now, xine is achy and blue- she is very sick and is going to lay down and forget about the world for a bit. Helping her out is some excellent oolong, as usual. Cynthia (cynTEAa) gave me some Art of Tea teas (Cinnamon Fig and Starry Night) to try out. They smell tasty, so hopefully I can cup some tonight.
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Postby tenuki » Feb 27th, '08, 14:59

good stories everyone.

I had some green tea in my youth that woke me up to tea's possibilities.

haven't had tea yet today, working on that.
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Postby ABx » Feb 27th, '08, 15:02

Kind of a tough question for me. What got me really interested was some Russian black tea scented with flowers (it had flower petals in it). It sat in my cupboard for a good while and probably aged before I really started to like it. I was struck by the fact that the aroma was floral (in a very natural way, not perfumy) while the tea was distinctly a good, solid, unflavored black. I thought there had to be more like that so I started scouting around, mostly at ethnic grocers.

Then my gf started drinking green tea on a regular basis. So one day I decided to go to a vendor's site and pick out some better loose greens for her. After seeing some of the descriptions I ended up staying up all night loading my cart, then trying to whittle it down to a reasonable amount. Shortly after my gf took me to a local tea shop she had seen at the new Asian shopping center, Serenity Art, and they had some greens and oolongs that impressed me even more (if I remember right it was dancong, da hong pao, and a roughly 3oz sample of biluochun that the clerk insisted we try - there may have also been some TGY, but that may have been the second trip the next day). These all turned out to be the ones that really blew me away (over the Russian black tea).

So was it the Russian black, greens, or oolongs that started it? It's hard for me to really pin down. The Russian got me interested and looking, the greens really started the serious hunt, and the oolongs were what I really fell in love with. I think I have to go with the greens, as that was the point of no return.

I'm still working on my obligatory morning shu (cooked puerh) :)
Last edited by ABx on Feb 27th, '08, 15:12, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Victoria » Feb 27th, '08, 15:08

xine wrote:The first time I had a cup of TKY, it was about a month into my stint here at Adagio. I had only been drinking flavored black teas since starting, and was made a cup of TKY and knew that I met my new love. I love, love,love oolongs of all shapes and sizes.


Wow Xine, that is my story too, Adagio's TKY was the ONE. Hope you feel better!

Thanks all for the b-day wishes - and Ladytiger - I don't remember anyone writing a poem for me before, I'm honored. And a poem with tea and secent! Smellling like my tea cabinet would be a very nice thing indeed.

Second steep of this morning's Dong Ding - sorry to report this is rather ordinary.
I'll put it away and try another brewing method this weekend.
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Postby tenuki » Feb 27th, '08, 15:44

dong ding from teaspring.

ok dong ding, kinda trailes off into smokey blandness as you continue to brew, but the first brew is pretty good. Spoiled by the 'legend of tung ting' from teahome I've been drinking the last few months I guess. Maybe I'll break that out next and make sure I'm not dreaming.
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Postby olivierco » Feb 27th, '08, 15:50

Dong Ding too (from Palais des thés) to finish the day.
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Postby TaiPing Hou Kui » Feb 27th, '08, 15:59

Ok! I am sarting off the morning with a 2006 Wu's Reserve Ripe Pu-Erh.....very earthy, remenescent of a forest floor with degrading leaves, liquor is a thick red soup, aroma is very soil-like. Though some might think it sounds gross, it is rather nice.

*First True TEA experience: 2 years ago, Freshman year in college. I had always loved cold green tea (the arizona stuff that you can get a 7-11, etc.) and I had heard somewhere that hot green tea was really good for you and helped the mind. I figured, hey, Im at an Ivy league school, I need all the mental help I can get! I was at the grocery story and bought 100 bags of green tea and a little travel mug and did this set up for a while. Then, about a month later I found an actual tea shop in Colonial Williamsburg (they are closed now) and they carried at least a 100 different loose leafs. I purchased an ounce of sencha, an ounce of dragon pearls, and an ounce of organic gunpowder, and one of the mug infusers. I got back to the room, brewed a cup of the gunpowder and realized WOW, this is so much better than the bags.......and then, well you know how it goes.....2 years later and you actually have a cabinet/closet devoted to teas, multiple teapots, trays, the works.....

-Nick (TaiPing)
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Postby tenuki » Feb 27th, '08, 16:05

tenuki wrote: Spoiled by the 'legend of tung ting' from teahome I've been drinking the last few months I guess. Maybe I'll break that out next and make sure I'm not dreaming.


I did this, and I was not dreaming. The difference in the size and completeness of the leaves alone between these two teas tells you the story right away. The price of the teahome legend of Tung Ting is comparable to that of teasprings dong ding ($16/100g vs $22/150g). wow.

Here's what I'm seeing, notice the higher lvl of oxidation on the legend of tung ting (on the left). strangly it doesn't have as 'roasted' a flavor as the dong ding from teahome but it does have a 'thicker' feel and more complex flavor..


Image

** disclaimer - I'm just observing and reporting on what _I like_, I'm not a tea expert, just someone with an opinion. :)
Last edited by tenuki on Feb 27th, '08, 17:40, edited 2 times in total.
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