Stems in Tie Guan Yin?

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

Stems in Tie Guan Yin?

Postby Beidao » Apr 12th, '08, 10:49

I bought some Tie Guan Yin this week and am enjoying it really much. This is the first time I buy Oolong and I'm rather new to finer teas. The tea has a lot of stems/stalks/twigs (I'm not sure which word to use) in it. Is this alright or have I bought bad tea? It was called Superior and the most expansive Tie Guan Yin that my local store provided, but it was still cheap in my opionion (1 dollar per 100 gram). I've always thought that good teas don't have stems in them - except for kukicha, of course! - but maybe I'm wrong.

Seems like a wonderful forum, by the way! :D

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Postby Beidao » Apr 12th, '08, 10:51

Sorry, 10 dollar per 100 gram!! I'm not that good at maths appearantly...

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Postby Space Samurai » Apr 12th, '08, 12:28

Some rolled oolongs are comprised of 2 and three leaf clusters that will have stems, like this.

Image

Is this what you're talking about?

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Postby Wesli » Apr 12th, '08, 13:23

It could be a bad tea, but not because of the presence of stems.

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Re: Stems in Tie Guan Yin?

Postby Salsero » Apr 12th, '08, 13:40

Beidao wrote:am enjoying it really much.
If you are enjoying it, it is good tea no matter what it looks like. But, as Space Samurai so graphically stated, enormous leaves and the stems connecting them are a normal part of some oolongs, especially the rolled types. Some have even more stem material than the example Scruff had at hand. I think such teas are among the most beautiful to look at and play with after brewing.

Also, I find that the more expensive ones tend to have more intact and bigger leaf systems. $10 per 100 grams is a very attractive price for high quality Tie Guan Yin.

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Apr 12th, '08, 15:36

That's not my hand, is it? It does kinda look like it, but I don't remember taking that picture, and the wood background doesn't look like my crappy dorm desk.

Anyway, like the others have said, I wouldn't be too concerned about stems.

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Postby Beidao » Apr 12th, '08, 15:51

Good, then I'm not be concerned anymore :) I just thought I had been fooled since the only other Tie Guan Yin I've seen here costed 25 dollar/100 g. That's a big difference. In this store, the cheapest Tie Guan Yin costed 5 dollars/100 g. I almost could not believe it.

Thanks for all answers! Since I stopped using tea bags two months ago, I'm unused to real tea... But now I've looked closely and you are right, it's several leaves hold together by stems. I even see the darker parts were oxidation have taken place, so beautiful!

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Postby Salsero » Apr 12th, '08, 16:07

Beidao wrote: In this store, the cheapest Tie Guan Yin costed 5 dollars/100 g. I almost could not believe it.
Wow, Beidao, I am considering making the journey to Sweden to buy some cheap tea at that shop. Can I stay at your house? :lol:

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Postby Beidao » Apr 12th, '08, 16:19

Yeah, sure, I have room for all homeless creatures. That's why I'm sharing my two-room apartment with three fighting cats and an incontinent dog right now. As long as you don't break my favorite tea-cups, like the cats tend to do, you're more than welcome. :wink:

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Postby Salsero » Apr 12th, '08, 16:43

Beidao wrote:Yeah, sure, I have room for all homeless creatures. That's why I'm sharing my two-room apartment with three fighting cats and an incontinent dog right now.
Seems like I'm always getting stuck in the room with the kitty box!

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Postby augie » Apr 13th, '08, 20:35

scruffmcgruff wrote:Anyway, like the others have said, I wouldn't be too concerned about stems.


I'm more worried about hair, metal shavings, shredded plastic, rat parts, etc. . .

You did say you enjoyed?

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Postby chrl42 » Apr 15th, '08, 09:04

True, top-graded TGY go through the procedure of getting rid of stems.

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Postby Beidao » Apr 15th, '08, 09:33

Salsero: Eh, ok. I hope you mean the litter box.

Augie: True, true! Stems are nothing compared to that... Especially rat parts :shock:

Chrl42: Thanks for the info.

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