Romancing the Dream


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

Postby Herb_Master » Jan 29th, '09, 23:51

Well I have tried the Rich Barbarian Supreme+

I decided to use my Mrs Lin's Blue Cherry Blossom Sushi Set to display the leaves

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http://www.mrslinskitchen.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=16772

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an unopened packet of Rich Barbarian Supreme+

the opened packet contents in the Sushi sauce dish on top of the Sushi platter
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and spread out on the platter
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half the contents weighed at 5gm
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and a 150ml Yixing selected
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The pot and accessories were warmed with water from my standard kettle and a 2 second wash was done

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Water from my Kamjove at 190 -

and a 25 second 1st [real] infusion

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Break for into - - - - - - - - -
My sampling of the current Tie Kuan Yin immediately brought back my forgotten memories of last weeks 2 Tie Kuan Yins

The first was YunnanColorfuls
http://cgi.ebay.com/Anxi-Tieguanyin-Tea-of-best-quality-Oolong-Tea-50g_W0QQitemZ150300607760QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item150300607760&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14
A 50gm tin canister of little silver foil vacuum packs which should have been 10gm each but weighed out at just over 9gm - and brewed in a small Gaiwan first then a small pot - with water first at boiling then about 195 - both brews very similar

This was light and pleasant but undemanding and not 'serious'
Fairly one dimensional a slightly greenish flavour but more than anything reminded me of bubblegum and very buttery popcorn - successive infusions did not suggest to me that this would be anything more than an occasional break from my favourite oolongs

The 2nd was Teances Anxi Tie Kuan Yin No 1
http://www.teance.com/Anxi_Tikuanyin_1_Oolong_Tea_Teance_p/tea300.htm
Again brewed in both Gaiwan (3.8gm) and Yixing (6.5gm) with water just under the boil and just over 190 respectively. I favoured the Yixing brew / temperature.
The flavour and taste sensations were similar to the Yunnan Colourful - this time my impression of Bubblegum was not there but something similar to Buttery Popcorn though not - I eventually decided it was Toasted Corn Kernel [the sort that are often served salted as snacks/nibbles but without the salt.
This flavour pervaded all infusions and again I found everything almost one dimensional. I preferred it to YC but not an obvious repurchase - I have to confess that this has been in my possession for 7 months and maybe should have been consumed sooner and / or kept in a refrigerator.

Both these teas - as the infusions progressed got thinner and weaker whilst staying readily drinkable

- - - - - Back to tonight


I knew I preferred the RB when the 1 or 2 second wash which I could not resist tasting - tasted good - weak yes, but had character and body and Enjoyable - mm weird thin but talking to me

the first infusion was 25 seconds and my first taste
Initially 2 waves of flavour

A savoury green edge a bit like the Japanese Seaweed you can find round Rice Crackers – but greener and more sea-ish

Was trying to find a way of describing the second wave like the corn of the first 2 But the very pleasant sweetness kept attracting my attention finally it seemed to suggest something more like a gently roasted sugar cane

after the first infusion
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The 2nd Infusion
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Oops - I forgot to use a strainer
2nd 35 seconds infusion similar to first but seaweed flavour less and not quite so sweet – seemed more like a meld of several smaller flavours rather than 2 big waves – more mineral perhaps

Body not full but good a sort of silky velvety texture

after the 2nd Infusion
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some red edges evident

3rd Infusion
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Forgot the strainer again - How many people always use a strainer ?

3rd 45 seconds Infusion
Continuing the progression of the first 2 a pleasant balance

Some pleasant restrained vegetal flavours with the tiny mineral presence - seavegetable and sugarcane fairly faint

after the 3rd
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leaves would be almost fully open now if the pot had been bigger

4th 70 seconds and

5th 90 seconds
Again that silky velvety texture but now lacking the finesse of the first 2 infusions very little Seaweed almost no sugar cane but lots of balanced minerally flavours that make it still enjoyable. Slurping the brew noisily across the roof of the mouth the initial flavours are still there.

6th Infusion 3 minutes
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More colour - excellent drinking though now almost a different drink it still has that underlying Silky Velvety texture that makes weak flavours delicate now makes stronger flavours delicate also.

Half the leaves used (of 1 10gm packet [you get 8 10gm packets]) and half left for tomorrow.
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I like it, and will have no hesitation re-ordering.

ONI - take heed - I am a novice, and new to TKY I have made good progress with Wuyi and DanCong but this is my first foray into TKY - BUT I like it!
Also, I may have let my Teance go stale but IMHO this is far superior to Teance and Yunnan Colorful.
Last edited by Herb_Master on Jan 31st, '09, 18:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Oni » Jan 30th, '09, 02:45

Thank you great review, I admire your dedication to tea, and you have convinced me, I`ll make my order today.
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Postby Salsero » Jan 30th, '09, 02:58

Some great photos there, Herb_Master. Thanks for the little illustrated essay.
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Postby Victoria » Jan 30th, '09, 03:30

That looks pretty good! I would use higher temps though.
I usually use a strainer - but sometimes I do forget.
Thanks for sharing with us!
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Postby Oni » Jan 30th, '09, 04:24

I have made my order inspired by your review, but only had it come earlier, the seller said it is spring festival, and it needs 1 week before it is shipped, ps how long did it take for your package to arrive?
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Postby Herb_Master » Jan 30th, '09, 07:22

It only took about 5 days from placing my order
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Postby Herb_Master » Jan 30th, '09, 07:35

gingko wrote:
Herb_Master wrote:2. I posted some TKY photos on Flickr and a Chinese Flickr member has offered to make high quality authentic TKY - I have declined for the time being.

Come the Spring pick I am likely to sample the Wan Ling TKY not sure what to do about the random flickr offer!


I found this amusing :D If you like the person, you may try it out. But don't think too much of it if you don't know the person at all. There are 1.4 billion people in China, and by proportion, lots of tea salesmen. You could bump into a few every day :P

Looking forward to see your TGY pics. :D


If I like the Person?

He was a bolt from the blue. Minimalist profile, 18 photos, 2 comments on my photos and 1 PM

http://flickr.com/photos/jormen/
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Postby gingkoseto » Jan 30th, '09, 10:52

Salsero wrote:
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lol too :lol:
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Postby gingkoseto » Jan 30th, '09, 10:56

Herb_Master wrote:If I like the Person?

He was a bolt from the blue. Minimalist profile, 18 photos, 2 comments on my photos and 1 PM

http://flickr.com/photos/jormen/


The :lol: is not enough, let me steal Sal's lol
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And thank you Herb_Master for the detailed review on RB. I am very much tempted now. With their small packages and fast shipping, it will be easy to try it out! :D
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Re: Romancing the Dream

Postby richardr2009 » Jan 30th, '09, 15:56

Herb_Master wrote:Taiwan seems far too developed in a 21st century sort of way, communication and marketing wise.
.......... IF Only there is a master craftsman making tea just like his father and grandfather before him, but in a quiet backwater of a less fashionable village.


My wife is Taiwanese. Her father's sister's son (my cousin in law) is a well respected tea processor. He's employed seasonally to process the tea (not pick it, though he might help doing that as well.) I get some gifts of the tea from time to time, for free, that's my personal stash.

I also buy and sell tea as a side business. Turns out one time our company decided to track down the farmer of a tea that was given to me in gift. The search went on for 3 months. Finally led to a farmer we'd been buying from already -- in Chayi. Small world.

Never actually met "John" -- almost did last November in Tainan. But he was planning to get married the next week and was very busy. Someday, perhaps later this year.

All of which is to say that there are many small farmers and processors who stay out of the limelight. Many Taiwanese processors and farmers don't have Websites. And they will sell in generic bags bought at the local coop -- that merely say "High-Mountain Oolong" on them. You really don't know what's in the bag unless you know the source.
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Postby engar » Jan 31st, '09, 18:12

Great review and pics, thanks!
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Postby xuancheng » Feb 1st, '09, 07:37

I can't get over the name of the Ebay store ... "Rich Barbarian "

What is that supposed to mean?
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Postby Herb_Master » Feb 5th, '09, 08:01

I don't know where the name 'Rich Barbarian' comes from but I kind of like it, it immediately places it in my memory banks.

I have had a week sampling numerous Anxi Oolongs, and the results were thought provoking.

The Mao Jie, Ben Shan, and some various TKY that I tried a few months ago did not have the same flavour profile that they had when I first tried them.

Possibly weather, climate or some other factors that have been constantly similar all week but different to early autumn. But unlikely to be my mood because the same results ocurred morning, noon and night 8 days running.

The bright, fresh, seaweedy tastes were highly dissipated and the mellow vegetal notes strongly to the fore.

I may have to take on board advice given earlier in the thread and start storing in a reserved section of the refrigerator.

Equally probable is that my buying strategy will have to change and I will order Lighter Anxi oolongs in smaller numbers more often throughout the year and consume until replacements are needed!

This may punch hole in my intentions to try side by side tastings of Spring, Summer and Fall picks from the same source.
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Feb 5th, '09, 14:18

I believe that the guys name is actually Rich, well his american name anyway :P

I also have ordered a tin of both the supreme and supreme+. Good to see some reviews of these starting to pop up. Can't wait to get it in and try!
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Postby Salsero » Feb 5th, '09, 14:32

OK, you all have convinced me. I ordered some of the supreme +. :lol:
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