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

by joelbct » May 4th, '17, 20:37

Bok wrote: Must have been a bad batch or outright fake Ruby. I have never had or heard of anyone describe it as light!

It has a quite particular and very fragrant taste easily recognizable as such. Different from the other Taiwanese blacks like gaoshan black which are also very fragrant. They are all on the expensive end what Taiwanese teas concerns, so lots of imitations around.
Hmm. I highly doubt Scott and company would sell fakes. Their Taiwan Sourcing Oolongs I tasted were mostly quite excellent, and very fragrant, even to an Oolong non-expert such as myself. The site is more curated and upscale than YS.

Who knows. It certainly wasn't bad, just not to me remarkable or possessing the robust flavors I like in my red/blacks (like I said- the best Dian Hongs, Keemun, Fujian, Indian assamicas, etc). It seemed more subtle.

But it was my first Ruby 18, I have no frame of reference here. I'm sure I'll try another at some point. And there is certainly some accounting for taste with tea, right ;)

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

by Bok » May 4th, '17, 20:59

I think I know what you mean it is not robust or rough as other blacks. More fragrant and sweet. Many high end Taiwan blacks are easy to brew as they do not turn bitter easily. Rather try the high mountain blacks maybe? Ruby is something of an acquired taste not to the liking of everyone. I only fancy it every once in a while.

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

by Alucard » May 5th, '17, 00:12

Nepal Jun Chiyabari Imperial (autumn) from Klasek Tea earlier today. This is an excellent tea.

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

by joelbct » May 10th, '17, 11:33

This (Ceylon/Sri Lanka) New Vithanakande Special from chado. https://www.chadotea.com/new-vithanakan ... -op-m.html

EDIT, here's a photo. https://imgur.com/a/k7euQ

Pretty great actually, I'd say this is about the quality of the old award winning special pluckings that NV has had, although I'd need a few more sessions to confirm that. Dry leaf looks better than the stock photo. Very uniform, thin, lots of silver tips.
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

by tencats_tea » May 10th, '17, 23:59

Assam Hattialli STGBOP
http://shop.tgtea.com/Assam-Hattialli-S ... -100/4958/
Assam Mokalbari Second Flush
http://shop.tgtea.com/Assam-Mokalbari-S ... -100/5756/

For me and my remaining supply of Assam teas on the shelf its the doldrums now until the new seasons teas begin to become available. Four and five years past the TeaGschwendner got me through this time of the dwindling choice of the previous seasons Assam teas with a very nice example from the Marangi Tea Estate. More recently though the Marangi has not been as good to my taste as it had been in years past. I like to visit the TeaGschwendner store at this time of year and am fortunate that the store is located a short distance by bicycle. Again I'm hopeful they will have something to get through until some of my more favored tea vendors have the new crop of Assam teas in. The two above teas are not bad but not much to my liking either. I will be varying the water and steeping time in an attempt to get a better cup of tea. Plan to return to the store in a few days and pick up the Mangalam and some other single estate Assam tea. Here's a pic from my visit to the store today.
Image

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

by kuánglóng » May 11th, '17, 06:16

Gongfuing some 2016 Risheehat first flush DJ1 right now. After about a year this has turned into the most fruity of the xy 2016 FF DJs I've sampled. It still sports a distinct FF DJ signature and some florals (classic lily of the earth) but the flavors are dominated by bright notes of a tropical fruit cocktail of sorts (mangosteen with pineapple finish) that gets more citric as the session moves on. Really expressive stuff with surprising strength, complexity and stamina.

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

by joelbct » May 11th, '17, 07:37

tencats_tea wrote:Again I'm hopeful they will have something to get through until some of my more favored tea vendors have the new crop of Assam teas in.
Hello from a fellow Assam-devotee!

How long have you been drinking Assam? Have you noticed a drop in Quality or just normal year to year variation? I haven't been able to find my old favorite Mangalam and Meleng at the quality it was 5-10 years ago, what I now realize were probably special hand pluckings of just the best buds+leaves, that SpecialTeas used to stock. Now it's just mostly broken leaf with fewer gold tips.

I don't know if the reason is a) the climate change/droughts and labor issues that have made tea industry news, b) corporate management issues placing profits over quality, or c) bad luck on my part.

Anyway I'm always on the lookout for great Assam, and still enough of a devotee that the level of quality I can find is what I drink upon waking.

It's unique enough that nothing else scratches the itch for me, even if I can easily find objectively much "better" Darjeeling, Yunnan, and Keemun black/red teas.

Please report any good Assam finds you come across!

The one outstanding Assam I've had this past year was a pure-gold tips Dikom from Harney, I'd never seen that before. Really special tea, but more like a Dian Hong than a classic Assam. https://www.harney.com/collections/all/ ... olden-tips

Currently sipping a blend of Mangalam, Meleng, Harmutty, Tonganagaon, and some blends from Vahdam, all about the same quality level and so I just mixed them all. And I have 500g left of supposedly SFTGFOP1 2016 Mangalam bought direct from jayshree retail for $15/500g plus $15 shipping. Drinkable (and cheap) but not the mindblowing Assam perfection I'm looking for.

I have 100g of this recently offered 2016 tippy Assam on the way, fingers crossed. Definitely my last purchase before sampling 2017 crop. https://www.jayshreetea.com/black-tea/a ... -black-tea
kuánglóng wrote:Gongfuing some 2016 Risheehat first flush DJ1 right now.
I used to think I didn't much love FF Darjeeling, but since I found Vahdam I've very much gotten into it. Just ordered 200g of Glenburn 2017 Classic FF, samples of pricier level Gopaldhara (EDIT sp) and Glenburn FF, and 100g of Puttabong. This proves for me not to write off a category of tea, it's possible what we've sampled in the past hasn't been the best representation, and palates develop.
Last edited by joelbct on May 11th, '17, 09:50, edited 1 time in total.

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

by Annabella » May 11th, '17, 09:22

I discovered many kinds of teas in Vietnam, f.e. mix of black teas with dried mango!! It's very refreshing and tasty!

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

by joelbct » May 12th, '17, 18:34

Tried some Glenburn "King" 2017 First Flush Darj. from Vahdam today. Great, but I like the less expensive Glenburn FF "Classic" just as much if not more- pluck date is late March as opposed to early March.

Currently taking a respite from the chaos of daily life with Yunnan Sourcing Autumn 2016 Imperial Golden Needles, sold out but also great, great value for the quality. Luckily I enjoy it every time, which is good because I have 450g or so left. Such a great classic gold Dian Hong.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody.

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

by kuánglóng » May 13th, '17, 04:46

joelbct wrote: Tried some Glenburn "King" 2017 First Flush Darj. from Vahdam today. Great, but I like the less expensive Glenburn FF "Classic" just as much if not more- pluck date is late March as opposed to early March.
Sounds familiar, more often than not I favor standard invoices over more expensive 'special productions' (EX, etc...) from the same estate. BTW, of all the xy Himalayan 1st flushes I've sampled last year, one of the cheapest teas, a Nepali Himshikal (I almost threw it away after a number of sessions, lol) has turned into something really lovely over the months. I've tried to get hold of a kilo some time ago but alas, it wasn't available anymore.
PS: I'm still sipping my way through the first batches of 2017 FF samples with more stuff coming in from all over the place and while it's too early to say anything meaningful some teas really made me smile, at this point more than last year.

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

by joelbct » May 13th, '17, 15:30

kuánglóng wrote:Sounds familiar, more often than not I favor standard invoices over more expensive 'special productions' (EX, etc...) from the same estate...
PS: I'm still sipping my way through the first batches of 2017 FF samples with more stuff coming in from all over the place and while it's too early to say anything meaningful some teas really made me smile, at this point more than last year.
I'd say that often I can often appreciate the costliness of 'special,' black/red or green teas (Hojo's prechingming Tribute Keemun for instance), but certainly not always.

Let us know which 2017 FF you like, when you can make a pronouncement.

Currently sipping Gopaldhara, 05 April 2017 FF: https://www.vahdamteas.com/collections/ ... -black-tea

I'd say it's great, has that same favorable underlying terroir of the Gopaldhara Autumn Red Thunder I have been loving.

$32USD/100g or $152/500g, about normal range for FF Darjeeling I suppose but among the pricier ones for Vahdam, for tea shipped direct from India.

And on the pricier side for what I'd usually buy more than a couple ounces of, in general. I don't have a "FF" later plucking from them to compare it to, though.

Next year I'll try to get some true prechinming Shi Feng LJ and note if it seems tastier or not than later pluckings or other Hangzhou LJ. I remember sometimes the non priciest LJ tasted fuller or heartier than the first early spring buds.

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

by kuánglóng » May 14th, '17, 07:16

joelbct wrote: I'd say that often I can often appreciate the costliness of 'special,' black/red or green teas (Hojo's prechingming Tribute Keemun for instance), but certainly not always.
I hear you and have spent loads of money on all sorts of special productions over the years as well but the most precious experience was that I can be just as 'satisfied' with a comparitively rather humble tea - as long as it fits the moment and the more precise and more often it fits the better. Nothing against fancy high-end productions, not at all, I have some really excellent leaves in my stash and will continue to add some here and there, but these days I can be prefectly fine with some 'bread-and-butter' teas and for me it's this special combination of qualities that I'm really after.
Let us know which 2017 FF you like, when you can make a pronouncement.
Sure, it just may take another while since I'm in the process of moving all my stuff including about 50kg of tea 4000km south (THE horror :) ).

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

by joelbct » May 17th, '17, 20:57

kuánglóng wrote:Sure, it just may take another while since I'm in the process of moving all my stuff including about 50kg of tea 4000km south (THE horror :) ).
Wow, I don't envy you that. We're moving too at end of month, but just 1 mile.

Yes I love my black/red tea, and some excellent teas such as good pure gold Dian Hong can be found for well under $100USD/500g, thank goodness for that.

Currently sipping a Jay Shree Special Assam Golden Tips batch that just arrived.

Definitely the best appearance Assam I've seen during my hunt the past few years. They said they had it left from 2016 but just put it on their retail site recently.

Pretty much no broken leaf, finally an "SFTGFOP1" that justifies the grade and actually somewhat, if not perfectly, resembles the Mangalam/Meleng Assams I used to drink.

Dry Leaf: http://imgur.com/a/HAjct

Wet Leaf: http://imgur.com/a/2FdzV

Label: http://imgur.com/a/1CNGb

Link: https://www.jayshreetea.com/black-tea/a ... -black-tea

As for the flavor, as luck would have it I have a bad sinus cold right now, so my palate is out of whack. But it seems very promising and will be my daily eye opener as soon as this cold clears. Fingers crossed.

Someone on Reddit found this blog post about why Assam production has become uniform and homogenized, to appease the giant buyers, but with resultant rarity of diverse, unique, high quality special pluckings that used to be more common. http://www.cantonteaco.com/blog/2013/12 ... ming-down/

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

by kuánglóng » May 18th, '17, 05:09

joelbct wrote: Currently sipping a Jay Shree Special Assam Golden Tips batch that just arrived.

Definitely the best appearance Assam I've seen during my hunt the past few years. They said they had it left from 2016 but just put it on their retail site recently.

Pretty much no broken leaf, finally an "SFTGFOP1" that justifies the grade and actually somewhat, if not perfectly, resembles the Mangalam/Meleng Assams I used to drink.

Dry Leaf: http://imgur.com/a/HAjct

Wet Leaf: http://imgur.com/a/2FdzV

Label: http://imgur.com/a/1CNGb

Link: https://www.jayshreetea.com/black-tea/a ... -black-tea

As for the flavor, as luck would have it I have a bad sinus cold right now, so my palate is out of whack. But it seems very promising and will be my daily eye opener as soon as this cold clears. Fingers crossed.
Looks good for sure, I hope that your palate/nose are back on track real soon - some serious work ahead :)
Someone on Reddit found this blog post about why Assam production has become uniform and homogenized, to appease the giant buyers, but with resultant rarity of diverse, unique, high quality special pluckings that used to be more common. http://www.cantonteaco.com/blog/2013/12 ... ming-down/
Thanks for the link! I've never heard of 'creaming down' before, there's no such thing in Darjeeling. Re. the source of that text I've ordered some more sheng pu from cantontea for some friends this week but their black tea selection left me wanting. Mostly blends and flavored tea, not one single-estate Assam anywhere. Anyway, I went through the 100g of that Tonganagaon I mentioned in record time and will order more. Outstanding stuff, gongfuing the last few grams right now.

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

by joelbct » May 19th, '17, 11:03

kuánglóng wrote:Thanks for the link! I've never heard of 'creaming down' before, there's no such thing in Darjeeling. Re. the source of that text I've ordered some more sheng pu from cantontea for some friends this week but their black tea selection left me wanting. Mostly blends and flavored tea, not one single-estate Assam anywhere. Anyway, I went through the 100g of that Tonganagaon I mentioned in record time and will order more. Outstanding stuff, gongfuing the last few grams right now.
I'd never heard the phrase 'creaming down' either, but I do notice some teas are still favorable after they cool to room temperature, and others not so much. So, for instance, when I am taking tea out of the house, in a glass bottle or for a car or train ride, I usually make Sencha or pure gold tips Dian Hong, both seem to taste great at room temperature. I generally don't love Indian teas brewed hot after they've cooled to room temperature.

I stopped drinking coffee last winter, but that beverage seems to suffer the worst degradation when brewed hot and then left to cool to room temperature, some chemical reaction taking place. Cold/room temp coffee is acceptable only if cold brewed or pourover brewed directly onto ice.

Also, as for canton, never ordered from them, they do have a Khongea Assam but they call it "Canton Assam." They seem to follow many tea retailers, offering a selection that is probably necessary to stay even close to profitable. I've considered a small curated strictly C sinensis shopify site, but if I sold just teas I like, purchased in some bulk and repackaged, I would probably either lose money or have to charge exorbitant prices to break even ;) Would have to be what they call a vanity project, not necessarily an income source.

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