User avatar
Aug 9th, '17, 18:10
Posts: 1144
Joined: Dec 2nd, '07, 17:53
Location: New York

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

by joelbct » Aug 9th, '17, 18:10

tencats_tea wrote:Haven't seen any good Mangalam yet this seasom. TeaBox though has just recently relisted a Mangalam Gold for 2017.

You said " the Vahdam's taste hit me over the head". Is that a good or a bad tea taste?
Good. I'd been searching for years for an Assam as good as the '07-'12 Meleng/Mangalam from SpecialTeas and Tea Stop. I finally realize I was just lucky to have found consistent, truly Great Assam during those years, because nothing else I'd found until now measured up.

I tried nearly every decent-looking Upton 2013-4 Assam SKU. They were all disappointing so I gave up until Winter '16/17, when I started my hunt anew. By this time, I'd tried 100+ sku's from ~20 different vendors from 2013-2017, before I found a few that weren't a letdown- Teasource's Duflating SFTGFOP1, a Dikom all-gold tips from Harney, Mariage Frere's Numalighur, Dejoo, and Koilamari; and a mystery Special Golden Tips from Jayshreetea: https://www.jayshreetea.com/black-tea/a ... -black-tea

But it wasn't until this 2017 Halmari Gold that I was, as mentioned, really satisfied. I thought I maybe preferred Vahdam's batch, but I need some more time with them to reach a conclusion. Could be 'higher-price bias.' They're both great: https://www.reddit.com/r/tea/comments/6 ... _compared/

As for Mangalam, Jayshreetea posted a 2017 batch here: https://www.jayshreetea.com/black-tea/a ... -black-tea
Shipping is not built into their pricing (they should probably work on this), so it's $21 min for 100-500g, $38 for 600+. But prices are very low, so it works out. They have good Darjeeling too- they own all the estates they sell.

Cheers and happy sipping.

Aug 11th, '17, 00:04
Posts: 240
Joined: Sep 2nd, '10, 12:57

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

by fdrx » Aug 11th, '17, 00:04

Darjeeling Castleton Autumn 2009

Wow! Absolutely delicious and complex game of ripe passion fruit, melon, caramel and something that makes me think of a roasted oolong like an aged tie luo han. weak aftertaste but pleasant

i was thinking it would be too aged and boring a few minutes back... now i feel like i have found a treasure!

User avatar
Aug 13th, '17, 22:07
Posts: 813
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

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

by victoria3 » Aug 13th, '17, 22:07

Exploring offerings from Ferg this morning, Jun Chiyabari Organic Black. I'm assuming he got this from Ethan and it is Himalayan Orange (HOR). I don't drink much black tea these days but found this to be really tasty with a pleasant aroma and flavor range. Brewed western style in a very fine Thomas Ivory Bavaria porcelain set from my Swiss great-grandparents 1- 1/4TBs in 12oz/under boil/ 3min., 3min., 8min. Love using this delicate porcelain with aromatic black teas, last time was with a delicious Glenburn Assam.

Aug 16th, '17, 03:54
Vendor Member
Posts: 1307
Joined: May 27th, '12, 12:47
Location: Boston, MA

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

by ethan » Aug 16th, '17, 03:54

Drank tea today with Kenneth of Monsoon Tea in Chiangmai, Thailand. If here, definitely visit, and you might want to look at his website to read about commitment to sustainability for what tea he handles. Inspiring.

The highlight of the session was black tea from 800 year-old trees in Yunnan. Deliciousk & almost identical to excellent tea from Yunnan I drank with Teadoff last week in Bangkok.

Very enjoyable blacks but like Bok, favorite blacks for me are from Taiwan. The Himalayan Orange Tea that I enjoy regularly seems more like oolong to me lately as I have shortenned steeping time and lowered temperature ofwater.

User avatar
Aug 16th, '17, 23:02
Posts: 210
Joined: Dec 25th, '13, 22:59
Location: bangkok

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

by john.b » Aug 16th, '17, 23:02

I think I mentioned trying a "wild" version of a white tea from Kenneth of Monsoon not long ago, an interesting tea. It had some nice fruit and an unusual other element, like an aged wood or light mushroom, something different.

Today I had an orthodox Assam with breakfast, which was nice enough. Astringency was pretty limited compared to CTC Assam versions with malt kind of moderate too, with a cool sun dried tomato range aspect and a trace of cocoa. The only downside was that it was a bit subtle as some black teas go, so for some it would seem to fall short of expectations, if they were after a strong flavored black tea.

To me it compared reasonably well with Chinese and Taiwanese black tea versions, my favorites. I still have yet to try one of the "honey black" versions I picked up in Taiwan back in January (at Lin Mao Sen); since I've been out of Chinese black teas for awhile it's about time for that.

Aug 17th, '17, 04:06
Posts: 711
Joined: Aug 4th, '14, 05:43

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

by Bok » Aug 17th, '17, 04:06

john.b wrote: To me it compared reasonably well with Chinese and Taiwanese black tea versions, my favorites. I still have yet to try one of the "honey black" versions I picked up in Taiwan back in January (at Lin Mao Sen); since I've been out of Chinese black teas for awhile it's about time for that.
I would recommend to not take too much leaf, short steeps for hotter water, or longer with less hot water. Best brewed similar to Wuyi or Dancong teas. If those are open leaves that is. For rolled high mountain black teas, hotter water is a must.

Aug 18th, '17, 01:36
Vendor Member
Posts: 1307
Joined: May 27th, '12, 12:47
Location: Boston, MA

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

by ethan » Aug 18th, '17, 01:36

Monsoon Tea's sampling in retrospect has one firm impression, the best were pleasant but without enough oomph. The most interesting in retrospect, is Kenneth's Jungle Tea, a black which offers a broad range of flavors (somewhat light again) that can make one sense and think "from the jungle, yes" as some gaoshan has made me think, "high, humid mountain with clean water and air". His 5-color white is more affordable than other whites from Monsoon and is very very close to his best white.

User avatar
Aug 18th, '17, 03:55
Posts: 210
Joined: Dec 25th, '13, 22:59
Location: bangkok

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

by john.b » Aug 18th, '17, 03:55

Bok wrote:
john.b wrote: To me it compared reasonably well with Chinese and Taiwanese black tea versions, my favorites. I still have yet to try one of the "honey black" versions I picked up in Taiwan back in January (at Lin Mao Sen); since I've been out of Chinese black teas for awhile it's about time for that.
I would recommend to not take too much leaf, short steeps for hotter water, or longer with less hot water. Best brewed similar to Wuyi or Dancong teas. If those are open leaves that is. For rolled high mountain black teas, hotter water is a must.
Thanks for the input; I'd essentially second all that. I bought a nearly identical version from the shop next door, Lin Hua Tai, and did finish that awhile back, and it should be almost the same tea, or it might be exactly the same tea.

The style is twisted leaves, so "open" as you've described it, unless I'm missing the use of terms. I would normally prepare it with water around 90 C or so. But the tea type is a bit flexible and messing around with temperature, proportion, and timing seems to just shift results, which are generally still good prepared different ways.

User avatar
Aug 18th, '17, 14:05
Posts: 813
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

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

by victoria3 » Aug 18th, '17, 14:05

Wow, blown away by Floating Leaves Taiwan Ruby 18 Black, really complex, sweet and smooth. The roasted leaves are beautifully twisted and put out a very sweet aroma and taste. It has complex notes ranging from roasted sweet potatoes, roasted chestnuts, molasses, camphor with musky whiffs here and there.

Yesterday I had a Darjeeling from Moutat tea house which I though was my favorite black, also complex and sweet, but now after FL's Ruby 18 it's 1st place has been usurped.

User avatar
Aug 21st, '17, 00:04
Posts: 1144
Joined: Dec 2nd, '07, 17:53
Location: New York

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

by joelbct » Aug 21st, '17, 00:04

Images: https://imgur.com/a/O2R5I

I cupped some 2017 FF Darjeelings from Jay Shree today: Sungma China Fine DJ26, Singbulli Flowery DJ40, Puttabong DJ56- and Risheehat "China Fine" DJ31, which I preferred: Vegetal, sweet, mineral.

These weren't my favorite 2017 FF I've tried, (which happened to be EX invoices from Goomtee, Gopaldhara, Jungpana- all more complex and compelling), but nor do they fail the "will I finish the pouch" test.

I didn't notice Jayshree's 2017 Puttabong DJ10, 2016 Puttabong LC6, or 2015 Turzum EX11 on their site, though, which I would have ordered and might be superior to those I tried. The UI is a bit clunky, selection appears random, 100g minimums- but prices are good.

Aug 21st, '17, 00:32
Vendor Member
Posts: 1307
Joined: May 27th, '12, 12:47
Location: Boston, MA

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

by ethan » Aug 21st, '17, 00:32

victoria3 wrote: Wow, blown away by Floating Leaves Taiwan Ruby 18 Black, really complex, sweet and smooth. The roasted leaves are beautifully twisted and put out a very sweet aroma and taste. It has complex notes ranging from roasted sweet potatoes, roasted chestnuts, molasses, camphor with musky whiffs here and there.
I find the great chasm between bad Ruby 18 and good Ruby 18 remarkable. The hybrid was created by non-profit research & development but then not controlled as some wines & cheeses etc. are controlled for protection of the reputation of a specific product. At the airport in Taipei, it is promoted although the free sampling servers are always empty and one must work to get a sample. The samples at the airport have been awful. Elsewhere I have sampled at least several Ruby 18s and like one the most which is inexpensive. I also like an organic one that comes in teabags which is overpriced (but convenient for when on airplanes & trains).

I made at least one teachatter angry by repeatedly mentioning disappointment with a Ruby 18 from FLT several years back and especially by FLT's reaction to my telling FLT about it and sending the tea back eventually. Now, it seems FLT has a very good one.

Good Ruby 18 is not my favorite black tea but certainly a tea I am glad to drink fairly often, tasty and different. You seem to find lots of good teas, Victoria. Cheers

Aug 22nd, '17, 22:07
Posts: 240
Joined: Sep 2nd, '10, 12:57

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

by fdrx » Aug 22nd, '17, 22:07

Puttabong 2010 first flush:
It hasn't aged so well, it's rather bitter, slightly astringent and not that interesting. The only good point is in the rather strong aftertaste that delivers a pretty note of ripe mango & peach that transforms into a real taste of grapefruit

User avatar
Aug 29th, '17, 12:36
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 4th, '17, 15:59
Location: Europa's

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

by plod » Aug 29th, '17, 12:36

Working nonstop today, so needed tea, but didn't really have time to fiddle around with it. Typing it out, I realize that would be accurate for most weekdays. I should get some better everyday teas for careless brewing.

Today the problem was solved by brewing two darjeelings, both times 3+ grams in 250ml for 3-3,5 minutes. FF Gomtee from darjeeling.cz. FF hasn't really been my thing, but this is pretty good. Has an angry mango thing going. Also had a SF from Vahdam, coincidentally also from Gomtee. Adequate, but not much more. Found this to be the case for most of the teas from Vahdam, actually. Had the Castleton, Gomtee, Okayti and Giddapahar 2017 SF. Castleton and Giddapahar my favorites, but the Giddapahar from darjeeling.cz was way better. Also had an Upper Jungpana from them that was by far the best SF I had this year. Tried last years Arya Imperial from Vahdam, that was quite good too, but pricey, and about 10-15 others that were forgettable. If Darjeeling is still producing tea next year, I'll stick to the Czech connection for my yearly 200-300 gram fix. Seems their palate agrees with mine.

Aug 29th, '17, 17:10
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 29th, '17, 16:52

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

by metamatics » Aug 29th, '17, 17:10

I am new here and it is nice to have some place online for tea lovers. I am not quite sure if pu'er is a type of black tea. It is different from other black tea like Jin Jun Mei/Da Hong Pao. But as a Chinese, I in general view Pu er as black tea.

I am currently drinking a precious Lao Ban Zhang pu'er made in 1997. It is truely priceless piece of extraordinaire. Unfortunately, I got it as a gift and did not know how special it was. Only after I carelessly dissembled the brick and brewed a piece, I started to do my homework on this tea. I kind of regret that I opened brick because you could not find this particular brick in the market. I should have made it as a pearl in my tea collection if I knew the rarity. Since the damage is done, I just have to brew it and embrace the unique earthy taste of it. I brewed a genuine Jin Jun Mei yesterday and a damn poor inferior quality iron goddess I got from Amazon yesterday night. I was so pissed off about the iron goddess like it was the worst iron goddess I have had in my life. Probably it is my fault as I have never shopped any tea in the States. So today I decided to give myself a treat and just brewed myself the Lao Ban Zhang I mentioned. I am on the 3rd infusion right now and damn it is getting better and better.

User avatar
Aug 30th, '17, 02:53
Posts: 1144
Joined: Dec 2nd, '07, 17:53
Location: New York

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

by joelbct » Aug 30th, '17, 02:53

plod wrote:Tried last years Arya Imperial from Vahdam, that was quite good too, but pricey, and about 10-15 others that were forgettable.
Have you used Thunderbolt, darjeelingteaboutique, or Mariage? Darjeelingtealovers looks okay too, but don't list invoice numbers.

I tried a lot of Vahdam's 2017 FF catalogue. I loved their pricier Goomtee EX FF and Jungpana EX FF, their Arya Pearl FF White and Okayti Silver Needles SF White, and a few others- I didn't think any of Vahdam's FF were bad. Better than what I got from Jayshree. But I am newly into Darjeeling, so not much else to compare it to.

I also have 9 Darj/Nepal FF from a new vendor, yatrateaco.com, that just arrived.

Have you done any side by sides of the same year, estate and same or similar invoice, but different vendors? As you say, if Darjeeling is still producing next year....

+ Post Reply