Jun 6th, '17, 20:05
Posts: 743
Joined: Aug 4th, '14, 05:43

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

by Bok » Jun 6th, '17, 20:05

victoria3 wrote:
joelbct wrote: Drinking Gopaldhara Wonder FF 2017, late at night, before bed. Amazing.

I didn't used to be much of a FF Darjeeling person, maybe I didn't have good sources. But this year FF Darj has earned a happy permanent place in my rotation. I couldn't imagine not continuing to drink this.
I read John B's. review of this FF Darjeeling and want to try it, it sounds delishious. How would you compare it too an oolong like LiShan? http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot.co ... flush.html
Apples and bananas! In my experience Darjeeling have absolutely nothing in common with Gaoshan teas. The only teas from Taiwan which sometimes remind me of Darjeeling are Oriental Beauty, but even there it's only a hint.

User avatar
Jun 6th, '17, 23:41
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 » Jun 6th, '17, 23:41

Bok wrote:
victoria3 wrote:
joelbct wrote: Drinking Gopaldhara Wonder FF 2017, late at night, before bed. Amazing.

I didn't used to be much of a FF Darjeeling person, maybe I didn't have good sources. But this year FF Darj has earned a happy permanent place in my rotation. I couldn't imagine not continuing to drink this.
I read John B's. review of this FF Darjeeling and want to try it, it sounds delishious. How would you compare it too an oolong like LiShan? http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot.co ... flush.html
Apples and bananas! In my experience Darjeeling have absolutely nothing in common with Gaoshan teas. The only teas from Taiwan which sometimes remind me of Darjeeling are Oriental Beauty, but even there it's only a hint.
Obviously Bok, but have you tried this particular FF Darjeeling ? John's description sounds like a few oolongs. Recently, at our LA tea tasting, I had Ama Dablam White Nepal Tea that tastes like a cross between sencha & longijng, floral sweet grassy. I think there are many crossover teas.

User avatar
Jun 7th, '17, 00:06
Posts: 1144
Joined: Dec 2nd, '07, 17:53
Location: New York

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

by joelbct » Jun 7th, '17, 00:06

victoria3 wrote:I read John B's. review of this FF Darjeeling and want to try it, it sounds delishious. How would you compare it too an oolong like LiShan? http://teaintheancientworld.blogspot.co ... flush.html
Preface that I don't Gong Fu my FF Darjeeling. And I'm no expert on Taiwan Oolong, nor Darjeeling. But, what do they have in common? I do personally enjoy them both later in the afternoon/evening :)

One could say these jade Oolongs and FF Darjeelings both have a floral quality. But the good Taiwan Oolongs I got last Winter have that very distinct mountain oolong refined, layered, minerally quality that isn't in Himalayan tea (edit- I wrote that bit before reading John B's post, where he makes a similar observation.).

Though from my tea readings, as you may well know, high mountain Oolong and Himalayan tea both benefit from the relatively harsh, high altitude conditions' inducing various survival responses in the bushes, causing more complex flavors in the leaf, compared to bushes that grow at lower altitudes.

Also, it's hard to say that Darjeeling is altogether "like" anything else (aside from other Himalayan gardens in close proximity, which have apparently emulated Darjeeling gardens), because it's just such a distinctive terroir. Darjeeling material, when processed into black, green, oolong, or white, is still unmistakably Darjeeling.

Anyway, currently sipping the last 1g of that Gopaldhara Wonder, blended with 3g of a nearly equally delicious FF from Okayti estate, invoice DJ03, plucking 3 April 2017. I do detect in these top flight FF Darjeelings a satisfying, rounded three dimensional aspect, maybe the same effect in the Gopaldhara Wonder that John B calls "roundness." Although he then says it isn't "structured," and I would say that it is, though obviously not in the sense that tasters refer to tannin structure in black teas (or wine).

Sometimes the synesthesiac attempt to use words to describe something as immediate and multidimensional as taste, seems like tilting at windmills.

But, anyway, FF Darjeeling is an excellent way to cap the day. Cheers.

Jun 7th, '17, 03:03
Posts: 743
Joined: Aug 4th, '14, 05:43

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

by Bok » Jun 7th, '17, 03:03

victoria3 wrote: Obviously Bok, but have you tried this particular FF Darjeeling ? John's description sounds like a few oolongs. Recently, at our LA tea tasting, I had Ama Dablam White Nepal Tea that tastes like a cross between sencha & longijng, floral sweet grassy. I think there are many crossover teas.
I have not, but I think Joelbct has summarised it pretty well, Darjeelings should really be a category on its own, as they do not really compare to anything else. Including the Nepalese teas.

After Oolongs of any processing, Darjeeling come second place for me.

User avatar
Jun 7th, '17, 22:34
Vendor Member
Posts: 3124
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

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

by jayinhk » Jun 7th, '17, 22:34

My sister visited a tea estate in Sri Lanka recently and picked me up some Orange Pekoe and BOP-Special Grade teas (Spring 2017). Tried the BOP first, brewed in a Chaozhou porcelain teapot that is around 180ml.

The aroma from the dry leaves was faint--that didn't inspire a great deal of confidence in the liquor to come.

Early on in the infusion, I got light malt. Later on, a little more malt, but also greater astringency and bitterness. Not my cup of tea at all! I'll give the Orange Pekoe grade a whirl next, but I'm not expecting much. I'll add the name of the estate later if anyone's curious, but IMO this producer's tea is probably best avoided. I'd much rather drink good dianhong!

User avatar
Jun 7th, '17, 23:03
Posts: 216
Joined: Dec 25th, '13, 22:59
Location: bangkok

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

by john.b » Jun 7th, '17, 23:03

Interesting shared experiences here, and nice to be referenced. There isn't much further to go with the ideas about Darjeelings and high mountain Taiwanese oolongs than has been covered; they're similar in some ways but different.

To me it seems like comparing apples and pears; similar enough that it would be hard to describe differences but different enough that they're not at all the same thing. As I discussed with Victoria3 separately it's funny how the verbal descriptions for both tend to match up with the distinction harder to specify. Floral and mineral aspects tend to stand out for each but both are different. It doesn't help that I don't have anywhere near the range of floral scent memory that I do for foods, but even if I did that may not be meaningful to most people anyway. The same applies to "feel" (texture / structure) differences; hard to describe.

Adding terms like bright or round might help but that's quite indirect too; it doesn't work well to verbally pass on a specific sensory experience. I wouldn't say that reviewing tea makes no sense but it is limited.

User avatar
Jun 7th, '17, 23:09
Posts: 216
Joined: Dec 25th, '13, 22:59
Location: bangkok

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

by john.b » Jun 7th, '17, 23:09

jayinhk wrote:
...Early on in the infusion, I got light malt. Later on, a little more malt, but also greater astringency and bitterness. Not my cup of tea at all! I'll give the Orange Pekoe grade a whirl next, but I'm not expecting much. I'll add the name of the estate later if anyone's curious, but IMO this producer's tea is probably best avoided. I'd much rather drink good dianhong!
Sure, which estate? I've tried far less Ceylon than teas from most major producers and have had better experiences with dian hong, Fujian black teas, or Taiwanese blacks but I'm sure that partly relates to not exploring much and picking up an aspects range preference. A Sri Lankan bai mu dan version I tried was interesting, in a subdued sense. A vendor just passed on a Ceylon black tea sample; I'll have to confirm the source before I post the review, if it's interesting enough to write about.

User avatar
Jun 7th, '17, 23:30
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 » Jun 7th, '17, 23:30

john.b wrote: Interesting shared experiences here, and nice to be referenced. There isn't much further to go with the ideas about Darjeelings and high mountain Taiwanese oolongs than has been covered; they're similar in some ways but different.

To me it seems like comparing apples and pears; similar enough that it would be hard to describe differences but different enough that they're not at all the same thing. As I discussed with Victoria3 separately it's funny how the verbal descriptions for both tend to match up with the distinction harder to specify. Floral and mineral aspects tend to stand out for each but both are different. It doesn't help that I don't have anywhere near the range of floral scent memory that I do for foods, but even if I did that may not be meaningful to most people anyway. The same applies to "feel" (texture / structure) differences; hard to describe.

Adding terms like bright or round might help but that's quite indirect too; it doesn't work well to verbally pass on a specific sensory experience. I wouldn't say that reviewing tea makes no sense but it is limited.
What prompted my question about the comparison to LiShan were your tasting notes; fruity, flowery, minerality, plus the golden liquor. I agree it's a challenge to articulate fully the sensory experience during a tasting. A side by side tasting would be interesting during our LA group get together. Anyway, thanks for your review John and Joel's also, both your descriptions engaged my curiosity to try this FF out.

User avatar
Jun 8th, '17, 00:07
Posts: 1144
Joined: Dec 2nd, '07, 17:53
Location: New York

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

by joelbct » Jun 8th, '17, 00:07

john.b wrote:I've tried far less Ceylon than teas from most major producers and have had better experiences with dian hong, Fujian black teas, or Taiwanese blacks but I'm sure that partly relates to not exploring much and picking up an aspects range preference.
I read recently, I think in Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties, that the orthodox tea industry in Sri Lanka was all but destroyed by a heavy push towards CTC and resultant collapse in prices and quality. But, some estates have been doing more orthodox production. New Vithanakande has produced some great batches, though hard to find the best.

I do remember being shocked when I encountered this, the "Extra Special," because prior I'd thought Ceylon was just harsh one-note stuff, and here was a multidimensional, perfect, winey tea: http://web.archive.org/web/200901241716 ... eylon.html

Some of these from MF look good: https://www.mariagefreres.com/UK/1-fine ... k_tea.html - their descriptions certainly wax poetic.
john.b wrote:I wouldn't say that reviewing tea makes no sense but it is limited.
The authors of aforementioned book make a strong case for tasting terminology (reviewing tea, in other words). If memory serves, their argument was that, without any formal terminology and tasting practice, all we can really say is we like it or we didn't, and then it is hard to separate personal factors unrelated to the tea from the tea itself.
victoria3 wrote:Anyway, thanks for your review John and Joel's also, both your descriptions engaged my curiosity to try this FF out.
Which brings up the thorny issue of provenance. I wonder (unintended pun) if I bought as many "Gopaldhara Wonders" as I could find from as many different vendors, how different they would be? An interview I read with the estate's manager, who developed the tea along with their Autumn Red Thunder, claims that Wonder is from a specific area of the estate, special bushes, harvested in a limited window of a few days each year, etc ;) Perhaps the uncertainty of the hunt is part of the fun of tea, but it can also be annoying.

User avatar
Jun 8th, '17, 03:24
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 19th, '15, 07:03
Location: on the road

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

by kuánglóng » Jun 8th, '17, 03:24

joelbct wrote: Which brings up the thorny issue of provenance. I wonder (unintended pun) if I bought as many "Gopaldhara Wonders" as I could find from as many different vendors, how different they would be?
Based on my limited experiences with a number of those teas I'd say notably different, in one case dramatically so (see below), especially in direct comparative tastings. Pretty much the same as with successive invoices of any estate, but then as usual lot depends on the specific estate, actual weather conditions, processing, (handling, storage) ... as well.
BTW, you'd be surprised at the differences between actual lab results of batches of leaves that have been plucked from the same bush with a mere 30 minutes time span between them :)

User avatar
Jun 8th, '17, 03:58
Vendor Member
Posts: 3124
Joined: Aug 28th, '12, 08:12
Location: Hong Kong
Contact: jayinhk

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

by jayinhk » Jun 8th, '17, 03:58

john.b wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
...Early on in the infusion, I got light malt. Later on, a little more malt, but also greater astringency and bitterness. Not my cup of tea at all! I'll give the Orange Pekoe grade a whirl next, but I'm not expecting much. I'll add the name of the estate later if anyone's curious, but IMO this producer's tea is probably best avoided. I'd much rather drink good dianhong!
Sure, which estate? I've tried far less Ceylon than teas from most major producers and have had better experiences with dian hong, Fujian black teas, or Taiwanese blacks but I'm sure that partly relates to not exploring much and picking up an aspects range preference. A Sri Lankan bai mu dan version I tried was interesting, in a subdued sense. A vendor just passed on a Ceylon black tea sample; I'll have to confirm the source before I post the review, if it's interesting enough to write about.
John, it's from Halpewatte:

http://www.halpetea.com/

It appears they source their tea from their own plantations, as well as smaller farmers, and then process it themselves. I haven't tried the 'pekoe' yet but I'm not expecting much!

User avatar
Jun 8th, '17, 07:41
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 19th, '15, 07:03
Location: on the road

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

by kuánglóng » Jun 8th, '17, 07:41

2016 2nd Flush Gopaldhara China Muscatel EX31

This tea has undergone some rather unusual transformation since I got it with most of the muscatel and DJ signatures having been somewhat superseded by a dominant, distinct peach note in the liquor that continues to linger in the aftertaste for a while. Not bad at all even though I remember this tea as having been a bit more interesting when it was fresher.

User avatar
Jun 10th, '17, 02:03
Posts: 1144
Joined: Dec 2nd, '07, 17:53
Location: New York

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

by joelbct » Jun 10th, '17, 02:03

kuánglóng wrote:BTW, you'd be surprised at the differences between actual lab results of batches of leaves that have been plucked from the same bush with a mere 30 minutes time span between them :)
Oh I'd believe it- That is part of the fun of tea: it is, like us, organic and variable ;) Same exact pouch might taste different from day to day, at least to some extent.

Special/Rare Assam album: http://imgur.com/a/HbrN2

I had a shipment from Mariage Freres arrive today, 5 Assams including those noted in above album. Tried only the Dejoo and Koilamari so far, but wow, very good. If I'd ordered everything in my cart from MF, it would have been 400 Euro, so I stuck with these for now.

User avatar
Jun 10th, '17, 06:11
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 19th, '15, 07:03
Location: on the road

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

by kuánglóng » Jun 10th, '17, 06:11

joelbct wrote: If I'd ordered everything in my cart from MF, it would have been 400 Euro, so I stuck with these for now.
Sounds oh so familiar but I still have some kgs left from previous years and will take it more easy this year.
(Looking forward to a comparative sampling session of some 2017 DJs with a tea buddy tonight.)

User avatar
Jun 11th, '17, 12:31
Posts: 1144
Joined: Dec 2nd, '07, 17:53
Location: New York

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

by joelbct » Jun 11th, '17, 12:31

kuánglóng wrote:Sounds oh so familiar but I still have some kgs left from previous years and will take it more easy this year.
(Looking forward to a comparative sampling session of some 2017 DJs with a tea buddy tonight.)
Nice. My only issue with MF is they still use those non-zip pouches, which are nice but not airtight. How do you store tea from them? Might just put the pouches in zip bags or an airtight sterilite box or something.

+ Post Reply