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Jul 17th, '16, 23:35
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

by victoria3 » Jul 17th, '16, 23:35

I have some Ruby 18 from Floating Leaves that I have not tried yet. Any recommendation on steeping parameters?


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Jul 18th, '16, 00:43
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

by ethan » Jul 18th, '16, 00:43

It is described as Organic Ruby 18 Black Tea. The same people sent me a very good green tea.

Later this year I hope to try T-18 as you call it from different sources. And within a week or so I should be getting one or two samples of black tea from Sun Moon Lake.

It seems I like black tea from Taiwan except Ruby 18. We'll see in October.

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

by ethan » Jul 18th, '16, 20:04

I must adjust what I wrote about the Ruby 18 from Taiwan. Using the remains of the sample today, I steeped longer & did not expect too much. Thus, I enjoyed this tea. I'd say it is unusual in that it is very lightly sweet (< other black teas from Taiwan) & sports tart flavors ----- altogether a bit different. What puts me off is the cheap teabag taste that comes w/ that. It is feint at first, strong in the beginning of aftertaste, & then disappears as one feels the lingering dryness w/ a bit of tartness.

This is good tea. I don't like it as much as other black tea I've tried from Taiwan, but I would be wrong not to say it is good.

Jul 22nd, '16, 13:46
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

by ethan » Jul 22nd, '16, 13:46

organic tea from Yunan: 1. Dragon ball.... this is pretty to see. Balls of tea wrapped in white paper. Tea is clean looking & smelling. Unfortunately, the drink offers little to me on the positive side & features some of what I dislike in pu-erh, bitterness etc. 2. Yun-Hong, the same cultivar, but processed a bit differently. Sort of a loose cake. Same problem w/ bitterness. Not for me.

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

by jayinhk » Jul 23rd, '16, 22:58

Back on the tribute grade dianhong. I have around 180g of it, so I decided to dry it out a little at 40C in the oven (digital control). After putting the tea back into the bags, there was some dust and broken leaf at the bottom, so I decided to brew it up. Surprisingly little astringency and bitterness, even with the broken up leaf and astringency. I got a little ginger/spice cookie. The session wasn't as sweet as it can be, but it was interesting drinking and the flavors I encountered match what Scott at YS describes this year's tippy dianhong as tasting like. I found that description surprising until today, when I encountered the same flavors at the bottom of the pile!

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

by ethan » Jul 24th, '16, 11:08

organic from Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan:

1. Assam: The best looking & tasting assam I have ever had. I would have loved this year's back. I am not into Assam now. Also, I am not sure that w/ assam that the best is far better than ordinary.

2. Red Jade: The cultivar that is so special but is it? This unique tea takes that superior assam combines w/ superior high mountain black tea to come out together as one. I understand it is special. but it is not for me. Subjectivity.....

Even if I like the red jade, one could blend leaves for the same effect. I like HRHT from Jun Chiyabari but again I could blend HOR from them w/ a sweet black tea for the same result. Makes me wonder about how much one should search or pay for ultimate cultivars.

cheers

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

by john.b » Jul 26th, '16, 03:02

I've not liked the few Ruby / Red Jade black teas that I've tried due to that one prominent mint flavor aspect (or eucalyptus, some describe it as, but the versions I've tried seem like mint).

I recently tried a Ceylon black that was quite minty as well, the only other black tea to seem so, although the balance of mint with the rest of that taste range worked better (from Ebony Springs, if that rings a bell). All the same, not a tea that I'd buy. I did buy a peony / bai mu dan style tea from them, but this is the black tea section (it was subtle, though, interesting).

I just started drinking a Jin Xuan black tea from Thailand that I picked up more of after trying a sample in the past year (from Tea Side). I really loved the tea initially, and now I like it but I'm not as taken with it. I think the difference may be in my own preference shifting, related to loving soft, sweet teas previously, in the floral and cinnamon range, but now moving on to crave different forms of complexity. Or maybe it relates to not liking a yeast / bread dough component as much now as I did then. Or who knows, really, could relate to using a different water, or any number of other things. It still seems great for a daily routine tea, something to make without being so careful about how, that will go well with breakfast.

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

by jayinhk » Jul 26th, '16, 03:10

john.b wrote: I just started drinking a Jin Xuan black tea from Thailand that I picked up more of after trying a sample in the past year (from Tea Side). I really loved the tea initially, and now I like it but I'm not as taken with it. I think the difference may be in my own preference shifting, related to loving soft, sweet teas previously, in the floral and cinnamon range, but now moving on to crave different forms of complexity. Or maybe it relates to not liking a yeast / bread dough component as much now as I did then. Or who knows, really, could relate to using a different water, or any number of other things. It still seems great for a daily routine tea, something to make without being so careful about how, that will go well with breakfast.
Might just be habituation--if I drank the same tea all the time I'd get bored of it pretty quickly. I can't even drink the same type of tea two sessions in a row! ;)

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Jul 26th, '16, 03:23
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

by john.b » Jul 26th, '16, 03:23

I've only drank it twice, after trying it once six or eight months ago, so it would seem early to be terribly bored of it.

I couldn't drink the same tea for days on end but I don't really follow patterns in how often it takes to get bored of them. I tend to vary what I'm drinking quite a bit so it's usually not an issue.

The idea of sticking to one general tea type to more or less stay calibrated for it has came up a couple of times, although I've not tried it. A dan cong vendor said that's a good way to become more sensitive to the effect of qi, and a tea blogger said he uses the experience of drinking a type for a month as a type of learning experience. I go in cycles but not to those extents.

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Jul 26th, '16, 03:35
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Re: Official what Black (Red) Tea Are You Drinking Right Now?

by jayinhk » Jul 26th, '16, 03:35

Right, if you've only tried it twice then boredom definitely isn't the issue! It could well be changing tastes.

I've found I get burned out as far as sensitivity to flavor if I stick to one type of tea for too long. I've done it with shu pu erh and high fire oolong. I end up losing the ability to taste the tea as well as I could have if I'd mixed things up. After switching tea types, and then coming back to the teas I'd been drinking too much of, they gave me all the flavor and pleasure they used to, all over. Just my experience.

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

by john.b » Jul 26th, '16, 04:55

What about inconsistency getting in the way of being able to focus on characteristics in a tea type? I'm not serious enough about it to ever try that, to restrict myself to drinking one type, but it might be worth it to check how that goes at some point, to stay calibrated on a narrow range.

In the last two weeks I've been drinking black teas, oriental beauty, wuyi yancha, darjeeling, dan cong, peony-style from Sri Lanka, aged oolongs from a few countries, a mix of Indonesian teas, and Earl Grey. At least I've been going light on white and green teas, and letting pu'er drop, although I'm about to take it up again.

I write tea reviews as a function of writing a blog, but I'm of two minds related to trying to do the best I can to accomplish precise tasting, or just writing out whatever I pick up and rambling a bit to go with that. It seems it doesn't make much difference if I pass on a clear and descriptive impression versus accomplishing relatively best-possible reviewing, and to me my palate only seems so-so anyway.

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

by jayinhk » Jul 26th, '16, 05:21

A few days at a time with one tea type seems to be fine, but for longer periods my system seems to suffer. Different teas are hot/cold according to Chinese medicine, so according to those principles, too much of one type can throw your system out of balance. I try to restrict myself to 10-15g of tea leaf a day now, but 5-8g would probably be healthier.

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

by john.b » Aug 2nd, '16, 03:39

I really have no idea what is hot or cold according to Chinese medicine but that general idea does ring a bell.

It's interesting that the same plant and related products could vary in such a way by being oxidized or baked, but on the other hand given how they describe the health properties so differently it makes sense, within that context.

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

by jayinhk » Aug 2nd, '16, 09:26

john.b wrote:I really have no idea what is hot or cold according to Chinese medicine but that general idea does ring a bell.

It's interesting that the same plant and related products could vary in such a way by being oxidized or baked, but on the other hand given how they describe the health properties so differently it makes sense, within that context.
There's definitely a huge gulf between white tea and shu pu, that's for sure!

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

by ethan » Aug 2nd, '16, 09:39

jayinhk wrote:A few days at a time with one tea type seems to be fine, but for longer periods my system seems to suffer. Different teas are hot/cold according to Chinese medicine, so according to those principles, too much of one type can throw your system out of balance. I try to restrict myself to 10-15g of tea leaf a day now, but 5-8g would probably be healthier.
Interesting that you measure your intake of tea by the dry the leaf, not how many infusions or how many ml you drink.

I would think you can drink more tea if you always eat before sessions.

More simply, I try to either eat or drink water before each round of tea. This routine seems to prevent problems.

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